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Old 07-10-2008, 13:45   #1
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Garmin Bluechart

I am new to using the pc and chartplotter to navigate. I live and sail out of Wilmington, NC. I have a Garmin 498 and purchased the Garmin Bluechart software.

Does anyone use this?

Suggestions for how to use it to plan trips, etc.?

Thanks for helping a newbie!

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Old 07-10-2008, 16:28   #2
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I have had it for several years for the great lakes. I think it works well for this area but I don't have any knowledge about yours. I did just get another area for the Caribbean as I want to map our next trip. I've used it to figure distances so far but nothing else. As far as using the program, it's intuitive. You just need to start.

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Old 07-10-2008, 16:29   #3
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You need to read the manual that came with the plotter and follow the instructions. Also use it to become familiar with the buttons and functions.
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Old 07-10-2008, 16:54   #4
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I used it extensively to plan routes and transfer them to my 182C (the first generation of the 498.) I got a little tricky and downloaded the trips to print out with pictures in my log. I sail with a lot of people, and its good to be able to refresh my memory later! I also downloaded the Coast Guard's Light list and used Mapsource to upload selected areas to my handhelds.
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Old 07-10-2008, 21:44   #5
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I have an old G295 that won't take the BlueCharts ;-(

But a friend bought the 476C ;-)

I borrowed it for a couple of passages. The unit and the charts are great.

Not sure what help you need. We sailed nav mark to nav mark.

Sit with the book and practice, practice, practice.

Step one is learning how to adjust for your time zone, datum, standard units (i.e. nautical miles, gallons etc.) and adjust the screen contrast and brightness.

Step two - Learn how to enter a course. It is basically a sequence of starting with a blank course, entering the first waypoint, entering the second waypoint, etc. Keep it simple at first by entering nav mark to nav mark (built in waypoints) - Later learn to add your own.

The trick is that the menu button brings up different menus depending on what screen you are on.

Activating the saved trip is next and customizing the view.

I like the compass dial with 4 text boxes on one screen and the moving map and 8 fields on another screen.

Finally it's learning to read the various outputs.

The unit is very powerful and takes some time to get the most out of it.
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Old 08-10-2008, 02:26   #6
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I have a Garmin 60CS hand-held and a Garmin 2010 Chartplotter. Both use Garmin Blue Chart as the map base. I run Mapsource on my laptop to plan map use, routes and waypoints which are then uploaded to the 60CS or a memory chip for the plotter. The plotter it tied to my autopilot so it can follow what ever route I have pre-planned. The Blue Chart charts I find are very accurate and more presise that the free NOAA charts. I also will occasionally run enRoute as a backup Plotting program which also uses the Blue Charts. Once you have the basic area chart you need all the maps unlocked that you will need. This can get expensive but the quality is there.
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Old 08-10-2008, 09:02   #7
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Wow! What a great response. Thank you all.

I keep hoping for a useful owner's manual on software and hardware. I guess I'm old fashioned.

I have read all available MapSource manuals/tutorials and my owners manual several times on the 498. I still feel ignorant.

Seems like I just need to keep trying. Ah well...that's life!

Thank you all again for your input.

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