SailNet Community - Reply to Topic
Thread: Which chart software? Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below

  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-10-2006 11:21 PM
sailingdog I use the MapSource program to keep the waypoints sync'd between the three GPS units. Same for the routes and tracks. I use a USB cable for the GPSMap 76CS, and a card programmer for the 276C and 192C units. The 276C and 192C use the proprietary Garmin flash memory cards, the 76CS doesn't accept external memory.
07-10-2006 08:57 PM
MHRitter I have used two GPS-12's loaded with routes from the Chart Navigator
here are some links to the free viewers and charts.

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.
07-01-2006 02:16 AM
sailingdog 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.
06-29-2006 11:22 PM
gsheath 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.
06-29-2006 04:25 PM
Irwin32 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.
06-29-2006 04:27 AM
haffiman37 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!
06-29-2006 01:14 AM
sailingdog 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's forums are picking keywords and adding links to them automatically.
06-28-2006 11:33 PM
Surfesq 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.
06-28-2006 10:53 PM
Omatako 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?
06-28-2006 05:57 PM
sailingdog 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.
This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome