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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 10-10-2008
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Chart Software

I'm looking into charting software for the first time. I've been messing about with the Maptech Chart Navigator demo & almost immediately came up with two obvious things that I think are missing. One being a way to put your waypoint note on the route plan, and Two, there is no easy way to intersect your plotted course with the arc of a light's range of visibility.

Can anyone familiar with the software tell me if I am missing something? Does anyone know of software that will do this? Thanks!!
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Old 10-10-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayncyn51 View Post
There is no easy way to intersect your plotted course with the arc of a light's range of visibility.
Why would you want to do that? In fact, what do you mean by that?

For the record, I have started using MaxSea utilising the C-maps chart library and I have to say I'm really impressed.
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Old 10-10-2008
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I use Capn Voyager. It lets the user plot LOP's that are easily measured and to set up circular alarm zones. Either tool would work to mark a light's range of visibility. It also allows you to add notes to waypoints, even pictures if you want but it wouldn't appear unless you clicked on the waypoint and chose the appropriate command to see your notes from the drop down menu. The demo version of Capn is missing several features available in the full version.
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Old 10-10-2008
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Software

Will any of these load into a Garmin chat plotter or are they PC only?
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Old 10-10-2008
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We use Coastal Navigator on our Catalina 470 and love it. It is PC based only and written by former Microsoft employees. Very fast and stable. It will show notes for waypoints if you click on that option for that note.

I believe you can download a demo from rosepointnav.com.

We have a Raymarine chartplotter in the cockpit, but it is not AIS compatable and without a keyboard and mouse, it is too difficult to enter complicated waypoints and routes. (The new C and E series displays are AIS compatable.)
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Old 10-11-2008
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Thanks, all! I'll take a look at the demo software you suggest.

Omatako - So I'll know approximately when and at what bearing a given light should become visible.
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Old 10-12-2008
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I've bought two USB GPSes in the last month (the little "puck" types) and both work with the minimal software to rapidly provide LAT/LON, etc. but despite loading various drivers and emulators, I can't get Seaclear II to open the assigned comport to receive the NMEA strings.

So I'm open to suggestions as to other programs (ideally free or shareware) that use non-proprietary maps (raster/BSB) that I can annotate as per NTMs.

Seaclear looks great, but if I can't get the GPS to play with it, it's useless to me. And I have experience solving these sort of issues back to the days of DOS 4.0 (ack...bad memories).
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Old 10-12-2008
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Try Seaclear. It's freeware, reads the free NOAA raster charts no problem and when connected to the GPS, it automatically reads the boat location and selects the proper chart when it comes up. The software isn't intuitive, but after stumbling around for a while I can now easily plot a course and upload all necessary waypoints to the GPS.

I love the price (free), and it seems to have all the bells and whistles, meaning inputs for depth sounder, wind speed, speed log and on a 15" laptop wide screen it's easy to see the menus and watch your boat progress.

SeaClear GPS Navigation Software

I've been using it for over a year and it's flawless so far. The only limiting factor is being limited to available NOAA charts. It does have a chart import feature, but I have to admit that I've never used it.

Over all, it's cheap, and it works great. What else does a guy need? As far as USB GPS's? I picked up a Belk serail to UPS adapter. Load the driver and connect the GPS. Seaclear sees it just fine.

Last edited by Rickm505; 10-12-2008 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 10-12-2008
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I have a question. How do you secure your laptops when underway?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickm505 View Post
As far as USB GPS's? I picked up a Belk serail to UPS adapter. Load the driver and connect the GPS. Seaclear sees it just fine.
I saw a Belkin last week. It cost only a little less than the GPS...

It had a male USB and a male serial 9 pin, presumably to go directly into the USB port. What I think I need is a female USB port into which I can stick the male USB GPS and a female serial port end to stick into my laptop.

That I have yet to find. I find it irrational that Seaclear isn't accepting the Prolific USB-to-serial emulation, particularly as I've adjusted output BPS in Device Manager/Ports to match the apparently preferred speed of 4800 baud.
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