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Old 20-07-2009, 14:17   #1
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e-Charts Bahamas

First let me say I did a search to see if this had been discussed recently, if it has just point me to the string.

I have read that C-Map e-Charts for the Bahamas include the Lewis' data from the Explorer Chartbooks. We have a Raymarine which uses Navionics e-Charts. Everything that I read is 2005 and older so I need a recent opinion.

My question is whether anyone can tell me if the most recent editions of the Navionics chip has correct and detailed information for the Bahamas and T&C.

THANKS
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Old 20-07-2009, 14:28   #2
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I have posted extensively on this site on the errors in Navionics' Bahamas chip. The latest ones are worse than the earlier (2004) chips as they had to remove some proprietary data (I suspect it was Explorer data) from it. Lots of geo-referencing errors. For example just in the Exumas chain, the middle is ok but up in Ship Channel Cay errors and once you get down to Rat Cay errors again. Very unreliable.
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Old 20-07-2009, 14:35   #3
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Vasco - I actually read a comment by you on this subject but thought it was 2006. Have you had experience with the newest (just released) or next to newest version? I have heard there have been great improvements.
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Old 20-07-2009, 14:39   #4
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We were just in the Bahamas, with Navionics, the latest chip. I concur with Rick -- numerous errors in lots of places. Trust the Explorer charts.

The "story" I was told at Bluewater was that there was a conflict between the two companies. They couldn't resolve it and Navionics customers are the losers. Navionics had said that they were doing their own surveys and would be issuing a Bahamas special chip. That was 2 years ago. The folks had Bluewater haven't seen them and seemed to think that the project was dead.

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Old 20-07-2009, 14:46   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janice View Post
Vasco - I actually read a comment by you on this subject but thought it was 2006. Have you had experience with the newest (just released) or next to newest version? I have heard there have been great improvements.
I have corresponded with Navionics and they refused to tell me if the specific errors I noted were corrected. I certainly will not lay out good money for a new chip until Navionics gets off their high horse and buys Explorer chart data. Just ask Navionics for a list of their "great improvements".
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Old 20-07-2009, 14:54   #6
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OK - Thanks. I am buying the chip anyway as it covers the entire caribbean but will rely on the Explorer Chartbooks.
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Old 20-07-2009, 15:01   #7
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Unfortunately if you've got a recent Raymarine chartplotter you don't have another option unless you go and buy a Garmin plotter. I apologize if my posts sound a bit sharp but Navionics does that to me! They tell you that they're the biggest e-chart company in the world and the latest chip is "improved" but, in fact, the "improved" chip is worse than the old one. OK, end of rant.
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Old 20-07-2009, 15:10   #8
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So the charts for Garmin are accurate? Do they have Explorer data?
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Old 20-07-2009, 15:15   #9
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e-Charts

Vasco - Don't shoot the messenger...I was just asking I had hoped things had improved....

How is the data for the Leewards and Windwards?
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Old 20-07-2009, 15:16   #10
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Yes, re Garmin, the latest ones are Explorer Charts but the older ones were no good same thing for C-Maps so if you're buying on E-Bay, beware! I'm not sure of the year but I think 2006 or 07 and later are ok. As another poster wrote Bluewater is a good resource so check with them.
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Old 20-07-2009, 16:19   #11
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If anybody tells you Navionics or Garmin or any of the US charting programs corporations are updating charts - They are 100% lying to you. In US waters only the US government does any charting surveys and it has pretty much given up due to zero dollars being budgeted except for major harbors.
The reason these chart companies do not do their own surveys is two-fold. First survey ships and crews costs would cost more than any possible income from such charts and the second reason is "liability" if somebody runs aground or incurs injury or death as a result of faulty charts. No corporation is going to take that on and if they did their insurance rates would escalate to match the federal debt. All the chips, charts, and CD's are using official US government charts for US waters and old DMA charts for international waters. If you look at the NOAA ENC free download site you will have to pass through a disclaimer page where it is plainly laid out the US nautical charts are a minimum of 40 years or more out of date on geographical data, etc.
Outside the USA in smaller countries like the Bahamas and Turks & Caicos there are private individuals who take upon themselves to actually go out in their boats and survey and produce good accurate charts - witness the Explorer Charts and the Wavy Line Charts. You cannot sue these people as their governments will not allow it so they can go ahead and do this service for us. But if a US chart company - e.g. Navionics (actually they are an Italian company with a sales office in the USA) is willing to pay royalties to the owners of the Explorer Charts, Wavy Line Charts or others then they can offer those charts in their chips, CD's or whatever.
In other parts of the 1st world the governments control the distribution of their own charts - U.K., France, New Zealand, and Australia as examples and you have to pay them for their charts and sometimes have to also purchase their Navigation Program to display the charts.
However there are hundreds, if not thousands, of "public domain" old charts out there and the big charting company include them on their chips and CD's and charge you big money for charts you can get for free.
Specifically in the Bahamas the "newest" government charts are from 1942 during WWII when the USA had military bases there. Only the Explorer Charts are "up to date" and accurate. With a few exceptions 65 years of hurricanes and human construction and alterations have significantly altered the geographical shape, position and soundings in most of the world.
Just because the chart plotter is state of the art doesn't mean the charting is. With the exception of the private endeavors outside the USA, the data in the fancy plotter, etc. is nearly half a century old and sometimes a couple centuries old. That is where guide books fill the gap. They contain "sketch charts" which are labeled "not suitable for navigaton" (the necessary legal disclaimer). They have been drawn by real cruisers who are interested in getting the best information out there for us and I would never venture anywhere without several good cruising guides at hand.
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Old 20-07-2009, 17:40   #12
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The switch from c_Map to Navionics leaving their customers in the lurch is why I refuse t buy or recommend Raymarine stuff anymore. I'm supposed to throw thousands of dollars of charts away when I switch to a better plotter? They seem to think people buy their products for the nice screens rather than the actual USE those screens will be put to!!

Anyway...the electronic Explorer charts for the Bahamas can be found only on...
C-Map's Max and NT+, Garmin's BlueChart 6.0, and Nobeltec's Passport Deluxe.

I trust Garmin will continue to support the Lewis's !! Just as their paper charts are the only ones to use in the Bahamas.
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Old 20-07-2009, 18:13   #13
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my navionics gold sux....I thought it was more reliable program but it got me shoaled in what was supposed to be a pass....was off by 100 ft
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Old 20-07-2009, 19:52   #14
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Thanks all, I already have Van Sant's Pasages South, Pavlidis' On and Off the beaten Path and some of the Lewis' Explorer Charts. I will continue to accumulate. We are heading out in October (depending on Hurricanes) in our Tayana 37. I have never sailed the Bahamas but have lots of experience in the Virgins and Leewards. We plan to be gone 2 to ?? years and hope to be some help to others in the future as you all have been to me. THANKS
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Old 20-07-2009, 19:55   #15
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See you in the Bahamas.
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