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Old 15-05-2010, 07:27   #1
Neo
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Electronic Charts for PC

Hi,

Does anyone know where I can purchase digital charts to be viewed on my PC? I don't own a plotter but would like to sit in my living room and dream my way around world while sitting at my computer.
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Old 15-05-2010, 07:52   #2
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That be an interesting problem!

Thems charts are very expensive unless a pirate set falls off the back of a boat.

Google Earth may be a good option is you can't find charts
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Old 15-05-2010, 19:19   #3
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Ha. Well I do make frequent trips to China. Maybe a set will fall of the back of a junk.
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Old 15-05-2010, 19:37   #4
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Look Here

For US charts poke around this web site.

United States Coast PilotĀ®

There is a online viewer and free view downloads also.

Good luck.
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Old 15-05-2010, 20:20   #5
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Charts for Pc

Navionics uses a small SD card and reader that works great with my PC. I buy one SD (chip) and it will plug into my plotter in the cockpit or my PC down below...thus I have two systems running at all times.

I used to think it was required to have two discs (SD cards), one for my PC and one for the plotter until I found out you can fire it up in your PC, then pull the chip out and put it in the plotter...when I asked, Navionics replied that was how they designed it. So, I use a Navionics USA West series chart (in this case #12)... along with a Progin GPS that that I got from Ebay... hooks directly to my PC and I basically end up with two operational systems. I can do my trip planning and data package stuff on my PC and nav tracking in the cockpit. Anytime we need to do some waypoint or tack work we use the PC...to sail along we use the plotter...each is a double check for the other.

Cost of the card reader? Mine was free (yeah right ) with my purchase of Fugawi charts. Not sure about their outright costs... might have to ask Navionics. The SD Cards (I call them chips because the are so small) cost about $199 each...West (SD12XG) covers USA west coast down to and including Mexico and I think part of Central America. So far they've been spot-on as ENC's.

BTW ...I have no affiliation with Fugawi, or Navionics...just somebody out here using their products. Usual disclaimers apply.
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Old 16-05-2010, 04:58   #6
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Thanks ixtlan22, that's a good trick. I am going on my first cruise in a few months so I have to start thinking about getting GPS. Today I spent 6 hours at the NAOO site downloading ENC's from NJ to Maine and viewing them on Polar View, all free. I don't know how these charts compare to Navionics but the price was right. Do you use Navionics software to view the charts? Does it require two copies of the software or is it install on the SD card?
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Old 16-05-2010, 05:20   #7
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All charts for US waters are free of charge! Use a free programme such as opencpn to view them. Otherwise you can even get them as a google earth overlay. For armchair navigation in other regions, there may be some free charts available here. If you purchase charts for other regions, make sure you get a dongle-free format such as BSB3 or 4.
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Old 16-05-2010, 05:25   #8
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Thanks a bunch Opie. I found all the charts I was looking on the link you suggested. Polar Navy also offers a free chart plotter and Polar View instrument link Polar Com. Are there any advantages to paying for this stuff?
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Old 16-05-2010, 05:34   #9
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idpnd, How does Opencpn compare to Polar Navy, another free chart plotter? Are both these systems good for real, on the water navigation?
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Old 16-05-2010, 06:39   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo View Post
idpnd, How does Opencpn compare to Polar Navy, another free chart plotter? Are both these systems good for real, on the water navigation?
Opencpn creams Polar Navy in virtually every category. Idpnd can expound more on its features. I would like to say though, the program is great for navigation, its the charts themselves that are subject to question.
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Old 16-05-2010, 06:51   #11
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Neo,

I bought a copy of Offshore Navigator 2005 from West Marine last year for $9.95. Maptech allowed me to upgrade to the latest version for free. You can use the free charts from the NOAA web site since they are RNC/BSB charts (what Offshore Navigator uses).

Offshore Navigator allows you to talk with your gps and can control some autopilots if you want. It will transfer PC created courses to most GPS. In addition you can have tidal information for a $25/yr fee. Check out their website for more details.

Offshore Navigator

I must admit to not using some of the free pc based chart plotters since what I have works good for me.
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Old 20-08-2010, 11:32   #12
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openCPN

I'm starting to use OpenCPN and have two maps loaded but only see the map outline. I have tried zoom in in and out but still only see map out line. Any one know what I'm doing wrong?
THx
Dave
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Old 23-08-2010, 08:25   #13
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The development forum for OpenCPN is right here on CF:

-> OpenCPN - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

Ask in there and I bet you get some help.

But first, you might try the documentation at:

-> Documentation Wiki | Official OpenCPN Homepage

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Old 26-09-2010, 07:26   #14
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Neo,

I bought a copy of Offshore Navigator 2005 from West Marine last year for $9.95. Maptech allowed me to upgrade to the latest version for free. You can use the free charts from the NOAA web site since they are RNC/BSB charts (what Offshore Navigator uses).

Offshore Navigator allows you to talk with your gps and can control some autopilots if you want. It will transfer PC created courses to most GPS. In addition you can have tidal information for a $25/yr fee. Check out their website for more details.

Offshore Navigator

I must admit to not using some of the free pc based chart plotters since what I have works good for me.
I also like Maptech east to install and user friendly
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Old 26-09-2010, 08:08   #15
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Rose Point Navigation now offers a free downloadable viewer edition of their Coastal Explorer product. Rose Point Navigation Systems You can then download free charts from NOAA. Nautical Charts & Pubs

I find the traditional raster (RNC) charts to be more pleasant to use than the electronic charts (ENC). The issue is that the raster charts are much bigger (in Bytes) and take much longer to download, so which you choose may depend on the speed of your internet connection. The raster charts are just electronic images of actual paper charts. The electronic charts have a lot of features, such as the ability to display or not display certain types of information.
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