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Old 09-05-2013, 16:41   #1
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Is OpenCPN useful while underway?

The typical legal disclaimer that you shouldn't use this program as an actual GPS solution is understandable, but it seems from looking at the program that it would be useful as a tool for underway tracking and travel management. Does anyone use this program for actual underway use or do you mostly use it for planning? I like the idea of having a GPS solution I can use with my big laptop screen, but it being freeware and the disclaimer that comes with the software makes me a little leery of using it as my primary navigation tool. On the other hand, spending $500-2000 on a dedicated GPS/chartplotter really bothers me too, so I'm definitely open to using the software if some experienced people can recommend it.

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Old 09-05-2013, 17:35   #2
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Re: Is OpenCPN useful while underway?

Dave...
Of course that vast part of the user base is using OpenCPN underway, at least all of us working on it do. And be assured that we would like to survive at least a couple more days. The right unit to count it's sea miles is probably millions...

Pavel
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Old 09-05-2013, 17:52   #3
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Re: Is OpenCPN useful while underway?

Quote:
Originally Posted by silviris View Post
The typical legal disclaimer that you shouldn't use this program as an actual GPS solution is understandable, but it seems from looking at the program that it would be useful as a tool for underway tracking and travel management. Does anyone use this program for actual underway use or do you mostly use it for planning? I like the idea of having a GPS solution I can use with my big laptop screen, but it being freeware and the disclaimer that comes with the software makes me a little leery of using it as my primary navigation tool. On the other hand, spending $500-2000 on a dedicated GPS/chartplotter really bothers me too, so I'm definitely open to using the software if some experienced people can recommend it.

Thanks!

Dave
I see little to no difference to a OPNCPN than other purchased S/W
Everybody has to cover their rear. I use both. Sometimes just to check the other.

RayMarine:
DISCLAIMER
WARNING: This electronic chart is an aid to navigation designed to facilitate the use of authorized government charts, not to replace them. Only official government charts and notices to mariners contain all of the current information needed for the safety of navigation, and the captain is responsible for their prudent use.
The program and its charts do NOT excuse the user from carrying the required official charts and documents.
The RayTech radar or sonar functions require a connection to a SeaTalk HS network that includes a compatible Raymarine radar or sonar unit AND a compatible Raymarine multifunctional display. The multifunction display must be designated as the data master.
Raymarine UK Ltd ("Raymarine") does not warrant that this Product is error free or that it is compatible with products manufactured by any person or entity other than Raymarine.
This Product utilizes digital chart data, and electronic information from the Global Positioning System ("GPS") and weather information which may contain errors. Raymarine does not warrant the accuracy of such information and you are advised that errors in such information may cause the product to malfunction or give incorrect readings. Raymarine is not responsible for damages or injuries caused by your use or inability to use the Product, by the interaction of the Product with products manufactured by others or by errors in chart data or information utilized by the Product provided by third parties.
Except for the limited warranty regarding the magnetic media contained in the license agreement accompanying the Product, this Product is provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, and any others which may arise from course of performance, course of dealing, or usage of trade.
WARNING: Nautical navigation is an inherently dangerous undertaking and should only be engaged in by persons trained and experienced in navigation. This Product is intended for use only by persons trained in nautical navigation and only as a navigational aid, not as the sole method of navigation.
NOTICE: You may not use this Product unless you agree to the terms of the license agreement. By pressing the button titled "I AGREE", you agree to be bound by the terms of the license agreement and to release and hold Raymarine harmless from and against any and all claims, obligations, and liabilities with respect to the Product, except those specifically reserved in the license agreement. If you do not agree with the terms of the license agreement, press the button entitled "I DO NOT AGREE" and the program will exit. If you choose this option you may return the program within thirty (30) days of the date of purchase by following the instructions contained in the license agreement.
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Old 09-05-2013, 17:53   #4
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Re: Is OpenCPN useful while underway?

Dave, here's one grateful user who does use OCPN underway. I try not to pay attention to "not for navigation" CYA statements (which also appear on the commercial plotting programs).

All nav aids should be used with understanding of their possible failure modes, etc, and good judgement is a great safety factor in all aspects of sailing. OPCN is no different.

Again, thanks to the development team for a great product.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 09-05-2013, 18:18   #5
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Re: Is OpenCPN useful while underway?

I'm mostly looking for something that will help me get from point A to point B without getting lost. Charts are great and all, but having a GPS locator on a digital map gives a bit more confidence than looking at a chart, then at the shoreline, and saying "I THINK this is where we are....."
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Old 09-05-2013, 18:19   #6
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Re: Is OpenCPN useful while underway?

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Originally Posted by silviris View Post
if some experienced people can recommend it.

Dave
Definitely recommended. I've logged over 4,000NM using it in the poorly charted waters of SE Asia. Coupled with the GE2KAP program to produce corrected, semi-transparent .kap charts has made navigating through reef-strewn waters a safer journey.

When using any computer based navigation system or navigation device you must remember COLREGS Rule 2.

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Old 09-05-2013, 18:25   #7
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Re: Is OpenCPN useful while underway?

Ok, just wanted to check. I downloaded it and it looks REALLY great (especially with the raster charts), and all I need is a usb GPS to get it working. Just wanted some feedback before I commit myself to using it.

Thanks!
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Old 09-05-2013, 18:26   #8
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Re: Is OpenCPN useful while underway?

I use OpenCPN underway. It's a little bit prone to crashing and hanging so I take precautions in situations where a reboot would be inconvenient. Like Terry, above, 5000 miles in SE Asia with no serious issues.
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Old 09-05-2013, 18:35   #9
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We use O all the time and have done so for close to 3 years. Initially I ran a parallel instance of Fugawi but Fugawi p'd me off once too often so I don't do that any more. I don't think it's accurate to say the stable releases hang or crash regularly. I generally run the beta version if there's one available and I wouldn't say that even those versions crash "regularly". If you run the stable releases that's what you should expect - a "stable release".
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Old 09-05-2013, 19:08   #10
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Re: Is OpenCPN useful while underway?

recently, with some friends, I tried out my OpenCPN with a usb gps puck and my dell laptop, on a trip from Key West to Dry Tortugas on his sailboat with a chartplotter. Works just the same in my opinion. I didnt see any stark differences. Nice thing was I could hook up my laptop to his large screen lcd tv, and view it without putting on my walmart readin glasses!
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Old 09-05-2013, 19:56   #11
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Re: Is OpenCPN useful while underway?

So have any of you guys ditched the chart plotter then?
Or do you use both?
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Old 10-05-2013, 03:34   #12
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Re: Is OpenCPN useful while underway?

No friggin' chart plotter here. Just OpenCPN, MacENC and iNavX.
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Old 10-05-2013, 07:02   #13
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Re: Is OpenCPN useful while underway?

First off, about the disclaimer... You will find the same sort of disclaimer on almost every piece of navigation gear that you buy. Every chartplotter that I've seen has had a disclaimer like that. Every commercial chart book that you buy. Every body is trying to cover themselves these days, so don't get hung up about a disclaimer.

As for using it for real-time navigation. Sure. Lots of people do. The one issue to be aware of is that a laptop or tablet that is truly readable in direct sun is going to be pretty expensive. That means that, to use OpenCPN in the cockpit, you are probably going to need some sort of sun screen (unless you only want to use it on cloudy days).
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:00   #14
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Re: Is OpenCPN useful while underway?

I can absolutely recommend OCPN as a aid to navigation, but you should always have paper charts as the primary navigation tool. Unless you have an ECDIS setup (usually only found on commercial vessels as its really expensive).

The disclaimer are found on all chart plotters except for approved ECDIS.
This to state that you should not solely rely on it's data or accuracy.

Always carry updated papercharts for your own and others safety.
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:38   #15
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Re: Is OpenCPN useful while underway?

We use it while underway down here in the keys and Miami area and it is great. One additonal feature that is really nice is that we can setup an anchor watch for night and have the laptop plugged into some rather large PC speakers with the volume turned up. That way if we do start dragging, then everyone onthe boat wakes up...lol yes it is as accurate as the GARMIN units and IMHO much better for seeing where you are (larger screen)...if have the PC connected to a 32" flat panel TV in the lower salon (aboard a HF50) and it isthe ultimate large chart...

Of course we do keep paper charts, a dedicated Garmin 545S on deck and handheld backups..yes we are a paranoid bunch...

I only wish that they would port it over to the android platform already so I can buy a tablet and make use of it on deck at the console. (sorry, I dislike IPADS)....

Smooth sailiing!
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