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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #21  
Old 11-02-2008
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chart downloads

The short answer to your question is that you can download US charts for free from the NOAA web site. Charts outside the US are generally not available for free downloads. I have used Sea Clear and NOAA chars several times for trips down the ICW. In my case, I was able to get the chart numbers for the Bahamas but, when I tried to download then, I got a message that, because of copyright restrictions, they were not available for download.

Dick Pluta
AEGEA
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  #22  
Old 02-13-2009
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NOAA Charts

I have been trying to set up SeaClear ll on my laptop and would like some help from anyone who is useing it with the NOAA charts. I have the software working, that is, it sees the GPS signal. But, I can't get the charts into the list. I put them into the "chart" folder in SeaClear and used only the .KAP files like the manual says. But, they don't come up when I hit "list".
If I go to Windows explorer and go to the chart folder, they are all there and they have the wheel icon on them as as if SeaClear had recognized them. They just don't show up in the program itself.
HELP!
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  #23  
Old 02-13-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superhawk View Post
I have been trying to set up SeaClear ll on my laptop and would like some help from anyone who is useing it with the NOAA charts. I have the software working, that is, it sees the GPS signal. But, I can't get the charts into the list. I put them into the "chart" folder in SeaClear and used only the .KAP files like the manual says. But, they don't come up when I hit "list".
If I go to Windows explorer and go to the chart folder, they are all there and they have the wheel icon on them as as if SeaClear had recognized them. They just don't show up in the program itself.
HELP!
Try opening MapCal, Tools, Autoload List, Scan for New Charts and see if that does it.
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  #24  
Old 03-01-2009
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While SeaClear will display free NOAA charts (kap) in the "other file" category, it will not automatically display NOAA charts unless they are registered. Try EBAY for registered copies (usually $17 or so for 500+ charts). They are the exact same charts you can download yourself BUT they are registered from a dealer and will be very useful in SeaClear when charting. Without registered charts I found that I had to go to the file tab each time, but with registered charts all I have to do is hit ctrl-G and the next best chart in my route pops up automatically. I have been using SeaClear for one week now and it is working well, but there is a learning curve.
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  #25  
Old 03-01-2009
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No need to buy charts. The NOAA charts work just fine. When you download from NOAA there will be two files for each NOAA chart, a .kap and a .bup (?). All you need is the .kap. The other file is a calibration file that SeaClear doesn't need.

Downloads are a little clumsy. You pick the charts you want and a zip file will be sent. Unzip into the directory in SeaClear. As noted above, run MapCal. This will load the charts into SeaClear.

Open SeaClear and you will get a green world chart. Double click on the area that you want and it should come up. If you want to go to adjoining charts just move the cursor to the edge of the chart until a double line cross shows and double click.

You can create a route by pointing and clicking on way points and, when you are running the route the proper chart will load automatically.

The learning curve comment is right on. You can download a manual from the SeaClear web site. It tales a little slogging to get through some things, especially downloads, but once you are up and running it's excellent. I've been using it for about four years and love it.

Dick Pluta
AEGEA
Nassau, Bahamas
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  #26  
Old 03-01-2009
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SeaClear will only read bitmat charts and will not work with enc charts. I have both Seaclear and (fugawi for the enc charts) and it's so cool. I also set up a program called franson GPS gate which allowes you to run multible programs and feed all from one gps at the same time, way cool and very usefull. Fugawi has some hardware that allowes you to buy charts for chartplotters and plug them in, I have not done this just know it's possible. If you want out of USA electronic charts Seaclear dosn't seem the way to go. I don't see me scanning charts and doing all the work to get it right and then be sweating bullets hoping you have it right when it really matters. I agree with the salts here and do not skimp on navagation and have backups of backups, paper charts, cruising guides and know how to use them before you need to. My next step is learning how to use a sextant so when and I mean when the gps goes down I won't be lost, I hate not knowing exactly where I am at all times, just seems crazy relying on gps in these times when things can go boom and no gps. Just my thoughts and to each his own.

Last edited by bluwateronly; 03-01-2009 at 01:58 PM.
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