New Radar/chartplotter

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When we were setting Odyssey up in 2000, we declined to have a combined radar/chartplotter installed because the technology was fairly new, and changing rapidly.  For electronics we went with: radar, autopilot, depth sounder, GPS, VHF radio and a plug allowing a laptop to talk to GPS.  We used navigation software on our laptop to develop routes and transfer them as needed to the GPS.  The GPS sends steering information to the autopilot and puts the bearing and distance to the next waypoint up on the radar screen.  On occasion we’d leave the laptop connected to the GPS and have a chartplotter so we could see our location relative to the navigation chart.

During our Washington, DC visit this spring (2011) we decided it was time to upgrade and ordered a Garmin radar/chartplotter/GPS system.  While waiting for it to arrive we took down the old radar—no small task.  End fitting on the radar cables are quite large.  To have room for pulling them through the support pipe and hardtop beam we took out all the overhead wiring, installed the new radar cables and then replaced the horn, wipers and anchor light wiring.  It was quite a job, especially when we found one of the radar cables was bad and had to be replaced.

With just hand tools available it was a bit of a job getting the instrument panel opening enlarged to accommodate the large chartplotter screen.  As the pictures below show, the chartplotter takes up most of the instrument panel space.

Our old black and white radar just showed a radar image.  Now we have options: traditional radar, a chartplotter showing our position on a navigation chart, an option overlaying the radar image on navigation chart or a combination screen option.  Tide and current tables are built in as is an extensive index of marine facilities.

Our 10 year old radar. The image is Gangplank Marina and Washington Channel.

Cockpit torn apart to rewire.

Chartplotter in bright sunlight at Colonial Beach, VA

Underway on the Potomac.

The chartplotter has a screen capture function to download a copy of the screen to an SD chip.  Below are two copies of the screen image.

Combination screen: radar image, navigation chart, and route data.

Radar (dark yellow) overlay on navigation chart. Two yellow dots ahead of the boat are approaching boats.

The time line shows where the boat will in 7 minutes at it present course and speed.

The original depth sounder will send its signal to the chartplotter when the interface board arrives.

We are very pleased with our new navigation equipment.

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