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El-Cheapo Tablet or Phone for Compass/Navigation?

PeteCress 0 Points
edited July 2016 in Smartphone Navigation
Emphasis on Compass..... In my itty-bitty sailboat I have something called a "SpeedPuck" that tells me how fast I am going.

What I mainly want is something to lay beside the SpeedPuck that tells me my numeric heading - so I can vary the heading with a given sail setting and see what heading gives the best speed for a given sail setting.

Problem with an analog compass is that this little boat gets thrown around a lot in chop and the motion makes an analog compass hard to read.

Nice-to-have would be the ability to run a basic nav app, but the compass is the main thing.

I tried something called GPS Test on my Samsung Note-1 and it had a problem with Pitch and Roll adversely affecting the heading.

OTOH, tried the same app on my new Note-4 and Pitch/Roll did not degrade the heading.... so I guess there's some variability among devices and the way they implement the magnetometer. (??)

Bottom Line: Has anybody been here?

No way I am risking the Note-4 on the water.

I'm thinking screen size between 5 and 7 inches and price $100-150.....

Comments

  • privet01 145 Points
    edited July 2016
    I've been there......

    Never seen such a device.

    Even the high dollar marine gps's available for recreational sailing that contain an actual flux sensor do not provide a steady enough signal IMHO. When I need to compare my sailing performance to a heading I always use an actual magnetic compass. If you are on a small boat that doesn't have a mounted compass, then you can probably buy a good portable compass that's gimbaled for that price.
  • privet01 said:

    When I need to compare my sailing performance to a heading I always use an actual magnetic compass.

    Tried it with an old Samsung Note 1 and found another fatal flaw: screen brightness. Even with brightness maxed, it was not sufficiently readable.

    Just pulled the trigger on one of these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001Q8BGJ4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 which others with a similar boat report success with.

    The hope being that I am over-thinking the consequences of getting thrown around in chop...

  • privet01 145 Points
    edited August 2016
    So if I may ask, what are you wanting to do with it? Chart your polars for performance? Or just basic navigation?

    I do find a GPS chart plotter almost indispensable for quick navigation and reassurance of my position while sailing. If you have a small boat with no electrical system, then one of the Garmin marine handheld chart plotters is a good choice.

    I still use a ten plus year old GPSmap 76csx for a backup/emergency use. If I were in the market for a new handheld though, I'd probably take a good look at the Garmin On the Trail handhelds. I think they have the same water resistance that the marine handhelds have, typically IPx7. But much larger screens and more versatile use. Whether you loose any specific marine trip planning or not, I've not looked into. (tide tables, celestial, anchor drag alarm, man-overboard quick mark button and such)

  • Boyd 1737 Points
    I think all of Garmin's handhelds have the the same water resistance. The difference is, the marine models (in your first link) will float while the others will sink to the bottom. :D
  • privet01 145 Points
    I don't swim that well, so it might be helpful to have it go to the bottom <<grin>>
  • privet01 said:

    So if I may ask, what are you wanting to do with it?

    Mainly to compare speeds on different headings with the same mainsheet setting. Would that be "Polars"?"

    Secondarily, for convenience: once I get the sail trimmed, looking at the compass to maintain heading is easier than craning my neck to check the telltales - albeit wind shifts break that little paradigm....

    Lineups on the shore don't work very well for me in the venue I sail the most.

  • privet01 145 Points
    edited August 2016
    PeteCress said:

    Mainly to compare speeds on different headings with the same mainsheet setting. Would that be "Polars"?"

    Kinda sort-of. But not quite! <<grin>> Polar performance graphs for sailboats show the speed your boat should make at a particular angle to the true wind direction. I think they call them "polars" as the data is typically plotted on a polar graph.

    Many sailboats don't have them. It looks like a pain with much tedium to make your own, IMO. But if you are a racer, then they can invaluable to back up your decisions to go one way when the others are sailing the other way.


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