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Old 27-01-2014, 20:03   #1
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Precision of Navionics charts

We are looking at changing our chartplotter and have reduced our choice to Simrad or Furuno.

During our search we came across some questions about the accuracy of the navionics charts in the Caribeans and more specifically in the Bahamas.
Where Simrad is limited to only Navionics, Furuno is compatible to both charts.

Our current plan is to cruise the Carribeans and potentially the Mediterranean in the future.

Have you notice any differences between the two sources for these areas?
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Old 28-01-2014, 19:49   #2
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Re: Precision of Navionics charts

The standard in the Bahamas is the Explorer Charts. They license their charts to some electronic companies, but not to Navionics. Sorry, I don't know which ones they do license to.
Visit their website, they're very helpful.
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Old 28-01-2014, 19:55   #3
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Re: Precision of Navionics charts

Navionics have the worst Bahamian electronic charts. Get Garmin or C-Map. They use Explorer data. Navionics claim they have their own data. It's crap. Many geo-referencing errors. I corresponded extensively with them. They claim they have "new" charts but refused to answer specific questions whether the errors I had pointed out were corrected. In fact later versions of their charts were worse than earlier ones as they had to remove proprietary data they had "borrowed". For the Bahamas stay away from Navionics.

We all know not to rely solely on electronic charts, a couple of years ago an experienced sailor wrecked his expensive cat attempting to enter Georgetown using Navionics charts.

If you do go with Navionics I have their "best" chip of the Bahamas with the "borrowed" proprietary data and also lots of errors. A CF card for sale cheap.
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Old 29-01-2014, 05:28   #4
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Re: Precision of Navionics charts

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Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
If you do go with Navionics I have their "best" chip of the Bahamas with the "borrowed" proprietary data and also lots of errors. A CF card for sale cheap.
Vasco, I have the Navionics charts (and highly perturbed to hear of these limitations), but I didn't understand your last sentences. I do plan to also carry paper charts when cruising to the Bahamas, but could you elaborate on supplemental electronic fixes (Raymarine e-series), if that's what you meant? A CF card?
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Old 29-01-2014, 05:44   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claude Bilodeau View Post
We are looking at changing our chartplotter and have reduced our choice to Simrad or Furuno.

During our search we came across some questions about the accuracy of the navionics charts in the Caribeans and more specifically in the Bahamas.
Where Simrad is limited to only Navionics, Furuno is compatible to both charts.

Our current plan is to cruise the Carribeans and potentially the Mediterranean in the future.

Have you notice any differences between the two sources for these areas?
Check the Explorer Charts website. Horror stories every year from sailors relying on Navionics Charts. Invest in the Explorer Chartbooks and use their waypoints. Very reliable.
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Old 29-01-2014, 06:02   #6
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Re: Precision of Navionics charts

I add yet another voice to decry the accuracy of navonics charts for the Bahamas, and add that the are no better for other areas I have cruised.

I bought the "Platnum" chip for the Carib, and used it to sail to the VIs last year. No real value added, the satellite overlays are hard to read and obscure navigational data you need when underway. Unless you are a sport sfisherman the Platnum charts are a waste of money.

The "gold" charts for the Bahamas (included in the North America chip) are at best vague, at worst show good water where there is none.

Garmin offers the explorer chart data, this is accurate because Sara and Monte actually cruse aboard and personally survey and revisit problem areas on a regular basis.

Having navonics, I use my ipad in problem areas with the Garmin app... It is absurd that with an expensive chart plotter and expensive chip I have to coordinate with the $29 chart and free app.... Of course, I have the explorer chart books on hand while I am underway anyway....
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Old 29-01-2014, 06:05   #7
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The latest range of simrad MFDs can use insight C-map and navionics charts


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Old 29-01-2014, 06:09   #8
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Re: Precision of Navionics charts

In the bahamas I always use a pc based application like OpenCpn or nobletec along with wavy line, and explorer charts. I get every format of chart available and refer to all of them. You can plot a course on one chart, then load the others and verify that they all are in agreement as to obstructions, depth, etc.
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Old 29-01-2014, 06:26   #9
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Re: Precision of Navionics charts

Agree that the Explorer Charts are the ONLY thing to rely on in the Bahamas, other than your eyes. We have the latest Navionics too, but if we had used them exclusively, we would have sailed right thru the middle of some islands.
There is no substitute for VPR (Visual Piloting Rules)
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Old 29-01-2014, 08:29   #10
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Re: Precision of Navionics charts

In the Western Carib, we are finding Navionics more accurate and better coverage than CMap - where whole areas of common cruising grounds are simply blank.

We have a Furuno CP that takes both. All current Simrad CP's also take both types of charts.

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Old 29-01-2014, 08:35   #11
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Re: Precision of Navionics charts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flem.S.Coyle View Post
Vasco, I have the Navionics charts (and highly perturbed to hear of these limitations), but I didn't understand your last sentences. I do plan to also carry paper charts when cruising to the Bahamas, but could you elaborate on supplemental electronic fixes (Raymarine e-series), if that's what you meant? A CF card?
It's a compact flash Navionics (gold if I remember right)card used on older (10 years) model Raymarine C series chart plotters.


I do not rely on Navionics in the Bahamas although I unfortunately have a Raymarine plotter and have to have their card. I enter all my waypoints from Explorer charts. I build my routes from these waypoints. Having had Navionics for ten years in the Bahamas I now have a pretty good idea where they are useless. When you anchor on the Banks side in the Exumas and the plotter shows you in Exuma sound or when you follow a track and it might take you right over a large cay if you're foolish enough to believe the electronic chart and not your eyes you'll soon come to the conclusion that it's crap!
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Old 29-01-2014, 12:53   #12
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Re: Precision of Navionics charts

Okay, thanks. I'd considered a software upgrade (to the Navionics platinum, I believe, or whatever the next step up), but I think you've effectively scared me away.

Think I'll lean toward the Explorer Chartbooks, and integrate waypoints as advised. Much obliged, sirs.
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Old 29-01-2014, 15:16   #13
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Re: Precision of Navionics charts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Claude Bilodeau View Post
We are looking at changing our chartplotter and have reduced our choice to Simrad or Furuno.

During our search we came across some questions about the accuracy of the navionics charts in the Caribeans and more specifically in the Bahamas.
Where Simrad is limited to only Navionics, Furuno is compatible to both charts.

Our current plan is to cruise the Carribeans and potentially the Mediterranean in the future.

Have you notice any differences between the two sources for these areas?

Can't speak to Simrad or Navionics, but I can say the Furuno NN3D system we have works well and it can use both raster and vector charts... and I appreciate that, since we use both. And then the vector charts can be either NOAA, or at slightly extra cost C-Map or Navionics.

FWIW, we also use MaxSea on a laptop (same charts), and we also use Plan2Nav (C-Map vector charts) and MX Mariner (NOAA raster charts, in the US) on the tablets for additional backup.

I have heard C-Map vector charts include Explorer Chart data, but I don't know that for a fact.

-Chris
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Old 29-01-2014, 15:56   #14
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Re: Precision of Navionics charts

In Med. generally the Navionics (Gold) is quite accurate. Nevertheless there are some places, where You can find Your boat parked on the quay accirding to ploter. I didn't notice the differences of more then about 20 - 25 metres. It is not so bad, as data for Eastern Med. is 200 years old in places.
By the way, I really can not understand, why the old inacuracies on nautical maps are not corrected nowadays using satellite images..?..
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