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Old 28-11-2010, 22:22   #1
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Good Nautical Chart Software . . .

Ok I am sure there is a topic on this but cant seem to find it.
I am not horribly great with computer software and installing and such.
I am looking for some good software programs such as maxsea and nauticharts software for my computer.
Obv I will have paper clothes on hand.
Just thought it would be nice to have the software as well.
I downloaded maxsea charts but in two weeks and still couldnt figure it out.
Any help or ideas would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 28-11-2010, 23:31   #2
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Here is a list and feature comparison I've been working on:
PC Navigation Software Comparison.xlsx - Microsoft Excel Web App
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Old 29-11-2010, 04:01   #3
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Use OpenCPN and CM93 charts - lots of info about this on the forum if you search....................
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Old 29-11-2010, 06:27   #4
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I've used Maptech for some Navigation. I like the program. But, I have both a Garmin and Raymarine chartplotter so am also a bit committed to their respective programs for editing and moving tracks and routes.

I've thought about OpenCPN but haven't searched on the advantages or disadvantages. What about charts for OpenCPN. Are there some available for different parts of the Caribbean? I know that it will accept NOAA charts.
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Old 29-11-2010, 06:35   #5
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OpenCPN will run a large number of different chart types e.g. BSB, KAP,ENC. It is an excellent program that I have used as a primary chartplotter for over 5,000 miles this year in Northern European and Mediterranean waters. For charts google CNFSeasoft - I have used CM93 charts - and I have an AIS receiver which interfaces effortlessly.
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Old 29-11-2010, 09:05   #6
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Thanks for the replys.
I tried the CM93 charts,and just couldnt figure ut the software.
Said something about having to copy the folder in a certain maxsea folder and installing a a certain imulator or something.
IDK it was really confusing.
It was called maxsea 3.1.2 ....
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Old 29-11-2010, 09:17   #7
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I've got MaxSea 12.6 as well as OpenCPN. Both have their benefits. If you're looking for navigation software on the cheap then OpenCPN is hard to beat. You've got to buy charts for MaxSea and although they're not terribly expensive, they do cost a fair chunk of change. OTOH, charts for the Pacific are readily available for OpenCPN and since it reads a lot of formats, you're not locked into one companies idea of current or accurate charts.
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Old 29-11-2010, 09:21   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by left52side View Post
Thanks for the replys.
I tried the CM93 charts,and just couldnt figure ut the software.
Said something about having to copy the folder in a certain maxsea folder and installing a a certain imulator or something.
IDK it was really confusing.
It was called maxsea 3.1.2 ....
Can you explain exactly what you are doing - it's not clear from your posts as to what you have and what you want to achieve.

Have you tried OpenCPN? CM93 works with no problems once you have told the program which folder they are in.
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Old 29-11-2010, 09:51   #9
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Depends on you want the softtware to do. If you want offshore routing - buy Maxsea TZ. It is much better than the Raymarine product. It is expensive as you need to add the routing module to the base program. It will use BBS charts (free) but you can also add three dimensional Google-like harbor pictures. You will need a way to recieve gribs from their website - I use Globalstar on my trips to and from the Caribbean. The program can be bought from Defender at reduced prices.
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Old 29-11-2010, 10:06   #10
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i see most of my customers go for the MAXSEA with C-MAP charts
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Old 29-11-2010, 10:44   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by left52side View Post
Ok I am sure there is a topic on this but cant seem to find it.
I am not horribly great with computer software and installing and such.
I am looking for some good software programs such as maxsea and nauticharts software for my computer.
Obv I will have paper clothes on hand.
Just thought it would be nice to have the software as well.
I downloaded maxsea charts but in two weeks and still couldnt figure it out.
Any help or ideas would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
I've tried them all....yes, them all.

Of the last 3, I liked the Rose Point Chart Navigator Pro, which I guess is now called ECS. But I'm too 'frugal' to buy it.

Maxsea was good but I don't have a Phd in Maxsea...and didn't want to get one. It was a little temperamental and would fail to start properly and/or lock up on occasion. It was also slow and boggy on my older equipment.

OpenCPN is a good program that is getting better all the time. It is fast. The price is right. It does what I need it to do.

Additionally, I've switched to Linux operating systems; first was Ubuntu, which OpenCPN runs very well. There was a discussion in this Forum about converting a VHF radio to receive AIS and using another Linux program called gnuais to pump that data into OpenCPN. Cool.

But I had a little trouble compiling and configuring everything.

The problem was getting Airmail, a Windows program, for the Pactor modem to work in Ubuntu.

I then switched to Navigatrix, and it is the closest thing to plug'n'play for the software and equipment I use and still gives flexibility for what I want to do.

The hardest part is downloading the file; creating the USB key, and learning to boot from it.

I like it so much, but didn't like the USB stick that much so I installed it on the hard drive. If I irreparably screw anything up....I can restore it with the USB stick.
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Old 29-11-2010, 21:59   #12
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Ok I got the cm93 january 2010 downloaded on my computer.
But still cant figure out how to open the files or charts....
All I am getting is a bunch of folders with numbers on them.
And cannot open the files inside.
Is there something I am doing wrong.
Any help at all would be appriciated.
Here are some examples of the folder names and the names of files contained inside.

First Folder name is 00300000 files in side are named 00300000.A.
Again thank you all.
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Old 29-11-2010, 23:00   #13
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I've tried them all too! My favorite is Rose Point Coastal Explorer; however, with their new release, they are moving to a cloud computing model with their Coastal Explorer Network. Not sure what this means to the CE 2009, updates, desktop and dependency on the network. I've been a loyal user for years and may actually consider OpenCPN.
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Old 30-11-2010, 02:34   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by left52side View Post
Ok I got the cm93 january 2010 downloaded on my computer.
But still cant figure out how to open the files or charts....
All I am getting is a bunch of folders with numbers on them.
And cannot open the files inside.
Is there something I am doing wrong.
Any help at all would be appriciated.
Here are some examples of the folder names and the names of files contained inside.

First Folder name is 00300000 files in side are named 00300000.A.
Again thank you all.
  • First download OpenCPN.
  • Install it.
  • Put all those directories un one big umbrella directory called "Charts" if you can;t think of a better name. Some where you remember.
  • Open OpenCPN
  • Click the tool icon
  • Locate your recently created chart directory under "Available Chart Directories" and highlight it.
  • Click "add selection"
  • Tick "Force Full Database Rebuild"
  • Click "Ok"
the charts you have are not January 2010, but a repackage of charts from 2006...I think.

Forget Maxsea. Forget all the others.
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Old 30-11-2010, 04:14   #15
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We use Fugawi.......139$ on amazon......works great and easy to use!!!
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