Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Florida, US northeast
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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.