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Old 08-26-2015, 09:47 PM   #1
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Default Chart Plotters and Navigation Software

I recently crewed on a a 30 ft steel boat years after selling my Tayana 37.

The wind hasn't changed, the waves are the same, there are still halyards and sheets but, the electronics blew me away. It was like magic.

I had a compass, depth sounder, knot log, and paper charts. Near the end, I had LORAN. That worked pretty well.

Now, this captain had a touch screen chart plotter, radar, wind direction and strength, and an autopilot. I was blown away when his VHF radio identified all of the big ships by name, speed, and direction and even predicted the time and distance of closest approach. Witchcraft!!

I'll limit this question to charting only. I want to buy into electronic charting and would like opinions and reviews of devices.

I have a handheld GPS that I used on my bicycle. I think that could be paired with paper charts for one level of backup.

I will have a laptop and a tablet, both running WIN8. How do different software packages perform? I may want to buy a chart plotter and have the computers and hand held as backups.

The ultimate destination is unknown. I will have to be able to add charts.

I would like to hear about your experiences and especially, reliability of your nav equipment.

Thanks

Tom
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Old 08-27-2015, 02:17 AM   #2
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OpenCPN is the go. It's good, it's free, it runs on Linux and Windows and you can easily get worldwide charts.

OpenCPN | Official OpenCPN Homepage
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Old 08-27-2015, 03:02 AM   #3
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Since you're in Costa Rica, what do you think about this deal?

Trimaran/House/Car
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:03 PM   #4
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OpenCPN is great on a PC. You might want to investigate Navionics for your Tablet. You can buy quite large areas relatively cheaply and share it across several devices eg Tablet, smart phone. This gives you an alternate view of your area and a backup device is always valuable.

One advantage of OpenCPN is the ability to display Google Earth images within the charting software. (you need GE2Kap for this, but the process is pretty simple).
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: Costa Rica

Thanks for your response about OpenCPN. I have already been looking at it and would appreciate opinions regarding it. I have the two computers, but they are not waterproof. So I was thinking that they would be secondary or backup devices.

Costa Rica is a terrific country, but it's not for everyone. I have been to many different areas of the country and it is full of natural wonders and friendly people. The infrastructure varies widely. Roads are in fair to poor condition. Electricity is generally reliable. You can drink the water, but some areas have shortages and water is not available 24 hours per day. Some areas do not have internet service.

I live in the center of the country in a small town named Zarcero. I have been here 5 years and really like it.

Costa Rica - Zarcero

The country has many different micro-climates. Zarcero is cool. I sailed into Golfito earlier this year and it was HOT!

It is best known as the place where the only tax free import zone is located. Import taxes are very high, so many people go there to buy appliances and electronics. It's a good deal if you are near to it, otherwise it depends upon how easy it is to get your purchase home.

There isn't a lot more there. It's located near some good national parks and is a quiet little place.

I wouldn't recommend that anyone come to Costa Rica and buy property. Property is very easy to buy and very hard to sell. Many people who buy regret their decision. Over half the people who move here leave within a year. There are numerous reasons.

This deal sounds too good to be true. So it probably is.

Here is a good site with real information about CR.

The Real Costa Rica. Everything you want or need to know about Costa Rica

Here is a forum of residents. My username on this forum is "Tom and Marcia

Retire, Live or Travel in Costa Rica. Residency and Immigration. ARCR

Tom
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Old 08-28-2015, 02:13 AM   #6
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Thanks for the roundup. I expect the deal is so cheap because the house is in the Zona Maritimo Terrestre and therefore leasehold only, but I didn't make any enquiries about it. Still not a bad package if clear title can be established.

If you have the time, it would be good to have some details about Costa Rica in the World Cruising and Sailing Wiki.

http://www.cruiserswiki.org/wiki/Wor...d_Sailing_Wiki
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Old 08-28-2015, 12:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haiqu View Post
Thanks for the roundup. I expect the deal is so cheap because the house is in the Zona Maritimo Terrestre and therefore leasehold only, but I didn't make any enquiries about it. Still not a bad package if clear title can be established.

If you have the time, it would be good to have some details about Costa Rica in the World Cruising and Sailing Wiki.

http://www.cruiserswiki.org/wiki/Wor...d_Sailing_Wiki
Maybe I'll do that.

I would encourage a visit to Costa Rica and see as much of it as you can. Please don't make an impulsive buy "Marriage in haste, Repent at leasure"

Tom
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Old 04-17-2016, 08:47 PM
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