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Old 03-12-2014, 09:04   #16
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Re: Best Article Comparing Electronic Charting Programs ...

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I have both Navionics and Garmin charts.
The Navionics was a waste of money (in my opinion)
Why is that? We have used a number of different charts and Navionics was always our favorite....
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:07   #17
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Re: Best Article Comparing Electronic Charting Programs ...

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I used Navionics in the Phillipines, Taiwan and Japan, where it was all but useless. I ended up depending on OpenCPN and photos of charts on the walls of yacht clubs.

I did find one aspect of Navionics that was useful. If I saw a reef in my path on OpenCPN I could just toggle over to Navionics and it would disappear.
You can always use the Navionics webapp to see what data is available: Navionics Webapp
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Old 03-12-2014, 20:39   #18
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Re: Best Article Comparing Electronic Charting Programs ...

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Why is that? We have used a number of different charts and Navionics was always our favorite....
In late 2004, I used a Navionics chart that showed a light that had been removed ten years earlier. I called Navionics about it, and they "corrected" it.

What they did was remove the symbol for the light, and leave the line of text describing the light's characteristics.

They use NOAA data (everyone does) but they "edit" it. They don't update it to LNMs or NMs, and when they do "update" it, they do so poorly. It appears to me that they don't understand basic cartography.

If you edit the data on a chart, then sell the chart, either do it right or have a seat.
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Old 03-12-2014, 21:02   #19
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Re: Best Article Comparing Electronic Charting Programs ...

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iNAV or Navionics or ...? I know everyone has an opinion (except me, as I am totally confused). Can anyone point me to a good (current) overview of pros and cons?
It's looking doubtful.

I only read Cruising World and haven't seen a good comparison on plotters or charts on it.

fwiw, I use C-Map charts and they are freaky accurate. The opencpn program I'm sure from the input here is great but fortunately time still has value to me so spending $250 for a map cartridge that simply works is worthwhile.
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Old 03-12-2014, 21:55   #20
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Re: Best Article Comparing Electronic Charting Programs ...

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Originally Posted by mikereed100 View Post
I used Navionics in the Phillipines, Taiwan and Japan, where it was all but useless. I ended up depending on OpenCPN and photos of charts on the walls of yacht clubs.

I did find one aspect of Navionics that was useful. If I saw a reef in my path on OpenCPN I could just toggle over to Navionics and it would disappear.
This is the kind of experience needed but updated to 2014.

The OP is asking if their is an unbiased review of the most accurate and detailed Chart program for each world region.

That review would be so useful prior to purchase
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Old 04-12-2014, 17:41   #21
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Re: Best Article Comparing Electronic Charting Programs ...

At least for Florida, Navionics just doesn't seem to have near the detail the Garmin app does
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Old 04-12-2014, 18:19   #22
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Re: Best Article Comparing Electronic Charting Programs ...

I assume if you are upgrading your ECS equipment in 2014 you would favor the one that supports the best chart coverage for your region.

Who has the Best chart coverage value for the West Pacific and Asia?

Is there a way you can actually preview all the charts in a region portfolio before buying ?
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Old 04-12-2014, 18:56   #23
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Re: Best Article Comparing Electronic Charting Programs ...

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Originally Posted by hogHunter View Post
You are right, Navionics used to be considered pretty horrible in the Bahamas. However, In recent years they have put a huge effort into improving the charts in the Bahamas. Between the navionics staff that have worked on the bahamas charting and the crowd sourcing through sonar logs being submitted by boaters, the Navionics charts have improved significantly and now offer the most up to date and accurate information.

You cannot determine the accuracy without actually sailing the area. Once you sail the Bahamas with a Navionics chart you should readily come to the same conclusion that I have.

If you have questions let me know.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
This is utter crap to put it politely. I have used Navionics in the Bahamas every winter since 2004. ( I had to as the boat came with a Raymarine plotter). The 2004 chip was better than the latest chip as it had Explorer Charts data on it, which they had to remove as it was not licensed. My new (2014) Navionics chip of the Bahamas ( new plotter taking MicroSD instead of the old CF chip) is much worse than the old 2004 chip!! Can you explain that? Just talk to a few Bahamas cruisers and you will get the real story, not PR baloney. And I come to this conclusion from cruising the Bahamas, not sitting at the dock in the US viewing the Bahamas on the plotter.

So in the span of ten years their product has got worse!! So much for their huge effort in improving their Bahamas charts. Why don't they just shell out a bit of money and license Explorer Charts data.
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Old 04-12-2014, 19:07   #24
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Re: Best Article Comparing Electronic Charting Programs ...

It's interesting in all of these discussions that I never see the Transas products mentioned. Transas (and Furuno?) is the only (as far as I know) iPad/iPhone navigation program provider that also produces fully qualified ECDIS systems in the commercial marine space. Their user interface on the iDevice is somewhat limited, but the tradeoff is that they use their TX97 charts, which are corrected to LNM level. I regularly get chart update notifications and when I check them against LNM they appear to be pretty complete. I don't mind piggy-backing on the big boys in this regard and getting the benefit of a company that has to maintain chart files to IMO standards. Not going to get Explorer charts, or overlay Google Earth, or use in OpenCPN, but having fully up-to-date electronic charts in one format is nice to have.
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Old 04-12-2014, 19:29   #25
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Re: Best Article Comparing Electronic Charting Programs ...

Dsanduril.. That is exactly what I am trying to understand. It is the quality of the charts that matter.

When buying paper charts I could pull out all the ones from the Index and look at the details and limits before deciding to buy.

I never bought region Portfolios but specific ones for my intended passage and emergency detours... But the key for me was to study the details of remote Anchorage's before buying.
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Old 04-12-2014, 20:06   #26
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Re: Best Article Comparing Electronic Charting Programs ...

Unfortunately, while I feel comfortable with the Transas product in that regard, their recreational products carry the same old "not to be used for navigation" and "not an official chart" and "carry real paper charts" warnings as every other recreational product. That being said, they push me updates about once a quarter, the update date is in the chart header, and except for short-term changes they seem to catch most of the NM items. I can only assume that since they have a real chart updating service for their ECDIS systems and IMO certifications that we get a little bit of a ride on its coattails. Transas never actually puts that in writing, however, so it is only a (wishful?) assumption on my part. Either way, I have found that I like the chart product (enough that I am willing to accept the limitations of the software in other regards).

Since I'm in the US at the moment it was worth my money to spend $6 for the region, I'd have to give it a much more formal evaluation if I was forking out money for a costly region.
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Old 04-12-2014, 20:09   #27
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Re: Best Article Comparing Electronic Charting Programs ...

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Garmin Blue Chart is compatible with Active Captain. From there your can get bridge clearance and other local information better any big house chartplotter charts.

One thing I don't know why Garmin removed magnetic heading from their App. The latest version only shows true north heading.
Thanks for the tip, rockDAWG. Active Captain does provide the lacking info. But come on Garmin, why leave this critical info out.
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Old 31-01-2015, 14:19   #28
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Re: Best Article Comparing Electronic Charting Programs ...

I am looking for the best app for extended passagemaking -- preferably something that will accept raster and digital charts, has weather-routing feature(s), can calculate Great Circle routes, etc.

If possible, I'd like one piece of software that could handle it all. I'm thinking OpenCPN, but to be honest, my understanding of the software is limited and there isn't a very good description of its features on the download site. I realize that it's free and I can just download it (already have) but without some sort of documentation, I might not understand what it can really do.
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Old 31-01-2015, 14:29   #29
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Re: Best Article Comparing Electronic Charting Programs ...

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... I'm thinking OpenCPN, but to be honest, my understanding of the software is limited and there isn't a very good description of its features on the download site. I realize that it's free and I can just download it (already have) but without some sort of documentation, I might not understand what it can really do.
OpenCPN User Manual | Official OpenCPN Homepage
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Old 31-01-2015, 14:33   #30
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Re: Best Article Comparing Electronic Charting Programs ...

OCPN is not limited in any capacity that I need - and it has many features not found in any paid applications. Try making a google earth overlay with Maxsea or Nobeltec.

There is extensive documentation for OCPN, as well as several tutorial videos. If you click on the help menu in the application, it takes you to the user manual.

Coastal Explorer is a good application on the paid side of things.

On the tablet side of apps, I'm finding SeaIQ is whomping all the other ones for my use and needs.

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