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Old 20-05-2015, 12:42   #16
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Re: charts charts charts?

- Definitely get PDF or BSB charts for free from NOAA website. I would post a link for the ones you might need but this forum would not let me post links. You can use PDFs to print paper charts and BSB with opencpn.

-opencpn has a little learning curve. But once you have set up everything it works well.

- Do you have an iPhone or an iPad? There are plenty of really high quality charting apps ($10 to $20 range).

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Old 20-05-2015, 12:57   #17
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Re: charts charts charts?

Look on NOAA charts and see if there are any "Chart Packs" or Rec chart packs for the area.. Those are usually cheaper.

"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard

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Old 20-05-2015, 15:22   #18
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Location: Maryland, USA
Boat: 42' Sportfish
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Re: charts charts charts?

Originally Posted by jsquared View Post
hey yall! I am taking a trip around the west coast of florida up to GA. we have a GPS but no chart plotter or electronic charts on our computers or anything fancy like that. We are looking for charts and are having a hard time knowing what to get.

1.could anyone recommend good charts at a reasonable price?
2. Should we look into getting electronic charts?

Do you have an iTablet of some sort or an Android tablet? If so, there are apps available, with various charts available, and you don't need internet access to use them once you've done the initial downloads. Often not easy to see in full sunlight, but could get you through...

Selby Bay, South River, Chesapeake Bay, USA.
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Old 20-05-2015, 22:43   #19
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Location: Almerķa, ES
Boat: Chiquita 46 - Libertalia
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Re: charts charts charts?

Print out NOAA chartlets for areas you're travelling in (free), or cheapest charts (black and white, slightly smaller) for backup:
sv Libertalia
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Old 02-06-2015, 11:52   #20
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Posts: 30
Re: charts charts charts?

1. NOAA, NOAA, NOAA: Free charts on their website. This forum does not let me post links
2. All NOAA charts are compatible with opencpn. There is very active opencpn community at this forum in case you run into any issue.
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Old 02-06-2015, 12:19   #21
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Grenada
Boat: Fortuna Island Spirit 40
Posts: 1,388
Re: charts charts charts?

If you want electronic charts and have a laptop, then you can go with OpenCPN. Here is the procedure to get it up and running on a Windows machine.

1. Download OpenCPN from this link
Download OpenCPN from

2. Download my NOAA chart downloading tool from this link (It may ask if you trust it, I promise you can).

3. Install OpenCPN with, accepting all the defaults (basically keep clicking "Next").

4. Ensure OpenCPN is not running, then run the ChartDownload.exe. Follow the instructions to download the charts for the regions you want (Florida). Personally I prefer Vector charts, but you can download both and try them out.

5. Once Chartdownload.exe is done, launch OpenCPN and go to settings (wrench icon), charts tab and click the "Force Full Database Rebuild" checkbox and click "Ok"

Done.. Enjoy the digital charts. In the future you can add a USB GPS puck to make you laptop a full chartplotter. I recommend the puck in this link as it connects to both American (GPS) and Russian (GLONASS) satellites. Holux M-215+ USB Mouse GPS Receiver: GPS & Navigation

If you get stuck.. PM me and I can help..

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