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Old 01-03-2009, 13:54   #1
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Coastal Explorer 2009 Nav Software

Recently read about Coastal Explorer Nav software. Other than the relatively high cost, it seems like a very good nav program to use with a 'poor man's chartplotter' (i.e., laptop). after using The Capn (OK, but IMHO, not terribly user friendly), and ChartView PRO, (IMHO a GOOD program, but no longer supported, and difficult to run on VISTA), Coastal Explorer seems like a great product which is supposed to even update NOAA charts, makes use of both vector and raster format charts, good route planning routines, etc. Would like to hear from users the 'Pros' and 'Cons' of this nav software.

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Old 01-03-2009, 15:47   #2
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Looked at Coastal Explorer extensively at the last boat show. Kicks the crap out of Nobeltec. Not as many features (yet) but much easier to use.

Their ability to use NOAA charts was a feature Nobeltec PULLED OUT of their product (presumeably because it doesnt make them money).

I would switch this year but it is not in the budget.
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Old 01-03-2009, 15:51   #3
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I used a earlier version of CE on a charter in the Chesapeake. Really, really good, stable program. Did everything I'll ever ask of nav software, and quite a bit more...
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Old 01-03-2009, 18:19   #4
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I haven't used the 2009 version on the boat yet, but I have been using the 1.1 version for 3 years. I've had absolutely no problems with it. I intend to upgrade to the new version next weekend. I use one of the Garmin GPS-18 hocky puck style GPSs with it. I don't have it hooked to my 0183 instruments yet, but it should display their outputs and control my autopilot when I do. The old version was fairly limited to US charts. The new version supports the international standards, which are usually enchrypted since unlike US charts they are sold rather than given away. Too bad other hydrographic agencies are not as enlightened as NOAA about electronic charts.
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Old 01-03-2009, 18:26   #5
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Too bad other hydrographic agencies are not as enlightened as NOAA about electronic charts.
Don't think it is an issue of a government agency being "enlightened". They are free because your tax dollars have already payed for it.

Some federal law says the agency can only charge for the distribution materials (paper/printing costs, etc).

Now, whomever wrote that law, and/or helped pass it, was certainly enlightened!
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Old 09-03-2009, 11:49   #6
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What's up at Rose Point? I've tried to get to their website but it's not there.

Edit: So after a little digging around I found them, but if you google rose point the link does not work.

Another question, right now I'm using the trial version, after downloading a chart from NOAA CE asks to unzip, which I do, then where does the chart go? I've looked around in my documents but can't find them. What if I want to use another program to view the charts? Where do they go after CE unzios them?
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Old 18-03-2009, 07:05   #7
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bmiller,

Start Coastal explorer and then go to:
Tools>Options>Charts>Chart Folders
and you will see all the folders that contain charts.
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Old 18-03-2009, 07:45   #8
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The website for Rosepoint is Rose Point Navigation Systems . I was just out there and it's working fine. I used the 2009 version last weekend for the first time. It worked just fine, though when I got home I found that there is now an update out to fix a problem. I did not experience the problem. Apparently under some circumstances the program could hang and that is now fixed. I like the new customizable cruise mode. I'm not sure I have it quite the way I want it yet, but it's nice to be able to display what I want. There are a few items that aren't where they used to be, such as the display color controls (for day/night), but I'm sure I'll get used that in no time. All-in-all, a nice upgrade. Best of all, since I owned the previous version the upgrade was free. There's not many companies doing that these days.
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Old 18-03-2009, 07:55   #9
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OK I found the where the charts are stored and the website. Thanks.

Next question, everytime I start CE it has to update the chart portfolio. This takes a bit as I downloaded all 1019 of the available charts. What can I say, had some time to kill. Is there a way to avoid this?
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Old 18-03-2009, 08:06   #10
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The new version does search your computer for new charts at startup as did the old version. It does seem to take a bit longer to do this. If you have the option of keeping your charts up to date automatically it seems to do this one chart at a time and that does take a long time. If you go to tools\download/install charts under the check for chart updates there is a menu item in smaller print "change your chart subscription regions". You can go in there and turn off automatic updates all together by unchecking all of the regions, or just limiting your automatic updates to your local region. Since I don't have a reliable internet connection at my dock I download my updates directly from NOAA in a zip file and take them to the boat. It ends up being faster than having CE check each individual chart for updates.
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Old 31-10-2010, 07:59   #11
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I downloaded the free version of Coastal Explorer and really like it so I am considering purchasing the full version. I am wondering how the charts (S-57/S-63) work when outside of the states. Are these charts available and accurate when you get into international waters? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 18-11-2010, 06:23   #12
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I really like Coastal Explorer but have not used it outside of the US. One thing to mention is they are moving to a yearly subscription fee for some of the nicer features that are in the software, like automatic chart updates and weather. I believe it will be an extra $100 a year.

I am also curious about charts outside of the US.
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Old 06-12-2010, 05:02   #13
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Coastal Explorer is good quality software but a tad expensive.
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Old 16-12-2010, 00:53   #14
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Originally Posted by jackiepitts View Post
I downloaded the free version of Coastal Explorer and really like it so I am considering purchasing the full version. I am wondering how the charts (S-57/S-63) work when outside of the states. Are these charts available and accurate when you get into international waters? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Jackie
An S-57 ENC chart is a reference to the format of the chart file, not necessarily the content the file contains; S-63 is a reference to how one might encrypt an S-57 formatted ENC chart file. The S-57 charts are vector charts, and I find the raster charts (copies of printed paper charts) more appealing to look at.

Yes, Coastal Explorer 2009 will work with S-63 encrypted charts purchased through Chartworld - there's a bit of setup to do to get the decryption key, configure your Chartworld account, then synchronize the account with your installation of Coastal Explorer; I've gone through that and it wasn't that difficult (not particularly intuitive, either). The upshot is that once this is in place you can obtain, through Chartworld, S-57/S-63 ENC charts for essentially anyplace in the world that has been charted by a government hydrographic office that has licensed the charts to be sold through Chartworld.

What I have not done is gone ahead and purchased an ENC chart from Chartworld to see how it all worked together. The charts are relatively expensive, and are as good as the cartography behind them.

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Old 16-12-2010, 13:01   #15
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Quote:
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I really like Coastal Explorer but have not used it outside of the US. One thing to mention is they are moving to a yearly subscription fee for some of the nicer features that are in the software, like automatic chart updates and weather. I believe it will be an extra $100 a year.

I am also curious about charts outside of the US.

I just upgraded from Maptech's Chart Navigator Pro (they OEM CE from Rose Point), so I'm still getting used to it. The upgrade was $99. Weather updates are still free, and even if they charge for them in the future, you can always download grib files from other sources and view them in CE...
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