Re: Forward looking Sonar - Amel 54 - Echopilot FLS 2D frequency vs B&G Sonic Speed Sensors or Depth Sounders
Ken,toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
Thanks for the response. To me a good Depthsounder has always been very important and I will usually leave one on even while we are anchored as additional confirmation that all is well when doing the nightly anchor checks. Sueno currently has two Depthsounders and I am really glad to have a backup of this instrument. FLS will actually give me another backup. We also carry a depthstick for checking channels and or some anchorages by dinghy when the situation dictates though maybe there is a better way using modern tools to handle these mini surveys. With good conditions and water clarity such as in the Bahamas, I think that it is pretty hard to beat having a good lookout when navigating in shallowish water so under those conditions my eyes are not normally looking at an instrument very often. The FLS concept really appeals to me for those times when there are issues with water clarity, sun angle etc. and chart data is iffy or even non-existent.
I have been reading about OpenCPN and it’s functionality with Google overlays etc. but I have not used it so far. I agree, dedicated chart plotters are expensive but they can have super bright daylight viewable screens, can be really waterproof etc. I currently have a B&G Zeus3 plotter, a smaller back up plotter, 1 tablet, (want to add a back up tablet). Also a weatherproof, daylight viewable ToughBook laptop with built in GPS that I intend to use for OpenCPN. Can you comment on how much data storage is sufficient given the storage of the Google map data and full time cruising?
The idea of using AIS information from other vessels to plot a path on a chart into a channel or anchorage is new to me and I appreciate you mentioning this option. That does sound like a very useful tool! So if I understand correctly, you can ask OpenCPN to plot the track of an AIS target on a chart just as it can plot your own GPS track? I agree to the concept of having many tools to keep our boats in safe water and especially for those times that I am literally running blind, FLS sounds very appealing. I will try the 5 meter setting of the alarm as you suggested and consider the value of a pretty constant alarm to remind me to dedicate attention to the FLS. Constant alarms can certainly be annoying to me so we will see!
Thanks for the helpful input,