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Old 15-10-2010, 08:19   #1
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Low Cost Canadian Charts ? Used ?

Anyone have any info on getting CHS charts for the St. Lawrence and the Maritime Provinces? I saw on the CHS website that they want $600 for each CD and I'll need 3 CDs for my trip next year, $1,800.00!!!

I have found that I can get C-Map and other commercial charts that include what I need, but I'll need a different chart plotter for my PC, as the commercial Echarts don't seem to work with OpenCPN.

Please offer any input or ideas on getting Canadian charts, including sources for used paper charts.
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Old 16-10-2010, 05:12   #2
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I just sailed from Lake Ontario to Halifax Nova Scotia and the electronic charts from CHS cost in total ~ $600 CDN. The CDS are about $175 each.

The problem with the CHS charts is they are encrypted and you are only allowed to unencrypt them to 2 computers. After unencrypting they have a .CAP filetype not .KAP. So they can only be read by certain navigation programs that have paid for the rights. Fugawi is one of those programs and CHS list the rest on their website. SeaClear and OpenCPN cannot read these charts so if you may end up paying for one of those navigation programs that can unencrypt them. Really sucks.
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Old 16-10-2010, 07:31   #3
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Cananda charts

Maptech is another company that has rights to the encription. I purchased Maptech Canandian charts about 10 years ago with their program chart navigator. Program is similiar to cpn but does not plot your live location. But for more $$ you can purchase the add in to do this. In all you had about the same price invested of a chart plotter back then. Bad thing is you have to re-purchase charts for updated charts.

Waiting for Canadian Gov to follow rest of world for free e-charts or someone much more smarter than myself to figure out a conversion.

Another thing the team of people that have programed open cpn and continue, deserve a lot of credit !! Great program. Used it last season and it worked flawless. Great job.
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Old 16-10-2010, 09:09   #4
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Try Fugawi.

Fugawi GPS Navigation and Mapping Software Homepage

I find the software to be friendly and able to import a lot of file types including Google Earth which can come in handy on the S. coast of Newfoundland.

I use their software on a PC as a back up to my chart plotter.

The software is reasonable, the carts are also reasonable as I recall.

If you gotta spend the bucks maybe getting a back up system will relieve the sting.
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Old 16-10-2010, 09:17   #5
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Check out Navionics for the Android Phone or iPone. For $12-$20 you get an awful lot.
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Old 16-10-2010, 23:50   #6
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Thank You!

All of the info above is helpful and educational. I welcome more input, but am very thankful for the details above.
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Old 17-10-2010, 04:30   #7
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Hpeer,

On my trip to Nova Scotia I used Fugawi. It was the first navigation program I got many years ago. Unfortunately I don't like it for a lot of reasons. Compared to SealClear and OpenCPN its very hard to enter a route and it seems to have a bug that's been there since I purchased it: Sometimes when it goes from a small scale chart, say 1:75,000, to a large one, say 1:25,000, the route line disappears. Very annoying.

I'd report this problem to them to them but I've reported two other problems and they never fixed them. One was reported at least 7 years ago.

BTW be very careful with their Google Earth interface: If you create a chart from the GE picture, the latitude is off by a few 1000 feet. I reported that to them last year and as far as I know its still not fixed.
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Old 17-10-2010, 08:48   #8
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I have OpenCPN running on my laptop, but am a new user. Did you use OpenCPN for your trip to Nova Scotia? I'm curious how you got your CHS charts of Nova Scotia. Did you cruise using OpenCPN as your chart plotter?
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Old 18-10-2010, 03:27   #9
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SailingKelly, I was the navigator on the trip, my friend the captain bought the CDs online. The CHS site has a dealer locator:

Canadian Hydrographic Service

We had to use Fugawi to read the charts as OpenCPN can't read them. But I did run OpenCPN currently with Fugawi and used the charts that I created from Google earth (using my GE2KAP program) on OpenCPN. I fed both programs with GPS and AIS data from Franson's GPSGate.
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Old 18-10-2010, 06:03   #10
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SailingKelly - In your situation, I'd likely try to get by with CM93 edition 2 charts for OpenCPN, and paper charts purchased along the way. Most Canadian port towns have a chandler who'll have new, and sometimes used, paper charts for everything within a hundred miles or so at detailed scales and the whole region at overview scales.

So far, there doesn't seem to be a concerted effort to convince the Canadian government to offer unencrypted S-57 charts as the NOAA and the Army Corps of Engineers do in the USA. Perhaps there should be?
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Old 18-10-2010, 06:39   #11
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...a concerted effort to convince the Canadian government ...
I know this is verging on the political (and therefore verboten) but convincing the current Canadian government of ANYTHING is almost impossible. Whatever it is, their minds are made up.

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Old 18-10-2010, 10:58   #12
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For my trip I did get a set of 2/3 size paper charts from Cornwall to Anticosti Island at the end of the St. Lawrence from Bellingham:

NIMA Nautical Chart Folio 155 - Canada (DMA/NIMA), St. Lawrence River-Cornwall to Gaspe Passage - 23 Charts | Bellingham Chart Printers

Cost $144 USD.

I wouldn't depend on getting any charts locally after you pass Quebec City. Its very isolated up in the Gaspe area.

One thing I wish we had of got was a cruising guide. One fellow sailor we met had a good one but it was in French. Not sure if there is an English version.

If anyone is interested, I've have our complete track from lake Ontarion to Halifax as a Google Earth KML file. Send me a PM if you want it. Its too big as an attachment.
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Old 18-10-2010, 17:28   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phiggins View Post
Hpeer,

On my trip to Nova Scotia I used Fugawi. It was the first navigation program I got many years ago. Unfortunately I don't like it for a lot of reasons. Compared to SealClear and OpenCPN its very hard to enter a route and it seems to have a bug that's been there since I purchased it: Sometimes when it goes from a small scale chart, say 1:75,000, to a large one, say 1:25,000, the route line disappears. Very annoying.

I'd report this problem to them to them but I've reported two other problems and they never fixed them. One was reported at least 7 years ago.

BTW be very careful with their Google Earth interface: If you create a chart from the GE picture, the latitude is off by a few 1000 feet. I reported that to them last year and as far as I know its still not fixed.
I was gonna use YOUR converter.

BTW, here is an example of the problems you can have even with 'up to date' charts. Fracouis harbor, you can see my track on the right, right through the headlands.
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Old 18-10-2010, 17:40   #14
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I have the same problem. Heading from the South Puget Sound up to Ketchikan next year and the Canadian charts will be absurdly expensive.

The Navionics charts look OK, as do the CM93 charts for that zone.

Right now I'm planning to skip the electronic CHS charts all together and get by on CM93 and paper charts. It's just too expensive.
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Old 19-10-2010, 05:27   #15
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One thing we had that was very handy was the CHS paper chart for the whole region called Catalogue 1 - Atlantic Coast . You can download it as a PDF but much better to have the actual paper chart. It came in handy when we were listening to the VHF weather reports from Environment Canada. They give the weather reports for several areas and use local names which we weren't familiar with so we had to look them up on the chart.

And I have to say that the weather reports from Environment Canada were very accuarate. When we had internet we used the marina forecasts from their site: Weather - Environment Canada and they were right on.
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