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Navigation equipment for beachcat?  Bottom

  • So, besides a manual compass, what navigation aides/sailing computers do people use and like for a beachcat? I'm going to start taking progressively longer sailing trips and want to set up properly over the winter.

    I know I'll need safety equipment; VHF radio, standard GPS/satellite text ability and personal beacon - but I'm kind of curious what people use efficiently for ensuring optimum course, etc. on longer trips, or do you just "wing it"?

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    Chuck C.
    H21SE 408
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  • can you give a little more insight as to where you are sailing to and from on these longer trips?
  • Oh, mostly around Galveston bay, Texas coast type stuff. Short trips. COULD do it by reckoning and compass due to my time on power boats, but I'd rather be precise and efficient. But, as I venture into this more and more, I want to do it right and safe most of all.

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    Chuck C.
    H21SE 408
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  • Gotcha, thanks for the details.

    As a gulf sailor all our sails are basically north south along a coast so there is little need for navigation / tracking

    mostly what i see used is gps tracks from a garmon or similar -that are later superimposed on a map
  • Chuck,, I use iNavX on my cell phone. I sail GB as well. I have used it during the Dash as well. It does cost money, but if you are doing trips in the Bay, it pays for itself. You should come down the the Dike Saturday for the Redfish Reach; a 20-ish mile race from TCD around Redfish Island and back. 19 boats already.

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    Scott

    Prindle 18-2 Mod "FrankenKitty"
    Tornado Classic "Fast Furniture"
    Prindle 19 "Mr. Wiggly" - gone
    Nacra 5.8 "De ja vu"
    Nacra 5.0
    Nacra 5.8
    Tornadoes (Reg White)
    --
  • Hey Scott - Steve Paulson says "hi". We were out last Sunday at the dike (alone) and it was awesome sailing! It got to honkin' around 4 o'clock. Good wind direction for long runs before a tack.

    Yeah - don't rub it in; I had to cancel going to the Reach... Band contest. My son's band is going to state this year (Junior/high school/drum major/great show). So, I'm not just a BAD parent for missing, I'm "....just a little bit efil..."(evil). icon_smile Actually, I'm a pretty committed dad, so...

    What phone do you use? How do you manage protecting it? I'm thinking specifically about exploring up to Redfish, and a bit further when I can.

    --
    Chuck C.
    H21SE 408
    --
  • I did Everglades to Key West with just a compass and paper chart and it was very enjoyable. Whenever I have GPS I spend too much time looking at it. I probably wouldn't have been in a great place to report my position in an emergency but other than it was all I needed
  • Navionics Boating App for mobile devices has excellent "Gold" vector charts, which are downloadable and upgradable for the purposes of dock to dock trip autorouting, fishing, sonar log recording and synching with GPS/plotters, etc.

    You can record your tracks and create routes manually, compare your trip stats, see live weather/wind/tide info, find services in your area, geotag photos and share your location, etc.

    Bring a waterproof bag and an extra power source.

    If you have an iPhone, i recommend putting it in the CaliCase. https://calicase.com/prod…po_7&variant=37930307661

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    Prindle 18
    96734
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  • Plus one for navionics app. i can get 8 hours out of my phone on "low power mode" plus i bring an additional backup battery when circumstances call for it. It tracks your whole sail, and will store all your sail tracks. One feature I really like is over marinas they have air plane aerial pictures of the marina so you can figure out where you have to go before you get inside.

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    Nacra 6.0 NA
    Ogden Dunes, IN
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  • I use the Garmin GPSmap 76 which is over 12 years old, monochrome and no longer has bluechart updates, but it still works perfectly, it's waterproof and floats. Simply obtain the lat and long of the point you wish to sail to on a current chart, manually create a waypoint with those coordinates and it will very reliably, accurately take you there. For racing purposes around government marks they can usually be picked off of the noaa localized nav charts. If you really want accuracy sail/motor out to the buoys a day before a race and drop a waypoint right on them. It's very easy to use with the Garmin neck lanyard and you can find them on places like Ebay for $50 or so. I continue to like this option better than risking my phone.

    https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/169

    --
    Hobie 16 (3 formerly)
    MacGregor 25 (formerly)
    Chrysler Dagger 14 (formerly)
    NACRA 5.0 (currently)
    High Point, NC
    --
  • I use an old school unit , i think it's called the Galileo Galilei Hand Held Mk1

    https://shop.harborfreight.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/i/m/image_16547.jpg

    dance
  • + 1 for Navionics

    They are by far the number one nav app and there is a reason why

    BW
  • charlescarlisHey Scott - Steve Paulson says "hi". We were out last Sunday at the dike (alone) and it was awesome sailing! It got to honkin' around 4 o'clock. Good wind direction for long runs before a tack.

    Yeah - don't rub it in; I had to cancel going to the Reach... Band contest. My son's band is going to state this year (Junior/high school/drum major/great show). So, I'm not just a BAD parent for missing, I'm "....just a little bit efil..."(evil). icon_smile Actually, I'm a pretty committed dad, so...

    What phone do you use? How do you manage protecting it? I'm thinking specifically about exploring up to Redfish, and a bit further when I can.


    You missed an epic event.. Roger did a fantastic job.. nothing like hot fresh BBQ for dinner after a cold sail. The wind was 8-17 knots. As expected, the wind dropped off during the day, but it was still a challenging sail with the North wind. You should bring the boat and fam to Wurstfest... Always a great event.

    I used to trust the Lifeproof with my iphone, but after 2 phones in 6 months getting trashed.. forget that. I place the phone in a phone bag and stick it in the tramp pocket. For the Dash, my son does the navigating with a simple GPS. He focuses on COG and Bearing to Mark.

    I would love to find something that could be a repeater display to give SOG and heading. I have found one, but they want $1,100-ish. I have an old school Velocitik, but an update killed it.

    --
    Scott

    Prindle 18-2 Mod "FrankenKitty"
    Tornado Classic "Fast Furniture"
    Prindle 19 "Mr. Wiggly" - gone
    Nacra 5.8 "De ja vu"
    Nacra 5.0
    Nacra 5.8
    Tornadoes (Reg White)
    --
  • Sooo....I just went down this road. Purchased a Garmin Etrex 22x...no marine maps, but the 78s/sc has died multiple times for one long distance adventure kayaker on amazon...a friend has had better luck with the etrex series so I'm giving that a go.

    I have a garmin watch (Vivoactive HR) with sailing app that also does a nice job.

    Paper charts and the Mk. 1 eyeball are good.

    MN3,

    I use a tacktick micro compass with the GPS. I have a really nice carbon tacktick bracket in limited production for $95 (yeah I know buy an ad) that stops your spin sheets from getting wadded up with the compass. WaveInn sells these things for $280 new. That plus handheld GPS and you get your data, maybe not all heads up but good enough to win a few races once in a while.
  • Oh, the eTrex 33x has bluetooth connectivity so at some point a repeater may be possible.
  • Yeah, all these regattas sound fantastic, just need spare time... And Wurstfest looks awesome! Been wanting to sail Canyon Lake, but alas family comes first...

    What about a Novasail 360pro? Sub $600 and looks like it has most of the features to help me learn and tune. Just,is it reliable? Does waypoints, etc.

    --
    Chuck C.
    H21SE 408
    --
  • I've done some trips to the Channel Islands on beachcats and more recently on monohulls from a sailing co-op yacht club I joined a couple years ago. So my navigation needs may be more demanding than yours, but anyway....

    I've been using a Garmin GPSMap 76Cx, without the added charts. You get rough polygons to represent land masses, but you can establish way points and routes on your computer using free software from Garmin, then can transfer recorded tracks back to the computer for review.

    The interface plug started getting flakey on me, not allowing me to get the tracks, and also requiring entering the way points by hand on the device which is a real pain in the a**. But then I found I could get it to work partially inserted with some side force applied.

    I was preparing for a 6 day trip to the islands on one of the club Catalina 30s, and found the chart plotter to have the same landmass polygons as on the Garmin. I tried getting the Garmin Blue marine charts, but they are no longer available for the 76Cx.

    So I picked up a Garmin GPSMap 78sc which has the charts built in. It has more features than the 76Cx and you can even configure menu choices and which data elements you want displayed on the some of the screen. I picked it up on sale at West Marine for $200, the regular price being $280. I keep it in a drybag as I just don't trust IPX ratings. (The battery compartment on the 76Cx leaked. I didn't have the stamina to fight with West Marine like I did in the old days getting all their radios redesigned, but that's another story).

    I've been really happy with this device. The only drawback is that it chews up batteries, draining alkalines after only about a day and a half of use. I've switched to lithium and getting way more life, but they are pricey. There are some tips online on how to extend battery life which I need to look into.

    Here's a link to the product:

    https://www.westmarine.co…ts--11553609?recordNum=1

    Sorry for rambling. It's what I do.

    --
    Bill Mattson
    Prindle 19 "Gelli Bean"
    Prindle 19 "Cat's Pajamas"
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  • mattson

    So I picked up a Garmin GPSMap 78sc which has the charts built in. It has more features than the 76Cx and you can even configure menu choices and which data elements you want displayed on the some of the screen. I picked it up on sale at West Marine for $200, the regular price being $280. I keep it in a drybag as I just don't trust IPX ratings. (The battery compartment on the 76Cx leaked. I didn't have the stamina to fight with West Marine like I did in the old days getting all their radios redesigned, but that's another story).


    From my experience, Garmin has some of the best customer service out there when it comes to warranty and servicing items... but, their downfall is like many other manufacturers they stop supporting older units after a while... hence the motto "time to upgrade..."

    As for navigation stuff for the boat... most recently I came across a gent using an iPad mini, Bad Elf Lighting stick, the Navionics app, and a MoKo H2o proof case... pretty slick little set up.. and a bigger screen to look at..



    Edited by JohnES on Nov 07, 2019 - 11:03 AM.

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    John Schwartz
    Ventura, CA
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  • The iPad experience using Navionics is outstanding, especially with the sonar data. You have access to government charts too. I would use it on any monohull or dry multihull.

    Doesn't mean I wouldn't keep a handheld GPS on board, for backup.

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    Prindle 18
    96734
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  • For actual nav on a wet catamaran, Garmin GPSMap 78sc. I got a silicone sleeve and velcro it to the front crossbeam. I don't like the unit, but it's the only reliable option out there.

    I do bring my phone (which is waterproof) inside a waterproof bag. Have some nav apps. But wet fingers, gloved fingers, drops of water on/around the screen area all make a mess of using the UI on anything based on the phone.

    My cat is a recreational foiler, so wetter/wilder than most.

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