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Old 17-03-2019, 08:08   #1
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CHS Charts on Mobile Devices

Greetings. I have recently returned to sailing after a few years off and I need to update my navigation tools. I was using iNavX on my iPhone and iPad with the official CHS Charts that were accessed through Fugawi. Apparently now Fugawi is out of the chart business and iNavX has created their own chart store but they don't sell CHS charts. The only Canadian charts I can buy for this app now are Navionics which are much less accurate.

I checked with iNavX on this and the answer is they are currently negotiating with chart providers, CHS among them. No word on when they will have CHS Charts again.

My question is, does anyone know of another mobile app that can currently use CHS charts? Or does anyone have any inside info on how long it might be for iNavX and CHS to get their act together? Thanks.
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Old 17-03-2019, 12:08   #2
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Re: CHS Charts on Mobile Devices

Just out of curiosity, why do you say Navionics are less accurate? Don’t they all just use CHS data? I use it here on the East Coast and never had any big issues. The one time I did notice an outdated bouy position, I emailed Navionics and they corrected the charts and notified me within a couple weeks which I thought was excellent service.
I’m looking at updating my iPhone app as well and am interested in hearing about options. Cheers!
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Old 17-03-2019, 14:45   #3
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Re: CHS Charts on Mobile Devices

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Originally Posted by YVRguy View Post
Greetings. I have recently returned to sailing after a few years off and I need to update my navigation tools. I was using iNavX on my iPhone and iPad with the official CHS Charts that were accessed through Fugawi. Apparently now Fugawi is out of the chart business and iNavX has created their own chart store but they don't sell CHS charts. The only Canadian charts I can buy for this app now are Navionics which are much less accurate.

I checked with iNavX on this and the answer is they are currently negotiating with chart providers, CHS among them. No word on when they will have CHS Charts again.

My question is, does anyone know of another mobile app that can currently use CHS charts? Or does anyone have any inside info on how long it might be for iNavX and CHS to get their act together? Thanks.
The official CHS charts are available in BSB v3 format now, readable by various navigation software. In case you will get off the ground where you will certainly fall after seeing how much they cost...
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Old 17-03-2019, 15:33   #4
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Re: CHS Charts on Mobile Devices

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Originally Posted by Shoalcove View Post
Just out of curiosity, why do you say Navionics are less accurate? Donít they all just use CHS data? I use it here on the East Coast and never had any big issues. The one time I did notice an outdated bouy position, I emailed Navionics and they corrected the charts and notified me within a couple weeks which I thought was excellent service.
Iím looking at updating my iPhone app as well and am interested in hearing about options. Cheers!
The CHS Charts are the official government hydrographic charts - the reference standard that all commercial shipping uses. Navionics uses "crowd sourced" data that comes close in some cases but isn't really a replacement for the official charts.
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Old 18-03-2019, 04:58   #5
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Re: CHS Charts on Mobile Devices

Thanks! My understanding is that they make crowd sourced depth data available but the rest is as per CHS. I’ve not used the phone app so can’t speak to whether or not using that data is optional. I could be wrong so will look into it further before purchasing anything.
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Old 18-03-2019, 06:07   #6
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Re: CHS Charts on Mobile Devices

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Thanks! My understanding is that they make crowd sourced depth data available but the rest is as per CHS. Iíve not used the phone app so canít speak to whether or not using that data is optional. I could be wrong so will look into it further before purchasing anything.
I own my boat with a friend. For years I had iNavX with CHS Charts on my phone and he had Navionics. The direct comparison makes it clear there is more detail on the CHS Charts and sometimes there's a discrepancy. Maybe I'm being uptight but I'd like my electronic charts to be exactly the same as the paper charts I have down below.

Not to put too fine a point on it, my boat partner grounded the boat on a shoal last year that his Navionics chart said he would miss. He was clearly too close regardless but it's another data point.
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Old 18-03-2019, 10:09   #7
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Re: CHS Charts on Mobile Devices

Weather 4D Routing and navigation app for iOS devices allows you to rent on a yearly basis CHS charts, 50 Euros...

The app allows you to download while on line the needed areas, and then keep that in cache memory, so that even out of cell phone coverage, you will have the charts

https://geogarage.com/page/weather4d
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Old 18-03-2019, 10:21   #8
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Re: CHS Charts on Mobile Devices

Keep the ideas coming - I am also considering alternatives now that iNavX stopped supporting CHS.

My beef with the Navionics charts is that they provide approximately zero on-shore and related information - things like visible landmarks, ferries, cables and so on that I find very important when coastal cruising.
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Old 18-03-2019, 15:35   #9
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Re: CHS Charts on Mobile Devices

Navionics has signed agreements with CHS, per the CHS website. But who knows how often Navionics actually pull updates from CHS.

In the past, I've used the Navionics US and Canada chart app on various android devices and been pleased with the level of detail. Last summer, I started sailing Georgian Bay Ontario, where there are lots and lots of rocks. I found out the hard way (no pun intended)...

WARNING: the "sonar" chart option in the Navionics app is interpolated. God knows where they sourced that "sonar" data. Although it looks like an increased level of detail on depth contours, it can be very dangerous to rely on it without checking other charts. I'm lucky that no one was injured, and the boat still floats.

So I've learned the hard way to use multiple sources; planning to be much more cautious this summer.

Lately I'm exploring OpenCPN on Android and really impressed so far. If only CHS would license Canadian charts on o-charts.org so we could get them at a reasonable cost. The CHS pricing for digital charts is ridiculous and unaffordable for recreational sailors. They seem to be pricing for large commercial customers only.

Sorry for the long-winded first post.

peace out
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Old 18-03-2019, 15:40   #10
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Re: CHS Charts on Mobile Devices

Shawanaga, thanks for the long-winded first post - good comments. And welcome.


I learned to sail in Parry Sound - yep, you know what rocks are like. We could compare notes to see if we've bounced off any of the same ones.
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Old 23-03-2019, 18:12   #11
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Re: CHS Charts on Mobile Devices

I've used Navionics for years all over the eastern US (salt and fresh water), Bahamas and Caribbean and have been really happy with them. The way that many Navionics users go awry is that they don't update their charts. Most ocean bottom moves at some point (and especially in the areas where we sail due to hurricane activity) and those changes are charted as well. If we don't update our charts how can we expect them to be accurate. Which is exactly why, also, I would never expect my electronic charts to be exactly the same as my paper charts, unless of course I was buying a paper chart that was updated each day based on updated bathymetry data (on a daily basis).
Side note, you can always see what data is available for a specific area using this page on the Navionics site: Navionics ChartViewer
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Old 24-03-2019, 11:24   #12
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Re: CHS Charts on Mobile Devices

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I've used Navionics for years all over the eastern US (salt and fresh water), Bahamas and Caribbean and have been really happy with them. The way that many Navionics users go awry is that they don't update their charts. Most ocean bottom moves at some point (and especially in the areas where we sail due to hurricane activity) and those changes are charted as well. If we don't update our charts how can we expect them to be accurate. Which is exactly why, also, I would never expect my electronic charts to be exactly the same as my paper charts, unless of course I was buying a paper chart that was updated each day based on updated bathymetry data (on a daily basis).
Side note, you can always see what data is available for a specific area using this page on the Navionics site: Navionics ChartViewer
I understand what you're saying but you're addressing a completely different challenge. In an area where wind & weather are constantly changing the bottom profile I can see why you would want to use dynamically updated charts with crowd-sourced data. Where I sail in the Pacific Northwest, the bottom profile changes very little, save for wrecks and other man-made hazards. So in my case I'm simply looking for the most detailed & accurate charts available, which are the CHS (government) charts. Much like in the US the NOAA charts are going to be more detailed and accurate than Navionics charts but not updated as often.
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Old 24-03-2019, 12:42   #13
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Re: CHS Charts on Mobile Devices

I'm also from PNW, and have access to both CHS and navionics. I totally agree with your accuracy assessment for navionics vs CHS.



After years of watching my plotter unable to work because the maps were no long supported, I decided to stick with applications that use ENC or raster. No more proprietary maps.



Yeah, CHS price is a hit, but you get updates for 4 years, no charge. Add that against paper charts, or DYI corrections and the pain is less. You also remember that navionics charges every year for updates, such as they are.





I used a different method to acquire CHS charts. I bought the large scale coverage for the west coast, then filled in the finer scale maps as I needed them for each years cruise. This year I'm getting the last piece from Cape Caution to Prince Rupert.


Good luck
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