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Old 11-09-2008, 03:51   #1
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chartplotters/nav. programs for pc

I have only navigated using paper charts and gps.Need input re chartplotters/nav. programs on pc.
Questions a)with chartplotters can one purchase chart chips for bahamas, caribbean,venezuela etc.What is the expense re chips?
b)I have downloaded seaclear II on linux, also NOAA E.
Coast USA charts. Can I also get charts for bahamas, caribbean etc to use with seaclear or must I use another program on the pc?
c)Would the above be free or what are the expenses? Know little of Maxsea and other programs thus need input.Must I revert to the dreaded vista or xp or can I stay with linux?
Please treat me gently with you replies as I am from the other Hemisphere.
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Clyde
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Old 11-09-2008, 04:33   #2
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Clyde,

a) All chart plotters require some chart source. Chips have become popular and are almost always proprietary to the plotter brand. Navonics chips and Garmin Blue Chart can be purchased for various fees depending on the coverage. Theyt are not dirt cheap but far cheaper than all the full scale paper maps. YOu might choose to use chart books as paper backup.

b) Downloadable NOAA charts are free. The US is now one of the few countrieds that have free charts for download. You may be able to find the old outdated CMAp charts. These were replaced with the Navonics chips when they found even a child could copy the CMap product. Other electronic charts can be found from What used to be Maptech that would be in the same BSB format as the NOAA BSB charts. Thise will work in Sea Clear.

c) None of the options are free unless you stay within US waters. The NOAA charts to extend out toward the Bahamas. BSB charts for the Bahamas can be purchased. You can buy those and use what you already have now.
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Old 11-09-2008, 05:38   #3
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Clyde, you can easily find the charts you will need for your intended voyage and price them out - take note that the price on the websites for Navionics, Cmap, Garmin Blue Charts etc. are 'suggested list prices' and much higher than you will pay through sites such as Defender etc. All the proprietary charts for the US east coast/Bahamas can be very expensive; on the other hand, most companies have large scale charts and a couple will cover the entire Caribbean, including the coast of Venezuela.

Brad
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Old 11-09-2008, 07:07   #4
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If you're going to cruise the Bahamas do not get a chartplotter that takes Navionics chips, such as Raymarines. The Navionics chip of the Bahamas is rife with errors. (Ask me how I know!) And they don't seem to care to fix them. Get one that takes C-Maps, they have Explorer chart chips, much, much better.
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Old 11-09-2008, 07:59   #5
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chartplotters/nav programs on pc

Thanks for the prompt replies.I sailed South Africa to Caribbean, then 7 yrs in Caribbean using paper charts. Ready to do it again buying yacht in, and sailing from Florida, hence the questions re plotters,chips etc
Do you then think most cruisers in those areas still use charts and sailing guides as apposed to plotters with chips?
What would a chip for the bahamas,turks&cacois cost approx in $
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Clyde
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Old 11-09-2008, 08:30   #6
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A few hundred bucks. Beware of buying old chips on Ebay. Old C-Maps and Bluecharts of this area are not Explorer charts and very poor.
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Old 11-09-2008, 10:31   #7
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Quote:
Do you then think most cruisers in those areas still use charts and sailing guides as apposed to plotters with chips?
Charts in that p[art of the world all need to have a degree of doubt attached to them. Even the paper charts have errors. Missing Aids to navigation are commonly on the chart but not in the water. Guides and other recent experience really needs to be added to the mix. Some charts have positional errors that are large. Checking the guides and other sources can help get that straight. Missing aids is more of a problem since they disappear faster than they appear. As Vasco says eBay is a terrible source. There still are folks bent on ripping you off. The old CMap chips were easy to pirate and usually not worth the price you pay.
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