Sail Tracks Using Garmin Chart Plotter

We went out for an evening sail with a co-worker of Sandi's. After getting under sail, we turned on our new Garmin 54dv chart plotter, which we got on sale online at West Marine. The wind was blowing East across the lake, allowing us to run both up and down the lake. We briefly chased another Catalina 22, sail number 15705, down the lake, but could not catch it.

The Garmin chart plotter recorded the track of where we went. We topped out at about 5 knots toward the end of the sail.
July 19th, 2016 Sail Track

We also tried out the transducer, a sonar emitter that came with the plotter. Greg had made a temporary frame to try it out of a 2x4 and hung over the transom of the boat. This was very cool to watch the lake bottom as we traveled.

We also got the chart plotter talking to the Standard Horizon VHF radio as a test. The VHF radio is able to retrieve the latitude and longitude from the chart plotter and broadcast that to other marine traffic using DSC (Digital Selective Calling). It is also able to retrieve that same information from other marine traffic and show them on the chart plotter. The combination of the chart plotter and the VHF is a safety issue; if the panic button on the VHF is pressed, it not only broadcasts a mayday with the MMSI of the vessel in trouble, but also the location of where the vessel is.

To get the sail track as an image, the track is downloaded onto a mini-SD card. That card is brought home and read into the Garmin Basecamp program. Basecamp then transfers the track to Google Earth. That map is then copied and pasted into Windows Paint, where it can be saved as a jpeg. That image is then uploaded here.


  1. It was my first ever Sailing ! I Enjoyed it with both you. Thanks a lot for the exiting experience :)

    - Hemant Jangid

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