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Old 21-03-2011, 07:40   #31
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Re: I want to use my Mac Book as a chart plotter

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Yes it looks that way to me... the problem for me is the price of the charts: a Caribbean chart pack costs $1,250.- while the similar pack from Furuno (Navnet3D & MaxSea) costs $350.-

cheers,
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Charts outside US are definitely not cheap.

Navionics ENCs are likely the most reasonable solution in terms of price, and they sell for Eu.150 per region at Chartworld. Entire Caribbean is covered by:
1I08009 - Bahamas
1I08010 - Cuba
1I08011 - Jamaica and Haiti
1I08012 - From Puerto Rico to Dominica
1I08013 - From Dominica to Trinidad
1I08014 - Venezuela, ABCs etc
1I08015 - Central America

Getting all of those is indeed expensive. Depending on cruising region, users can pick a few, for a more reasonable price. They are actually less expensive than Navionics "native" packs of the same regions (though Navionics ENCs do not have some of the bells and whistles of native charts).

C-Map and derived charts seem to be more generous with their region designation and pricing. I wish we could offer C-Map support but for now it does not seem to be happening.

There may be another option by UK Admiralty chart service, but I could never figure those guys out If someone does - please let me know.
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Old 21-03-2011, 07:56   #32
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Re: I want to use my Mac Book as a chart plotter

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Navionics ENCs are likely the most reasonable solution in terms of price, and they sell for Eu.150 per region at Chartworld. Entire Caribbean is covered by:
[...]
Getting all of those is indeed expensive.
Looking at the chart portfolio I think you also need to buy separate overview charts. I find it a confusing and very "old-world" style portfolio. They seem to have regions but they have no descriptions nor pictures of area covered.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 21-03-2011, 09:03   #33
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Re: I want to use my Mac Book as a chart plotter

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Looking at the chart portfolio I think you also need to buy separate overview charts. I find it a confusing and very "old-world" style portfolio. They seem to have regions but they have no descriptions nor pictures of area covered.

cheers,
Nick.


There are overviews and images of what's covered on chartworld, that look like this, for example: 1I08012

As you can see, the package includes a small scale general area chart (To be more precise, many smaller cells that link up into a large area. That's the way those Navionics packages are set up)

If I had to guess, it's not so much "old world" as simply that they feel they can get more money by selling charts in smaller regions. You can buy all these smaller regions in "super packs" which include entire Caribbean, Mediterranean etc, but the price isn't much better than when buying them individually.
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Old 21-03-2011, 09:06   #34
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Re: I want to use my Mac Book as a chart plotter

Just as a price comparison you might want to check out the Navionics Gold charts from X-Traverse which work with MacENC ..

Navionics Gold Charts from X-Traverse

These are the fastest rendering charts on Mac OS X.
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Old 21-03-2011, 10:20   #35
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Re: I want to use my Mac Book as a chart plotter

You, guys, definitely have some of the better priced Navionics options I'd love to get X-Traverse support into PolarView (especially since every time I speak to Navionics, that's pretty much the answer they give me ). D-oh.
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Old 21-03-2011, 10:26   #36
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Re: I want to use my Mac Book as a chart plotter

The best chart deals are Navionics on iPad. Either Navionics stand-alone region apps or iNavX using the X-Traverse Navionics Gold charts. A fraction of the cost compared to the PC/Mac/Chart Plotter editions.

Navionics Gold Charts from X-Traverse for iPad/iPhone
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Old 21-03-2011, 17:11   #37
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Re: I want to use my Mac Book as a chart plotter

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If I had to guess, it's not so much "old world" as simply that they feel they can get more money by selling charts in smaller regions.
yep that's what I include under "old world" : the thought that they still can get away with that behaviour. The "new world" is downloading very cheap charts from iTunes app store or at least very good value packs like C-Map is offering. For many, they also have to compete with pirated charts and this "old world" behaviour is what caused the pirated charts so I don't think they will prevail for non-commercial users at least. They better make their switch before they go belly up.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 21-03-2011, 17:31   #38
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Re: I want to use my Mac Book as a chart plotter

They did, just not in the way that helps everyone

Navionics own applications for mobile devices with these same chart regions are sold for $20 or something on that scale. I.e. 10 times less than same charts sold for a 3rd party application.

That's the problem of a vertically integrated market. It's hard to compete with a company that makes both charts and software to use these charts. They have relatively little incentive to offer these charts to a 3rd party (for a reasonable price, anyway)

As an aside, a complete set of S63 official charts covering Caribbean from Haiti down to ABCs comes out to about $300 (for a short update period), which methinks is comparable to C-Map pricing. The problem is - these S63 official charts are not really sold in convenient packages. Obtaining and installing these charts requires a lot of individual downloads, manual unpacking etc - real PIA.

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
yep that's what I include under "old world" : the thought that they still can get away with that behaviour. The "new world" is downloading very cheap charts from iTunes app store or at least very good value packs like C-Map is offering. For many, they also have to compete with pirated charts and this "old world" behaviour is what caused the pirated charts so I don't think they will prevail for non-commercial users at least. They better make their switch before they go belly up.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 26-03-2011, 13:26   #39
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Re: I want to use my Mac Book as a chart plotter

I run Rose Point's Coastal Explorer on two Macs using VMWare's Fusion program. Has worked fine for the last three years. CE is a great program.
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Old 27-03-2011, 03:20   #40
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Re: I want to use my Mac Book as a chart plotter

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I run Rose Point's Coastal Explorer on two Macs using VMWare's Fusion program. Has worked fine for the last three years. CE is a great program.
There are many alternatives when cruising US but what about non US?
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Old 27-03-2011, 06:10   #41
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Re: I want to use my Mac Book as a chart plotter

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There are many alternatives when cruising US but what about non US?
International charts are available for all of the products mentioned.
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:35   #42
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Re: I want to use my Mac Book as a chart plotter

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I don't even know if it is posable, but I can get a USB gps so I think with the right software, it will work. I sure would like to here from you Mac fans out there.
Hi !
There are a lot of experts on tis forum... I am definitely not... Only a user of different Mac for 25 years.... (at 5% maybe of their capacity)...
I have been using a MacBook onboard for 5 years with a USB GPS and GPSNAVx for software and it works without any problem. I can have all the maps of the world (BSB) if I want (just have a lot of friends in different ports).
Why doing it complicate when it can be very simple ?
Apple' s signature is simplicity for the user...
The idea of using Bill Gates'products on a Mac is an heresy
You simply do not need it to have a plotter on a Mac.
I understand, that there are a lot of software more complete than GPSNAVx, but do you really need one of them... ? In that case MacEnc would be the solution...
Of course I still have a fix GPS and paper maps onboard...
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:36   #43
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Re: I want to use my Mac Book as a chart plotter

I'm eight months into this new water life, and maybe two months from my first coastal cruise.

My old monochrome plotter at the helm is no longer viable, so looking into options on the Mac has been a past-time for weeks now. (I also use PC, netbook $300) And I'm lucky in that the free NOAA charts will serve my needs for at least a couple of years as I don't expect to explore the Caribbean for a while.

I have now mounted a 19 inch LED/LCD flat screen on a hinge in the companionway. A new Visio ($200) with a 12v input to the panel. It will be connected a Mac, a PC, and a tv antenna. I also intend to mount a Garmin 76 ($350 with charts) at the helm soon, funds permitting, but wish to have a large screen view available as well mainly because of my eyes. Simply can't afford one of the large screen dedicated plotters. I wish to have redundant displays as well.

I won't be integrating with my old auto pilot. Simply creating routes and using them as a visual reference while underway. I am interested in easy access to weather data and also using Google Earth while underway. Intending to purchase a MiFi type wireless for use along the coast and at the cabin. Just cancelled the Wild Blue disc at my cabin in the woods.

MacENC is stable for me. It seems to be a little harder to see on the non daylight screen (matte finish) to me and costs more than the alternatives. Route management is taking longer to get nailed down as well. This would go away if I would stop going back and forth between the different software. I think it has more functionality than I need at my experience level and desire to keep things as simple as possible.

The beta OpenCPN is stable for me. I like it, and it would be the smart choice since I use the same on the PC. Price is right. Seems a little easier to see on the screen. Waiting for the release version and tides, currents, object data. I am the most familiar with this software than the others so that biases my opinion.

PolarView is stable as well. I really like this software as the graphics are bold. More bold than the others and therefore more easily seen on the screen. (TV is set to "vivid" setting in picture controls) It is by far the best for my old eyes and for viewing at the companionway from the helm. Also scrolls quickly when looking around the chart which I think says something about it's burden on the graphics chip. PolarView will be the first choice to actually spend my money on and the price is very reasonable. I don't think there is a PC version or I would buy it also for simplicity. I'll use it on the Mac and OpenCPN on the PC probably.


By stable, I don't mean perfect, nothing is so. I do mean manageable in that knowing what not to do will provide an acceptable level of reliability and redundancy will provide greater peace of mind. I've never had any hard crash on any of these programs after a few days of use. If a program crashes in the first day of use, I don't get to upset. A month later if it is still crashing then something is not right for sure.

I'll have four sources for a GPS fix, counting the built-in GPS in my handheld. And will have paper charts to record position as I cruise, to see the big picture, and ponder alternate anchorages when needed.

Adding up to about 900-1000 dollars US plus my MacBookPro that seems to be a good bit of functionality for the money.

I know I'm wordy, I apologize. As always your feedback is welcome.
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Old 02-04-2011, 21:19   #44
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Re: I want to use my Mac Book as a chart plotter

Thanks for noticing the display colors. PolarView daytime palette was specifically designed for best visibility on standard monitors in sunlight (indirect sunlight, I might add as very few monitors not so designed can work in direct sunlight). BTW, PolarView colors actually have a bit more contrast if you look through sunglasses with a slightly greenish tint (my own preference ).

PolarView is cross-platform and available for Windows, Mac and Linux. It is substantially the same application on all 3 platforms, with same look, feel, controls etc (except for usual UI/font and other similar items). So, there is definitely a PC version too.

A single activation code will activate PolarView on any supported platform.

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I

PolarView is stable as well. I really like this software as the graphics are bold. More bold than the others and therefore more easily seen on the screen. (TV is set to "vivid" setting in picture controls) It is by far the best for my old eyes and for viewing at the companionway from the helm. Also scrolls quickly when looking around the chart which I think says something about it's burden on the graphics chip. PolarView will be the first choice to actually spend my money on and the price is very reasonable. I don't think there is a PC version or I would buy it also for simplicity. I'll use it on the Mac and OpenCPN on the PC probably.
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Old 02-04-2011, 22:05   #45
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Re: I want to use my Mac Book as a chart plotter

Thanks for that info and the tip about the sunglasses, brak.

I'll be enabling my trial version soon. Great program for a great price. I will still follow the progress of OpenCPN since it's open source but I won't be spending hundreds on nav software thanks to PolarView and the others.

More money for rum, always a good thing for a poor sailor.
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