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first sailed january 2008
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Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone tell me the differences between gold, plus, and platinum? They sell different sd cards to go in a non garmin chart plotter but their website does a poor job explaining it.

Especially gold or plus. They sell a gold card for us and Bahamas, and a plus card for us and Canada.

The plus says you can download more on the card, but why would you if it already includes all the us and Canada?

They are very expensive. Don't want to get the wrong one.
 

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Gold is all you need. the rest is just bells and whistles.
Tend to agree with Jones, GOLD is a rather traditional 2D chart with about sufficient information in most cases. + and Platinum+ contains more info, as photos of harbours, more depth info and so on.
Note that all non-garmin doesn't work with Navionics, and some that do, do not accept + and/or Platinum+. There is a compatibility document on Navionics homepage - look into that one before you order.

At least in Europe it is possible to buy a subscription for Android / iPhone /iPad for a very reasonable sum; I got most of Europe for ~$15, a nice complement which has some of the features in + and Platinum+.

Navionics has been critized for the way information is handled when zooming out - some grounds disappear, even islands disappear. Easy to counteract - zoom in until all details are visible.

/J
 

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We have sailed over 25,000nm from Trinidad to the Gulf of St Lawrence and three times around the Caribbean using the gold, which while expensive have proven to be very good value.

Just do not trust them outside US and Canadian waters for close quater navigation. In the Caribbean/Bahamas the charts and GPS are accurate it is just the rocks and islands are in the wrong place.

In Mexico the chart plotter showed us in the car park of a Catholic church because when they used a sextant to chart Mexico they were our by 300 yds!

In the Bahamas/Caribbean you navigate by sight!
 

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If you already own a chartplotter, then yes, the $199 (+/-) price tag is steep. But, if you haven't already bought a plotter, Lowrance sells a series of plotters and plotter/sounder combos with Navionics gold charts preloaded for North America, and the price is reasonable.
 

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first sailed january 2008
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Discussion Starter #6
Hmm. It's an option to get gold with a lowrance plotter. They don't all come with it right?
The rest come with silver?

I'm serious. Navionics website is terrible. I'm liking the lowrance/navionics better than garmin but trying to navigate that website is like pulling teeth.

It's that darn plus us and Canada card. They don't tell what it is. It's $169.00. And it is programmable. It says download detailed charts for the areas you go to the most. Does that mean it has gold charts for us and Canada already and you can get platinum for specific areas? Or just an individual lake. Yet why if it already has gold for all us and Canada is it less expensive than just the gold card for us and northern Bahamas? Maybe it's just a blank sd card, we don't know. They don't say.

Nor can I find any store on their website to purchase any downloads. It's on my phone this morning. Maybe a regular computer will make more sense.

Garmin should never have sold me that cycling edge 800 for $650. Thing was terrible. Nothing like their marine plotters and handhelds. But it put me off garmin. I don't know that many of you have seen it. But it has about the same quality as an etrex, the most basic and inexpensive handheld, yet less features. Or they have the $350 edge 510.which doesn't even have a map. Just a line on a blank screen.
 

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For Salish Sea and Vancouver Island you either want this one in Gold:
Navionics: No Ntag Charts - Info

or this one in Platinum:
Navionics: No Ntag Charts - Info

I found the 913P+ for about $250 last year, about $50 more than the cheapest price I could find on the 2XG. The tides and currents feature was worth the $50 to me. The 3D stuff is sort of silly. The satellite imagery is moderately helpful at times, but not essential.
 

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Gold not showing tides and currents is a major downside for an area with 10-15 tidal swings like the Salish Sea. You can supplement that by figuring those out on paper or using a tablet-based chart, but I did find it really useful to have them on the plotter.
 

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first sailed january 2008
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Discussion Starter #13
So with platinum, which that 913p+ looks like a great coverage area, it shows currents?

Last summer I used washburns tables with the Canadian hydrographic arrows book. Will p+ show something like that, speeds and directions?

Say I want to go through gabriola pass. Will I be able to pull up slack on the plotter? If so that is insanely cool.
 

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So with platinum, which that 913p+ looks like a great coverage area, it shows currents?

Last summer I used washburns tables with the Canadian hydrographic arrows book. Will p+ show something like that, speeds and directions?

Say I want to go through gabriola pass. Will I be able to pull up slack on the plotter? If so that is insanely cool.
My plotter shows the current in the passes 'live', but doesn't seem to have the current tables for predictions. In that regard it will not replace the regular 'Ports and Passes' or the gov't booklets. It does have the tide tables for your general location.

We found the current predictions and readings on NavionicsHD on our Ipad somewhat suspect last summer, but quite liked the program for planning (no GPS - Wifi only) otherwise.
 

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Plantium (913p+) shows live and predicted currents and tides on my Raymarine e7d. You can get a tide and current chart for anywhere in the vicinity, and search for the tides closest to your current location. I spot checked them against the BC current charts and the predictions were identical, but a lot easier to figure out.
 

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first sailed january 2008
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Discussion Starter #16
I called navionics. They were helpful. That Canada and US navionics plus is a blank 2gb card and you get to pick up to 2gb anywhere you want in the us and Canada. Seems pretty cool. The only feature that I really like about the platinum, never having actually used it is the currents. Maybe I would be surprised at how some of the other features are useful. Such as photos of harbors and such. In cruising guides I had, sometimes the pictures did help.

Actually I navigated all through the gulf islands last year using pictures from a cruising guide since they were the one place I didn't have a paper chart of.
 

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I think I probably refer the currents as often as I refer to my charts. They are so critical for cruising around here.

Having said that you could save money by figuring out currents using a phone or tablet app in the morning and writing them down for quick reference from the cockpit. I find it handy to be able to refer to them from the plotter though.
 

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first sailed january 2008
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Discussion Starter #18
I don't know. I'm tempted. Like you say, currents are critical. I'm no pro but there are some places I can get myself without a chart if need be. But I can't predict current. I can't go through cattle pass, for example, if I don't know the currents. If that platinum show everything it sounds worth it.

Not only that but it called vancouver island, but it looks like really all the main cruising grounds from puget sound, Howe sound, desolation....sound. Really the places a PNW sailor goes 99% of the time.
 

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Yes, that is why I selected it. It covers the grounds where I expect to cruise around here.

It is worth checking with your GPS manufacturer to see how they show you the currents. On my Raymarine e7d it is pretty nice, although not quite as nice as how deepzoom.com shows them.

When I was doing a lot of kayaking I would just look up current stations beforehand and write down the numbers that I needed every day. That works on sailboats too, it just isn't quite as easy. I still do it daily when planning my cruising, especially when we were in the Discovery Islands and could expect to go through 3 to 6 tidal passes in a day.
 
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