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Old 01-05-2014, 09:38   #1
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Sonar Charts in the Keys

Has anyone tried the Navionics sonar charts in the FL Keys? It looks like a pretty huge difference and available information just by clicking the little sonar icon.

I have used the sonar feature in the Bahamas and it was a huge help! So much more detail makes it easier to get closer to shore (we have a 5'1" draft).

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Old 01-05-2014, 21:36   #2
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Re: Sonar Charts in the Keys

I used Navionics extensively in the Keys over the winter with my 28" draft boat and spent a lot of time gunkholing in marginal waters. I would say generally the sonar charts are very useful. The extra resolution helps in many places, and in some cases the sonar charts correct things that I know from experience to be wrong with the standard charts.

A huge word of caution has to be added though. I've seen a few places where the sonar charts are dangerously misleading. I frequently toggle between the sonar and standard charts and proceed very conservatively in places where there are discrepancies.

The other point is that the more you rely on charts to push the envelope, the more risk you're taking. Use multiple sources of data and don't depend solely on charts.
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:41   #3
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Re: Sonar Charts in the Keys

Thanks for the info. Where in the Keys did you go?
I've heard that you can submit your own sonar data to Navionics to be included in the maps. Have you done this?
Do you use the Navionics chips on a GPS unit or the apps or both?
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:02   #4
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Re: Sonar Charts in the Keys

I just looked it up and found this information about uploading your own sonar data: Navionics - Chart Installer
Looks pretty cool that we can all contribute our own sonar data to be included in the maps.
Has anyone tried this?
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Old 02-05-2014, 21:10   #5
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Sonar Charts in the Keys

I have spend the last 5 winters on my boat in the Keys, pretty much everywhere from the Dry Tortugas to Key Largo.

The concept of user generated (or crowdsourced, I guess you could say) map data is very cool. My sounder isn't networked, so I unfortunately can't participate in generating data.

I use Navionics on an ipad. Except for the challenge of keeping saltwater off the charging cord, I love it.
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Old 03-05-2014, 02:41   #6
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Re: Sonar Charts in the Keys

Quote:
Originally Posted by hogHunter View Post
Has anyone tried the Navionics sonar charts in the FL Keys? It looks like a pretty huge difference and available information just by clicking the little sonar icon.

I have used the sonar feature in the Bahamas and it was a huge help! So much more detail makes it easier to get closer to shore (we have a 5'1" draft).
Beware: The so-called sonar charts are just made up with a math algorithm that draws sounding contours from the sparse existing real soundings. There is no extra information, and the drawn contours may be plainly wrong...
This is different from crowdsourcing...
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Old 07-05-2014, 10:50   #7
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Re: Sonar Charts in the Keys

After contacting a Navionics rep he tells me that anyone using a GPS can save their sonar data and upload to the Navionics charts. Apparently, all the sonar data that is available on Navionics charts is indeed from real users (and sometimes Navionics reps) "mowing the lawn" with their boats, recording data and uploading it to the map. Therefore the data is compiled on real readings, not determined from an algorithm.

Apparently, it is exactly what Robertkwfl said, "crowdsourcing". Too cool!
I'm gonna get in on this when I head down to the Keys.
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Old 07-05-2014, 16:30   #8
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Re: Sonar Charts in the Keys

Sonar charts are available in that God forsaken part of French North Britanny
where a gps would be a rarity, not to mention a laptop on board the little fishing boats patronizing this difficult shore and where 'Navionics' has never been heard of...
I stick to what I've said, and may God have mercy on the gullible, and the Devil take those salesmen...
(see WebApp | Navionics and hit the sonar button)
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Old 07-05-2014, 16:46   #9
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Re: Sonar Charts in the Keys

You may care to look at the result of a math algorithm when it goes awry...
First image in based on the official chart
Second image is the 'sonar' chart
Place is Socoa, close to the French / Spanish atlantic border...
These pics have been published on the major French forum, so Sonar charts are not popular in France right now...
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Old 14-05-2014, 20:50   #10
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Re: Sonar Charts in the Keys

So apparently it's true- data is indeed recorded live by real boaters out there and submitted to make the charts. Raymarine just released their latest software that let's you record sonar from your own boat and the data can be added to Navionics maps.
How to record sonar logs with Raymarine | Navionics

Gotta love technology, man.
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