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  #11  
Old 09-16-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomasward00:772036
I'm looking for the best freeware or low cost marine GPS navigation software, hopefully something that will show a depth chart, I will be purchasing a USB GPS Receiver.

Thanks in advance
OpenCPN and a USB GPS for around $30 is the way to go. Great for planning and real time.
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Old 09-16-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomperanteau View Post
OpenCPN and a USB GPS for around $30 is the way to go. Great for planning and real time.
+1

It still does not replace real charts and navigation skills.
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Old 09-17-2011
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Garmin 72H linked to OpenCPN, that gives you a chartplotter, and a reliable GPS should the laptop fail for some reason so at least you still know where you are. Not free by any means, but not that expensive in the grand scale of things.
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Old 09-17-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulinVictoria View Post
Garmin 72H linked to OpenCPN, that gives you a chartplotter, and a reliable GPS should the laptop fail for some reason so at least you still know where you are. Not free by any means, but not that expensive in the grand scale of things.
I like the idea of using a "real" GPS connected to a laptop. My first choice is a smaller chart plotter with an internal antenna (but that's JMHO)

My Iphone is great, but, every once in a while it tells me I'm in a location that I am not. Seems to correct itself in a matter of seconds, but, still... My Garmin has never done that.

Also it does not appear that I can tell how strong the GPS signals are that my phone is receiving. "Real" GPS receivers will show that information.

*Of coarse paper charts and keeping up on ones navigation skills are priceless.
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Old 09-17-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobGallagher View Post

Also it does not appear that I can tell how strong the GPS signals are that my phone is receiving. "Real" GPS receivers will show that information.
There is likely an app for that. Android has one.
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Old 09-23-2011
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on activecaptain.com you can overlay noaa charts at the push of a button. good free droid app is 'gps essentials' for waypoints and such.
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Old 09-25-2011
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Unlike the US, here in Canada you are not allowed to rely solely on electronic navigation devices. You are required to carry current charts of less than 2 years old.

Peter&Denise
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Old 10-04-2011
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I'm using SeaClear and my netbook for my GPS. It was a bear to get SeaClear running the first time, but it comes right up now.

I have an 18' boat and a budget to match; a $30 antenna and freeware was all I could afford. I also keep the paper charts current & handy.

My netbook lasts for 10 hours and I keep it all the way up forward (my V berth is stereo & storage). It is not weather proof in any way; if it gets wet, it's toast.

My biggest problem (so far) is that I need to interface with either a mouse or a track pad; neither of these is convenient when the netbook is all the way forward. Still working on that one.
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Old 10-04-2011
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On our recent run up the NSW coast and during the race on Lake Macquarie we used OpenCpn largely because it runs quite happily on Linux. It proved itself easy to operate and I'd happily use it as an alternative to MaxSea which does not like Linux. SeaClear is also non Linux but I've never used it.

I know its a great debate but I still keep a paper chart at the nav station and mark our positions as we go along. The reality is however that in the conditions we experienced during that race GPS was a far more reliable system than manual fixes would have been. The good old fashioned Mark 1.0 Eyeball is all very well and good but when visibility is down to a boat length its nice to have a satellite.
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Old 09-06-2012
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Re: Free or low cost GPS navigation software?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
I keep returning to this and scratching my head. Perhaps you can help me understand the problem with the charter plotter? The NOAA RNC charts that I use mirror the paper charts. So if the paper chart says one depth, the e chart should say the same. Since the RNC charts are updated much more often (sometimes weekly), I update my paper charts using the weekly Local Notice to Mariners.

So I wonder if the owner in your example misread the chart plotter? Or, are the charts used in chart plotters different? I don't use one, I use paper and a laptop, so I'm just curious.

Thanks
One year later........... I had a strange experience last Saturday. I was sailing in Casco Bay (Maine, lots of rocks and ledge), running up close to two small rocky islands, and deciding whether to run between them (narrow, shallow) or around the outside of the outermost one (deeper, lots of sea room).

I looked at my Garmin and it showed my boat already outside the outer island, quite a distance from my actual position - it was a clear evening with plenty of light, sun just setting, full moon about to rise - good visibility. I checked several times, the Garmin - normally extremely accurate - was showing the completely wrong position for my boat. Since I was checking for depths, I could have gone very wrong if I wasn't relying on a paper chart and visuals, with the Garmin as a helper. When I rounded the outer island and tacked into it's lee and onto my anchor, the position was shown correctly.

So while the chart on the Garmin was accurate, my position as shown was totally inaccurate for a short while.

Glad it wasn't foggy!
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