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Tonyhibbett 04-27-2012 10:46 AM

plotting software
We have a Simrad plotter which, in my opinion, is counter intuitive and since the installation of a 'german' mainsail control system, it is hard to access and peering over the mainsheet controlling crewmember with the risk of getting one's head cut off by the mainsheet in an unplanned gybe is not ideal.
I have a 'surplus to requirements' laptop and we have a usb to nmea interface at the chart table, thanks to our visionary skipper. It is now conceivable for the navigator (me) to sit at the chart table and plot waypoints and a course which can be sent to the plotter, the laptop being temporarily secured with a g clamp, dispensing with the conventional paper chart.
I downloaded a demo version of PC Plotter which convenenantly provides the Solent chart, our play area, which is very good but a bit expensive, but provides tidal and wind data along with connectivity to the plotter, radar and the position of other vessels. download and integration of weather reports, plus a log and alarms. Quite happy to fork out for it, but does anyone have suggestions for a cheaper solution?

SkipMe 04-27-2012 10:58 AM

Re: plotting software
Polar Navy has chart plotting software with UK charts for about 50

Tonyhibbett 04-27-2012 02:33 PM

Re: plotting software
More appropriate for an ocean voyage, but thanks

misfits 04-27-2012 02:44 PM

Re: plotting software
Try Open CPN. You can download NOAA charts, it's pretty slick & the price is right:)

tomperanteau 04-27-2012 10:03 PM

Re: plotting software
Yea, I use OpenCPN for planning all the time. I have a USB puck that I plug in for realtime and it also reads the AIS receiver we have. Works like a champ.

Rhapsody-NS27 04-27-2012 10:31 PM

Re: plotting software
I haven't used on my boat yet but have done a little bit of testing on my computer so I'll throw in another vote for OpenCPN. Android version, Mx Mariner is pretty good too and still working on Linux version but looks good too.
Just install the software, download the NOAA charts and you're set.

PaulinVictoria 04-28-2012 03:40 AM

Re: plotting software
I use OpenCPN, don't know the state of play regarding charts for UK waters though (assuming the Solent you are referring to is the proper one in Blighty and not some US copycat). Wish people would put their location, makes these sort of things much easier to answer.

Tonyhibbett 04-28-2012 03:46 AM

Re: plotting software
Ok, downloaded and installed, but I can't find any UK charts. Where do I find them? Chartworld has the one I want, but the format is s-63, an encrypted format not supported by open cpn.

smurphny 04-28-2012 01:06 PM

Re: plotting software
Sea Clear and Open CPN, both free, work somewhat well on my computer but Open CPN seemed to lock up when I tried it. I use Sailcruiser and Jeppesen's C-Map charts. Sailcruiser reads all the raster charts as well as C-Map, has Polars, etc tailored to sailboats. I like Garmin charts and my liitle Garmin 376C plotter but the charts are just too expensive.

Forget Admiralty charts, they've got them all locked up...for sale at an exorbitant price. Amazing how publicly collected data can be sold so the British government can collect $. They need to get with U.S., N.Z., and Brazil in realizing chart data is a SAFETY issue, the data was collected by taxpayer dollars, and charts should be free to download.

brak 04-28-2012 03:58 PM

Re: plotting software
Polar Navy charts are sourced Admiralty ENC charts. Not at all expensive. We sell them for $29.
There are also raster Admiralty charts sold by Visit My Harbour, a bit more expensive but still not anywhere near "exorbitant"

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