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Old 08-01-2015, 14:48   #1
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South Pacific Charts, Garmin???

Dear Forum,

I am currently in Panama and after traveling here from Columbia and I have learned that the Garmin BlueCharts I purchased are way off from Obaldia to Nargana, Panama. Very dangerous situation if I did not use google earth to correct my headings. My understanding is that most, if not all, electronic charts in that area are off. In many cases as much as .33 km. Eric Bauhaus has publiched the most accurate charts we have seen in his Panama Cruising Guide. Thank you Eric. Well worth the money.

We are now preparing to go through the canal to head West and wondering what, those who have been to the South Pacific have found to be the most accurate electronic charts?

I have heard the the French based charts are much better than the UK charts. That would make sense in Polynesia. Would love to get some input. I am still thinking of using Garmin BlueCharts, has anyone used them from Panama to Fiji???

Thanks in advance
Bob
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Old 12-01-2015, 20:48   #2
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Re: South Pacific Charts, Garmin???

I used Navionics from Panama across to Fiji and New Zealand and found them to be very accurate almost everywhere. I also have an iPad as a backup and since it's so cheap i also have CMap charts on the iPad. There are a few areas that CMap was better (Chesterfield Reefs between Vanuatu and Australia for example) but overall Navionics never was a problem, even in the inside reefs of Fiji.
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Old 14-01-2015, 13:14   #3
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Re: South Pacific Charts, Garmin???

What Jim said.

We have Navionics, Garmin and CMAP. From French Poly to Fiji (our path so far) Navionics was a clear winner.

But consider also having SASPlanet aboard for easy offline use of satellite imagery for areas none of the charts handle well. We love it. I have a post about it on our blog but dont seem to be able to cut and paste here with my ipad so I will try to put it up later.
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Old 14-01-2015, 17:22   #4
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Re: South Pacific Charts, Garmin???

I found Navionics to be spot on until Tonga where they were off. The pass at Aitutaki is off as well but overall your best bet.


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Old 14-01-2015, 18:02   #5
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Re: South Pacific Charts, Garmin???

This is good to hear about Navionics since that is the system we use and we are heading to the South Pacific this year as well. We will also have Open CPN as a backup on the laptop.

Having used C-Map before on a previous boat in the tropics we always made sure to back it up with eyeball navigation for tricky places like atoll passes or entrances to harbors. I remember C-Map was way off for the entrance to Galle, Sri Lanka, for example and if we foolishly relied on it and entered at night I would not be here to tell you about it.

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Old 14-01-2015, 18:03   #6
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Re: South Pacific Charts, Garmin???

I had Garmin in 2007 and found it to be seriously lacking in detail. So many islands were just presented as a green blob. The only places with useful detail were the well travelled ports such as San Diego, Ensenada, Honolulu. With BlueChart just changing to differently branded cards is impossible.

I wound up swapping to CMap and Furuno. Never tried Navionics.
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Old 05-04-2016, 23:01   #7
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Re: South Pacific Charts, Garmin???

If you are looking for iOS or Android tab, There are quite few good ones that cover South Pacific. The first one in particular has a separate map package covering Fiji and Vanuatu.

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Originally Posted by rnjpinz View Post
Dear Forum,

I am currently in Panama and after traveling here from Columbia and I have learned that the Garmin BlueCharts I purchased are way off from Obaldia to Nargana, Panama. Very dangerous situation if I did not use google earth to correct my headings. My understanding is that most, if not all, electronic charts in that area are off. In many cases as much as .33 km. Eric Bauhaus has publiched the most accurate charts we have seen in his Panama Cruising Guide. Thank you Eric. Well worth the money.

We are now preparing to go through the canal to head West and wondering what, those who have been to the South Pacific have found to be the most accurate electronic charts?

I have heard the the French based charts are much better than the UK charts. That would make sense in Polynesia. Would love to get some input. I am still thinking of using Garmin BlueCharts, has anyone used them from Panama to Fiji???

Thanks in advance
Bob
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