A Chartplotter is a device used in marine navigation that integrates GPS data with an electronic navigational chart (ENC). The chartplotter displays the ENC along with the position, heading and speed of the ship, and may display additional information from radar, automatic information systems (AIS) or other sensors.
As with all marine systems, chart-plotters generally are not used alone. In larger vessels, they are integrated into a full system of marine instruments that can guide the ship under any conditions. These other instruments include Sonar transducers, integration with 2 Way Radio communication devices and emergency locators (EPIRB).
The integration of these devices is very important as it becomes quite distracting to look at several different screens. Therefore, displays can often overlay charting, radar, sonar into a single system. This gives the captain unprecedented instrumentation to maneuver the ship. With digital backbones, these devices have advanced greatly in the last years. For example, the newer ones have 3D displays that allow you to see above, below and all around the ship, including overlays of satellite imaging.
What should I choose?
The chartplotter / multifunction display (MFD) market is growing with everything from 5-inch to 24-inch screens – from standalone units to others that rely on an entire ecosystem of connected electronic sensors and processors. But with a bit of careful analysis, it is possible to decide which multifunction display is best suited for each of the following types of boating: coastal power cruising, coastal sail cruising and racing; offshore cruising and sport fishing.
Talk to Sydney Marine Electrical if you are thinking of updating or installing a Chartplotter. We can assess and suggest the right system for your boat and personal needs from all the top brands including Garmin, Furuno, Standard, Raymarine and Lowrance just to name a few.