Laptop gps system

Laptop gps system

Postby Shaun » Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:11 am

From: dreadnought0 (Original Message) Sent: 2/01/2008 8:22 PM
I have been cruising using a laptop computer based GPS system.

My advice to anyone contemplating this system is DON'T. They are not pratical for a 25 ft yacht. Your money would be spent on a hand held water proof gps.

The reasons are as follows:

Anyone who has sailed at sea knows that water does make its way into the cabin over time, with crew coming in with wet weather gear, stray waves, etc, etc,etc


Salt air and salt water are definitely the natural enemy of the microprocessor.


Recommend Message 2 of 6 in Discussion

From: nswsailor Sent: 2/01/2008 9:31 PM
Hi there,

I am about to go down that path, can you please give further reasons why a laptop is not practicable.


Recommend Message 3 of 6 in Discussion

From: dreadnought0 Sent: 3/01/2008 1:49 AM
Hi Phillip,

I inherited the system, when I bought the boat a couple of months ago. I decided to give it a go, despite some reservations.

Questions you need to ask are:
Where are you going to put it?
Is it going to be secured and where?
How are you going to power it? Inverter? (lap top batteries don't last forever)

(Its a GPS system, so needs to be running.)
So sitting on the table, when sailing in moderate conditions, at the very best is going to slide, move about or fall off, or you could just turn it off (and store it somewhere) then turn it on again. Would be easier to pull out a chart.
You could have it sitting outside with you, probably not desirable either, with water coming over the deck.
Mine was secured to the stairs near the hatch, where it's is prone to get wet.
Even on my previous boat, which was 34ft, it got damp below when the seas and wind got up. I previously made the coment that salt water is the enemy of the micro processor.

I would not use this type of system at sea. It is way too much trouble, when you can have a new hand held gps with colour charts, waterproofing and will float (for about $600-$700 ) in your pocket.
When conditions unexpectedly turn against you, the last thing you want to be doing is 'playing with your computer' to get a position.

This system is perfect for ships which have stablisers and room for rack mounted PC's.

Phillip if you want to give a go, let me know cause I can send you all the stuff I have: chart discs, various bits of software and dongle ( hardware key).


Recommend Message 4 of 6 in Discussion

From: ArkingCrow Sent: 8/01/2008 6:18 PM
Hi there Phillip and Andrew

I have just sailed a Mk 1 from Sydney down here to Tassie. I fitted a "Garmin 172C" chartplotter (black and white screen) onto the bulkhead outside the enclosed loo and it worked just fine. I had no issues with water coming in the boat, even in 30 knots plus in Bass Strait. I must add that I became more and more impressed with the little Top Hat the more I sailed it.

I got an external aerial model and found that putting it under the side deck on the shelf inside the boat worked fine too.

The unit is great for general navigation and for peace of mind when at anchor in windy conditions. Can pretty quickly pick up if you are drifting or not.

Maybe the modern hand helds have chart capability, I am not sure but if they do, that would also be a good option.

Cheers for now


Recommend Message 5 of 6 in Discussion

From: dreadnought0 Sent: 9/01/2008 1:52 AM
Hi Austin,

The '172C' is a really good unit. I thought they were no longer avaliable.

Sounds like a fantastic trip.


Recommend Message 6 of 6 in Discussion

From: ArkingCrow Sent: 9/01/2008 5:31 PM
Hi Andrew

I actualy bought the 172C about 12 months ago in anticipation of such a trip.
As you say, they may be now unavailable but the colour version which is a 17something would be, I would think. I preferred a black and white model for screen reliability because someone suggested to me that the more hi tech something is, the more likely it is to go bung at sea.
As for the trip, yes it was fantastic.
I sailed from Woolwich (Sydney) to Botany Bay, then Woollongong, Crookhaven (very nice esp up Shaw's Creek at the caravan park and the Greenwell Bowls Club for a meal) then Ulladulla, Batemans Bay, Bermagui, Eden (Stayed 6 days waiting for a reasonable 3 day weather window) then over to Bable Island (off Flinders) a 36 hour sail, then to St Helens, Wineglass Bay (magic) Chinamans Bay (Maria Island), Lime Bay (Tasman Peninsula) then finally Hobart.
I sailed with my sister as crew and everything worked just fine. The boat had no vices at sea, was very steady and predictable in its motion. A thoroughly good little boat and a thoroughly wonderful and memorable trip.
"Blue Moon" MkIII Junkette rig,
Camden Haven River,
Mid Nth Coast, NSW

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