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Old 16-12-2010, 22:23   #16
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Boat: N/M 45
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CE 2009 and S-63 ENC charts

I had some fun tonight - I decided I was somewhere that the mail system did not get to, but which did have internet connectivity... and I was departing for some difficult-to-find-charts-for place in the middle of the Western Pacific, perhaps Kwajalein, to be precise. How might I obtain a chart for that area?

I could send an email to Marilee at Waypoints (she's in Oakland, CA), and she can absolutely procure any paper nautical chart known to mankind... how long would a cardboard tube of sacred navigational knowledge take to get to my lack-of-postal-address location? [I did say this was a thought exercise, no?]

I fooled around with Coastal Explorer 2009 and Chartworld, re-established the chartworld account, re-activated CE, located the S-63 account number, and selected two vector charts of the area: one from Japan, the other from Great Britan. 12 minutes later I had those charts up and displaying the laptop screen. Very cool! [one does have to wonder why, if we have great internet connectivity in this area, why the postal service couldn't arrange to appear with a paper chart in tow,... but I digress...]

As an aside, I've previously purchased British Admiralty charts for Kwajalein (they are quite beautiful), and have the Navionics ENC charts for that same island/atoll. Now I have the Japanese and British ENC versions of the same place area; the goal is to have a comparable dataset of a place that is off the beaten path that I have not been to (yet). In reviewing the charts, the Admiralty paper chart is by far the best, but would be the most difficult to obtain as you have to transport the physical paper printing to your boat. The Japanese and British ENC are essentially interchangeable (the Japanese ENC cell coverage is broader than the British), and the Navionics ENC chart of the area is a combination of all three plus some stuff from New Zealand (or so I am told).

At any rate, I can now say with certainty that CE plays well with Chartworld S-63/S-57 ENC charts.

And now back to our regularly scheduled program of sanding the interior of the motorbox in preparation for topcoat paint...

- rob/beetle
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Old 17-12-2010, 13:33   #17
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downside to Coastal Explorer

And as a follow-on, a downside to Coastal Explorer is that I cannot use the Navionics charts that work in the onboard Furuno chart plotter/radar, unlike Fugawi Marine ENC software.

I talked with Rose Point Navigation (they make Coastal Explorer) and there's no ability to interface Coastal Explorer with Navionic's proprietary card reader, and so far no planned interface down the road. This means that if I want to use Navionic charts on the laptop with Coastal Explorer I would have to purchase the charts twice - once on the SD card, and once as a file on a CD ROM from Chartworld.

In conversations with other vendors and chart distributors, my take-away is that if you want to use an electronic charting system one needs to
1. identify the areas you'll be cruising in
2. then identify the best cartography for that area
3. then identify the software that supports that cartography

My personal interest is Micronesia and I'm told the best charts for that area are British Admiralty ARCs and Navionics. ARCs is a bit expensive and Navionics has incorporated much of the British Admiralty data into the Navionics charts for that region. To that end Navionics chart makes the most sense for Micronesia.

I currently sail the North American west coast, Mexico to Alaska, and US NOAA and Canadian charts are the best for the area. Coastal Explorer works perfectly for this area as software operates with the freely-available NOAA charts (I also have the Navionics chart card as a fallback, in addition to the paper charts I like to write on).

At some point I expect to be in Micronesia, and then will purchase a different charting software that will allow me to use the Navionics chart cards.

- rob/beetle
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Old 17-12-2010, 13:49   #18
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Possible integration with BR24 radar

I wrote to Rose POint a few weeks back, asking if they are considering the integration of a Navico BR24 overlay with their software. The response was they they were currently under a NDA with Navico, and so could not discuss this. Read into that what you will, I read it as they have at least taken the step to try to work out the integration, and MAY offer it in the future.

Chris
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