Anybody tried SeaClear II free nav software? - SailNet Community

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Old 02-29-2008
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Anybody tried SeaClear II free nav software?

Hey,

I was wondering if anyone has used the SeaClear II navigation software? I downloaded it last night and it seems to be pretty darn functional. I was skeptical that free navigation software would be worth dime. But it seems to be pretty good.

You can download raster charts from NOAA for free and use them with the program. I connected my handheld GPS to my laptop and ran a simulation and it seems to be working just fine.

it says it will interface with an autopilot too.

It's a full function chartplotter for free? Can this be true?

SeaClear GPS Navigation Software

I am interested to know if anyone has actually used it on their boat and how well it works.

Thanks! Steve
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Old 02-29-2008
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Do you know if they have European charts?
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Old 02-29-2008
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Seea Clear II seems as good as my chart View Pro. But Free.. I have had no isues with it. I have a buddy in the Coast Guard Auxillary that uses it also with no problems.
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Old 02-29-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giulietta View Post
Do you know if they have European charts?

Not sure if they do but will check.

From the SEA Clear II site:
GPS:
The GPS must be capable of transmitting NMEA 0183 1.5 or higher messages. Most modern GPS units with PC communication will work. Virtual serial ports, such as USB GPS units with serial drivers, are supported. Optionally other NMEA instruments may be connected. Depth, Compass and Wind is displayed if present. With AIS receiver connected targets are displayed on screen. On units capable of receiving NMEA waypoint and route data, uploading from the PC is supported.

Charts:

SeaClear II uses raster charts and can use most BSB/KAP version 1 - 3 and GEO/NOS commercial charts. Encrypted charts, like BSB/CAP can not be used. Most common projections are supported. Chart datum's are supported. You can add your own charts, scan or capture them, save as PNG, BMP or other common format. Skewed and rotated charts can be calibrated. Chart border can be set to reduce the actual chart area.
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Last edited by Catalina274me; 02-29-2008 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 02-29-2008
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We've had several threads on this in the past. Consensus seems to be that it is a bit clunkier and less feature laden than some of the commercial programs but that it works well and you can't beat the price.
There are no Euro free charts...but it does work with a variety of chart formats.
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Old 02-29-2008
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SeaClear will work with BSB raster format chart files. AFAIK, there are no sources for free BSB charts outside of the US ones provided by NOAA. The same applies to the newer ENC vector format charts... no free ones outside of the US-based NOAA charts.
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Old 02-29-2008
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Won't find the downloaded charts

I have downloaded the program and several charts from NOAA. The Seaclear program won't find the charts. I can manually find them and get then to display but they don't show up in the drop-down list for all charts. Anybody else have this issue?

Thanks
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Old 02-29-2008
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You have to use the companion "MapCal II" program to install charts. Put them in a folder somewhere, then run MapCal and use Tools -> Directories to tell it which folder they are in. After that, run Tools -> Autoload Lists -> Scan for New Charts (also in MapCal) and it should find the charts. After this process, they'll show up in SeaClear's chart list. MapCal II is included if you downloaded the "full install" package from their web site.
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Old 02-29-2008
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Did you make sure that the path is correct to the folder where you downloaded the files ( look under File, Chart Info, Image File, and be something like C:\Program Files\Seaclear\CHARTS)
Also, did you go under Mapcal (Seaclear Calibration Utility), Tools, Autoload List, Scan for new charts) or Tools, Set Directories, and make sure the path to your charts is there as well.

It has been a while since I loaded my free NOAA charts, but they do work.
In Seaclear, I can go to File, Charts, List all, and pick one.
I can also right click on the currently displayed chart, click charts, and choose Best Chart or smaller scale.

I also imported some screen prints from Garmin's blucharts, and they work, but I am not sure about the projection. I was able to calibrate them, following the Seaclear instructions.
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Old 02-29-2008
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for less than $10 I e-bayed a complete set of the charts plus seaclear all on one dvd. seaclear seems to work just fine with the charts being on the dvd. that saves space on the hard drive and gives me every chart NOAA publishes
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