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Old 08-07-2019, 19:08   #1
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What charting systems do you use?

What charting systems do you use (prioritized) and for what locations.

Specifically,
- "charting systems" could include: paper (source i.e Imray, NOAA, etc.) or application name (Navionics, Open CPN) or Chart Plotter (Furuno w CMAP, etc).
- "prioritized" is to offer some indication of what you use most and is (assumed) most reliable or safe. Most-used first.
- "location" is to allow different sets of answers for different parts of the planet (ie Med, NZ, US, FP, West Africa, etc.) if you so choose to go into that level of detail.
- I am intentionally omitting plotting and navigation to keep the question focused, but would assume most-used electronic solutions would favor having quality plotter/navigation incorporated.
- Hoping for a comprehensive list of charts, apps, etc in the process.

Thank you all in advance for the insights.
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Old 09-07-2019, 04:45   #2
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Re: What charting systems do you use?

Furuno MFD with NOAA raster and vector charts (and sat photo and 3D etc.)

Android tablet w/ nav apps
- MX Mariner for NOAA raster charts
- Plan2Nav for C-Map vector charts (probably changing to Embark)
- Transas iSailor with Transas vector charts (discussing a cost issue with Wartilla now; I may dump this one)

Laptop with TimeZero and same charts as Furuno

Reason tablet apps are #3 in the list is because we can have two tablets on the bridge, whereas the laptop runs passively down below in the saloon.

I can split the MFD screen to show both raster and vector simultaneously, different scale for each if useful, etc... but usually we keep raster charts full screen on the MFD, in which case the back-up tablet app at the helm is vector charts. If I change the MFD to vector (rarely), we change the tablet app to raster.

MX Mariner and Plan2Nav are also loaded on our smartphones for another layer of backup if necessary.

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Old 09-07-2019, 04:57   #3
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Re: What charting systems do you use?

My system is simpler than Ranger's, and not so electronically razzle-dazzle. OPN with usually NOAA charts in close, and then whatever paper is the best scale for the larger
task, again, most often NOAA. Sometimes graphpaper scaled in minutes to approximate latitude for plotting lat/lon, but usually every half hour transfer GPS location to the paper chart. A backup GPS, the autopilot, and the AIS all have some nav capabiulity, but so far I have not lost the stuff I usually use.
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Old 09-07-2019, 05:04   #4
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Re: What charting systems do you use?

In order of most use...


1 x Raymarine Axiom Pro 12inch under dodger (cmap)

2 x Ipads with Navionics app + charts

1 x windows laptop with opencpn and Timezero.
2 x Raymarine Axiom Pro 9inch at each helm (cmap)
1 x Raymarine GS195 19 inch at chart table(?) (cmap)


All with Northern Europe/med and soon to have Caribbean charts.
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Old 09-07-2019, 09:11   #5
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Re: What charting systems do you use?

i use open cpn ,also nimble navigator,a navstick you plug into any laptop to turn it into a chart plotter.complete with gps and all world charts and ais.
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Old 09-07-2019, 10:04   #6
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Re: What charting systems do you use?

Garmin chartplotter with latest G3 maps on flybridge.

Backup is Garmin Blue Chart on iPhone.

Second backup is Raymarine chartplotter, also on flybridge.

Paper charts are also on board, downstairs in the office.
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Old 09-07-2019, 10:08   #7
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Re: What charting systems do you use?

Paper charts and if I have a question, I will use electronic as a back up to confirm what I have plotted. For paper, I usually use NOAA although I do use others. If I can get a local chart I will use that to cross check the NOAA or Admiralty charts.


I like the Garmin and Lighthouse charts when using electronic charts.



I have also used old, out of date charts on rare occasion when given to me. What was interesting is that the few I was given were manually updated with notes and corrections. The person who gave them to me now is well over 90 and has been sailing since he was 15. He has forgotten more than I will probably ever know and he is a great teacher. One time we were caught out in fog and he sailed back to port using a whistle for echo location. He beat everyone else including those with radar and chart plotters! Needless to say, I trusted his charts and notes, and above all, his advice, which was to never trust any chart 100%. All charts are rough guides since things can change quickly.
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Old 09-07-2019, 10:33   #8
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Re: What charting systems do you use?

A sextant and the Stars and an old army Compass
And for Back up my finger in the wind and hand in the current
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Old 09-07-2019, 10:55   #9
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Re: What charting systems do you use?

I spent last winter cruising from the head of the Chesapeake to south Florida and throughout the Bahamas and found Transas iSailor on an old iPad to be spot on everywhere I went and all the charts for those regions were less than $60. I like that I can hold the iPad in my hand to avoid glare no matter where the sun is. Mind the battery life in the iPad if you leave it on all day at the brightest setting, I didn't find it to be a deal breaker. Paper charts should always be at the ready and are more useful for passages imho.
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Old 09-07-2019, 11:38   #10
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Re: What charting systems do you use?

A) digital



1) Gps handheld, small lcd screen, GLONASS / GPS. (2x)



One unit is plugged and provides position data to all other devices. Second unit has all the same data preloaded and is 'hot' and sits in the watchman pocket. Can be unplugged and switched any moment - a bare USB puck provides the same data via fall back wire to the devices and wifi net meanwhile.



If you wonder why the handheld is there - it has a wpt / route screen, the usb puck does not.



2) Above position data distributed:


- by wire - to VHF and AIS units,
- by wifi - to all other devices.


3) Phone with data card (grib data). Transfer via wifi BT sd card or cable. The phone has beidou glonass and gps onboard and a small color screen (android device) and thus becomes an emergency position and or plotting device (never needed this far, though).


4) Tablets (android) and netbooks, pos data via wifi (the tablets have internal gps/glonass too. (5x)


The tablets and netbooks get much use inshore and at anchor, but they are almost always off on passages. (As our android phone shows all AIS traffic as well).



5) NV Charts data on tablet and netbooks.


6) qtVlm app on tablets and netbooks.


7) OpenCPN app on tablet and netbooks.


8) zyGrbib and xyGrib on netbooks.


8.5) My own AIS plotter ap on the tablet.



9) NOAA NWS NHC data download via html, while available (or via the phone, close inshore)


19) ssb receiver+netbook - NOAA radiofax data offshore and voice wx data.





B) analog ;-)



1) Paper charts, mostly NV (Caribbean), Admiralty, INT, and few Imrays,



2) Sextant, printed, almanac, etc, mechanical chronometer, etc.


3) NP136 and Pilot Charts.


C)


I long for boat charts, but cannot find them s/h.




As for which gets used when it depends on where we are and what we are doing.


As a general rule, I tend to use electronic aids in dire emergencies, rain, at night and in very tight quarters. I tend to use paper charts / printed books (NP136 etc) and older methods of position finding when planning, or just to keep my skills up to date (e.g. sextant / sun pos plots, DR navigation and transit pilotage).


Cheers,
b.
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Old 09-07-2019, 12:15   #11
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Re: What charting systems do you use?

Coastal digiboat SOB with Cmap charts.

Offshore paper charts, usually either oficial charts for the country I am sailing from/to or whatever I can get!
Backup. Tablet with Cmap Embark
CPN if charts are available which they are usually not.
Prints from Cmap of coastal charts and main ports.
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Old 09-07-2019, 12:21   #12
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Re: What charting systems do you use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chriswheat View Post
I spent last winter cruising from the head of the Chesapeake to south Florida and throughout the Bahamas and found Transas iSailor on an old iPad to be spot on everywhere I went and all the charts for those regions were less than $60. I like that I can hold the iPad in my hand to avoid glare no matter where the sun is. Mind the battery life in the iPad if you leave it on all day at the brightest setting, I didn't find it to be a deal breaker. Paper charts should always be at the ready and are more useful for passages imho.
This is pretty much my system: iSallor with most of the subscription options enabled (for some reason, have had trouble getting AIS to work) on a 6th gen iPad with cellphone so internal GPS; I also have an old backup GPS and I have iNavx on the iPad with NOAA charts. My iPhone has duplicate versions of the programs/charts. I also have paper charts and I like to practice plotting on them. I sail on the Chesapeake, out of Baltimore.
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Old 09-07-2019, 14:09   #13
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Re: What charting systems do you use?

Sailing the English Channel, as far north as Holland and south as Southern Brittany..

Paper backups - passage and coastal charts (UKHO or SHOM) with some harbour plans but mainly relying on the almanac and pilot book for harbour approaches.

Almanac is Reeds, pilot books RCC pilotage foundation and the shell channel pilot, together with a couple of other imray publications.

Electronic: iPads with iSailor hooked by WiFi into the boats instrument systems. iPads and phones also have Imray’s Tides Planner app. PC with Expedition, connected via n2k and B&G h-link to the instruments. Use iPads with rconsole from deck. I use CMap NT max, Visit My Harbour raster (UKHO and SHOM) and NV raster charts with Expedition.
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Old 09-07-2019, 22:23   #14
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Re: What charting systems do you use?

In daily usage in Chile....
Always the appropriate SHOA chart on the chart table.... SHOA 'Chilean Chart Atlas' available.
I have a few BA charts of Chilean waters but they are just copies of the SHOA ones.
Paper copy of Chilean Tide Tables.

Acer Veriton L670G - with W7 - hooked up to a 19 inch screen.

Macbook Pro with VMWareFusion and W7

Both running the old 'burgle brand' CMap operating system along with openCPN. Raster charts - BSB/KAP - and CM93 vector ones.

Ipad Mini and Iphone with iSailor Chilean portfolio. Nice on a sunny afternoon.

Many of the paper charts display an error of several miles esp in longitude if you try and plot a GPS possy on them. The raster chart of the same area will often also be in error as will the vector ones and even the iSailor ones will be out considerably in certain areas. None are immune from error if you want to go plotting GPS fixes. Pilotage is king...

Moving right along... BA planning charts for the South Pacific and Indian Oceans, assorted paper up to Brazil including the FI..... and a full commercial grade folio of BA paper covering from the Baltic via Suez and Singapore to South East Australia... both north and south of the continent.

Oh ... and a workable set of NZ and Polynesian paper.

All driven by about 4 Globalsat BU-353-S4 pucks, sextant, airtables, almanac etc.
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Old 10-07-2019, 00:03   #15
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Re: What charting systems do you use?

Planning and always on chart table: small scale paper charts
Primary: SeaIQ on iPad pro with government raster charts, NZ
Secondary: Navionics chart on Raymarine a9
Tertiary: iPhone with same as primary
There is also an old iPad (GPS) running iSailor that the previous owner left behind but the charting is horrible and I hope never to be desperate enough to use it.

(NZ cat 1 requires backup GPS and second backup GPS or full celestial kit and tables, each device with its own independent GPS source).
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