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Old 20-03-2018, 20:54   #1
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Bahamas/Caribbean Charts To BUY For OpenCPN

I can't figure out what makes of electronic charts work on OpenCPN. I want to BUY charts for the Caribbean sea including Panama, Belize, etc. and the Bahamas. Yes, I know what formats work on OpenCPN (BSB, NV, .cap, .kap, .eap, S57, CM93, etc.). BUT when you go to Defender or Landfall and look at the suppliers like C-map is does not tell you what format or file extension their charts are. They just list the chartplotters (Furuno, Raymarine, etc) that their charts work on... obviously, nobody list OpenCPN. I've read so many threads about OpenCPN charts but never have I found what to buy.. all about free..
What Manufactures of DETAILED electronic charts produce charts in a format that work with OpenCPN, particularly covering the Caribbean?? Sources for purchasing them at a good price would be great too!! I just want to throw down a few hundred $$, get an SD card and be done with it. And I looked at o-chart and was faced with over 1000 euro just for the Bahamas, let alone the rest of the Carib. I'll pay, but at those prices I can buy a marine chartplotter with maps and be ahead.
thanks
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Old 21-03-2018, 00:01   #2
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Re: Bahamas/Caribbean Charts To BUY For OpenCPN

In the case of o-charts there are only the S-63 charts and you are right that those are expensive for larger regions, even when just licensing a 3 month period.

If you are under Windows, then NV (Nautischer Verlag) might be worth a look.
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Old 21-03-2018, 01:53   #3
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Re: Bahamas/Caribbean Charts To BUY For OpenCPN

In any anchorage someone will have CM93, a free download of the worlds charts somewhat out of date...

You just have to get to the Bahamas or Caribbean first!

I am sure someone will post you a download for the price of a six pack!
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Old 21-03-2018, 06:54   #4
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Re: Bahamas/Caribbean Charts To BUY For OpenCPN

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Originally Posted by s/v Moondancer View Post
In any anchorage someone will have CM93, a free download of the worlds charts somewhat out of date...

You just have to get to the Bahamas or Caribbean first!

I am sure someone will post you a download for the price of a six pack!
Thanks Moondancer. I guess I'm a type-A planner and like to have things like charts before I go. I did get copy of CM93 for the windward and leeward islands, but not very detailed. At least not compared to Navionics, which showed marked channels and anchorages in bays that the CM93 charts showed nothing. I did find that Maptech has BSB charts for the Bahamas, windward and leeward for around $300. I have not yet found BSB for Coumbia, Panama, Belize areas. Though I am not sure of Maptech's accuracy in those remote areas since they apparently reproduce charts the local countries publish and who knows how well Belize has mapped their waters? I have watched Vlogs (Ran for example) who have said their OpenCPN charts were hundreds of meters off in Panama. Not sure who's charts they had. Does anyone know of accurate, detailed (1:50,000 scale or smaller) BSB charts in Western Caribbean? I've also heard of similar issues in Bahamas. Can anyone attest to the accuracy of Maptech BSB in Bahamas before I spend the $300 on them?

Thanks!
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Old 21-03-2018, 07:09   #5
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Re: Bahamas/Caribbean Charts To BUY For OpenCPN

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In the case of o-charts there are only the S-63 charts and you are right that those are expensive for larger regions, even when just licensing a 3 month period.

If you are under Windows, then NV (Nautischer Verlag) might be worth a look.
Looks like Landfall sells the Nautischer Verlag charts under the Maptech brand. Covers the Bahamas and Eastern Caribbean, but not western Caribbean. I will probably buy for what they do have, but as stated above, I was wondering if the charts were detailed and accurate in the Bahamas as I've heard some charts are off by several hundred yards.
thanks!
grrr.. i go to nvcharts.com and click a region to find 2 purchase options. First with paper charts PLUS Download $79. Electronic only on SD $98... Why would both paper and electronic be less $ than electronic alone. I must be missing something.
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Old 21-03-2018, 07:19   #6
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Re: Bahamas/Caribbean Charts To BUY For OpenCPN

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Originally Posted by zstine View Post
Looks like Landfall sells the Nautischer Verlag charts under the Maptech brand. Covers the Bahamas and Eastern Caribbean, but not western Caribbean. I will probably buy for what they do have, but as stated above, I was wondering if the charts were detailed and accurate in the Bahamas as I've heard some charts are off by several hundred yards.
thanks!


I use opencpn on a laptop with win7. I have been using the nvcharts in the Bahamas for three years and they have been fine. I do reconcile to explorer paper, and of course you need the mk1 eyeballs....

Cheers
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Old 21-03-2018, 07:34   #7
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Re: Bahamas/Caribbean Charts To BUY For OpenCPN

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I use opencpn on a laptop with win7. I have been using the nvcharts in the Bahamas for three years and they have been fine. I do reconcile to explorer paper, and of course you need the mk1 eyeballs....

Cheers
Thanks kcj for vouching for the NV charts!! I've heard Explorer is the best, but I don't expect to be in the Bahamas very long and they aren't cheap. When you compare the 2, Do the NV charts have nearly as much detail / similar scale? And I assume when you say they are fine that charted features are positioned accurately... I draw 7.5ft (2.3m) so I may be planning to go through some inlets/channels with little room under the keel. having detail to say it's possible, vice less detail not providing that info, may make or break whether I get to see some places.
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Old 21-03-2018, 08:08   #8
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Re: Bahamas/Caribbean Charts To BUY For OpenCPN

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grrr.. i go to nvcharts.com and click a region to find 2 purchase options. First with paper charts PLUS Download $79. Electronic only on SD $98... Why would both paper and electronic be less $ than electronic alone. I must be missing something.
Drop them a mail. And mention that it is for OpenCPN.

For when do you need the charts?
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Old 21-03-2018, 13:11   #9
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Re: Bahamas/Caribbean Charts To BUY For OpenCPN

First note, I only draw 4.5'. And have run aground. But it's been end user error, not chart issues. Also there are megas all over the exumas--I'd guess they draw more that 8'

My gut is the inlets are well charted, where there are 'issues' is with the shoaling. I have seen big boats (with local knowledge) go on routes I would not dare based on both charts. And I have anchored in places the charts say is not possible. But I have never been unpleasantly surprised based on the charts, skinny water was where they said it was. If you stick to the primary locations (no exploring) and always use vpr I imagine you'll be fine
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Old 22-03-2018, 14:14   #10
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Re: Bahamas/Caribbean Charts To BUY For OpenCPN

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Originally Posted by s/v Moondancer View Post
In any anchorage someone will have CM93, a free download of the worlds charts somewhat out of date...

You just have to get to the Bahamas or Caribbean first!

I am sure someone will post you a download for the price of a six pack!
Wrong!
Do not use CM93 V2 for navigation in the Bahamas. While the charts are OK in a few areas, they are way out and unreliable in other areas and they do not show enough with details in many places for safe navigation.

Thomas
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Old 30-03-2018, 11:21   #11
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Re: Bahamas/Caribbean Charts To BUY For OpenCPN

Follow this link to all the charts you need for the Caribbean including the Bahamas:
https://1drv.ms/f/s!Ahv3fXEZ5SzkjRTcnfNuiHWgtQKa
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Old 30-03-2018, 12:11   #12
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Re: Bahamas/Caribbean Charts To BUY For OpenCPN

Floating around are digitized explorer chart books for Bahamas that are “perfect” and a digitized copy of Eric Bauhaus Panama digitized charts that are also “ perfect”. I can’t speak to the legality and copyright stuff. But they are the best I have found for those two regions.
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Old 30-03-2018, 12:33   #13
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Re: Bahamas/Caribbean Charts To BUY For OpenCPN

Forgot, also digitized government charts for Colombia which includes Providencia and San Andres floating around
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Old 31-03-2018, 04:14   #14
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Re: Bahamas/Caribbean Charts To BUY For OpenCPN

Quote:
Originally Posted by phiggins View Post
Follow this link to all the charts you need for the Caribbean including the Bahamas:
https://1drv.ms/f/s!Ahv3fXEZ5SzkjRTcnfNuiHWgtQKa
Thanks very much Phil. I willl try these out for Antigua to Vero Beach.
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Old 31-03-2018, 04:59   #15
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Re: Bahamas/Caribbean Charts To BUY For OpenCPN

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Originally Posted by phiggins View Post
Follow this link to all the charts you need for the Caribbean including the Bahamas:
https://1drv.ms/f/s!Ahv3fXEZ5SzkjRTcnfNuiHWgtQKa
Paul

Your link leads to CM93 and Navionics charts.
Regarding CM93 see my post above.
Navionics charts are well known to be unreliable in the Bahamas, and not recommended. This has been discussed many times in cruisers forum.

Thomas
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