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Old 01-08-2014, 16:21   #1
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Raymarine Lighthouse Charts v. Navionics Gold

I searched for the topic on Cruisersforum, but could not seem to find any discussion comparing the two. Does anyone have any experience with both of these? The Navionics Gold for the US is only a 100 bucks more, so I am inclined to go with it, but I did want to find out what other folks have to say about the Lighthouse charts.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-08-2014, 00:53   #2
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Re: Raymarine Lighthouse Charts v. Navionics Gold

I did not know that Lighthouse was making charts.
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Old 04-08-2014, 02:07   #3
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Re: Raymarine Lighthouse Charts v. Navionics Gold

Are not these "Lighthouse" charts just Raymarines term for the free coastal charts provided by the NOAA.
These can be downloaded Raymarine website, but a user would be better served downloading direct from NOAA where the charts are updated weekly.
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Old 04-08-2014, 16:31   #4
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My understanding is that the lighthouse charts are based on the NOAA charts, but that Raymarine has processed them in some way, adding features and making them compatible with their chart plotters, just as Navionics does.

While I understand the underlying NOAA data is essentially the same, I imagine there can be issues with the way Raymarine has manipulated the charts.

I'm still interested in people's experience with the lighthouse charts. But I went ahead and ordered the Navionics gold with my new plotter...actually found it on sale at West.
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Old 04-08-2014, 17:20   #5
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Re: Raymarine Lighthouse Charts v. Navionics Gold

I recently got a new Raymarine plotter that came with charts installed. I found that the charts were similar to demo ink cartridges in printers. Not all the features are there. I had to buy new Navionics charts (my old Raymarine took CF charts, the new one takes Micro SD charts). You get no tide info with the installed charts and I use this feature all the time. (Nearest tide info). So back to Navionics.

So I've got two Navionics CF chart chips that are now useless for me. The sad thing is the old chip of the Bahamas with all its faults is better than their new chip because they had to remove proprietary data that they has "borrowed".

You might ask why I went with Raymarine. If I had my druthers I'd go with Garmin but this was a replacement due to a lightning strike.
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Old 04-08-2014, 20:18   #6
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Re: Raymarine Lighthouse Charts v. Navionics Gold

If you go fishing, navionics is the way to go for sure. Their mapping and bathymetry data is constantly updated reinforced and reinforced by it's users. You not only know where the uscg soundings occur but also see the contours of the bottom with navionics which as I said is constantly updated by users just using their software.
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:24   #7
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Raymarine bundle not the same as real Navionics card

The Raymarine bundle chart cards are not the same as the Navionics (unbundled) cards. Usually the bundle is $100.00 more. My just received North American Gold bundle includes charts:
-GLD
North American Gold Cartography Bundle

This two microSD pack contains:

Chip One
Gold level detail of Navionics US Coastal 1XG region
Canada 2XG region
All the Great Lakes in detail

Chip Two
3,000 enhanced lakes with some lakes down to 3ft contours

You can't buy that in one package from Navionics. It takes two or more cards from them to get that coverage. The problem is even though the date of the file of the coastal bundle charts is only six month old, it seems that you don't really know what you've got. The "Lakes" card file was dated 2007 but it didn't matter because the lakes are on the coastal chart card now anyway. Don't really know why they included it. You don't know what level of data is included. Here is what Navionics says about chart bundles:

"OEM Bundle chips come from numerous manufacturers and are programmed with the Navionics cartography to be bundled with a GPS/ChartPlotter unit.

The details of these charts differ and are dependent upon the specifications provided by the OEM manufacturer. The charts are usually a "lighter" version of our regular charting line - HotMaps or Marine products - in that they may not have Tides & Currents, may not have port plans (lower zoom ranges), may not cover depths far offshore and will be specifically formatted for the manufacturer and won't work in other units. For more details on what the chart coverage area is or the charting details, we recommend contacting the OEM manufacturer directly."

Bundled chart cards are not eligible for updates and Freshest Data for one year like non-bundled Navionics cards. It costs an additional $99.00. For that you do get the Freshest Data, Sonar charts and the crowd sourced data, but you have laid out $200.00 for what you could have gotten for less from Amaz_n or somebody else. The bundle might be a good deal if you travel between Canada and the US, but you still have the problem of "light" data. If I would have know the above I would have skipped the bundle and just bought a fresh Navionics card with the one year update for less than I have now paid for the bundle and update. (Note: The update process does not destroy your bundle card. You still maintain that card and it's data and charts. With update you get a new card and download charts.)
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Old 11-09-2014, 17:31   #8
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Re: Raymarine Lighthouse Charts v. Navionics Gold

Just found out that the Raymarine Bundle Charts are not even usable in Raymarine's own Voyage Planner Software. Now that is a complete crock!
To use their software you must own a regulation Navionics Chart Card or purchase one from Raymarine.

Found this post in their tech support forum. It should be out front or at least at the bottom of their advertising and sales pages. Bet they wouldn't sell many more bundle cards if they did.

"The Install Charts from Media Card feature is exclusively designed to support installation of separately purchased Navionics cartography from an authorized Navionics dealer. The Silver, Gold, and HotMaps cartography packaged with Raymarine products (examine the chart card for "/RYM" within the product ID printed on the chart card's label denoted that this is a special cut of cartography produced for Raymarine products) cannot be installed via this feature. Please see the attached file addressing how the VoyageExchange web site would be utilized to download cartography this cartography for use by VoyagePlanner. Should you have separately purchased a Navionics chart card from an authorized Raymarine dealer, then please respond with the chart card's product ID, not its serial number which is printed on the chart card's label.

Navionics Silver and Gold charts as bundles with Raymarine Multifunction Displays do NOT qualify for Freshest data for free nor do they feature Sonar Charts. These highly discounted bundles are designed to support basic navigation needs of its users. Ownership of these Navionics bundles also allow the owner to purchase a discounted Navionics NavUpdate chip that then provides Freshest Data, SonarCharts and Community Edits for 12-months. Please visit Navionics.com or visit your local Dealer or Retailer to purchase a NavUpdate chip. Navionics Plus (w/sonar charts), Platinum+, and HotMaps Platinum cartography offers the greatest level of contour data for fishing purposes.

Navionics Updates | Navionics

The cartography for lakes and rivers is included within Navionics HotMaps products, whereas coastal cartography is included within Navionics Gold and Platinum products. The lakes featured within the HotMaps Premium cartography packaged within Raymarine's North American Gold Cartography bundle is a sampling of the lakes supported by Navionics HotMaps Premium chart cards sold separately through authorized Navionics dealers. You can view details of the Navionics cartography bundles offered with Raymarine products by clicking here. You can view a list of lakes included within the HotMaps cartography of the cartography bundle by clicking here.

Navionics Silver US Coastal and HotMaps cartography packaged with Raymarine other MFD's feature depth data to the 30' contour. The primary difference between Gold and Silver cartography is that Gold provides depth data beyond the 30' contour and provides Tide and current data. The primary difference between Navionics Gold cartography purchased separately and Gold cartography packaged with Raymarine products is that the separately purchased cartography may be updated with`Navionics Freshest Data. Separately purchased Navionics Gold (w/Sonar Charts), Navionics+ (w/Sonar Charts), Platinum+, and HotMaps Platinum cartography offer the greatest level of contour data for fishing purposes.

If the product is being used primarily to support fishing or if the lake(s) of interest are not supported by the cartography bundle, then it is recommended that the MFD without cartography and that a Navionics Gold (updated with Sonar Chart), Navionic+ (updated with Sonar Charts), Platinum+, or HotMaps Plantinum chart card be separately purchased from a Navionics dealer for the waters to be navigated/fished.

Should a customer have purchased a MFD with the North American Gold bundle, then all they really need to do is buy a Navionics Update card and then populate that card with the latest Navionics Gold and Sonar Charts for the waters to be navigated. I believe that the Navionics Update card retails for approx. $99. It will allow you to trade in your card and get a ton more features."
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Old 24-09-2014, 09:34   #9
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Re: Raymarine Lighthouse Charts v. Navionics Gold -Examples

Passing through Daytona last week I took some photos of the MFD to show examples of the different charts in the same location. The Lighthouse charts seem to just have stripped out most of the text data from the original NOAA.





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Old 25-09-2014, 09:37   #10
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Re: Raymarine Lighthouse Charts v. Navionics Gold

You're comparing Lighthouse vector charts to NOAA raster charts. The proper comparison would be vector to vector, or raster to raster. Lighthouse charts are available in either version. I've only downloaded the vector version, as they take up less space.

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Old 25-09-2014, 11:29   #11
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Re: Raymarine Lighthouse Charts v. Navionics Gold

I have displayed NOAA and Lighthouse vector and raster as well as Navionics bundle and non-bundle gold. They are just not in the right order for easy comparison. The order is how they were downloaded. Does not take much comparison to see that the difference is the absence of text detail.
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