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Old 11-04-2011, 19:01   #1
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Canadian BSB Chart

I am interested in Canadian BSB charts for Georgian Bay of Lake Huron. I see that Canada does not offer free charts, and instead offers to sell their BSB digital charts in collections on CD media at prices from $50 to $75. Before I send off for a $75 CD of charts, I would like to have a chance to preview these Canadian BSB charts, and I have a few questions:

--are these BSB charts on CD copy-protected in some way that limits or prevents me from making copies of them for back up purposes or in some way limits me from installing them on more than one computer?

--if the Canadian BSN charts are not copy-protected or otherwise restricted to use on only one installation, is there anyone who would be wiling to e-mail me one BSB chart as a sample so that I could get an idea of what I might get for my $75 if and when I order a CD of the charts I am interested in?

If anyone is able to oblige my request above, you can contact me via email as listed in my profile. I am not soliciting anyone to send me a bunch of charts. I just would like to see one Canadian BSB chart of Georgian Bay before I buy a $75 CD.

Thanks,

--Jim Hebert
Beverly Hills, Michigan

ASIDE: I find it rather odd that in Canada the government is willing to give citizens free health care, which might mean paying hospitals and surgeons as much as $1,000,000 for an organ transplant procedure, but makes citizens pay for digital charts that essentially cost the government nothing to provide. In the United States the government gives away free digital navigation charts but does not provide free health care. I am not sure which system offers the boater the best options.
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Old 11-04-2011, 19:23   #2
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Re: Canadian BSB Chart

Canadian BSB charts are in BSBv4 format which is encrypted. BSBv4 charts can't be copied directly, and can only be used on a limited number of computers (2, I think though this may vary).

Also an aside, and something I've been actually thinking about recently:

After working with CHS for a bit, I am somewhat less surprised about the fact that they sell charts. My impression of CHS is that they are good people doing good work, and not particularly rich off of those fees.

Chart maintenance and production is not at all free. It's an expensive and labor-intensive process (at least if these charts are worth using). Consider that Canada has coastline larger than that of US, but much smaller population and GDP. "Free charts" just means someone else is paying, in this case citizens of Canada.

Don't get me wrong - I am as glad as anyone that US has the budget to cover chart production and make resulting charts available free. Without that PolarView would never have been possible.

That said, I think every country has to make budget choices. Personally, I think things that are universally useful (like healthcare) should have priority over things useful to only a specific group (like boaters), even though I am one (And not to take this into a political dimension, but with recent US budget issues, who knows what may happen to NOAA budget. I sure hope it fares ok.)
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Old 11-04-2011, 19:24   #3
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Re: Canadian BSB Chart

The CHS BSB charts can be installed on two computers only. These are raster charts; they look just like the paper charts.

Re; Braks comments on coastlines; ours is over 10 times longer.



The Mercator projection is somewhat deceptive.

Yep - Interesting aside.
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Old 11-04-2011, 19:32   #4
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Re: Canadian BSB Chart

As an aside.

You are still required to carry paper charts and other publications in a paper format.

Quote:
Am I required by law to carry CHS charts? What are the Charts and Nautical Publications Regulations of the Canada Shipping Act?
Most vessels of any kind in Canada have an obligation to carry and use official charts and publications and to keep them up to date. The chart carriage requirements are listed in the Charts and Nautical Publications Regulations, 1995 of the Canada Shipping Act.

CHS paper charts meet the requirements of the chart carriage regulations. CHS digital charts meet the requirements of the chart carriage regulations under certain circumstances. CHS Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs) meet the requirements provided they are used with an Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS). CHS raster charts meet the requirements only if paper charts are carried and used as a backup.

For further information on which charts meet the official requirements, please see our CHS Official Products and CHS Licensed Manufacturers.
CHS - Frequently Asked Questions - General
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Old 11-04-2011, 19:35   #5
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Re: Canadian BSB Chart

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
Re; Braks comments on coastlines; ours is over 10 times longer.
Yep - Interesting aside.
Good one

And yes, you are right - all those lands up north have enormous coastline, Mercator notwithstanding. Amazing.

BTW, I wonder what happened to Greenland in that list. It has coastline of almost 30K miles. Should be number 3, either by itself or as part of Denmark, I guess.
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Old 11-04-2011, 19:41   #6
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Re: Canadian BSB Chart

Hell, Georgian Bay has an enormous coastline!

Lake Ontario and Lake Erie...not so much.
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Old 11-04-2011, 19:44   #7
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Re: Canadian BSB Chart

Just to be clear, I already own all of the official Canadian paper charts for the areas of Georgian Bay that I am frequently sailing, and I also have as a back-up the RICHARDSON chart booklet, which, by what I assume is some arrangement with the Canadians, has reprints of all the official charts. So, in effect, I have already purchased two copies of paper charts for the area.

I also already own a copy of digital charts for all of the area of interest, in the form of a NAVIONICS digital chart cartography chip, which, ironically, provides me with the same information that the official Canadian chart agency would sell me at about two or three times the price.

Recently--and with the aid of Polar View NS--I have been able to utilize my personal computer do to some trip planning, but I don't have any good charts for Georgian Bay. I am perfectly willing to spend $75 to get the charts as BSB carts, but I was just interested in knowing what I might get for my money.

Actually, I would rather have the S57 vector charts, but at $600 they are too pricey for me. For the two weeks per year might need them, I will make do with my official paper charts. Fortunately, I bought those charts some time ago when I had more disposable income, the US-to-Canada currency exchange was very favorable, and the price of the charts was much less.

ASIDE: It seems to me that it is much more favorable for Canadians to go boating in US water than vice-versa. The Canadians get free charts and free health care, while I as a US citizen have to pay both ways.
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Old 11-04-2011, 20:04   #8
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Re: Canadian BSB Chart

CW - you should be good to go.
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Old 11-04-2011, 20:04   #9
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Re: Canadian BSB Chart

I liked that last comment, too bad it was deleted. Funny

Also, an aside.

I wish that all those government agencies just agreed on a (small reasonable annual) fee. Pay that and get to use all their chart products. They'd get just as much revenue, and users would get always updated charts anytime they need them.
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Old 11-04-2011, 20:08   #10
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Re: Canadian BSB Chart

Quote:
Originally Posted by continuouswave View Post

ASIDE: It seems to me that it is much more favorable for Canadians to go boating in US water than vice-versa. The Canadians get free charts and free health care, while I as a US citizen have to pay both ways.
And the favourable exchange rate.

(for brak)

Note the Canadian spelling. We use more ink with all of those "u"s. Harbor vs harbour. That might explain the costs.
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Old 11-04-2011, 20:13   #11
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Re: Canadian BSB Chart

I suppose I should not complain about the $75 digital charts because they show the location of about 20,000 rocks and shoals, as well as about 2,000 aids to navigation set out every year to mark them, and without those aids and the charts it would be just about impossible to pass through Georgian Bay, even in a small boat with only shoal draft, without wrecking. I have made four or five trips along the SMALL CRAFT ROUTE of the Eastern shore, and so far only managed to find the bottom once, and even then without much harm or delay.

It is really all the fault of POLAR VIEW that I now need digital charts for my computer. Until I had some good software for voyage planning on my Macintosh laptop, I never needed BSB Charts for Canada. Polar Navy ought to get a commission on my purchase of those Canadian charts.
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Old 11-04-2011, 20:19   #12
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Re: Canadian BSB Chart

CW - I go around Vancouver Island a few times a year. The CHS digital charts for that are close $350.
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Old 11-04-2011, 22:07   #13
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Re: Canadian BSB Chart

You might look at Navionics charts as they are bit lower in price then the official CHS rasters. The Navionics data is licensed from CHS. The 2XG region covers all of Canada and the Pacific North West.
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Old 11-04-2011, 22:44   #14
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Re: Canadian BSB Chart

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ASIDE: It seems to me that it is much more favorable for Canadians to go boating in US water than vice-versa. The Canadians get free charts and free health care, while I as a US citizen have to pay both ways.
Well, then you haven't seen me try to light up a Cohiba in Youngstown...

Our health care isn't "free", of course. It's paid out of taxes, taxes that are at higher rates than most Americans are willing to support. If you want it, vote for it. Americans are always telling me they live in the greatest and freest country in the world. Surely that can't be a fib, can it?

I happen to concur about the charts, and I thank the US government for making them available to non-citizens electronically (I make use of the pilots, mostly). But it isn't "free" for us to travel to the States. New documentation has superceded the old laissez-faire ways of just carrying a car licence, without a passport.

We also have higher taxes on gas and diesel. I suggest you carry jerry cans to extend your trip, OR plan on docking where you can wheel a cart to the nearest non-marina gas station (20% cheaper and likely fresher).

Anyway, enjoy your trip, but watch your Great Lakes/G.B. water levels, which can alter a fair bit during the season into the keel polishing zone. Bring plenty of rode.

Fair winds.
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Old 12-04-2011, 02:59   #15
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Re: Canadian BSB Chart

It just occurred to me that I have also already purchased the Georgian Bay chart data I am looking for in digital format in my C-MAP NT chart chip for my now out-of-service older chart plotter. That make four copies of the chart data already paid for, two paper and two electronic. I guess the BSB charts will make five.

A further irony is that if I enter Canada by car I can stop at a welcome center and be given a free official Canadian highway map. Apparently the Canadian government is underwriting the cost of highway navigation but not boat navigation.

Thanks for the advice on the fuel prices, but we are already painfully aware of the higher fuel cost in Canada in general as compared to the U.S.A. The one necessary consumable for cruising in Canada which we find is actually sold at an even higher premium is beer. Beer costs a King's ransom in Canada compared to the U.S., and upon entering Canada we try to bring with us enough beer to last a week or two.
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