Like Tree0Likes

laptop computer vs. chartplotter?

Reply
Old 04-28-2003, 11:33 PM
  #1
Registered
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Indy, St. Louis, LOTO
My Boats: 85 Formula 302
Posts: 1,299
Default laptop computer vs. chartplotter?

I usually boat on LOTO, where a chartplotter is not needed. But want to trailer to other waters this summer where one would be nice. Would rather not spend hundreds or thousands on a C.P. that will only be used a few times, if there is a reasonable option.

Can you think of any reason an old laptop computer with a GPS hooked to it would not work as a chart plotter with the proper software?

Secondendly, most of the chart software I've seen advertised covers salt water and the great lakes, but not inland lakes or rivers. Does OSO have suggestions for lakes and rivers?
Chart is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2003, 11:41 PM
  #2
Charter Member #232
Charter Member
 
Audiofn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Carlisle, MA USA
My Boats: 1979 Formula 302, 99 Formula 353, 81 Donzi 18 2+3 with 454
Posts: 18,379
Default

The Atlantic and Pacific are lakes........ they are just really BIG ones

Jon
__________________
Put your best foot forward!
Audiofn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2003, 11:54 PM
  #3
Ginger or Mary Ann?
Charter Member
Trade Score: (1)
 
US1 Fountain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Lafayette. IN
Posts: 10,866
Default

All my boating is inland lakes. Some nothing more than large ponds. I use the Garmin Mapsource CD and it works great. Also is great for traveling on land. Shows all roads.
No experience with laptop
__________________
Some people are like Slinkies - Not really good for anything, but they
bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs.
US1 Fountain is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2003, 12:37 AM
  #4
IntolerantOne
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Im looking for a laptop for the same reason. I can plug in my GPS, watch DVDs, play a game or two, etc. Already have the gps. Sams Club has a small laptop..thinks its a 7" or 9" for $700. Its my understanding that Microsoft Streets and Trips planner will run with the GPS plugged in and show you evrything you need.
 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2003, 07:20 AM
  #5
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Raypanic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Lake Orion, MI. USA
My Boats: Formula 400SS Eliminator 236 Eagle XP
Posts: 1,560
Default

I have used laptops on the road, They work well except the screens are very hard to read in bright light. If you can live with that on the boat for a few days you should be OK. But only the marine maps by Garmin, Maptech and the sort will show you soundings. It may be better and cheaper just to get paper maps. It's best to study where you are going first rather than rely on a gps to tell you where you are. If you GPS fails what would you do then?
__________________
Ray
Raypanic is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2003, 08:44 AM
  #6
Registered
 
fandango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Solomons Island, MD, Vero Beach, FL
Posts: 396
Default

Be carefull of purchasing a laptop. On our recent excurision thru the Bahamas, we tried using laptop for navigation in boat and it is just too hard to see screen on most occasions. Also the water and moisture are not too compatible. We ended up using laptop on land in the bars to plug in next days running and then downloading into gps.

Ed
fandango is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2003, 08:55 AM
  #7
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Cignificant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Richmond, VA
My Boats: 2003 33' Donzi ZX
Posts: 1,679
Default

Has anyone tried the GPS receivers you plug into a PDA? Might be a better alternative than a laptop - more durable. Here's link to some..

http://www.boatfix.com/elec/navgps.asp
__________________
Steve Gresham
'03 Donzi 33ZX
Cignificant is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2003, 10:59 AM
  #8
Registered
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Indy, St. Louis, LOTO
My Boats: 85 Formula 302
Posts: 1,299
Default

Quote:
Originally posted by IntolerantOne
Im looking for a laptop for the same reason. I can plug in my GPS, watch DVDs, play a game or two, etc. Already have the gps. Sams Club has a small laptop..thinks its a 7" or 9" for $700. Its my understanding that Microsoft Streets and Trips planner will run with the GPS plugged in and show you evrything you need.
Yes, Streets and Trips works well for land, and I use that in my truck with a hand-held GPS plugged into it. But, as someone else said here, it is not adequate for water.
Chart is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2003, 08:54 AM
  #9
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
 
mcollinstn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: tn
My Boats: 1991 F311SR1
Posts: 5,491
Default

Laptop: can't see in the sun - hard to find a place to put it where you can see it at speed - not really good for it to be pounded on in rough water.

Charting GPS: more money.

The answer depends on how you plan to use the charting function. If you plan to use it to simply "not get lost" then it will work fine. If you get lost, get it out of its padded case, fire it up, start the mapping software, punch in your coordinates, see where you are and where you need to go.

If you want to use it while running, it gets less desirable unless you have a 50' cruiser with a good spot for it.

You CAN plug your GPS into the computer (at home before you go) and transfer tons of waypoints to all the landmarks you need. You can do this BEFOREHAND and it's not as good as a chart, but much better than nothing.
mcollinstn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2003, 09:40 AM
  #10
VIP Member
Platinum Member
 
wwwTOPDJcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Vestal/Binghamton NY
My Boats: 1992 450hp Senza Spectre 25'
Posts: 3,477
Default

If ya have to use a laptop on a boat get a good used Panasonic Toughbook they have the Gel mounted Drive and super bright screen. Ive tried most laptops are not readable during the day

http://www.panasonic.com/computer/no...tml/01a_s1.htm

with a bigger screen
http://www.panasonic.com/computer/no...tml/01a_s8.htm

Last edited by wwwTOPDJcom; 04-30-2003 at 10:32 AM.
wwwTOPDJcom is offline  
Reply With Quote
Reply

Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Jimmys 288
General Boating Discussion
3
05-19-2006 06:42 PM
hpy540
General Boating Discussion
1
08-02-2005 11:35 PM
boot
General Boating Discussion
36
02-15-2005 09:40 PM
Donzi38ZX
General Boating Discussion
7
01-22-2003 07:27 PM
Keith
General Boating Discussion
18
02-25-2002 08:13 PM



Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:10 PM.


Copyright 2011 OffShoreOnly. All rights reserved.