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Old 08-05-2010, 12:56   #1
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MaxSea Time Zero Navigator

I've bought a new Windows 7 PC and think I'll upgrade the chart program (currently Sea Clear). I'm confused about what's in Maxsea Time Zero Navigator. It's $384 at Defender. I use Garmin (e.g. not Furuno) chartplotters so I won't have any Furuno functionality.

-- Does this version have AIS display? or is it an option (I currently display AIS in Seaclear). I have USB data input from both NMEA 2000 and NMEA 1803

-- Will it show wind speed direction?

-- I assume that I can load free raster charts (all I really want).

-- Is there some "gotcha" with this pretty low price?

It seems my other option in this price range is Coastal Explorer. Is this a better choice?

Any other thoughts on the choice? I hope it's not like anchors. On second thought - should my laptop have a roll bar?

Carl
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Old 08-05-2010, 14:48   #2
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I've bought a new Windows 7 PC and think I'll upgrade the chart program (currently Sea Clear). I'm confused about what's in Maxsea Time Zero Navigator. It's $384 at Defender. I use Garmin (e.g. not Furuno) chartplotters so I won't have any Furuno functionality.
I'm quite involved with the product and have been using and testing new versions for a few months now. This next version being released now (you might want to wait for it) has full support for all ActiveCaptain data.

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Does this version have AIS display? or is it an option (I currently display AIS in Seaclear). I have USB data input from both NMEA 2000 and NMEA 1803
AIS is supported with the standard version - nothing extra to purchase. There's an option for online AIS support (grabbing AIS target info from the internet) but I haven't tried that.

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Will it show wind speed direction?
Absolutely. There are some nice instrument displays that can be configured and quickly opened and closed as a set. It's quite well done.

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I assume that I can load free raster charts (all I really want).
All of the NOAA raster charts and NOAA vector charts come with the product. The magic of their incredible performance (you've never seen anything like zooming and panning like this anywhere on any platform) comes from their packaging of charts in their own special format. They have a history of providing updates to the charts and have support for all international areas. They have a large collection of raster charts for international use but they also license and repackage any C-Map region and can provide that for international use.

It should be noted that all Furuno high-end chartplotters use this same chart format so it's kept very up-to-date.

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Is there some "gotcha" with this pretty low price?
$300+ isn't an inexpensive software product today. It's definitely a full-featured product.

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It seems my other option in this price range is Coastal Explorer. Is this a better choice?
That is a very difficult question. We're testers for CE also because they also have full support for ActiveCaptain now.

We're at a great time where there are such excellent products available for use. Here are a couple of points as I see it today:

- MSTZ has unbelievable performance.

- CE is super reliable.

- MSTZ has some very nice features that you don't expect in a product like this - full 3D support (if you're into that), photofusion with satellite imagery, polar data collection and analysis (I'm pretty sure that's in the standard program).

- CE allows you to use any BSB or S-57 data. Support for all inland rivers from the Army Corps of Engineers is free. MSTZ has an inland rivers region but it costs extra.


It's really a very difficult decision. MSTZ is the new guy on the block although MaxSea has been around longer than almost any other software navigation company. There is real commitment and money behind them - Furuno owns 49% of the parent company and the parent company is the one who recently purchased Nobeltec.

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Any other thoughts on the choice? I hope it's not like anchors. On second thought - should my laptop have a roll bar?
A couple of important things you didn't ask about...

Both products allow you to install the software on multiple computers. This is important if you're heading offshore and want a backup because, let's face it, Windows and PC's fail at times.

Both products have a way to return the product within 30 days (not sure if Defender supports this). Bottom line - you can't make a terrible decision that can't be mostly undone.

Both products have full autopilot support, Panoramio support (overlaid pictures with internet connection), offline ActiveCaptain support (my favorite ), unlimited waypoints, routes, tracks, etc.

Neither product requires any type of dongle or special hardware key in order for it to be used. Those are notorious for having problems.

My recommendation goes to both products.
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Old 08-05-2010, 14:56   #3
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Is there some "gotcha" with this pretty low price?
Sounds expensive to me.. The only feature you can't get on free software such as Seaclear or Opencpn would be the activecaptain integration..?

How about: Find appropriate free packages, invest $384 in a couple of crates of lager or any other toy for your boat.
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Old 08-05-2010, 15:47   #4
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Give OpenCPN a try, it's the best upgrade path from SeaClear, and won't cost you a dime...

I don't know anything about newer versions of maxsea, but in previous versions you had to pay additional money to get all the different modules...

At any rate, make sure you make an informed decision based on all products available, since of course vendors will steer you towards what puts money in their pockets!
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Old 08-05-2010, 16:12   #5
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I actually strongly agree - download Opencpn and give it a whirl. If it does everything you need, save your money and use it. Make sure to load it up in a realistic way so you can really see how it will work in a normal cruising environment with all of the charts you'll have loaded. Also make sure it supports any autopilot, weather integration, guidebook, AIS, etc. features that you're looking for. There is absolutely no reason to pay for software unless you need it.

MaxSea Time Zero is a total re-write from the previous MaxSea packages. There are not a lot of modules - there are a couple (high end routing and racing) - but you don't need any of them to do the things you said you wanted to do. Don't get confused about MaxSea Time Zero from people who have used previous versions of "MaxSea". It's something completely different now. No modules and no dongle.
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Old 08-05-2010, 19:10   #6
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Don't get confused about MaxSea Time Zero from people who have used previous versions of "MaxSea". It's something completely different now. No modules and no dongle.
Thanks for setting me straight, I was unaware that it was a completely new and different product.
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Old 08-05-2010, 19:17   #7
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Thanks for setting me straight, I was unaware that it was a completely new and different product.
I didn't mean to jump on your comment. It's a common confusing point from their other products with a similar name.
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Old 08-05-2010, 20:13   #8
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Thanks for all the help. My comment about low price was in relation to the older versions of MaxSea that always were well above $1000 by the time you added options. It was part of my confusion about Time Zero.

I had downloaded an earlier version of OpenCPN but ran into some bugs - or it may just have been my old PC. I'll give the newer version another try.

I've really been pretty happy with SeaClear - but somehow a brand new laptop get's one wondering if there's a prettier girl who would like to take a spin. I should know better

And all the advice didn't really help. Several good choices - no clear winner - and a new version of MaxSea coming. It makes it so easy to procrastinate.

Carl
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Old 17-05-2010, 15:12   #9
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I'm using MaxSea 12.5 and have seen the fantastic performance of Time Zero. It's good to see that it's OK with W7 and I like the fact that it's now dongle-less. I also hear that the upgrade isn't too steep.

Do you know if it'll work on a Mac running Parallels/W7 or Bootcamp/W7?

Also, can I import waypoints and routes from the "old" MaxSea to the new version?

Sorry to hijack the thread but there's been a lot of confusion about Time Zero.
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Old 17-05-2010, 15:25   #10
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Do you know if it'll work on a Mac running Parallels/W7 or Bootcamp/W7?
I'm told it will work with both. The product manager for the product uses a Mac himself and as you know, MaxSea used to have native Mac support. I've only heard that it works but haven't tried it myself.

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Also, can I import waypoints and routes from the "old" MaxSea to the new version?
There are a variety of import/export support formats. It wouldn't be a problem moving waypoints and routes.
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Old 17-05-2010, 15:50   #11
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I can confirm that Maxsea TZ runs perfectly in Bootcamp (and so it should, considering it's a native Windows install on an Intel computer). VMware Fusion also works perfectly from a functionality standpoint, but the performance (graphics) took a noticeable hit, even with DirectX 9 graphics support enabled in the VM. It wasn't nearly as smooth. Testing was on a new Macbook Pro 17". I would guess that results with Parallels would be similar.

Maxsea TZ will also run surprisingly well on low-end hardware, like an older Macbook we tried that only had integrated Intel graphics (Windows 7).

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Old 17-05-2010, 17:00   #12
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I noticed that 'Polar Navy' is priced at $45.00 plus $10.00 for each copy you want to install. It doesn't have all the bangs and whistles of MSTM but it's a lot cheaper. Hard to beat OpenCPN though

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Old 17-05-2010, 17:39   #13
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I noticed that 'Polar Navy' is priced at $45.00 plus $10.00 for each copy you want to install. It doesn't have all the bangs and whistles of MSTM but it's a lot cheaper. Hard to beat OpenCPN though

P.
Actually PolarView NS begins at $33 right now. That said, we'd like to beat other products on functionality and quality - not price.

To that end, an old joke (about marine anything, but software in particular):
- Farmer is standing at the market, selling a watermelon. Price tag reads $1000. A man comes by and asks:
M: Why is the price so high? Is this watermelon particularly special?
F: No, not really special in any way.
M: So why is it so expensive?
F: Well, sir, I *really* need the money.
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Old 18-05-2010, 09:51   #14
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Thanks for the Mac confirmation. I've got an older MBP 17" dual-core Intel so that solves the computer problem.
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Old 18-05-2010, 11:08   #15
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I upgraded tp time zero before returning north. Worked very well for routing to Bermuda from Tortola. If you have AIS and roting modules on your current version - you will get the same modules on the upgrade. Buy the upgrade version from Defender - $200+. I bought the charts for the Caribbean. The 3-D pictures superimposed on the charts are fun but not of much real use.
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