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Old 13-08-2017, 16:42   #1
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How often do you update your electronic charts?

Spent not a lot of money (but it's still money) on Canadian electronic charts last year for Gulf Islands, planning on heading up there again this fall, contemplating whether I want/need to pay another ~$150 to update my Chartworld charts.

So begs the question, how often do people update their (not free) electronic charts?

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Old 13-08-2017, 17:14   #2
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Re: How often do you update your electronic charts?

I never have updated my charts.
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Old 13-08-2017, 17:49   #3
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Re: How often do you update your electronic charts?

Do you also have paper charts you're going to rely on?
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Old 13-08-2017, 17:57   #4
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Re: How often do you update your electronic charts?

For a place like the Gulf Islands that has been very well charted for a long time I wouldn't do the $150 upgrade.
In some other, more remote areas a new modern survey might occasionally get done. These updates are worth it. So to answer your question, it depends on the area.
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Old 13-08-2017, 18:05   #5
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Re: How often do you update your electronic charts?

I do believe that if you have registered your charts you can update them for free although that may depend on what format you have as it may be vendor specific.

Check with the vendor that you bought your charts from or check here:
CHS - Digital charts

If you can't do that then maybe buying a chart book for the gulf islands would be a better value.
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Old 13-08-2017, 18:10   #6
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Re: How often do you update your electronic charts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainstubbie View Post
Do you also have paper charts you're going to rely on?
Yes, we have the "flip book" (OK, it's a lot bigger than the San Juans flip book, but still better than individual full size charts) that we use as well... but that is also now a year old.
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Old 13-08-2017, 18:11   #7
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Re: How often do you update your electronic charts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
I do believe that if you have registered your charts you can update them for free although that may depend on what format you have as it may be vendor specific.

Check with the vendor that you bought your charts from or check here:
CHS - Digital charts

If you can't do that then maybe buying a chart book for the gulf islands would be a better value.
Through Chartworld I went with the basic "3 months free update" as that was the most economical way to buy the electronic charts. Those 3 months expired end of last fall.

I do also have chart book, I would never dare rely only on my electronic doodads.

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Old 13-08-2017, 22:04   #8
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Re: How often do you update your electronic charts?

Don't worry about it. As said previously the area is well charted. Mine are 12 years old and we just cruised that area earlier this year. A couple of areas are lousy with crab traps -especially Ganges Harbour - so keep your eyes open for floats. More in the northern islands, marine farms come and go - every so often a nice anchorage disappears.
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Old 14-08-2017, 00:44   #9
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Re: How often do you update your electronic charts?

I keep one set of charts right up to date, like you would on a ship. It costs half the price of new charts, every year. It costs some money, but in my opinion the idea of running into something which wasn't shown on an outdated chart is just too horrible to risk.

I use Navionics "freshest data" and update every week or two. Or for charts which can't be updated so frequently (like NV Charts and Admiralty charts from VisitmyHarbour) I download the Notices to Mariners.
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Old 14-08-2017, 06:23   #10
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Re: How often do you update your electronic charts?

It always amazes me how many people downplay the importance of updated charts.

I know more about US NOAA charts, but I think the CHS is similar. They are continuously updating chart information. There are tons of updates weekly. I have been burned by not paying attention to the LNM and missing a few weeks' worth of updates.

No, the rocks don't move much. And yes, some of the soundings are very old. BUT...

Uncharted rocks are reported with some frequency. How do you think that happens? Do you want to be the one to "report" it?

Bridges are built and rebuilt. Aquaculture sites are established. Buoys and lights are added, changed and removed. Sound signals are automated. Restricted areas are designated. Offshore infrastructure like wind farms, gas terminals, underwater pipelines and cables are constructed and maintained. Landmarks are torn down. Marinas, breakwaters, piers and are built and demolished. Harbors are dredged.

And that doesn't even cover the obvious things like meandering channels that change with every storm.

There's a reason it's a requirement in Canada to have current charts, and common sense in the US.

You can go a lifetime with no charts at all, if you stay in familiar waters and rely on local knowledge. Once you leave your home area, you become almost 100% dependent on good charts. Do you really want to leave that to chance?
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Old 14-08-2017, 09:07   #11
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Re: How often do you update your electronic charts?

From the Charts and Nautical Publications Regulations, 1995 (Canada), updated to July 3, 2017:

"Maintenance of Charts, Documents and Publications

7 The master of a ship shall ensure that the charts, documents and publications required by these Regulations are, before being used for navigation, correct and up-to-date, based on information that is contained in the Notices to Mariners, Notices to Shipping or radio navigational warnings."

I guess that says it all about the requirement for up-to-date information. NOTMARs are issued on a weekly basis.

If your information is not up to date and you hit something, your insurance might not cover you for any loss or damage.
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Old 14-08-2017, 09:11   #12
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Re: How often do you update your electronic charts?

Whenever they move the reefs
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Old 14-08-2017, 10:54   #13
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Re: How often do you update your electronic charts?

I have older electronic charts. Current paper charts and keep up w notice to mariners.
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Old 14-08-2017, 12:02   #14
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Re: How often do you update your electronic charts?

I remember going through notices to mariners decades ago, a tedious business for not much reward (sometimes a light is altered, a new dock built, etc), but next week your charts are again out of date, and stay out of date until you return to a port where notices were available. So everyone's charts are out of date the day after you purchase. Does that $150 allow updates for the next 12 months, or just for today? Unless it covers an extended period then you are hardly any better off.
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Old 14-08-2017, 12:19   #15
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Re: How often do you update your electronic charts?

I use Opencpn and downloaded NOAA charts. Before every trip I download the current versions of whatever charts I'll be using. It's free.
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