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Old 28-07-2010, 11:48   #1
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PC-Based Software for Bahamas

I am looking for a new pc based software navigation program for coastal us and the bahamas and carribean. I understand that the coastal explorer charts are the most accurate in the bahamas. Are there any programs other than maxsea that have the explorer charts? I will be using a Garmin chartplotter with the pc being used as backup and for a second reference. I am considering Rose points coastal explorer or the capn programs.. Thanks
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Old 28-07-2010, 13:26   #2
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Eddie, Coastal Explorer is a software charting program and does not do charts. The software is probably what you are looking for, it is excellent and will take most charts. The charts you may be referring to are Explorer Charts, which are not available for any software at this time that I know of. Explorer charts are available with C-Map chips for chartplotters or in paper form. I don't know if they are preloaded for the Garmin. Chuck
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Old 28-07-2010, 13:32   #3
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Garmin now uses Explorer Charts for the Bahamas.
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Old 28-07-2010, 15:31   #4
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Nobeltec uses CMap explorer charts. There are many, many copies of the old raster Explorer charts out there. Maybe somebody you know has a copy? We use these and they are as accurate as they should be for the Bahamas. By that, I mean they can be used in close quarters and for tight navigation, but you should ALWAYS be using your eyes and intelligence in the Bahamas (yes, everywhere else also, but navigating a lot of the Bahamas is not like the Chesapeake, or even the Eastern Carib).

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Old 28-07-2010, 18:28   #5
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Thanks for the help. Will the older raster charts of the Bahamas run on Coastal Explorer software? I have an old cd from 4 years ago when a friend gave me a copy. Seems like it ran on Offshore Navigator back them. ed
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Old 29-07-2010, 06:47   #6
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Thanks for the help. Will the older raster charts of the Bahamas run on Coastal Explorer software? I have an old cd from 4 years ago when a friend gave me a copy. Seems like it ran on Offshore Navigator back them. ed

Eddie, I personally don't use out of date charts when current ones are available. I think this is a case of penny wise and pound foolish. But if you want to use them, there should be no problem with Coastal Explorer, since they will use about any electronic charts. the folks at Rosepoint are very helpful and will take whatever time you need to be sure and answer any questions, so you might contact them just to be sure. Chuck
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Old 29-07-2010, 07:07   #7
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I agree with Waterwayguy. You will spend around a thousand dollars for insurance on a moderately sized boat in the Bahamas, and hope you will never use. You will use your navigation systems every minute you are sailing; it should be worth at least as much to have current information! Hurricanes, high winds, Government authorities and condo builders are forever re-arranging coasts and channels, markers and obstructions....
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Old 29-07-2010, 07:21   #8
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Thanks for the help. Will the older raster charts of the Bahamas run on Coastal Explorer software? I have an old cd from 4 years ago when a friend gave me a copy. Seems like it ran on Offshore Navigator back them. ed
Yes - I am running coastal explorer with an old set of explorer charts as my backup. Explorer charts on the Garmin are great also - these are my primary ones and we use the PC as backup.
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Old 29-07-2010, 07:59   #9
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We use the older Explorer raster charts with Coastal Explorer. We also have the brand-spanking new paper Explorer charts and can compare them with the older raster charts. For navigation through Bimini/Gun, New Providence, Exumas, Jumentos/Raggeds, Cat, Eluthera and the Abacos, we found no navigational differences between the two. I can't speak for other areas. The new paper charts had better colors and more up to date local information. The Jumentos and Raggeds have not been updated since the older raster versions. I know this to be true because I met the Lewis's down there resurveying the area and they told me it was their first visit down there in 15 years.

I have seen the C-map version of the Explorer charts and they are vectorized and much better looking. But they do not provide any more usable navigational detail than the older raster charts. Any navigational updates they might have regarding shifting banks, etc should only be used as a rough estimate anyway - are you really going to shoot Hog Island Cut with your eyes glued to your plotter? These are the areas you should be navigating by eyeball and brain.

The Lewis's made the decision to not provide general electronic charts to the public and instead to provide them through a specific vendor. That means your choices of navigational software are limited to those the vendors work with. I don't agree with this, but it is their choice.

The out of date argument is specious and only sounds good when not examined. Most charts you use outside of the US are out of date simply because the last surveys were done in a different century. If you go with an electronic charting vendor, you are only up to date when they provide updates to their charts and you buy them again. For some vendors like Nobeltec, you are forbidden to use the continually updated and FREE US vector charts, and instead are forced to buy their outdated versions of the same charts for a whopping amount of money.

So you will NEVER have current charts and continually obtaining the "most" current editions will set you back a lot more than your insurance premiums. Your best bet in the US is to get an electronic charting package that allows you to use the freely available and updated US vector charts. Some of the packages, like Coastal Explorer, even download and install these automatically for you.

While in theory it is a good idea to have up-to-date charts, I just wanted to point out that in practice this isn't possible, and you still have a good option for suitable electronic navigation with Explorer charts without paying a lot of money to completely change your navigation system.

Mark

EDIT: I do not mean to imply that one should rely on their insurance as protection against bad charts. I was only addressing Sandy's comparison.
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Old 29-07-2010, 08:46   #10
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Or use the NOAA charts and OpenCPN?
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Old 04-01-2011, 20:39   #11
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The out of date argument is specious and only sounds good when not examined. Most charts you use outside of the US are out of date simply because the last surveys were done in a different century.
You are quite right. Even US charts are based on old bottom surveys in many cases. The main benefit you get from current US charts is the location of aids to navigation is kept up to date. It's a moot point for US charts because it is so easy (and free) to get the current ones.

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Old 07-01-2011, 09:43   #12
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Check out NavPak by Global navigation Software. It is cheap, fast and stable and will probably read your old charts. Newer vector charts are available at:

4shared - My 4shared - shared folder - free file sharing and storage
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:10   #13
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Here is an interesting alternative, that i have no experience with:

Raster Bahamas Charts | EarthNC

I wonder where they get their data from?

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Old 07-01-2011, 13:45   #14
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Here is an interesting alternative, that i have no experience with:

Raster Bahamas Charts | EarthNC

I wonder where they get their data from?

Chris
It says they are using the waveyline chart data.

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Old 08-01-2011, 05:19   #15
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Hi,

Bahamas layer (Wavey Line) freely displayed on : Marine GeoGarage
and according to the website available on iPad soon.

Cheers.

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