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Old 04-26-2007
Sea Slacker
 
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brak is on a distinguished road
Chart viewing software

Now that NOAA has vector charts available for download, I wonder what is a good software to use for viewing/passage planning (as opposed to charting underway, though that's interesting too). Price is important, free software would be preferred
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Old 04-26-2007
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camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough
Brak...if vector is your choice then there is no FREE program out there. Fugawi seems to be the cheapest of the non-free programs and pretty well rated.
If instead you choose to use the raster based free government charts then sea-clear is a free program that will handle them for viewig and passage planning.
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Old 04-26-2007
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PalmettoSailor will become famous soon enough
Maptech has a free viewer version of their product:

Free Boating Charts

The link to the free software is at the bottom of the page.

It seems pretty full featured to me, but I'm a noob. I've been playing with the software for a while now and plan to use it to select and define waypoints to load in my old aviation GPS, then use in conjuction with paper charts on the boat.

Not the most elegant, but the price is right and I don't really need a chartplotter at this point in my sailing evolution anyway.
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Old 04-26-2007
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Rose Point Navigation Systems has a Trial Version of their Coastal Explorer. It does everything the full version does, but doesn't allow you to hook up a GPS for more than 15 minutes. It also will interleave raster and vector maps in the same view.
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Old 04-26-2007
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I was on the NOAA site having a look at the PNW when an idea occurred to me. I tried to print an area but only ended up with something I did not want. Does some of the software mentioned allow one to enlarge their sailing area then print it without the extra stuff, just the enlarged area chart so that I can get it laminated for place mats?
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Old 04-26-2007
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I just checked and both Maptech's Chart Navigator, and Rose Point's Coastal Explorer allows you to print only what's visible on the screen. Coastal Explorer lets you preview what you're printing though.
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