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Old 05-11-2014, 09:56   #1
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Charts

Hi all, I am totally new to sailing and especially navigation! All of the different(?) modes etc. are confusing and with no access to see or use any of them I must try to make a decision on how to get started...on a budget!
I have a Compaq laptop with an external GPS antenna and I want to use this since I already have it...I downloaded OpenCPN and I need charts...right???
How do I put all this together to get started navigating? My handheld Magellan is tired!!!
Any help is greatly appreciated...
I'd like to also thank all of you out there who post replies to all the threads...I read these threads everyday for what seems like hours and enjoy every minute of it. I have learned so much from all of you...It is an addiction. THANKS
Be safe and happy.....Willie
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:17   #2
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Re: Charts

Personally, I learnt with paper charts first, buy a book or watch YouTube and any other sources you can find, buy a ruler - pencil compass/ dividers and a rubber, sit at a table and practice, often you will find guys with out of date or training charts especially any guys who have done courses.

Once. You have mastered chart work you will know where to go with the electronically aided nav and you will have the satisfaction of knowing you have the ability to get home after the battery packs up.

Good luck and happy studying


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Old 05-11-2014, 12:05   #3
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Re: Charts

Agreed, learn paper based charting first so you'll understand what the electronic chart plotter is telling you.


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Old 05-11-2014, 12:22   #4
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Re: Charts

You want to learn how to fly the airplane before you fly around on autopilot all the time.
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Old 05-11-2014, 12:42   #5
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Re: Charts

While you're doing all of that you can get free charts from NOAA online. They're raster charts which means they're like scans of the paper charts.

They're a good place to start.

Vector charts like Navionics can be even more fun.


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Old 05-11-2014, 12:44   #6
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Re: Charts

Thanks guys...where can I find paper charts...I google this stuff and find nothing! And, I need them for the Gulf of Mexico down to Panama as I will be living in Cozumel soon...
I appreciate the input.
Be safe and happy...Willie
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Old 14-11-2014, 13:56   #7
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Re: Charts

I agree, paper charts are easier to use and should generally be used in addition to electronic charts.


However, you have OpenCPN and a GPS on your laptop, so you can use OpenCPN for planning and chart plotting if you're actually on the water.
Be careful, there are often things you will miss because of the level of detail shown at any given zoom level.


This is a list of places you can download free and legitimate charts for OpenCPN
Chart Sources | Official OpenCPN Homepage

This explains how you install them:
Installing Charts | Official OpenCPN Homepage


There's also a whole section here devoted to OpenCPN
OpenCPN - Cruisers & Sailing Forums


Good luck!
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Old 14-11-2014, 18:45   #8
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Re: Charts

WOW! Awesome...see, this stuff ain't so bad if'n ya know where to go!!! I really appreciate the reply...Be safe and happy...Gimme a year and look me up in Cozumel...my future resting place
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Old 27-11-2014, 09:36   #9
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Re: Charts

We use the Navionics app on a galaxy tablet and our phones throughout the Caribbean, bahamas, and Florida. It has very detailed charts and useful tools such as the routing, track sharing, community edits, sonar layer, weather information, tides, currents and a wind layer. We did a to of research before choosing our navigation methods. Let me know if you have some specific questions.


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