Seaclear was the first PC software i came across. Subsequently I looked at OpenCpn. I like the idea of open source software but the dashboard in Seaclear I found very good, also the ability to have up to three inputs at different speeds is a good feature. I have a multiplexor to which I have attached a GPS antenna
, speed, depth
, temperature transducer, wind
transducer and an AIS
Currently I only have a small trailer sailor with an open cockpit
but as I have spent a lifetime working in systems design and networking I thought I would like to network everything on my boat. I also have a Tachyon carbon fibre fully immersible screen
mounted on the helm
which relays the PC screen
. Expensive but herself liked the idea so I got my toy.
On a more serious side I have just finished networking all the equipment
on a friends 54' cruiser before he embarked on circumnavigation
. We installed a new chartplotter
, DSC VHF
, and forward looking sonar in addition to the existing Radar
, depth wind compass
. They ended up with three GPS
antennae as there was an existing one and the chartplotter
and AIS packages included GPS antennae. Everything is now networked such that both the chart plotter and either/both of their two laptops can display everything using Seaclear. The laptops can be located at the navigation desk or on the bridge, and if any of the GPS antennae fail the others can be switched in, and if all three failed they could use their hand held GPS but in this instance the AIS transponder would only function in receive mode.
They had a lot of paper charts and bought hundreds more from a friend who had circumnavigated a few years ago. They had all these charts scanned using an industrial size scanner and I then calibrated them all using the Seaclear Mapcal utility. A lot of work as most of the charts had additional charts within them i.e larger scale chart of a harbour or anchorage. Ended up with over three hundred images
. There is another utility comes with Seaclear which enables you to stitch several scans together to form a single
image. I have done this using 4 A4 scans to cover an A2 chart, but you don't need to stitch them together to form a single
image as long as you can set the lat long of two positions, preferably diametrically opposite you can save them as separate charts and Seaclear automatically moves from one to the next.