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Old 03-10-2009, 06:39   #1
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Nobeltec Admiral Max or VNS Max Pro?

The Best of Both Worlds: Nobeltec Navigation Software & C-Map MAX Pro Cartography


The Best of Both Worlds: Nobeltec Navigation Software & C-Map MAX Pro Cartography

Anyone use these programs for navigation?

They are not cheap, and the charts are pricy as well.
Would like to hear pros and cons of this.

Thanks,
Bob
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:47   #2
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We used to use Nobeltec VNS (version 9), but the program was so buggy and the company was so bad to be involved with that we dropped it for Rose Point's Coastal Explorer. Every time Jeppesen would issue an update to fix a bug, they would remove a functionality that previously existed and start charging extra for it. They would do this quietly and you wouldn't know about it until you updated. Some "free" updates they would only send on CD, for which they charged a $25 shipping fee. Then came the dongle requirement with an update. I hate dongles and refuse to have anything to do with them. All of this forced on the consumer when the only thing the consumer wanted was software that worked correctly and didn't crash constantly. I think they lost a lot of customers when they removed the ability to use the free US government vector charts and started charging a lot of money for their own proprietary vector charts (which are based on the US government charts). They said it was for "our safety" because they had no control over the information in the government charts. Nobeltec treats their small boat customers with disdain, and seem to be focused on building their cash cow megayacht business. Anyway, my rant on Nobeltec is now done...

When I left Nobeltec, I wandered around the nav software universe with Maxsea, Capn, MacENC and MacGPX until I stumbled upon Coastal Explorer. This program for us is everything we were looking for and made for small boats with small computers. The only complaint I have is that the chart management functions are a bit odd and non-intuitive (not the chart displaying, but the part where you look at what charts are loaded, where they are stored, turning them on/off, etc).

Maxsea is by far the most powerful package out there, but it assumes you have a glass bridge deckhouse setup with giant touchscreens and satellite connections, etc. It is really made for commercial shipping and its options and capabilities are outstanding. It is just difficult to learn and hard to use while underway.

The Capn is way long in the tooth. Like going back to the early days. It works, but doesn't handle AIS well, has funky chart quilting and displaying, etc.

MacENC and MacGPX are great (if you have a Mac), but a bit young. They are coming up fast, though and capabilities and bug fixes seem to be added in almost real-time.

I almost forgot: you asked about any Nobeltec pros. Nobeltec has the best tides and currents prediction and display capability of them all (at least in the US).

Mark
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:23   #3
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Great post Mark.

I am using an older version of Nobeltec, their Visual Navigation Suite. I am very happy with it. It was written before Jeppesen bought out the company. What I really like is the ease of use combined with all the features. Another plus is that the vector charts look very much like original NOAA charts and are not cartoonish looking or missing information found on NOAA charts. The only real downside is that the software is not supported any longer but I have not needed their support because it has been trouble free. Picking up the older version might be worthwhile.

I agree that the tides and currents are excellent in their presentation and accuracy.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:35   #4
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Yes, I "upgraded" from an older working version to v9 when they offered me a special deal. Little did I know that it would be a deal with the devil...

Mark
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:35   #5
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Thanks for taking the time for that reply Mark. Just what I was looking for.
Bob
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:56   #6
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MaxSea buys Nobeltec

BTW: Nobeltec now owned by MaxSea.

barnie
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:04   #7
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So Jeppesen sold it or was there a merger or acquisition of some sort where Jeppesen is still involved? Personally, I hope Jeppesen is completely out because I am considering purchasing Nobeltec Admiral as well.
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Old 03-10-2009, 17:12   #8
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I believe Furuno is going to use some of Nobeltec (skills/market share/patents/???) towards their goals. Too early to see a more clear picture. Who knows, maybe they bought them out just to clear the field.

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Old 03-10-2009, 20:01   #9
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Hmmm. I'm not fond at all of Furuno vector charts. I hope they do not mess up a good thing. They are way too cartoonish and lacking details. I have both onboard and almost never use the Furuno charts because of those characteristics.
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:40   #10
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With vectors the chart is more a database than graphics - perhaps Furuno will use some presentation tools from Nobeltec to improve their vecs?

We wait and see.

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Old 04-10-2009, 19:59   #11
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I have had a similar experience with Nobeltec/Jeppeson as colemj.

However, I haven't had any crashes at all. I love it. It is very powerful and easy to use. I like being able to transparently overlay a chart over a satellite photo. That is, until my last "free" upgrade where they removed support for raster charts unless you pay extra.

I have the latest Admiral Max Pro. If after the above comments, you still want it, I might sell it. I checked with Jeppeson, and it is totally transferable. Includes East coast from about Norfolk down to the Bahamas and all of Florida. I'm thinking of e-baying it.

BTW: I think the connection with Maxsea and Jeppeson is that Boeing owns them both. That's why Nobeltec switched to C-map charts.

I wouldn't know what to suggest, otherwise. I have been involved with OpenCPN and it's coming along. Still missing some important (to me) features like chart quilting, but features are being added almost daily. And it's free! Supports BSB, ENC and CM93 charts.

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Old 04-10-2009, 20:06   #12
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After all the info presented, I think I will pass on this program, especially how expensive they are charging for it.
Opencpn I have only used on my home pc but didn't like the feel of it.
I downloaded seaclear but have yet to try it out.
Coastal explorer looks promising. I will have to download the demo and see.
One thing I didn't like about max pro is there is no download to check it out. That speaks volumes IMO.
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Old 05-04-2012, 17:56   #13
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Re: Nobeltec Admiral Max or VNS Max Pro?

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
We used to use Nobeltec VNS (version 9), but the program was so buggy and the company was so bad to be involved with that we dropped it for Rose Point's Coastal Explorer. Every time Jeppesen would issue an update to fix a bug, they would remove a functionality that previously existed and start charging extra for it. They would do this quietly and you wouldn't know about it until you updated. Some "free" updates they would only send on CD, for which they charged a $25 shipping fee. Then came the dongle requirement with an update. I hate dongles and refuse to have anything to do with them. All of this forced on the consumer when the only thing the consumer wanted was software that worked correctly and didn't crash constantly. I think they lost a lot of customers when they removed the ability to use the free US government vector charts and started charging a lot of money for their own proprietary vector charts (which are based on the US government charts). They said it was for "our safety" because they had no control over the information in the government charts. Nobeltec treats their small boat customers with disdain, and seem to be focused on building their cash cow megayacht business. Anyway, my rant on Nobeltec is now done...

When I left Nobeltec, I wandered around the nav software universe with Maxsea, Capn, MacENC and MacGPX until I stumbled upon Coastal Explorer. This program for us is everything we were looking for and made for small boats with small computers. The only complaint I have is that the chart management functions are a bit odd and non-intuitive (not the chart displaying, but the part where you look at what charts are loaded, where they are stored, turning them on/off, etc).

Maxsea is by far the most powerful package out there, but it assumes you have a glass bridge deckhouse setup with giant touchscreens and satellite connections, etc. It is really made for commercial shipping and its options and capabilities are outstanding. It is just difficult to learn and hard to use while underway.

The Capn is way long in the tooth. Like going back to the early days. It works, but doesn't handle AIS well, has funky chart quilting and displaying, etc.

MacENC and MacGPX are great (if you have a Mac), but a bit young. They are coming up fast, though and capabilities and bug fixes seem to be added in almost real-time.

I almost forgot: you asked about any Nobeltec pros. Nobeltec has the best tides and currents prediction and display capability of them all (at least in the US).

Mark
Hi there,

Nobeltec VNS and Max Pro Charts. Here is my little story. If anyone wants to buy either product.

I started with Nobeltec VNS 10.7 and Max Pro24 charts for Puget Sound & Vancouver Island about 2 years ago.

Max Pro24 was missing Patricia Bay, near Sidney, BC and had many other errors. I upgraded to charts 26 & 27. I now have Patricia Bay but numerous Island are sliced and have positional errors of about 100 yards in places. Depending which side of the slice you use the same position is 100 yards different. I find many other errors, do I dare use them?

Nobeltec manual has a heading: " Power of Max Pro Charts " How can charts so full of errors have any power? The underlying Canadian Govt charts do not have any of these errors.

Nobeltec has a " Route Wizard ". Any and every time I try to use this, I collide with a nearby Island. Could this be why these Islands are sliced?

Compare this to a much cheaper Garmin chartplotter I purchased with Garmin Bluecharts G2 Vision for the same area.

I am still trying to find any errors with these charts and they have their own form of route wizard which Garmin calls Auto-guidance. With almost no practice, just watched a little you tube video, Garmin gets me there while going around more than 1 island. Google maps gets me places for free and accurately.

Nobeltec support suggests I buy the newest 27 charts while Nobeltec sales tells me they are phasing out VNS.

Sales now recommends their new Trident product. Fat chance, I ...... Can not use what I have.

Jeppesen got my input but seem to be ignoring these reported errors, as they wait for me to disappear. I have a few chart images which do not look impressive.

An online blogger has problems with Nobeltec and does not see see much value and I do understand.

As for me, because I bought the Garmin, I can clearly say: I have zero value with Nobeltec & Max Pro charts.

Happy sailing.


Keola,
Vancouver Island, Canada
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Old 05-04-2012, 18:50   #14
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Re: Nobeltec Admiral Max or VNS Max Pro?

Connies been useing the Capt program for about 16 yrs with all the updates, of course there are mistakes in some of the charting there is on Paper charts also cus electronic charts used on the capt are regular charts digitalized. if you depend on electronics for everything and don't have proper paper charts to back them up you WILL Have trouble sometime !! no charts are perfect altho the Canadian charts are pretty good LOL But remember your eyes and paper are the answer to any mistakes either plotter or paper! you wouldend go to sea blind and not having back up charts is to me being blind !! just an old guys 2 cents
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Old 05-04-2012, 19:24   #15
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Re: Nobeltec Admiral Max or VNS Max Pro?

i used to be a nobeltic nerd and lover of the program. There program got so full of bugs when you updated it and there customer service got worse. FFFFFFFFF Nobeltic. Left them and went to coastal Explorer and have not had any problems. JFYI I started with Nobeltic 4.0 and went all the way to the passport charts in 07,,,,then got ride of them. I will never buy another nobeltic program again. They always say buy the upgrade,,,why not just fix the program instead of trying to keep selling you something.

Here is a real story about there customer service. WHen windows 2000 came out Nobeltic customer service told me it would not work on windows 2000. I told them that I have been using it for 6 months on the windows 2000 operation system. There reply was Well good for you. Lots of people are using it we just do not support it. I asked them why they told me it would not work and they hung up the phone on me. The only problem was when you started the computer with the GPS hooked up the mouse would go crazy. Nobeltic finally came out with a fix for that problem and it was a free download. Why try to sell you an upgrade when the program worked fine on windows 2000. There customer service was the worst. all about selling you an upgrade
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