I've got MaxSea and OpenCPN. Both are excellent products in different ways. I find I end up using MaxSea more though and on balance prefer it only slightly. It is ultra fast in zooming and panning and it does so in a visually attractive way that makes it nice to use. OpenCPN are better now with OpenGL, almost as good as good. This is a really key feature as I constantly go in and out through the zoom levels to check detail, route
and hazards. MaxSea's AIS
CPA representation is really fast and easy also. I use the MaxSea tracking function to monitor anchor
drag and swing. It is better for that. It gives a representation on the screen
, which seems accurate to plus or minus a meter or two.
The integration of Google Earth
into OpenCPN is superb and the ability to overlay radar
is quite an achievement. It is pretty close in most other ways.
I have up to date charts for the Caribbean
on MaxSea, but don't for OpenCPN so reason alone for it being the primary system. It is useful to compare the charts though and I will pick the most conservative information of the two. (Of four actually, I also use INavX
on the Ipad
and Cmap on the Ray plotter). If I sort out the chart issue, I could easily swap.
What is a nightmare is to reinstall MaxSea on a new PC. I have done it a four times meticulously according to their procedure, but I get locked out each time as the release code gets lost
. I have to wait for two weeks and endless calls and emails to MaxSea help to get it fixed. I get the feeling they are on a go-slow as they want to be really sure I am not cheating before they give me an extra release code.