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Old 22-03-2012, 19:37   #1
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OpenCpn for Navigation

I would like to get a feel for the use of OpenCpn. I have 2.5.0 on windows and have gone to NOAA and downloaded and installed all the US charts. My question is, does anyone use OpenCpn exclusively instead of paper charts or a chartplotter? It doesn't appear to me that the NOAA charts have all the detail that the paper charts have? I would like to use OpenCpn exclusively if possible.
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Old 22-03-2012, 19:44   #2
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Re: OpenCpn for Navigation

I use it exclusively. I always carry two computers on a longer trip, one as backup. But tablets and smartphones can make a good backup these days.

As paper backup (which I also carry), if I don't already own the paper charts, I print out OpenCPN screen views of charts covering my planned route and put them in a loose-leaf binder.

The NOAA raster charts have all the detail shown on their printed charts.
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Old 22-03-2012, 20:10   #3
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Re: OpenCpn for Navigation

I use OpenCPN exclusively. I have MacENC and iNavX as a backup and for comparison. Generally no paper charts except small scale planning charts. OpenCPN, and all other packages I have worked with don't seem to have the small scale planning chart capability handled well. I use cruising guides, sailing directions, coast pilots, satellite imagery and folklore. No chart plotter. The computer is way down below at the nav table. I think this requires me to be more vigilant and be more conscious of the area. I've sometimes made printouts of complicated places I would seriously regret losing the computer charts.

The NOAA charts I've used in the past seemed to have all the information of the paper versions. However I've been in SE Asia for awhile now and use charts of dubious provenance.
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Old 23-03-2012, 00:25   #4
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Re: OpenCpn for Navigation

I would use it exclusively if I could, but it unfortunately it doesn't display my CM93 Ed3 S57 vector charts, .....but this is the subject of another thread........so I'm using Maxsea in parallel.

If I were in the US, with the availability of free NOAA charts (how lucky you are!!) I would use it exclusively.
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Old 23-03-2012, 06:33   #5
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Re: OpenCpn for Navigation

The NOAA charts that you can download are exactly the same as the paper charts that you can buy. The services that sell paper charts (including NOAA themselves) simply print from the raster files.
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Old 23-03-2012, 12:48   #6
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Re: OpenCpn for Navigation

The decision to use something exclusively, or in preference to something else, is the skipper's choice. The responsibility for safe navigation is theirs too.

Remember you are supposed to use more than one method of finding your position, course and speed whenever possible. You are also supposed to take down your position, speed and course in time periods adequate for the kind of navigation you are doing.

Never get caught with your systems blank, and you too - not knowing where you are, where you are going and where you came from.

Cheers,
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Old 23-03-2012, 13:13   #7
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Re: OpenCpn for Navigation

Thanks all. I know that the developers had exclusive mode in mind when they created the software. When I said I wanted to use Open CPN exclusively, I meant that I didnt want to buy a Chartplotter and also didnt want to buy the paper charts. I will employ what I already have which includes Radar, GPS(multiple) , A sextant, adjunct to using OpenCPN. I will also have 3 Laptops and my eyes and ears and every other sensory organ on alert for the trip. I am going to print off my route as well. So I agree with barnakiel... one can't be too safe.
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Old 17-12-2013, 08:47   #8
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Re: OpenCpn for Navigation

Don't know about the US, but in Norway, navigating by chart plotter alone is illegal.
You MUST carry official paper charts for the area you sail. If not, There will be fines , and in case of a mishap, you are lucky if the insurance pays 50%

.manitu
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Old 17-12-2013, 10:11   #9
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Re: OpenCpn for Navigation

"I know that the developers had exclusive mode in mind when they created the software"

Huh? You obviously did not read the OpenCPN documentation:

"OpenCPN is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied
warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A
PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
See the GNU General Public License for more details.

OpenCPN must only be used in conjunction with approved
paper charts and traditional methods of navigation.
"

John
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Old 17-12-2013, 10:30   #10
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Re: OpenCpn for Navigation

And you will find similar disclaimers at all chart plotters, dedicated or PC based.

Commercial vessels can use electronic charts alone, but this requires type approved equipment: ECDIS
Add here approved back-up strategies (papercharts is one).

Hubert
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Old 30-12-2013, 10:33   #11
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Re: OpenCpn for Navigation

I started using OCPN about 3 years ago alongside the Cap'n. At that time the Cap'n was a bit more refined, but very similar. I've updated continuously to the latest revisions, and I can say that now there isn't much difference. OCPN is an excellent piece of work. I've stopped using paper charts. Keep several PCs and GPSs as backup in Faraday cages with OCPN and charts loaded. Also use OCPN in parallel with Garmin Bluechart and iNavX on an iPad. As has been mentioned in other blogs, paper charts are OK, but not the best backups anymore. If the entire GPS system goes down, we'll have more to worry about than the whereabouts of a few cruising boats....
I would highly recommend updating to the latest stable release. The plugins available are truly amazing and first class.
Also, if you are as pleased with the OCPN effort as I am, please donate.....
Matt
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