has been crippled by the HK MarDep stopping any third party maritime chart provider since ... a few years ago now. Applying the usual Hong Kong
(lack of) logic and reason, they claim that 3rd party providers can't be trusted, and can't use any data from the MarDep.
The official data from the Hydrographic office is fine as paper charts
(although ... they are really slow to update it. I told them about a wreck - which had been there for half a year - and it took a further month before they updated the charts). The electronic charts
they provide are fine if you have a commercial
vessel with an industry grade chart plotter. Or a laptop
computer. But for those of us with normal boats - we just don't have that option.
Then there is Navionics
, and their SonarCharts. Making your own sonar logs
, from sounder+GPS, and uploading them to Navionics
- the charts would be carefully recalculated and updated with those data. I have done that for a few years now, in and around the marina where my boat
is. Now finally gotten my boat
ready to sail, things are changing.
The HK Hydrographic office seem to have stepped up their efforts to block any and all competition:
26 Feb at 11:20
We are sorry to inform you that the Hydrografic Office has restricted the use of collecting and processing Sonar data. Due to these legal restrictions, we can't process your logs included into this Area.
We will make it our priority to keep you posted when or if we have any additional information.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
Navionics Customer Service
In other words - they won't let boaters share their soundings to produce those charts ... that the MarDep / Hydro Office have taken from us in the first place.
So although the official explanation is that only the publicly approved charts will keep us safe (yeah right), it ironically has the exact opposite effect: People keep their old chart memory cards in their chart plotters , several years outdated.