Portable Chartplotter

Orca Display 2: the ultimate combination of tablet and chartplotter


There are all kinds of reasons why you prefer the comfort of a table or tablet over your built-in chartplotter when it comes to navigation. Your current plotter may be slow, lacking a touchscreen, available only below deck or outside behind the steering wheel. Or maybe you simply don’t have a chartplotter on board (yet). Relying on your tablet to navigate in those situations has a major disadvantage. Bright sunlight makes it is difficult to read the screen outside. In either case you might be looking for a solution. Orca has a fix-it-all solution. The startup combines the best of a chartplotter and a tablet in their latest navigation product: the Orca Display 2.

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orca display 2 kaartplotter

Prepare your navigation from your home or bunk

Orca is a maritime tech startup from Norway with innovative navigational systems. More than 40,000 boat owners from Europe, New Zealand and the United States are now using their products. The founders of Orca first worked at B&G and brought a lot of expertise with them. The Orca Display 2, successor to the Display 1, combines the reliability of a chartplotter and the performance and intuitive operation of a tablet in one portable device. Do you fancy preparing for your next sailing trip from the comfort of your home and having your route plotted without needing to be onboard? That’s possible with this portable Display. Navigating alternately from your bunk, cockpit or the chart table is now possible with one and the same plotter.

Using it under sail

The chartplotter operates its own custom-made charting system, which updates charts via an internet connection. To gain access to the nautical charts you need an Orca subscription of €119 per year. This subscription includes various services, such as automatic routing. Once you’ve downloaded a recent version, you can continue to use it. Even if you no longer pay annually or have a regular internet connection, the maps will remain available – although updates are no longer possible.

Navigating on the plotter can also be done functionally on deck in almost all circumstances. The Display 2 is waterproof and operates between -15 °C and 55°C. In addition, the battery lasts up to eight hours in navigation mode when not in its cradle. Charging is done via a wireless charger through induction. There are different mounting arms available for flat surfaces, against your mast or upright under your spray hood.

The Display 2 mounted against the mast.

Clear image in all circumstances

Besides the device’s mobility, the screen quality is also a big plus. The Lumen HDX screen delivers a brightness of 1000 nits under all circumstances, just like other chartplotters, even in direct sunlight. Also, even with polarized lenses, you can easily read the screen from any angle. Like modern tablets the screen has full HD resolution and 220 pixels per inch; 4x higher resolution than the chartplotters that many people have on board. In addition to the route and charts, you can also display AIS targets and your autopilot information.

Speed and ease of use

You can also use the plotter like any other tablet by downloading apps from the Google Play Store. In addition, you can insert a SIM card to use the internet via a data bundle – if you have internet coverage. As long as you are connected to the internet, the Display also has its own weather reports. In the Netherlands, Orca uses the weather models of the American NOAA as a source for this. These models are a lot less accurate than our familiar HARMONIE model from the KNMI. The HARMONIE model has a high resolution, with a grid spacing of less than 2.5 kilometers. NOAA’s GFS model, on the other hand, has an average resolution of 22 kilometers. In the navigational waters of the United Kingdom, France and Scandinavia, among others, Orca does receive weather information from the national meteorological organizations. When sailing there you have more accurate forecasts at your disposal from high-resolution weather models on the Display 2.

The Display 2 is 60% faster than its predecessor with its 8-core CPU and delivers 75% better graphics performance. Frustration trying to enter a new waypoint because the system is slowing you up or buttons not responding as you would expect should be a thing of the past.

On sale mid-April

All in all, the Orca Display 2 is very suitable for those looking for a portable chartplotter or those looking to upgrade their existing tablet as a navigational tool. The Display 2 will be available in mid-April for €999. To use the device as a chartplotter on board, you must also purchase the Orca Core system at €499. A mounting system of your choice to mount your plotter on board costs €299.

Do you want to know more about the Display 2? All the information about the chartplotter and the other products can be found on the Orca website.

Last modified: 12 april 2023