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Chartplotter Selected

posted May 15, 2011, 6:31 PM by Christopher Hubbell
West Marine is and Raymarine are running a dual promotion now which results in the Raymarine A70D chart plotter having a $500 rebate, and then West Marine throws in a $200 WM gift card.  That's a pretty hard offer to refuse given how close this leaves the A70 to the A50 I was almost going to buy.  After looking at them in the store I think the A70 is a bit more readable having a slightly larger screen, although same resolution.  I'm not going to need or use the fish finder functionality - couldn't stand the idea of losing a zillionth of a knot in speed, or of my beloved sailing vessel being confused with a fishing boat!  But with this discount it's tough to pass up the offer.

The biggest reason I selected this unit is to keep the instruments consistently speaking SeaTalk.  The plotter will have bidirectional communications with the X-5 SmartPilot computer which should be convenient.  The only thing I appear to be sacrificing is the ability to integrate radar in the future.  I'm not sure I really need radar in my intended use of the boat, so I can't really say that this is going to be a future point of regret.  What I do know is that I picked up a nice plotter for a price I'm happy with.

I also purchased a NavPod angled pedestal guard in 1" tubing to match my current pedestal.  That should make the plotter much more ergonomic in use.  I'm not keen on using a full NavPod enclosure for the plotter though; It's awfully large and painfully expensive.  I may end up going that way, but for now I'm going to see if I can fabricate a worthy bracket for it.

I find it interesting that I can order just about anything from Defender and have it in two days, but almost anything I order from the local West Marine store is a week's wait as they onlyy get orders in once per week.  That's a long wait for an exciting toy!