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Old 03-30-2015, 09:31 AM   #1
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GPS Chart Plotters

Hello, just wondering if anyone can recommend a chart plotter for a Mac.

Has anyone use this MacENC™ program?

Thank you.
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Old 03-30-2015, 10:06 AM   #2
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I've been very happy running Coastal Explorer on a MacMini as my primary charting and navigation tool. I use VMWare Fusion to create a virtual PC that does nothing by run CE. To me, it gives the best of both worlds.

I haven't tried it, but hear people are also successful using Parallels in place of VMWare Fusion to create the virtual PC.

BootCamp is another option, but with that you need to boot the whole Mac up as a windows device, which to me kind of defeats the point of having a Mac.
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Old 03-30-2015, 12:15 PM   #3
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I have run MacENC for over 8 years now. Very feature-rich; GREAT customer support, free updates. I use it primarily as a planning tool and a back up to the purpose built chart plotters. Deployed on both a MacBook Pro and an iMac (one license covers both). Very happy customer.

I have found the Macs themselves to be too fragile to rely on as the main navigation machines. Make sure to use that Time Machine feature!
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Old 03-30-2015, 01:08 PM   #4
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Do you want to use it for real time navigation or planning? I have used Garmin Homeport for Mac for several years. It uses the same charts as Garmin and interfaces with Active Captain. Fusion or Parallels works great if you need a Windows based program.

There is also GPSNavX for the Mac. It uses the NOAA Raster charts which I think you can download for free.
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Old 03-30-2015, 01:11 PM   #5
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Isn't TZ trident and explorer compatible with Mac?
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Old 03-30-2015, 02:01 PM   #6
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I want to use it as a back up and for planning.

Thanks,

Dan
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Old 03-30-2015, 04:10 PM   #7
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As far as I know, MaxSea is available for the Macs... and would be the same engine as in the Furuno NN3D (etc.) plotters...


Not inexpensive.


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Old 03-30-2015, 08:27 PM   #8
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Mac ENC is from the same folks who do GPS Navx, and uses both free NOAA raster and vector charts, as well as pay charts for other countries from Navionics. When hooked up to my Furuno system via 0183, it registered all the sentences coming out of there such as depth, headings etc and can do much much more than I used it for.
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Old 04-07-2015, 02:36 PM   #9
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No one mentioned PolarView yet. They have great native Mac support. It's something like 1/4th the price of MacENC and comes with 5 licenses. You can run the other version on other Macs or PC's (they support Mac, Windows, and Linux).

PolarView is super reliable and has great performance. It costs $49. It uses the free NOAA charts. It'll even query the NOAA website and show you which charts have been updated by NOAA (and allow you to download them).

For planning purposes, you can't beat PolarView.

PolarView is free for 30 days - it's the real version too. Pay for it to extend the license past 30 days.

GPSNavX is a very, very old product that displays single charts at a time. I'm not even sure it can handle chart rotation which is a problem for many ICW charts since they are not north up. MacENC is a more current update to GPSNavX and does a pretty nice job although the price puts it out of line in my opinion.
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Old 04-07-2015, 03:33 PM   #10
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Never heard of PolarView but I will check it out.
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Old 04-07-2015, 03:41 PM   #11
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It's great - and it is especially good at handling GPX files making it very easy to interface to just about anything else.

Polar Navy - Marine Navigation Software
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Old 04-13-2015, 01:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Jeffrey S View Post
No one mentioned PolarView yet. They have great native Mac support. It's something like 1/4th the price of MacENC and comes with 5 licenses. You can run the other version on other Macs or PC's (they support Mac, Windows, and Linux).

PolarView is super reliable and has great performance. It costs $49. It uses the free NOAA charts. It'll even query the NOAA website and show you which charts have been updated by NOAA (and allow you to download them).

For planning purposes, you can't beat PolarView.

PolarView is free for 30 days - it's the real version too. Pay for it to extend the license past 30 days.

GPSNavX is a very, very old product that displays single charts at a time. I'm not even sure it can handle chart rotation which is a problem for many ICW charts since they are not north up. MacENC is a more current update to GPSNavX and does a pretty nice job although the price puts it out of line in my opinion.
Exactly Jeff,


I used Polar View for my first two years on my laptop with a $25 gps puck from Amazon.

I still prefer it over Coastal Explorer for ease of planning.

I only changed to CE due to the availability of much less expensive worldwide charts from Jeppesen.

In the last few days, I've even looked into getting European charts for PV, but it's so confusing. There are TOO many websites developed by people who never use them.
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Old 04-13-2015, 05:50 PM   #13
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Gee Jeff, you wouldn't happen to have a dog in this hunt, now would you?
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:00 PM   #14
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Gee Jeff, you wouldn't happen to have a dog in this hunt, now would you?
Quite a few vendors are adding Active Captain to their Chart Plotting software so he might have several dogs in the hunt(s).

I am trialing the PolarView software on both my PC and my iPad. It is impressive it supports both Windows and Apple platforms. What I am not so impressed with is the NOAA charts. For some reason they don't always "fit together" when going from chart to chart. PolarView seems a lot faster than OpenCPN that I have also trialed but it is free. Have same problem with NOAA charts with OpenCPN but that is logical since then are sharing the same folder for NOAA maps. Need to get some of these apps on the water to see how they really work.
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Old 04-13-2015, 08:29 PM   #15
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I'm surprised no mention has been made of the major chartplotter manufacturers. Lowrance, Garmin, Standard-Horizon to name a few. I am a Lowrance dealer, so naturally that is what I use and promote. My HDS-12 is at the upper helm, the HDS-9 at the lower helm is networked to it to share all data. These units are rain proof, one feature that in the PNW is a big advantage over a notebook. Most of these units run either C-Map or Navionics.
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Old 04-13-2015, 08:30 PM   #16
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No one mentioned PolarView yet. They have great native Mac support. It's something like 1/4th the price of MacENC and comes with 5 licenses. You can run the other version on other Macs or PC's (they support Mac, Windows, and Linux).

PolarView is super reliable and has great performance. It costs $49. It uses the free NOAA charts. It'll even query the NOAA website and show you which charts have been updated by NOAA (and allow you to download them).

For planning purposes, you can't beat PolarView.

PolarView is free for 30 days - it's the real version too. Pay for it to extend the license past 30 days.

GPSNavX is a very, very old product that displays single charts at a time. I'm not even sure it can handle chart rotation which is a problem for many ICW charts since they are not north up. MacENC is a more current update to GPSNavX and does a pretty nice job although the price puts it out of line in my opinion.

I have used it for two years and really like it. I like using the anchor alarm feature.
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Old 04-15-2015, 11:02 PM   #17
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Gee Jeff, you wouldn't happen to have a dog in this hunt, now would you?
PolarView is a great product that many people haven't heard about. From the looks of other comments, it seems that others agree and still others hadn't heard about it and are glad I mentioned it.

I'm sorry George that you have some type of problem with me and just about everything I say. It's kind of getting old.
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:25 AM   #18
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I'm surprised no mention has been made of the major chartplotter manufacturers. Lowrance, Garmin, Standard-Horizon to name a few..
I prefer stand-alone electronics, too. In our case for plotters it's Echotec, Furuno, and Standard-Horizon, all with C-Map. We use an excellent iPad app for a charting function for overviews of where we are, what's ahead, and Active Captain information, but it's not a plotter-type navigation app.

A lot of people like being able to use laptops or tablets for navigation as they can do their route planning and plotting away from the boat. Also, a lot of the app-type navigation systems integrate with other apps for other functions or contain multiple functions within them. Anchor watch, for example, or weather information. And, for the most part, the laptop/tablet nav apps are less expensive than stand-alone units and there is no having to figure out how to mount them, wire them, etc.

They definitely have their advantages and as the hardware and operating systems get more reliable the problems of system crashes and whatnot seem to be diminishing fast.
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:28 AM   #19
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...and navigation by the watch on your wrist is next...
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:58 AM   #20
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...and navigation by the watch on your wrist is next...
That would work good. You wouldn't even need to display the charts and stuff. All the watch would have to do is give you a shock when you were off course. Or if the programming was really clever, two shocks for "Steer to starboard" and one shock for "Steer to port." Then when you were on course it could beep.

Or.... it could use the bobbing Mickey Mouse display to show you which direction to steer. When you were on course, he could point straight up.
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