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Old 01-02-2009, 22:26   #1
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Expensive Charts?

Am working on my five year plan which will hopefully end up in the Baltic and Med. Started researching sources for charts of Europe and was shocked, simply shocked at the prices I found. When the costs for a full set of charts passed five figures I quit and went back to Google again (and again). So far no joy.

So, am I missing something or does one have to devote more funds to charts than to food, fuel and maintenance?
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Old 02-02-2009, 01:09   #2
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Electronic may be the cheapest way now.Maybe someone can comment.Is it possible to get charts on a CD and look at them on a common laptop?No interface with anything.Just look at the damn chart?Print it out with a common printer?
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Old 02-02-2009, 01:26   #3
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We were shocked the first time ourselves. Charts are expensive, because fewer people are buying. The merchant shipping gets buys them because it's a requirement. They are definitely big part of a budget, if you are buying originals.
I don't know about charts on CD. You need to plot on them etc.
Some people get copies which are good (if they are good copies), no color, but better than nothing. Try to ask around if you can get copies. If not than electronic charts would probably be cheaper solution, but you should be prepared when computer or chart plotter fails with a backup, e.g. laptop for computer or second laptop if you navigate on laptop.
Also you don't always need full set of charts! Get what you need for a month or two and then you might be able to trade with people.
Good luck
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Old 02-02-2009, 01:44   #4
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Paper charts for planning are much easier than trying to do it on the laptop. Combine these with pilots for detailed approach and marina info, and then look at the use of electronic charting for the rest. I have laptop charts and will carry a back up hard drive. these will interface to GPS to use as a back-up plotter. I will also use a plotter visible from the helm with the latest electronic charts on it - probably C-Map. Thus laptop does not have to run 24/7.

This is the set up I had on my last boat.

I also have a sextant, and the ability to use it without software based calculators as a fall back in case of a major electric crumble.
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Old 02-02-2009, 05:03   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talbot View Post
Paper charts for planning are much easier than trying to do it on the laptop... I will also use a plotter visible from the helm with the latest electronic charts on it - probably C-Map...
Talbot,

If you're planning to go with C-Map, take a look at their PC Planner NT software. I used to do all of my route planning on paper charts, but now use PC Planner exclusively. It allows you easily to play around with alternative routes and produces leg and total distances, arrival times and course bearings. Once you decide on your route, you can export it to your chartplotter via a User Card. It uses an USB card reader as the PC interface.
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Old 04-03-2009, 16:57   #6
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Just a note to stir the pot a bit. I have electronic charts and they are great but I would not dream of leaving for a trip without the paper charts also. Just imagine your in the middle of no where and all the fancy electronic stuff goes crashing down, for what ever reason and sometimes just being on a boat seems to be reason enough. The toys are wonders but I still have a sextant and its books and paper charts....... just in case mind you })

Now lets see was that plus or minus dec............
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Old 04-03-2009, 18:15   #7
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I have MaxSea on my laptop and am very pleased with it. I bought it preloaded on a 3x5 inch external hard drive. The only complication is plugging in a GPS. The software looks for the GPS plugged into the nine-pin port rather than a USB port.

MaxSea has charts for the whole world. The screen can be printed in color on 8 1/2 x 11. This is good to hand off to the helmsman as a security blanket. The software has good route planning functions. The nav screen pull down is in an xcell type format and provides course data from waypoint to waypoint.

The manual seems to have been translated from some other language as it is loaded with odd syntax. It takes a while to work through.
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Old 04-03-2009, 18:18   #8
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I should add...I bought the software on eBay from a cruiser home from the sea. The total cost including a GPS (smallish puck thing) was about $300.00
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