It's all proprietary. Depends on the charts. Depends on the software
. Depends on the plotter.
If you want to transfer to a plotter, the answer will usually be: Probably not. But if it's one of the rare instances you can, you'll probably have to pay for it.
Pretty much, if you want to use existing and/or free charts, you need a PC setup to use for navigation
. No plotter I am aware of will use the free ENC
charts. And I am also not aware of any plotter that uses raster charts (which includes all BSBs). The plotters all use proprietary charts. And for proprietary charts you need proprietary card readers, cards and software
But, there may be an exception out there I am not aware of..
So, the trade
off is: Convenience, durability, etc. of a chart plotter and be stuck with buying
proprietary charts. Or the complications of a PC (and expense of the display, which may rival or exceed the price
of a plotter), but the possibility of free software and a lot of free charts. And the ability to but charts of different formats.
My choice? Have both. The PC is main, the chartplotter is the backup.
PS The tradeoff section is just touching the issues. There are a lot of tradeoffs and options. I'm sure now that I have answered, others will jump at the chance to tell me where I went wrong.