OK, here's a 2016 update.
After using Maptech's Offshore
Navigator for years, I found that after AIS
became common the program did not support both commercial and recreational AIS
signals. Moreover, although the company "planned to fix this", it was evident they had fallen on hard times and were unlikely to do so.
So, I began a search. Looked at several high-end programs, and finally settled on Rose Point Navigation's full-featured product, Coastal Explorer.
Now, after living with this program for almost two years, and having used it cruising the Chesapeake Bay
, I can honestly say that I LOVE IT
It is flexible, takes raster and vector charts (RNCs & VNCs) as well as some others, has a wonderful automatic chart updating system, quilts quite well, integrates with Active Captain
, and is very well supported. The company is anxious to respond to any problems, and frequently issues updates which are automatically incorporated, as are Active Captain updates.
I've found the program to be very stable, running on a 64-bit IBM Windows 7 Pro laptop
Note that the full program, a suitable laptop
, a large LCD monitor
, a GPS puck
, and full NOAA charts of the U.S. can be had for less than the cost of a typical chartplotter
which has only a tiny portion of the capability for charting, display, routes and waypoints, updates, information, communications
Well worth the money
s/v Born Free
Lying Yarmouth ME