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View Poll Results: Which digital navigation package do you use?
MaxSea 44 13.66%
Map Tech 31 9.63%
Captn. Jack 1 0.31%
Chersoft 1 0.31%
The Capn 33 10.25%
NaviGator 3 0.93%
Nobeltec 34 10.56%
EasyNav 0 0%
Visual Nav 2 0.62%
Chart View 4 1.24%
Offshore Navigator 19 5.90%
Visual Mariner 1 0.31%
RayTech 15 4.66%
Oziexplorer 7 2.17%
SevenC's 1 0.31%
NavPak Pro 7 2.17%
Raymarine 33 10.25%
SeaPro 3 0.93%
Waterworld 0 0%
I don't use any digital package, just paper charts and sextant or GPS 62 19.25%
C-map 59 18.32%
Fugawi Marine 29 9.01%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 322. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-05-2007, 18:07   #91
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I want to upgrade to a vector based plotter and would like to get my hands on some c-map charts without spending megabucks.
C-Map format was discontinued because for the most part it was easy to copy illegally - so it was. Lots of folks will attempt to sell you copies. It also has not been updated so you'll need to add extra doubt to charts you do find. Copies are plentiful so I wouldn't pay much for them.

Good vector charts are not cheap but then good charts never have been cheap in the past 500 years. Some things don't change all that much. Cheap liquor on the other hand has always been plentiful.

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Old 09-05-2007, 00:43   #92
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Thanks for the reply.
I like my liquor well matured and my charts up to date.
Perhaps someone out there could start a "Napster of Charts" or would that be totally illegal.
The UK government is so tight fisted that it is unlikely to make Admiralty Charts free issue and while tha RYA/Admiralty Chart Plotter is relatively inexpensive (under £50 sterling) you do have to update every year, and they are raster charts.
I guess I'll just have to keep flicking between raster charts with sliver of well matured malt whisky while they load. It could be worse.

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Old 09-05-2007, 01:08   #93
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GPS and compass are mandatory.
If there is a place for a PC, I use SeaClear.
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Old 09-05-2007, 04:00   #94
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Perhaps someone out there could start a "Napster of Charts" or would that be totally illegal.
Afraid it would be. C-Map is discontinued but thee are a lot of copies out there. The copyright issues with Napster would include charts too. The private commercial sources for vector charts now use an encryption system that makes it almost impossible to copy. Raster charts have more ability to be copied.

If you want to save money then you'll need to use a variety of chart types and formats. Some parts of the world are easier to deal with than others. US waters have free BSB (Raster) and ENC (also known as S-57 International Standard Vector format) charts for about every place extending off shore and inland rivers. Canada charges money. British Admiralty charts are the more expensive it won't get any worse that those. They wanted to charge for tide tables too.

You may want to use paper chart books for some places and still other paper sources may be the only choices for where you want to go. There are also a fair number of "Chip " based charts like Garmin and Navonics. The Navonics Gold or higher charts have a lot of extra features such as tide and current as well as facilities but cost more.

You need to start planning based on where you want to go then find the sources that fit what you can afford. There are a lot of choices but at this point there isn't really a one size fits all format for the whole world that is cheap. ENC vector charts are the only international commercial standard for electronic charts, but there isn't a standard for recreational users.
Paul Blais
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37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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Old 09-05-2007, 05:39   #95
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I guess I'll either have to work harder or make do with what I've got. It is a bit of a luxury to watch the scenery go by on a chart plotter. If you'd told me 30 years ago that I'd be able to do that I wouldn't have believed you. Now we watch Alex sailing live in Lanzarote as a though we were watching TV. Beam me up Scottie.
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Old 11-05-2007, 00:55   #96
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In Australia we get charged for charts and tides (and for that matter everything else) $1600 Aus gets you the whole of Australia...which is a lot of trees !! .or $29 for one l gather that they are in the process of changing their charting system at the moment so we will wait and see what the prices will be in the future.
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Old 22-05-2007, 06:57   #97
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FUGAWI MARINE. Free NOAA charts. If data is not on these electronic charts then it's not on the paper's the same data. Other enc charts from many countries are also available for purchase. Works with multiple chart types..BSB, ENC, Geo, softcharts, tiff, even make your own. Means you aren't stuck with a single manufactor charts (high priced and often poor coverage).
Plots grib weather files over the charts. AIS. Easy interface. Palm pilot interface. 3D. Cheap!

When I selected this software I first downloaded as many navigation demo programs as avaialble. Many tie you to a particular electronic chart....a disaster when cruising. Some are so clunky to use (non-intuitive) that they were discarded nearly instantly. No one should have to refer to a manual to do basic routing and navigation. Fugawi is the best cost/performance software available....saves on initial purchase cost then on electronic charts. Only one other navigation package out performed it but the purchase cost was extremely prohibitive.

Anyone guess which program was the best performer?
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Old 03-06-2007, 09:07   #98
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Thumbs up NavPak Pro

I looked at a lot of different charting programs by getting as many demos as i could find. Most had major show stoppers for me. I chose NavPak for a number of reasons. It supports encrypted and not encrypted ENC charts. These are readily available for most of the world, but most outside the US are encrypted. It also supports C-MAP NT & MAX formats on CD or with a chip reader, plus it supports BSB , encrypted and not encrypted, and it has the easiest tools to use for scan your own charts. It never locks-up, the price is cheap, i don't need a multiplexer because it handles 6 ports simultaneously. last but not least,it has a fast zippy feel with super fast screen redraw on all chart types, unlike some of the others that feel so sluggish that they are frustrating to use. Some of the objections i found on the other programs are: needs dongle, slow, expensive, scan charts not accurate, lock up, etc... (use your imagination for all the bad things and you can find a program that does it). NavPak does everything good and always works.
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Old 01-08-2007, 10:57   #99
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Oceantalk to distribute “Fugawi” in Australia & S.E. Asia

Northport Systems Inc has appointed Oceantalk as the exclusive Australian distributor for its Fugawi Software range of marine software products.

Oceantalk (Sydney & Singapore) will distribute and provide marketing and technical support for Fugawi Marine ENC software to the Australian marine electronics dealer network. The company will also distribute Fugawi Marine ENC in South East Asia on a non-exclusive basis via its Singapore office.

In addition to existing support for S-57 and BSB format charts, Fugawi Marine ENC now offers full compatibility with existing Navionics Gold (plus), Gold, Silver, and HotMaps charts. The new functionality allows the use of a PC at the helm or below deck for planning, navigating and monitoring their passage using the identical cartography that they have installed in their Navionics supported chart plotter.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 02-08-2007, 07:13   #100
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I also think Fugawi is great. Their newest release has support for Google Earth which is pretty neat. You can superimpose the Fugawi chart and your track or route onto the google earth map. Also, their AIS presentation has really improved. Probably the best I've seen.

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Old 03-08-2007, 15:43   #101
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We use a pirated copy of Maxsea and CM93 charts (widely available in Cruising community) and a Simrad CE32 plotter (bought secondhand off ebay) using Cmap NT+, do all passage planning on Maxsea (prefer big screen) and transfer waypoints to Plotter, we use a 12 volt fanless Computer, USB GPS mouse, and wireless keyboard/track ball unit,(we have a small online business offering these to cruisers, ARCHER - MARINE) we use 15" LCD TV monitor internally and I am just scourcing a reasonably priced waterproof (IP65 frontface) 8" touchscreen monitor for use outside but until I have used it for a few months it wont be ready for sale as we only sell gear we personally use.
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Old 22-08-2007, 04:52   #102
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I've raised this issue before, but I will again. I would like to hear about how sailors do their passage planning? How many waypoints do they typically "program"?

I have nothing against preparing oneself for a landfall. But I have never found multiple waypoints useful in my 21 years of sailing. I have always had the time to select the next waypoint, enter it and then get on with sailing to it.

What's the deal with your planning?

sv shiva
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Old 22-08-2007, 05:24   #103
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I don't use a lot of waypoint when I am in open water, but I rely heavily on them in harbors, entrances and constricted waterways. I will alway create a plot for an entrance. Gives me a much greater sense of well being and helps me make sense out all the "aids" to navigation.
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Old 08-09-2007, 07:48   #104
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I use a lot of waypoints. I put them next to every obstacle include channel markers. I would create arc's around points
and I would put them a mile or so before islands even if the course was well clear of the island. It's just one more thing to remind you to stay sharp. I always use them in channels. That way if something got really ugly or if the marker was missing I would always be exactly where I thought I was.
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Old 08-09-2007, 19:36   #105
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Before I left Australia sailing back to the USA, I purchased over $1000 in charts for the trip. I always have paper charts to back me up when I sail, just in case there is a computer failure when I am using C-map.

I was a very slow convert to C-map. I first used them in New Caledonia in the South Pacific, and I although I didn't trust them to guide my catamaran, I did use them to orient me to my surroundings. At least I could quickly identify the known dangers in the area. I still relied on my eyes, but C-map acutally made me a more compulsive navigator because I always knew exactly where I was, and I constantly verified my position with my eyes out in the cockpit.

On the two year trip back to the USA, the C-map did an awesome job until we arrived in the Bahamas. It worked well in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Med, and Atlantic Islands. When we were underway, we kept our computer running around the clock monitoring our progress and logging our position on paper each hour.

I am now a believer in electronic navigation, but I don't trust it. I trust my eyes and ears. I only use electronic charts to orient me to my surrounding quicker than I could do with my back up paper charts.

Electronic charts make for a safer voyage, but they are not a replacement for paper charts or eyes and ears.

Dave -Sailing Vessel Exit Only
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