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Old 11-01-2017, 04:19   #1
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Marine GPS Chart Plotter That Uses Free NOAA Maps

Does any manufacturer sell a GPS Chartplotter that uses free NOAA charts that can be loaded into the GPS? I like using OpenCPN, but when I load my .gpx routes into my older Garmin, there are errors due to the difference in charts.
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Old 11-01-2017, 05:01   #2
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Re: Marine GPS Chart Plotter That Uses Free NOAA Maps

Nope. Nobody does. Mainly, I think, because the big margins are in selling the charts.
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Old 11-01-2017, 05:26   #3
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Re: Marine GPS Chart Plotter That Uses Free NOAA Maps

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Nope. Nobody does. Mainly, I think, because the big margins are in selling the charts.
Thanks, just as I suspected. Would a practical alternative be an Android device or Raspberry with a daylight readable screen (if there is such a thing)?
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Old 11-01-2017, 06:16   #4
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Re: Marine GPS Chart Plotter That Uses Free NOAA Maps

Raymarine sort of does, they charge you 10 bucks per year to download them after altering them to fit their products.

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Old 11-01-2017, 06:25   #5
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Re: Marine GPS Chart Plotter That Uses Free NOAA Maps

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Thanks, just as I suspected. Would a practical alternative be an Android device or Raspberry with a daylight readable screen (if there is such a thing)?
Many people are out there navigating with android devices or an iPad. IMO, it is important to consider the weather that you expect to reasonably encounter and be sure that your solution is both weather proof and use able for the weather you expect. For example, will the touch screen work in pouring rain?

I can imagine situations where an iPad or Android device is appropriate, and I can imagine where it might not be.

For what it is worth, my Garmin was under 200 and easy to mount on my pedestal. Other manufacturers make equivalently priced entry level plotters that I think are also a great value. I already had the Garmin charts on an SD card, so that wasn't a factor for me.

But if you already have a phone, that is essentially free.
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Old 11-01-2017, 09:48   #6
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Re: Marine GPS Chart Plotter That Uses Free NOAA Maps

None that I know of. Maxsea used to convert them and provide for free, but now it is part of Furuno ...but I believe the chart policy has changed, in any event these are concerted, not Noaa s57 or raster bsb.
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Old 12-01-2017, 15:56   #7
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Re: Marine GPS Chart Plotter That Uses Free NOAA Maps

Raymarine let's you use both roster and vector NOAA charts.
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Old 13-01-2017, 03:12   #8
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Re: Marine GPS Chart Plotter That Uses Free NOAA Maps

Thanks, I did not know that lighthouse did that! Big plus.
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Old 13-01-2017, 04:18   #9
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Re: Marine GPS Chart Plotter That Uses Free NOAA Maps

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Originally Posted by jdycus View Post
Does any manufacturer sell a GPS Chartplotter that uses free NOAA charts that can be loaded into the GPS? I like using OpenCPN, but when I load my .gpx routes into my older Garmin, there are errors due to the difference in charts.
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None that I know of. Maxsea used to convert them and provide for free, but now it is part of Furuno ...but I believe the chart policy has changed, in any event these are concerted, not Noaa s57 or raster bsb.

Our Furuno chartplotter (NN3D) and MaxSea TimeZero Navigator both use free NOAA raster and vector charts. Free download updates at least annually.

The charts are available from the Furuno site, and also MapMedia (MaxSea's mapping partner, I guess) has a site for them as well. I think MapMedia does the formatting for use in the plotter and software applications.

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Old 20-01-2017, 19:37   #10
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Re: Marine GPS Chart Plotter That Uses Free NOAA Maps

Yes, Maxsea reconfigures them into their encoded version and releases them to US customers I believe. I believe a downloaded Noaa chart would not work. ..Another way to do it.
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Old 21-01-2017, 06:20   #11
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Re: Marine GPS Chart Plotter That Uses Free NOAA Maps

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...I already had the Garmin charts on an SD card, so that wasn't a factor for me.
I'm always amazed at how many people consider charts a "one time" purchase.

I've seen so much missing and outdated information, even on relatively new charts, that I long ago learned to keep my charts as current as possible.

I think as the world becomes more connected and more "real time", the chartplotter manufacturers are going to have to change their model of infrequently updating their chart data at an inflated price.
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