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What is the latest wisdom on tablet gps?

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1 hour ago, Neil said:

Can't beat the etrex, indestructible and I always have mine as a backup.

The only issue I had was that as I aged and my eyes slowly wore out I had to keep getting longer and longer lanyards for it :-)  

I had an earlier Garmin version a few years back that took us to Tonga / Fiji and back after our more expensive one failed. Never let us down. Still had sextant and paper charts for backup as well, plus a couple of hundred AA batteries.

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That depends. For what? - local day sails, or around the world? IMO tablets are better as backups or repeaters than as a primary nav system. Most have limited batteries, poor sunlight visibility,

I agree with Island Time 100 %. I ran OpenCPN on a tablet as a primary for a short time but relegated it to back up system fairly quickly.. It did however run opencpn well and was accurate with only a

I have back ups.  3 chatt plotters on my phone.  Crew have chart plotters on their phones. Laptop with a dongle. The old gps with paper charts plus i still have my sextant. 

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2 hours ago, Steve Pope said:

There are more "accidental" events caused by modern methods of navigation than ever before, insufficient training, understanding, and reliance on a screen rather than No. 1 eyeball the main reasons. Just look at the US Navy if in doubt, or maybe the Rena. There was a time back in the day when you stood off, hove to, or tacked out to sea if / when in doubt of your position. Between auto pilots and electronic navigation etc. we are actually no longer in charge.

Sorry Steve, I don't agree. Looking at the sea miles completed and the number of accidents, modern shipping is very safe. Much safer than it was in the days of questionable quality paper charts...

All the gear in the world does not help if it is not on, ignored, or used incorrectly. Complacency and inadequate training are the two main issues. And the skipper is ALLWAYS in charge, electronics and mechanical devices are simply tools to help him do his job. 

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2 hours ago, aardvarkash10 said:

Thanks all.  I'm very aware that system redundancy is an important consideration - more baskets for the eggs.  We have a small handheld marine GPS, compass, paper charts etc (no sextant!).  I'm looking for a system that gives more or quicker or richer info with less risk of calculation errors.

I've been looking at Openplotter on a Pi device as an option - it looks interesting with lots of implimentation options you can grow into.  

To Island Time and Steve's point, many aircraft (and sea-craft) have been lost because pilots thought they knew better than the computer guidance or control systems.  Conversely, the 737 Maxx situation shows we need to be wary of systems so complex we don't know what they are doing.  Software and hardware is usually reliable, its the dampware operating it that is in doubt!


I would start with the easiest/ cheapest option and then upgrade if you feel the need. 

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On 19/05/2020 at 1:39 PM, Black Panther said:

I would start with the easiest/ cheapest option and then upgrade if you feel the need. 

Agree with this.  Start with a chart, get used to working out your location/position and accustom yourself to eyeball pilotage.  You can use all the aids available but you should get in the habit of constantly assessing all of the possible inputs to confirm you know where you are.  The east coast north of Auckland is a fantastic area to learn to navigate simply - all sorts of challenges but no fog!  Using a plotter is too bloody easy to teach you anything apart from watching the tv!

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