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Old 04-12-2004, 13:48   #1
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Bahamas Explorer Charts in BSB Format?

I swear that I've seen the Bahama's Explorer charts in raster/BSB format on CD, but I can't find a source for them. Anyone know where I can get them?

-- Geoff
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Old 04-12-2004, 18:31   #2
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The maptech BSB chartkits for the Bahamas use the explorer charts as well as their own.
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Old 05-12-2004, 03:46   #3
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Are these better than the C-Map charts?
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Old 05-12-2004, 07:55   #4
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Maptech makes the paper Chartkits that cover most of the US coastal areas and some outside the US such as the Bahamas. They are based on NOAA charts.

Explorer charts are also paper chartkit type sets that cover only the Bahamas. For the Bahamas, things are constantly changing and the NOAA charts are not too accurate. The folks with Explorer charts are cruisers who are constantly updating the information

Maptech simply rasterizes their paper charts to make electronic versions in whats known as the BSB format. To make the charts more accrate they have licensed the Exlporer charts to overlay over theirs.

http://www.explorercharts.com/

Now having said all that, a quick check of the web sites indicates that Maptech no longer uses the Explorer chart infomation and instead Nobeltec now does.

As comparing Explorer to C-Map, I think the Explorer charts for hte Bahamas will be better due to more frequent updates.
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Old 14-12-2004, 09:15   #5
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CMAP vs Explorer

We just cruised through the Bahamas extensively this year. We have the latest CMAP on our chartplotter and also had the Explorer charts in raster format for our chartplotter and in paper form.
The Explorer charts are MUCH more accurate than CMAP and in fact anything else out there. They are the absolute standard for the Bahamas and virtually all serious cruisers are using them.
Often we would be anchored "on land" according to the CMAP, while the Explorer would be accurate.
In practice, I would plan the route using Explorer raster charts, then transfer the waypoints into the CMAP chartplotter to actually use at the helm and drive the boat. Occasionally I would bring the laptop into the cockpit, when conditions warranted it.
In my opinion, relying only on CMAP to drive the boat was not safe.
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Old 19-04-2009, 14:47   #6
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This is a good thread, though a bit old, but I have just deleted a couple of posts in it which offered and requested copies of what appeared to be pirated digital charts. CF doesn't allow that sort of thing for obvious reasons. Thanks for understanding.
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Old 19-04-2009, 15:19   #7
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Pardon my electronical ignorance with this question: Is there anyway to use the digital bahamas explorer charts with a mapping GPS unit? (As opposed to a lap top with GPS data fed in). I'd really like something that is accurate and can be viewed in the cockpit, and the cockpit of my boat is no place for a lap top.

In the past I've entered my own waypoints based on the explorer charts, but more often found their detail to be nice for close in eyeball navigation. It would be nice to conveniently combine the two.
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Old 19-04-2009, 19:06   #8
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Is there anyway to use the digital Bahamas explorer charts with a mapping GPS unit?
Mapping GPS units use proprietary map formats - so they get all the money. Depending on the chart plotter you should be able to get coverage but not in a format of your choice. Given the in-precision of the sources it's usually best to get to the vicinity by way point and then go to manual mode. There are other sources for way points but it tricky situations I don't think they serve you well. Often times the local knowledge in the way points is more important than the way points themselves.
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Old 19-04-2009, 19:23   #9
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Mapping GPS units use proprietary map formats - so they get all the money. Depending on the chart plotter you should be able to get coverage but not in a format of your choice. Given the in-precision of the sources it's usually best to get to the vicinity by way point and then go to manual mode. There are other sources for way points but it tricky situations I don't think they serve you well. Often times the local knowledge in the way points is more important than the way points themselves.
Thanks Paul. I have a Raymarine GPS charter that came with my current boat. I also use them chartering quite a bit. I never imagined I'd like it so much, but I experience that above mentioned situation where things are often off by 100 yards or so and you find your self anchoring on an Islands according to the map. For general information it's fine, but there are times that 100 yards or so matters! It seems we should be able to get accurate maps and accurate GPS (no more selective availability) to work better together. From an business standpoint, your comment on proprietary maps makes it clear it is why it is.
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Old 19-04-2009, 19:35   #10
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It seems we should be able to get accurate maps and accurate GPS (no more selective availability) to work better together. From an business standpoint, your comment on proprietary maps makes it clear it is why it is.
There really is not enough money in it. It may progress over time but map making is not a cheap operation. High accuracy is really only concentrated in the most commercial areas where shipping and traffic are highest. These don't include the more desirable locations for cruising. It's not all bad.
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Old 19-04-2009, 21:38   #11
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Not bad at all. One of the features advertised in my first cruising boat was Loran....
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Old 20-04-2009, 05:08   #12
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Got a question for you ref; Bahamas.
Did you dock overnite in Nassau?
Did you feel safe?

We are going to the Exumas in June. All are Abaco experiences hav been pleasant. Heard crime was a prob on Boats in NassAU. bOB
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Old 20-04-2009, 05:20   #13
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Hi, Bob.

Try doing a Google search using the small "Search" pull-down menu in the nav bar, or you could start a new thread. Since this thread is on the topic of Bahamas charting, it's best not to sidetrack it with a totally different topic.
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Old 23-03-2011, 15:41   #14
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Re: Bahamas Explorer Charts in BSB Format?

I have a legally purchased Maptech PCX format Imray Chart of the Caribbean V2.0. Is there any way to convert it to BSB or upgrade it to BSB for a partial payment fee?
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Old 24-03-2011, 07:44   #15
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Re: Bahamas Explorer Charts in BSB Format?

To convert an image file or scan or download to a usable navigation system chart - look to OpenCpn or Fugawi for information on how to do it with their charting systems.
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