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Old 06-20-2007
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Format of Garmin nautical maps - Seaclear??

Anyone know the format of Garmin Nautical maps, and if they will work with Seaclear? I believe it uses the BBS format, possibly others. I have Seaclear working with the free NOAA Raster (BBS format) maps. Thanks in advance!
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Most all the "for fee" programs use a propietary format, that SeaClear can't read. You pretty much have to use the NOAA download charts with it (raster charts).

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Garmin maps are proprietary, and won't work with anything but their software. The BSB maps will work with Maptech's software, as well as some others... and some of the Maptech charts were available in BSB format IIRC.
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Thanks for the replies! I heard that the Garmin maps require a keycode to use thier maps on the computer, and another keycode to use with their GPS. I thought I may avoid one of the charges, since my Seaclear is alerady hooked to the GPS. Looks like there's no way around paying.
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Old 06-21-2007
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Northeaster, are you in the Northeast? I may have a solution for you as I've been struggling through the same mess. SeaClear is very flexible when it comes to pulling in charts.

For instance, The Captn uses the .kap extension and. . . SeaClear has no problem reading them.
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Is there any such thing as an open standard for these maps and, if so, are any of the manufacturers of chartmappers using it?
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MapTech and several other companies developed a Raster standard called BSB, and the NOAA raster charts are in that format...and can be read by most navigation programs. The newer vector format is called ENC, and is not readable by some programs, like SeaClear, which only support the older standard.
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Here's a link to Noaa's enc page where you can download enc charts and free VIEWERS and link to reasonably priced ENC charting systems.
Office of Coast Survey - Electronic Navigational Charts, Resources
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Old 06-22-2007
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Seaclear???

I've been playing around with Seaclear II and it seems to work pretty well. When connected to the GPS, It automatically selects the proper chart when it comes up and it seems easy to plot a course and uploading waypoints to the gps OK. Has anyone actually used this software? If so, what do you think of it?

I love the price, and it seems to have all the bells and whistles, but I'm hesitant to depend on it and would like to hear from others who use it or have at least taken a look at it.

Rick in Florida

Last edited by Rickm505; 06-22-2007 at 07:01 AM. Reason: added a title
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Rick...I have it and have played with it and it works just fine...just doesn't have all the whiz bang features that the expensive programs do...but it has everything you need to see where you are and do routes and waypoints.
I don't see any reason NOT to use it if it meets your needs. As far as relying on ANYTHING other than paper charts and an actual GPS readout...I would not...but it is a nice thing to have a charting plotter. One note...your computer screen will NOT be visible in your cockpit underway so your use of Sea Clear or any other program will be limited to down below unless you hook up an EXTERNAL daylight visible screen to your PC. You just need to factor that in to you plans and decide whether a helm based chartplotter is better than a PC based one for you.
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