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Old 08-28-2013
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Re: gps navigation

Garmin makes wonderful, very useful charts but remember that their technology is highly proprietary so check out what charts you need and then decide whether Garmin or a computer-based program like Polar Navy, Sea Clear, Sail Cruiser, or Open CPN are what you really want. Unless there is something new, the only way to use anything other than Garmin charts on a Garmin unit is to import converted .gpx waypoint files as Tom has mentioned. There are lots of hoops to jump through with many of the proprietary charts in order to get them on your computer and then, God forbid, ever have to swap them due to new hard drives or computers. For general inshore/coastal sailing, remember that NOAA raster and enc charts are FREE and always updatable, unlike something you buy which will be updatable AT A PRICE. Programs that can use raster and enc charts are Sailcruiser, Polar Navy (a very nice, reasonably priced program), Open CPN (free, but I've had crash problems with it) which is really a Beta program. Sea Clear only uses raster. Hope that helps... there's lots more to know about this subject and many companies in the game. I've just scratched the surface here.
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Last edited by smurphny; 08-28-2013 at 04:31 PM.
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