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Old 04-10-2012, 02:20 PM   #1
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Default Electronic Charting & Sailing

Hi, my name is Tshombe and I manage the west coast of the country for Navionics, from BC to Cabo, Arizona, and Nevada. I'm new to forums and this forum is the first I have written anything on. My goal is two fold. 1, I truly want to be a resource for other members when it comes to Electronic charting by answering questions that may arise. 2, over the last year, i have been reading some things on sailing and have been drawn to it and want to know more about learning to sail. This year I attended the Seattle Boat show and looked into a couple of sailing schools and even thought about some type of sailing vacation. I look forward to chatting with you all and being able to learn more about the world of sailing.

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Old 04-10-2012, 07:11 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard!
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:18 AM   #3
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I have Cmap commonly called Crash Map. It is ok for information and really is a good tool, but I never trust it for actual navigation. I'm a paper charts,sextant, tables, previous proven tracks, and Mark I eyeball kind of guy.
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BJSmith View Post
I have Cmap commonly called Crash Map. It is ok for information and really is a good tool, but I never trust it for actual navigation. I'm a paper charts,sextant, tables, previous proven tracks, and Mark I eyeball kind of guy.
I too am using C-Map together with paper charts. I have been using C-Map cartridges on a dedicated GPS/Plotter for over 12 years now, cruising in the Med, Black Sea, and N. Atlantic. They have never crashed. I find them very accurate unless I go go to very high magnifications, then my boat, according to the chart, is ashore!
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:25 AM   #5
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Welcome aboard!
Thank you very much for the warm welcome!

Tshombe
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:07 PM   #6
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I too am using C-Map together with paper charts. I have been using C-Map cartridges on a dedicated GPS/Plotter for over 12 years now, cruising in the Med, Black Sea, and N. Atlantic. They have never crashed. I find them very accurate unless I go go to very high magnifications, then my boat, according to the chart, is ashore!
For charting manufactures, accuracy has always been and will continue to be a challenge, no matter who produces the chart. So, in my estimation (with all my biases firmly in place) it comes down to how quickly the corrections to those errors can be 1. discovered, 2. corrected, and finally, 3. disseminated to those who use the charts. The two mechanisms Navionics uses are UGC (User Generated Content) and Freshest Data. End users can edit Navionics chart data through our mobile applications (UGC). Literally, in a matter of "minutes" that UGC datea is pushed out to over 700,000 users world wide. This UGC layer of data is on what we call a "community" layer and can be read on mobile device, PC and Macs, as well as a couple of prominent chartplotters on the market today. Navionics charts are updated daily and end users can update their electronic charts for their chartplotter for free for 12 months.
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:48 PM   #7
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I'm old fashioned in that I like to use my paper charts while underway--plotting our position and all by hand. However, I do always have a little track plotting on our Nokia N810 which I can keep for record. It is also helpful to verify that I'm sailing where I THINK I'm sailing into an unfamiliar anchorage or bay--just verifying the dead reckoning really. The most important thing I do with our charts is establish an anchor watch once we're in the anchorage. It is so nice to be able to see our swing, if we're dragging, and so on. Very helpful to a good night's rest for me!

For planning or last minute "what if we do X" it's really nice to have electronic charts aboard to work with. I have been successful in using the downloads from the NOAA site (free) and an inexpensive little program called PolarView with those charts. I use something called Maemo Mapper on the little handheld Nokia which uses the same NOAA charts. If I were cruising outside of waters where NOAA charts are available, I'd really have to look into what the options are.

We have an Interphase FLS which has given us a few heart attacks (false info thank goodness!) and saved us from a couple unexpected things as well. That is no surrogate for charts but it is helpful when sailing in areas where things are changing.

I know some people are literally glued to their chart plotter. We're not. I also know if one is cruising in an area with a lot of poorly charted rocks and/or coral heads that the desire for up-to-date-latest-greatest-charts really gets strong! That is likely where the provision of recent user-generated content is really a reassurance to some of your users. Sometimes what you "need" isn't the important part anyway. Rather, what you "want" (like that latest possible info) can really make you more comfortable about your travels.

Fair winds,
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:58 AM   #8
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I bought a copy of Jeppesen's C-Map on DVD and found it ancient and unwieldy, although the bonus stuff was worth the $130 paid. Looked around and discovered OpenCPN on the internet (free software) which can use the CM-93 maps from the DVD.

This system is heaps better, especially since on my notebook PC the original needed to use low-resolution mode. Hi-res uses 1280x1024x8 colours, unsupported on most (all?) LCD screens.

I do intend to print out maps before each journey in case the computer dies, of course.

Rob
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:27 PM   #9
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I had a copy of CMAP which came with a chart book of SoCal. I could use it just fine but there's nothing "fancy" going there for sure! I have used OpenCPN extensively but found it had glitches and would crash at the worst moments. That is why I started looking around for a replacement. At this time, I wouldn't trust OpenCPN--free or not, it isn't worth the hassle. Nor is it as good as extremely inexpensive programs out there. I used it on a Linux (Ubuntu) system so I wanted something which would work on that. Very few chart programs work on Linux OS. I found the PolarView (made by PolarNavy) to be an incredibly cheap and good option with many more features than OpenCPN. Though list price was something like $39.99 when I bought it, you got $20 off for taking a download rather than having them send you a disk. So my price was $19.99 for 5 installs. That means you could choose to put it on 5 computers or re-install it 5 times on your primary computer. Good deal. I saw list price of PolarView of $49.99 more recently and assume they still have the "sale" price if you do it via download.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:18 AM   #10
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I'm using the recently released OpenCPN v3.0.0 and it hasn't crashed yet (on Win XP). I also appreciate the idea of having the option to use it on Linux, and edit it to add stuff. I do agree that it is very basic, although I don't see that as a bad thing.

Certainly a cut above CMAP anyhow. That tended to stick the computer in low-res mode even after shutting down, and also covered the task bar requiring use of Alt-Tab to change tasks.

Unfortunately PolarView doesn't accept CM93 maps. The idea of buying a whole new set in an acceptable format was a deal breaker.

Rob
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:53 AM
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:56 AM   #11
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Old thread but why not bring it back to life...

I'm with Brenda that there is no replacement for a good paper chart.... but that a plotter/gps does give a bit of peace of mind when entering a new harbor.

The systems I have used are CMAP, which I wasn't a fan of and Tsunami 99... when held up side by side Tsunami had WAY more information and detail.... it uses real vector charts... CMAP compared to it looked like cartoon maps... no comparison...
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:20 AM   #12
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In Australia I am using Navionics gold. Quite spectacular in combination with my Simrad NSS7. The accuracy was mind boggling good. After many years on boats I have a little healthy distrust but this new package has my attention. For example I used the line of leads shown on the plotter as part of one was out and it was spot on.

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Old 05-16-2014, 04:36 AM   #13
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I commented on another thread that I am not the picture of diligence when it comes to updating my charts from Notices to Mariners. First, I have paper charts of much of the world, and second, my charts are on the boat which is some distance away from my current location.

Correcting my charts would be a mammoth job to begin with, and would be a big time consuming task to keep them regularly updated....seriously, I think it would take hours each week.

I assume electronic charts are corrected daily (or close to it) by the developers of each suite. So, how often do the navigators with electronic charts actually log in and get the updates? Are the updates expensive?

More to the point, as my navigation style is concerned, is how often do most navigators update or correct their paper charts? I have a very relaxed attitude to this and while it may not be proper and correct, I am not in a super tanker drawing 60' or 28.5m (Battilus class) and I can stop or change direction very quickly by comparison with most commercial vessels or large private yachts.

I know there are submarine cables and such in harbours and take steps to be informed whenever I am going into unfamiliar ports...But what is the general feeling of our members to the task of chart correction (1) for local charts where you routinely sail, (2) In unfamiliar areas where you expect to be heading in the near future and (3) To older charts which detail the other side of the world?
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:51 AM   #14
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A lot of my paper charts for Australia are 70's and 80's.. Some Around major ports and Islands or reefs we frequent are sort of kept up to date .....sorta....
Update electronic ones as newer versions come out a couple of times a year some years and a couple of years apart at other times.
Trouble is I have a bad habit of scribbling on paper charts with notes.
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