Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Keeping It Simple

If you want to really keep it simple:

Weatherbug on Android phone for weather alerts and to see weather radar.

NutiCharts on Android phone or tablet for NOAA charts and Active Captain.

Navionics on Android phone or tablet for places without NOAA charts and for tides and current.

My tablet, an EVO View, is my chartplotter. It has the Nuti and Navionics maps resident so it works even without a data connection.

Not sure why you'd need a paper chart anymore - or a compass either for that matter.

If you have a 'spare' sounder, put it to use. I have my second sounders 'ducer mounted at the bow. The aft sounder is set to alarm at 10 to 25 feet depending on speed and waters. The forward sounder is set to alarm at 3 feet. The deep one signals a warning and to slow down. The shallow one signals danger and reads 20' in front of my transom, alerting me before I'm dragging my outdrive. Having two sounders saves the need to reset the alarm going from deep to shallow water.

Easy way to mount the 'ducer up forward.
Shoot thru the hull 'ducer mount

I have a fixed and handheld VHF, but I seldom have them on unless I'm cruising with a buddy an need to keep in touch. I suppose it would be handy for locks and bridges, but I'd rather push the button or wait. If I use the VHF for weather, I can listen to the whole forecast 2 or 3 times and not remember a thing so we don't use it for that either.

It's pretty obvious that I'm a little more casual than most cruisers are, but after living aboard 3 years (over 1,000 nights at anchor) and having sailed to the Caribbean and done almost all of the Little Loop including 80 locks on the Erie Canal and several cruises up and down the entire AICW in sailboats trawlers and outboards, it works for me. Where there's a will, there's a way.

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