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Navigation using a Laptop
I've just purchased an RL28.
Im looking at hooking my Laptop (macbook) up to a USB GPS module and run some sort of Chart Plotter program. Does anyone have any recommendations as to what program and USB GPS I will need.
I will only be doing trips to Rottenest Ils and up the coast of West Aus... (when i'm confident)
Very Novice sailor here. First Yacht.
Christian 10-Sep-2013    Edit    Delete 
Re: Navigation using a Laptop
You will get answers at this site and some support regarding using the software packages. Its a more general sailing site and less about RL yachts. You will need to join the group which takes about a day for their checks to make sure you are not malicious.

Greg 11-Sep-2013    Edit    Delete 
Re: Navigation using a Laptop
You might like to consider using a tablet instead of a laptop. They are much cheaper especially the Android tablets so if it falls or gets wet is is not such a disaster. Navionics produce charts for Android that cost less than $50 for the whole of Australia and includes all updates. You can see the detail in their WebApp which is now free at http://www.navionics.com/en/webapp.

I use OziExplorer on my laptop and have found it very comprehensive but takes a while to learn to use, but buying it and then the charts gets pricey and you also have to buy new charts when you want to update them.

For the GPS on the laptop I used a GlobalSat, BR-355 or BU-353, that works very well and can be bought on ebay for about $40.

But neither the laptop nor the tablet come anywhere near a dedicated chart plotter for reliability, ease of use, and most important, screen readable in sunlight. For example, Garmin have a 5 inch display for $700 including Australia wide charts, or $750 including a depth sounder, so it will be more expensive than a program for the PC, a GPS module, and a CD of the charts.

However, it is nice to be able to plan at home on the laptop, and store all the waypoints you need for a trip, on a table that is not rocking and making you seasick.

Keith Merkley 11-Sep-2013    Edit    Delete 
Re: Navigation using a Laptop
Echo everything said above, particularly visibility in bright sunlight. The watermap app in an exceptionally good fallback for iPhone or iPad, but is ever rely on it entirely. Whilst on the subject of apps etc the Pocket Grib weather app in sensational, beats the BOM in my opinion.
Ian Davison 7-Oct-2013    Edit    Delete 
Re: Navigation using a Laptop
If you use an Android tablet and Navionics software (make sure you buy a tablet wirh GPS, as some don't) - a 10 inch tablet is good. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 is cheap (superseded) and one trick is to pus some sticky velcro 'hook' strips on the back. This stuff sticks like glue to that blue or grey marine carpet you get from BCF and similar places.
You can mount the carpet where you want the tablet. I use the bottom half of my 2 piece companionway washboard. And simply remove it whenever you want.

With a tablet you can do some screen shots of favourite anchorages in google earth and save them. Use the task switcher to swap between the chart view and the screen shot to see where any reefs etc 'really' are.
rossdv8 29-Oct-2013    Edit    Delete 

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