Which chart software? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 21 Old 06-28-2006
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Groundhog, I wasn't trying to scare you off - so don't have too many second thoughts; just be aware of what's under there! My boat is a Compass 28 (see http://www.sailblogs.com/member/compass28/ ). As an ex seagoing Navigator in Oceania, SE Asia and South Pacific, I am particularly attuned to these things, and perhaps a little paranoid! Get out there at have some (safe) fun.

Feel free to email me if you like.

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post #12 of 21 Old 06-28-2006
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Just remember that the coastal areas a far more dangerous than open ocean—where there are less things for you to hit, less ship traffic, fewer rocks... etc.

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post #13 of 21 Old 06-28-2006
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Seems there's still a reluctance to answer Groundhog's original question . . . . what should I buy?
I would actually be interested to know what popular opinion is on this.
Any offers?
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post #14 of 21 Old 06-28-2006
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Someone mentioned the Chesapeake Bay as your sailing area? There are several laminated charts of the Bay that you can buy. They are great because they will provide compass headings from the Buoys. So they are great for beginners. I really think a hand-held is all you need for the Bay and the size boat you have.
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post #15 of 21 Old 06-29-2006
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The Maptech waterproof chartbooks are quite good buys, and come with a CD with electronic versions. While the Maptech software leaves a bit to be desired, it's passable for a free package. The chartbooks are quite durable, and can take a bit of abuse, and are a fairly convenient size for a small boat's nav station.

A portable GPS, like the Garmin 276 might be better than a handheld. It can take the Bluechart marine charts and can be used for both marine and auto navigation. I use one in my car, and carry it as a backup on the boat.

Hmm... interesting... seems that Sailnet.com's forums are picking keywords and adding links to them automatically.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #16 of 21 Old 06-29-2006
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Omatako:
There is no reluctance to answer the quetsion, there is just no simple answer! As everone stated, before You start with electronic charting system, see to that You have a 'paper' set up of Your cruising area, and add a GPS of next of any kind to it.
If cruising area is the US waters, probably the cheapest solution would be NOA chars and reading software as the charts are free. Then is the question if You want to invest in a GPS system with charts included? Garmin, Raymarine, Simrad You name it, they all have. Some You have to load the charts from a CD, some use special Memory stics (C-map). Cruising in smaller areas this is an acceptable solution, cruising the world, rather expensive. The advantage of theese systems are they are 'bullet proof' and rather stable, but screen size may be somewhat small for costal navigation in difficult areas. Theese systems are rather power economical compared to next step: lap top and chart soft ware. For lap tops there are almost a jungel of programs, some 'free', some 'demo' some You simply buy! As for chart systems I preferr either C-map or Transas, but both rather expensive. In highly traffic areas these charts are frequently updated, in the more remote areas as atolls in the pacific etc there may be problems (probably why You sometimes find reefed boats on both sides of the reef openings!)
However, before starting computerized/electronic navigation - old fashioned paper charts are amust! Then it is all up to Your need and not forget Your wallet what to choose!
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post #17 of 21 Old 06-29-2006
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If you google 'Sea Clear" you will find a chart plotting program you can download for free. i think it works quite well, though it doesnot have the bells and whistles and alarms. It works with noaa charts. I have just used the program on my laptop to sail from Milwaukee, WI into Canada and I was very happy with it. In Canada, however, with no electronic charts, I am back to the old fashion way - plotting my position and using parallel rules to determine course. GPS makes this a lot easier than the really old days of a hand bearing compass.
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post #18 of 21 Old 06-29-2006
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OK, to answer the specific question, I use a Garmin GPS60 (a no frills but functional and practical GPS that suits a budget conscious mariner), and good old fashioned paper charts. I recommend a similar approach for someone starting off.

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post #19 of 21 Old 07-01-2006
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I'd recommend the Garmin GPSMap 76 series instead. They have the advantage of being able to load the BlueChart nautical charts and FLOAT as well. Also, the control ergonomics are a bit better IMHO.

I have the Garmin 76CS as my only handheld...but do own two other Garmins, one for the boat chartplotter, the other is for car navigation.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #20 of 21 Old 07-10-2006
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I have used two GPS-12's loaded with routes from the Chart Navigator
here are some links to the free viewers and charts.

http://www.usps.org/lc/door/Charts.html

Looking at GPSMAP 76C, has anyone had luck downloading routes from the Chart navigator to the 76C I am told it works if you use the 276C interface, but the USB driver is on the Mapsource disk.

Last edited by MHRitter; 07-10-2006 at 09:01 PM.
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