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Old 14-10-2014, 16:02   #1
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Digital charts for Central America?

I like the reliability of paper and the convenience of electronic charts. However, I have not been able to source electronic charts for Central America and the western Caribbean. Anybody done this? Thanks.
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Old 14-10-2014, 16:11   #2
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Re: Digital charts for Central America?

Depending on what chartplotter do you have on board, it is not hard to find. Some are cheaper than others, especially if the chart is used by iDevice type.
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Old 14-10-2014, 16:13   #3
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Re: Digital charts for Central America?

Depending on where you are going, they aren't too accurate. We have Navionics and Cmap for the Caribbean and can say that the guide books for Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras are much, much better. Spend the bucks on those before you buy electronic charts.

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Old 14-10-2014, 16:43   #4
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Re: Digital charts for Central America?

We use CMAP. Sometimes they are pretty close often not. You can't trust them. As mentioned, guide books are better.
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Old 14-10-2014, 17:57   #5
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Re: Digital charts for Central America?

Quote:
Originally Posted by funjohnson View Post
Depending on where you are going, they aren't too accurate. We have Navionics and Cmap for the Caribbean and can say that the guide books for Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras are much, much better. Spend the bucks on those before you buy electronic charts.

Matt
This is your best advice.

I will add Panama to the above.

Mark
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Old 15-10-2014, 13:29   #6
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Re: Digital charts for Central America?

We have used Navionics throughout all the above mentioned places with no problems and very reliable accuracy (even in an iPad)
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Old 15-10-2014, 23:30   #7
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Re: Digital charts for Central America?

Hola, Not to sound totally dumb, where do I get guide books from? Thanks a lot guys
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Old 16-10-2014, 05:50   #8
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Re: Digital charts for Central America?

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Hola, Not to sound totally dumb, where do I get guide books from? Thanks a lot guys
Amazon, Bluewater Books & Charts, Landfall, Defender, West Marine....
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Old 16-10-2014, 06:19   #9
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Re: Digital charts for Central America?

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This is your best advice.

I will add Panama to the above.

Mark
Yes, Bauhaus' guide is one of the best. And, I don't like to encourage theft, but....there are digitized copies of his charts out there or you can scan and georeference your own. Sure is handy in the San Blas.

Re electronic charts. I've used CMAP and Navionics from Belize to Panama. Older CMAP is a bad joke in many places (like Belize), and very accurate in some (like the Bay Islands). Not sure why the dramatic differences. Newer CMAP seems a bit better, but have not used it a lot. Navionics is generally pretty good in most areas, but very poor in the far eastern San Blas (part of our plan for next year). Fortunatley, the newer CMAP is pretty good there. Case in point for why I like having multiple chart sources.

But, none are as a good as some of the Cruising Guides. Rauscher for Belize, Pavlidis for the Bay Islands, Raines for over all transit routes, Bauhaus for Panama.

Discussion of CA cruising guides here:

Cruising guide
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Old 16-10-2014, 08:01   #10
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Re: Digital charts for Central America?

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Older CMAP is a bad joke in many places (like Belize), and very accurate in some (like the Bay Islands). Not sure why the dramatic differences. Newer CMAP seems a bit better, but have not used it a lot.
We have CM93 (older CMAP) on OpenCPN and the newest CMAP charts on our Furuno chartplotter.

I have yet to see a single difference between the two from Panama, through Honduras and Guatemala to Belize (Belize is a joke on both, like you mention). Comparing them in other places, like the Pacific side of Central America, I have also noted no differences in either coverage or positioning or markings.

The debate about using CM93 being dangerous because they are out of date may be true in some parts of the world, but not this part.

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Old 16-11-2014, 19:03   #11
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Re: Digital charts for Central America?

Just recently ran thru the imfamous "Port O Stuck" in Belize while testing Navionics on Android...WAY off. But their accuracy otherwise has been pretty good (at least where I've run them so far).

Attached image shows prefered track thru there in yellow (actual track I laid down). If you follow the Navionics chart you will get stuck.
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Old 25-12-2014, 09:09   #12
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Re: Digital charts for Central America?

Attached are two screenshots of charts on OpenCPN. One is the CM93 chart for Puerto Morelos Mexico and the other of the same area created from GE2KAP using SasPlanet that was displaying the Navionics chart for the same area.

The Navionics chart is right on.

You can see the track of my boat when we went into the El Cid marina
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