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Old 29-03-2007, 09:04   #1
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Cap'n Navigator and NOAA download question(s)

I have the Cap'n aboard - and am still trying to get to know enough to be dangerous.

With our recent decision to go up the East coast before setting out on our Caribbean odyssey, we set about acquiring the appropriate charts, including replacing the umpteen we'd given away as not needed when we first decided to do the Caribbean and not come back any further north than St. Thomas once we got that far :{/)

A visit to the Seven Seas Cruising Association offices when I had to be in Ft. Lauderdale last week provided nearly 60 paper charts and kits. A visit to the NOAA website provided 153 electronic raster charts.

The NOAA charts come in what appears to be a couple of formats - a .bsb which seems to be an index of the parts for a chart, and others (.kap) which have from one to many parts.

When I did the download for FL and the other areas which we thought we needed (many months ago), I *thought* I had succeeded in making them part of the Captain's inventory. However, attempting to see these (electronic) charts I'd just gotten duplicated on paper on the Captain failed. Apparently, I've stored them in a place which the Captain doesn't like (even though I updated the path), or he can't read them, or they've got some association attached to them which is improper.

Can anyone tell me a couple of things? They are:

What is the name of the program (something.exe, I presume) which opens either the bsb or the other, .kap?

If the file in question has something inappropriate (previous attempts to open the download yielded the usual windoze "do you want to search the web for something to read this file??" message), how do I make the association disappear in the "view/options" section of my folder? I've currently got the Captain Voyager Mosaic as the selected opener. Double clicking any such file opens the Cap'n to the last chart I'd had, and not the one I'd clicked - and searching for a specific chart in his list doesn't have that one (or any of the others I'd downloaded). Attempts to delete the .bsb have failed as the "delete" button is grayed out in the "view/options" section...

Or, anything else which comes to mind if you've succeeded in downloading NOAA charts.

And, on an entirely different tack, ENC charts are also available from NOAA on free download. They seem from reading the info, to be somewhat more robust, or perhaps more feature-rich, or some other reason to have them as well. Are ENC charts readable by the Cap'n? In my inventory ("get chart" in the "file" tab), there appear to be some of that type from the CDs I got when I bought the areas I was going to cruise, initially. If ENC charts are both readable, and worth having, how do I organize those in order to make that happen?

Thanks.

L8R

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Old 29-03-2007, 09:20   #2
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Quote:
What is the name of the program (something.exe, I presume) which opens either the bsb or the other, .kap?
The format of the charts is called "bsb" but the .kap files are part of it. I don't know how you do this in Cap'n Navigator but there should be some menu item to "import maps". You want all the files in one place and then you may be able to select them all, have it search for them, or register them one at a time.

I don't know what version you have of the software but the newest versions do support ENC charts. maptec now owns the software and their versions include a DVD of all the US charts in both formats. Older versionsmay not.

These are vector charts and they are as accurate as the BSB charts. I like the vector charts better. They do require a bit more computer power to render them on screen but are great becase they are clear at any zoom level. They make it easier to use and upddate. You can install just "patches' to the maps and that can be easier than a whole new download.
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Old 29-03-2007, 09:30   #3
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Thanks, Paul,

I have 8.2. I'll go download the ENC charts in the areas of interest to us - they offer the entire catalog as a single download, so perhaps that's the easy way out rather than having to click off all the various items.


Thanks for the reply and input.

L8R

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Old 29-03-2007, 10:40   #4
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Just be aware that the raster charts of the Caribe are not all complete, or in many cases very accurate. Just for fun look at some of the charts in the Caribe and see the last survey dates. We have a Imray chart that shows a last survey date of 1880.

On the some charts there are correction notices to help offset the variance between the chart and GPS results. Which need to be accounted for or corrected in the software. We used Noblec Vector charts for the US and the Bahamas and they were spot on. The raster charts would place some islands a half a mile off the GPS coordinate. Nobletech allows you to make the correction but it is a pian as it must be done for every chart.

We found that a good cruising guide like the Doyle guide was much more accurate and complete than the chart packs and was of great use inconjunction. Especially through the Turks and the Ven outislands.
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Old 29-03-2007, 10:57   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pblais
I don't know what version you have of the software but the newest versions do support ENC charts. maptec now owns the software and their versions include a DVD of all the US charts in both formats. Older versions may not.
Hm. From their website:


Vector Chart
A basic view of a Vector Chart in the CAPN. Softchart S57 and Softchart DNC, (NOAA ENC are not compatible).

1024 x 768 / 4 KB
Show Full Size Image

That's not so encouraging. More research apparently required...

L8R

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Old 29-03-2007, 16:07   #6
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Skip call Maptech and tell them you own 8.2 -- see what they will charge for the complete set. Might be worth it in terms of aggravation avoidance.
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Old 29-03-2007, 17:55   #7
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Skip, When you installed Cap'n it made a chart folder. When you download the charts from NOAA get them in a zip format. Just unzip them and extract them to the chart folder It will put a folder in the chart folder that says BSB or ENC. Set Cap'n to look for charts in c:charts and c:charts/BSB and c:charts/ ENC and so on. That should allow you to open them with Cap'n
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Old 30-03-2007, 09:07   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon D
Skip call Maptech and tell them you own 8.2 -- see what they will charge for the complete set. Might be worth it in terms of aggravation avoidance.
I've just downloaded (free) the most current version update. They also sell the charts, apparently, for 149bux.

I'll do a different post, as I've got the rasters sorted out (needed to specify a deeper search level, apparently) - but I am really impressed with the vectors which came with the Cap'n - and presume the same functionality with the NOAA ENCs - which I have yet to figure out how to read with the Cap'n.

Their website suggests it's incompatible - but since it's Maptech's program which made them, I have some difficulty believing it...

L8R

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Old 30-03-2007, 13:10   #9
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Quote:
Their website suggests it's incompatible - but since it's Maptech's program which made them, I have some difficulty believing it...
Maptech bought the Capn software not that long ago so it may not yet be compatible, but they are the NOAA contractor that makes BSB and ENC charts for NOAA. ENC is the ONLY international vector format and the only approved electronic format for ships required to maintain charts under international law.
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