Hi Everyone, well I will soon leave Australia
to travel the global oceans and I am not sure which basic electronic chart system to use. I am leaning towards Rastar based charts
because I have read a number of reports of blatant errors on electronic charts
. Not to mention the high cost of having to buy the charts for systems such as Navionics
and not being able to copy and use others SD or CF cards. I saw a comparison on iYachtua site (some Ukrainian guy) showing actual screen
shots from Rastar charts and ENC
and the ENC was missing some important depth
contours and other data! I did already buy a RC435 chartplotter
but when i found it came with a totally useless world chart and that i had to buy new charts and could not buy others used ones i lost
interest in it.
I will be travelling for a number of years on low budget
. I am confused by the array of options each seeming to have their advocators. I like SOB which uses C-map
but again i must buy the C-map
official charts. Anyone know if i can buy or copy other peoples C-map NT charts and use it with SOB? But again SOB is a commercial
ENC chart system and I am inclined to think: hell forget about nice colourful electronic system with features and stick to something basic made from and depicting the same as paper charts that I already use. But which ones: SeaClear? MaxSea
? Seafarer RNC? and so many more that use ECDIS or ARCS/NOAA charts.
Boatbooks (Sydney) recommend Seafarer RNC but the charts for this sytem are so expensive eg $1622 plus $540 for annual update (doubt I will update anyway). Most C-map area charts are $300-400. I have considered C-map CM83 Vector charts (will they work with SOB - I fear not). I already own some old cm83 vector charts on a CD. I read that you can make your own Rastar charts but it is not easy and I would prefer to use a tried and tested range of Rastar charts.
I will of course have paper charts aboard but as I will spend most time in reef waters an accurate GPS
electronic system will be my saviour as well as, of course, a good lookout from aloft. But I have sailed reef waters before and sometimes you do what you say you will not do and you arrive outside the ideal coral
viewing times or the wind
chop affects your ability to see coral
clearly or a rain squall hits just as you enter a tricky reef pass.
I think the best way to go is a system that allows use of Rastar charts and Vector charts and maybe get a small iphone
or similar and run iNavX
if and when i feel i need it but then that is a Mac product and I have two PC's aboard which will be used as chartplotters. I have heard that there is a PC based Tablet Notebook due out soon by HP in competition with iPad
and this could be handy but HP are stalling as at yet it does not work well with Windows programmes. Why am I mentioning this? Well because it could be handy to have a Tablet Pc on my lap or under the dodger
when piloting and it would be good to have something like that if it will run anything that I end up buying
for the notebooks downstairs.
Anyone like to recommend the best Rastar software
to get and the best and cheapest and most reliable Rastar chart supply or ENC supply? and ones that will accept radar
Does ARCS cover the world and where is the cheapest source of these charts. Does the American NOAA only cover North and South America
and the Carribbean or do they cover other parts
of the world too? Are NOAA charts free? My planned route
is Oz to West Pacific islands to SE Asia
to Indian ocean
to Meditterranean and then across the Atlantic but could easily change at anytime due to seasons and winds.
Whilst I have your attention I also need to replace my house battery
bank and am considering 4 x 200amp Golf cart batteries. I have read the many posts in the battery
section and I see a mixed bag of ideas with some saying only go for AGM
which will last longer, cannot leak but need good battery monitoring and others say they have Golfcart batteries (GCs)which are wetcell and can vent and leak. From what I read AGM
can vent too if overcharged (accidentally) and then they cannot be topped up. Those of you (seems to be the majority) who have GCs what do you do to vent the batteries area? and do you worry about rolling the boat and spilling the acid? Mine are located under the dinette in the pilothouse. AGM are very expensive and if my system overcharges them they could be stuffed in a jiffy - what a waste of money
then! If I pay for AGM then I also have to pay for a more expensive charger
. I plan to spend only a little time on marinas
during my voyage so will be relying on Solar