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Old 28-05-2019, 09:13   #1
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Baltic Sea Charts for OpenCPN

I'm getting ready for six weeks of just bumming around the Northern Baltic Sea on the boat -- a totally different program than other years, where I had to sail thousands of miles to and from wherever it was I was going. I just brought the boat from the UK to Finland in early May with only three stops (Brunsbuttel, Bornholm, Farosund on Gotland), making the 1400 miles in 9 sailing days. So now the mileage is all done and I've got nothing to do but enjoy being up here. What luxury!



But I do need to sort out some charts. I bought the oeSENC vector charts for Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Finland, and I have up to date Navionics charts for the main nav system. But I'm not quite happy with any of this for the very close pilotage you have to do in the incredibly complex waters of the Swedish and Finnish archis. The oeSENC charts are based on the S63 (I think) charts used by commercial shipping, and don't have significant detail among the islands. In fact, they are 90% identical to the CM93 charts we use as a base map.


I'm thinking that maybe I need the paper chart folios used by Swedish and Finnish sailors up here, or are there raster versions I could use with OpenCPN?


What about the expensive NV Charts cartography?


I also need Latvia and Estonia, which are not offered by oeSENC.


Grateful for tips!
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Old 28-05-2019, 09:41   #2
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Re: Baltic Sea Charts for OpenCPN

For Sweden the Solteknik raster charts are recommended by locals.
Solteknik did distribute via Fuagawi and after Fugawi going out of the business, Solteknik stopped to publish from beginning of this year.
If you can get a licensed copy from friendly soul, this would be some additional source.

oeSENC is not derived from S-63. Both have simply the same source. Content is identical as you say. And not every spot preferred by leisure sailors will be covered. Correct.

In the Finnish vector charts you will find some/few recommended tracks for small vessels. Edited by the Finnish authorities.

Estonia is available as oeSENC.

Latvia and Lithuania have limited number of charts. You might consider to pick some S-63 charts for the places you want o visit.
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Old 13-11-2019, 14:20   #3
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Re: Baltic Sea Charts for OpenCPN

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I'm getting ready for six weeks of just bumming around the Northern Baltic Sea on the boat -- a totally different program than other years, where I had to sail thousands of miles to and from wherever it was I was going. I just brought the boat from the UK to Finland in early May with only three stops (Brunsbuttel, Bornholm, Farosund on Gotland), making the 1400 miles in 9 sailing days. So now the mileage is all done and I've got nothing to do but enjoy being up here. What luxury!



But I do need to sort out some charts. I bought the oeSENC vector charts for Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Finland, and I have up to date Navionics charts for the main nav system. But I'm not quite happy with any of this for the very close pilotage you have to do in the incredibly complex waters of the Swedish and Finnish archis. The oeSENC charts are based on the S63 (I think) charts used by commercial shipping, and don't have significant detail among the islands. In fact, they are 90% identical to the CM93 charts we use as a base map.


I'm thinking that maybe I need the paper chart folios used by Swedish and Finnish sailors up here, or are there raster versions I could use with OpenCPN?


What about the expensive NV Charts cartography?


I also need Latvia and Estonia, which are not offered by oeSENC.


Grateful for tips!
Hi Dockhead. Can I ask how your trip around the Baltic Sea went earlier this year? We are planning on doing the same thing at about the same time in 2020.
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Old 13-11-2019, 15:09   #4
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Re: Baltic Sea Charts for OpenCPN

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I'm getting ready for six weeks of just bumming around the Northern Baltic Sea on the boat -- a totally different program than other years, where I had to sail thousands of miles to and from wherever it was I was going. I just brought the boat from the UK to Finland in early May with only three stops (Brunsbuttel, Bornholm, Farosund on Gotland), making the 1400 miles in 9 sailing days. So now the mileage is all done and I've got nothing to do but enjoy being up here. What luxury!



But I do need to sort out some charts. I bought the oeSENC vector charts for Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Finland, and I have up to date Navionics charts for the main nav system. But I'm not quite happy with any of this for the very close pilotage you have to do in the incredibly complex waters of the Swedish and Finnish archis. The oeSENC charts are based on the S63 (I think) charts used by commercial shipping, and don't have significant detail among the islands. In fact, they are 90% identical to the CM93 charts we use as a base map.


I'm thinking that maybe I need the paper chart folios used by Swedish and Finnish sailors up here, or are there raster versions I could use with OpenCPN?


What about the expensive NV Charts cartography?


I also need Latvia and Estonia, which are not offered by oeSENC.


Grateful for tips!
I am not recommending that you do this, it's a bit of trouble, but you can create perfect raster scan charts from any paper or electronic source which you can view on your computer using a tool like IMGKAP. I've got a cook-book approach which works, and it takes me about 15 minutes to do a chart, and 1 out of 3 have to be redone due to my errors and typos, so if you're good it's 15 minutes.

I've done about 100. I usually do them just ahead of time for a destination.

You need a scanner and some photo editing tool such as photoshop. IMGKAP has been available for free for along time, there may be updates which make it better. I have an old version. Other people use GEKAP but I have little use for google earth charts due to lack of depth and navigation text.

Now I've heard a lot of talk about SasPlanet as a source, I don't know its legality or coverage.
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Old 14-11-2019, 02:00   #5
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Re: Baltic Sea Charts for OpenCPN

Quote:
Originally Posted by wingssail View Post
I am not recommending that you do this, it's a bit of trouble, but you can create perfect raster scan charts from any paper or electronic source which you can view on your computer using a tool like IMGKAP. I've got a cook-book approach which works, and it takes me about 15 minutes to do a chart, and 1 out of 3 have to be redone due to my errors and typos, so if you're good it's 15 minutes.

I've done about 100. I usually do them just ahead of time for a destination.

You need a scanner and some photo editing tool such as photoshop. IMGKAP has been available for free for along time, there may be updates which make it better. I have an old version. Other people use GEKAP but I have little use for google earth charts due to lack of depth and navigation text.

Now I've heard a lot of talk about SasPlanet as a source, I don't know its legality or coverage.

Thanks for that. I've used GE2KAP for Greenland; the Google Earth images are fantastic for uncharted or badly charted waters. The only problem is that I made all my data sets for the SE coast around Tasiilaq, and I ended up in the NE, in Scorsebysund, and with no bandwidth but an Iridium Go, I couldn't make more


You don't get depth from GE charts, as you say, but you have an exact position of the coast and land features so you can at least navigate. For depth, you just have to pick your way. If there are rocks, you will either see them or find them with your keel


As to making electronic charts from paper ones -- great plan if the charts are borrowed, but if I have them on board then I'm fine just using them as paper charts.


I do have a friend with a complete set of paper for these coasts -- maybe I'll borrow them and use your method. Would you care to share it on here?
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Old 14-11-2019, 02:09   #6
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Re: Baltic Sea Charts for OpenCPN

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Originally Posted by Hawkeye118 View Post
Hi Dockhead. Can I ask how your trip around the Baltic Sea went earlier this year? We are planning on doing the same thing at about the same time in 2020.

It was fantastic; one of my best summer cruises ever. You just about can't go wrong in the Baltic -- everywhere you turn one area is better than the next.


So we started in Helsinki, sailed to Tallinn, provisioned, then headed W along the Estonian coast into the islands, spent almost a week on Hiumaa, renting a car there and getting to know the place quite well, then down to Muhuu, then to a remote island in the Gulf of Riga -- Ruhnu, an ancient Swedish exclave. From there to Riga. From Riga to Kihnu, an island near the mouth of the Parnu gulf, from there to Haapsalu, which was a treasure, then back across the Gulf of Finland to the Finnish archipelago, slowly cruising that as far as Barosund, then from there back across the Gulf to Tallinn, picked up guests, then to one of my favorite Estonian islands, Prangli, from there across the Gulf to somewhere E of Helsinki, then to Helsinki.


No passages more than 80 miles or so -- lazy summer cruising, a pure delight.


Then weekend sailing after that, and at the end of September we sailed back across the Baltic to Denmark for winter quarters, with a long passage from Helsinki to Kalmar, passing by Gotland, a couple days and nights, then on to Denmark.


I plan to keep sailing as often as I can until it gets so cold that I have to winterize. Hopefully not until Christmas.



It's been a great year with a lot of unexpected good wind and good sailing.
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Old 14-11-2019, 03:04   #7
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Re: Baltic Sea Charts for OpenCPN

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Now I've heard a lot of talk about SasPlanet as a source, I don't know its legality or coverage.
SasPlanet is a fantastic info source for cruising, sources set up in here -
http://gdayii.ca/Downloads/Sasplanet.zip

Navionics is available online anyway so if legalities are a worry then should be OK just to look. Cmap in there as well, keyboard shortcuts set up to jump between various different satellite views, cmap & navionics/sonar.
Even if you don't download & view the MbTiles in opencpn it is well worth having the prog just to flip between the different views. Coverage seems global, very useful for cruising anywhere remotely off the beaten track.
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Old 14-11-2019, 04:00   #8
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Re: Baltic Sea Charts for OpenCPN

Poland, Latvia and Litvornia are covered by NV Series 6.

For going on the Swedish side, NV (NV Series 2) will get you to Simrishamn in the Hanö Bay.

NV has the possibillity to download electronic charts, although I have not tried it - I would have played more with the stuff if the 12 V adapter for my laptop had worked.

From Simrishamn to Stockholm, you can get charts from Delius Klasing, with electronic charts thrown in. Whether they work under OCPN, I do not know.

Beyond that - I do not know, we used the C-Map max for the Baltic (which we found to be good) and the local paper charts for sport boats.
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Old 14-11-2019, 07:51   #9
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Re: Baltic Sea Charts for OpenCPN

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Thanks for that. I've used GE2KAP for Greenland; the Google Earth images are fantastic for uncharted or badly charted waters. The only problem is that I made all my data sets for the SE coast around Tasiilaq, and I ended up in the NE, in Scorsebysund, and with no bandwidth but an Iridium Go, I couldn't make more


You don't get depth from GE charts, as you say, but you have an exact position of the coast and land features so you can at least navigate. For depth, you just have to pick your way. If there are rocks, you will either see them or find them with your keel


As to making electronic charts from paper ones -- great plan if the charts are borrowed, but if I have them on board then I'm fine just using them as paper charts.


I do have a friend with a complete set of paper for these coasts -- maybe I'll borrow them and use your method. Would you care to share it on here?
OK, I'll attach the spreadsheet with the instructions and calculations.

Be aware that this is a bit labor intensive, some trial and error, and the instructions were created to assist myself in remembering the requirements and steps. They are not intended to be user friendly. Good luck. Fred Roswold-wingssail

By the way, there are other people who have developed other techniques which are probably more advanced or user friendly, such as Jon Hacking, vessel Ocelot. A member here and a very technically solid guy. We've had some great conversations out in Asia.
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Old 14-11-2019, 08:47   #10
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Re: Baltic Sea Charts for OpenCPN

Quote:
Originally Posted by wingssail View Post
OK, I'll attach the spreadsheet with the instructions and calculations.

Be aware that this is a bit labor intensive, some trial and error, and the instructions were created to assist myself in remembering the requirements and steps. They are not intended to be user friendly. Good luck. Fred Roswold-wingssail

By the way, there are other people who have developed other techniques which are probably more advanced or user friendly, such as Jon Hacking, vessel Ocelot. A member here and a very technically solid guy. We've had some great conversations out in Asia.

Thanks very much; this is a great contribution!!


I will definitely give this a try, and I'll report how it works.
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Old 14-11-2019, 10:47   #11
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Re: Baltic Sea Charts for OpenCPN

Probably well known by everyone sailing between the thousands of islands, but it was new for us: As the paper charts come in transparent plastic bags, you can stick a self adhesive arrow onto the bag to pinpoint your position and move the arrow from bouy to bouy or island to island to keep track of where you are. This worked well for us, having the chart in the cockpit, as a paper chart gives you both overview and detail at a glance without the need for scrolling in and out.


But it does not answer the question on charts for OCPN ...
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Old 14-11-2019, 12:01   #12
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Re: Baltic Sea Charts for OpenCPN

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Old 04-12-2019, 23:48   #13
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Re: Baltic Sea Charts for OpenCPN

I used C- Map for my main plotter. Met a Swedish sv on Gdansk who recommended Navionics Europe HD, which I used for my 12" tablet.
Both worked great from Finland to the Western Atlantic.

Wish I were there.
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Old 05-12-2019, 00:19   #14
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Re: Baltic Sea Charts for OpenCPN

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I used C- Map for my main plotter. Met a Swedish sv on Gdansk who recommended Navionics Europe HD, which I used for my 12" tablet.
Both worked great from Finland to the Western Atlantic.

Wish I were there.

Yeah, it's beautiful, isn't it? But cold and dark right now. I'll be on the boat for a week next week and the Eberspacher is going to get a workout


I have fresh updated Navionics charts on my main plotter, and this is pretty good. But the question was for passage planning. In the event, I did buy OeSENC charts for Sweden, Finland, and Estonia to add to my collection (I already had Iceland and Faroe Islands). These are a bit of a PITA to register and can be unusable without an Internet connection -- anyone acquiring OeSENC charts would be well advised to get the dongle rather than the normal install. But the charts themselves are good. They are vector charts and raster would be better for this purpose, but if you fiddle with the settings these are pretty usable on the big screen.



Still wish there was a good set of official UKHO raster charts like we get for UK and N. Atlantic coasts of Europe from VisitMyHarbour; those are brilliant.
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Old 05-12-2019, 01:41   #15
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Re: Baltic Sea Charts for OpenCPN

Solteknik was mentioned earlier in this thread as a source of BSB raster charts for Sweden. In fact they also have similar charts for Finland. For a modest fee you can download these from their website soltek.se. The website is however only in Swedish...
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