Free NOAA charts - which reader? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 18 Old 01-26-2007 Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice. not one person in favor of Raymarine so far! I've been told the new plotters were specifically designed for upgrade potential. Anyway I'll take all this in consideration. I'm not averse to pay for a program that will work well with the free charts so it sounds like the Fugawi or the Coastal explorer might work. So many decisions. Now if I can just get my equipment to the boat...but that's another thread...

M Murphy
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post #12 of 18 Old 01-26-2007
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Maptech

I have been using Maptech with a compaq laptop and found it usable and easy to learn. I also downloaded a few free charts as you have and they worked well with the charts that came with the program. Switching from one chart to another is automatic as your vessel progress or it can be manually accomplished. It cost about $100.00 and has excellent customer tech support for registered users; which you are if you have the ID number from the software. If you decide to go with the Maptech software please be advised that there is a cool feature to change your monitor lighting that is sofware controlled, for sunny, to night, to fog, twilight, etc. That feature was hard to find, but it was worth the search. Nope, I will never purchase a dedicated firmware chartplotter again as they are pricey and quite limited as to what they can do. Their chips are marginally outdated the moment you purchase them and they are expensive. I went the C-Map route last time with a ray marine chartplotter; never again. The money saved by laptoping can be spent on my next entertainment center...err.. I mean chartplotter.
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post #13 of 18 Old 01-27-2007 Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone!

Why isn't all of this more well known? This will be a good topic for Practical Sailor!

So far I've tried CAris Easy ENC and the Fugawi View ENC

The only reason I am still interested in a dedicated plotter is because of my mistrust of computers for critical information. When I took my previous boat to Alaska I had a number of computer crashes where I was very glad to have a plotter available that NEVER goes down - as a backup. Having said that, i can count the number of times I really used it on one hand, since I prefer the bigger screen of the computer.

M Murphy
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post #14 of 18 Old 01-27-2007
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If you want to use the free vector charts, carefully check for compatability. Some systems, that claim to handle vector charts, do not. For example, "The Capn" cannot display the NOAA Vector charts, only their own proprietary version.
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post #15 of 18 Old 01-30-2007
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Mag,
Practical Sailor lost my business when they started reviewing sunglasses. Sunglasses? I'm shelling out boat bucks for a review on sunglasses? I did like it when they tore up Robert Egg from Norsea boats. He refered to them in one of his interent postings as Practical Slander. I half expect him to turn up eventually as the CEO PSC.
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post #16 of 18 Old 01-31-2007
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Originally Posted by RickBowman
Mag,
Practical Sailor lost my business when they started reviewing sunglasses. Sunglasses? I'm shelling out boat bucks for a review on sunglasses?
Not to derail the thread or anything, but I actually enjoy when they get away from the thousand-dollar gadget comparisons and review Nev-r-Dull or some kind of newfangled tarp snaps. We all wear sunglasses and some of us don't actually drop them overboard...and I like to hear about any technologies that may filter down to the five-buck surplus store models I typically buy (hey, I like brownish lenses...)

To each his own, but between Ocean Navigator, Practical Sailor and Good Old Boat, I've saved in time and money and solid recommendations several times the cost of the subscriptions. On top of that, I use the Web sites to check out half-remembered stuff that boat shows remind me I once had an interest in researching...like Walker Bay dinghies.
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post #17 of 18 Old 02-02-2007
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CG1111,

I have downloaded free charts and run them on my Captn program with no issues. The program has a scroll menu and is easy to use.

I purchased a Raymarine Chart plotter because I thought I would like it better at the helm. I do! BUT I don't like the program as well as the captn.

Captn is fast easy to use. And as I said I did take free charts off the INTERNET and have used them.
John
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post #18 of 18 Old 02-13-2007
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Valdare, were the charts you downloaded the vector charts?
The raster charts work well in The Capn and I use them. But when I last checked The Capn did not support the kind of vector charts that are available from NOAA for free.
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