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Old 03-30-2019, 10:21 AM   #1
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Looking for suggestions, just added a P C to my trawler looking to network with my nmea 2000 what softwares would you surf for coastal cruising

Thanks
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Old 03-30-2019, 10:39 AM   #2
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I like Coastal Explorer. I bought it back in 2004. At that time it was the best value out there. Times change, i’m Not familiar with what is the best value today. I do’s still have CE, I really like the way i can custom the AIS vectors. This really helps time the big freighters as we zigzag VTS lanes.
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Old 03-30-2019, 11:14 AM   #3
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Ive used both Coastal Explorer and Time Zero Pro, If you have all Furuno gear then Time Zero Pro is truely fantastic, the radar overlay, cross MFD data sharing, AIS, FLIR integration are all super slick and it has some levels of Augmented Reality already built in. They also have a good iPad app that’s getting better quickly. I use NavNet to get the data to the PC with a Actisense NGT1 N2K to USB as backup.

If you dont have a Furuno package then CE is great too, good company too with good support, the Rosepoint NEMO is a good device to translate both N2K and N0183 to CE and has built in integration. I have this as my backup setup but frankly haven’t turned it on in almost a year.

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Old 03-30-2019, 12:00 PM   #4
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I use a laptop with Coastal Explorer (CE) in addition to Raymarine. I use CE to plan my routes and as a backup navigation.
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Old 03-30-2019, 01:21 PM   #5
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Count me as a CE fanboy. I was an early adopter, have been using it for 14? yrs. I've logged over 38,000 nm with it, great product, great support, love the function. I'm all NMEA 0183 and use an Actisense NDC-4 as multiplex/interface with the USB. My PC is a 12VDC mini-ITX, it's perfect for on board use, nowadays the NUC form factor is a great match for PC-based nav gear. I have a fully redundant Furuno NavNet system that also serves as radar, I use it primarily for radar, CE does all the nav work and feeds the Raymarine AP which we use every time the boat moves.

If you've ever tried route planning with a chartplotter, there's simply no comparison with CE. Never had to put the Furuno into service due to a breakdown. I also have a redundant backup on my laptop that I use for planning, it can also step in to take over in the event of a PC failure. Never had to do it.

Unlimited waypoints, I've got nearly every track for every cruise saved in regional-themed files, they come in handy when revisiting an area or just recalling some history. I have a file for ICW south, ICW north, the Bahamas, FL west, FL east, NY Canals, DownEast, all over. Very easy to keep all that stuff organized and be able to recall it.
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Old 03-30-2019, 01:51 PM   #6
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My first pick would be OpenCPN.

Next would be whatever your MFD and/or chart card manufacturer offers, so you can easily upload/download between the PC and MFD.
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Old 03-30-2019, 02:05 PM   #7
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We have Furuno electronics, so we use Time Zero on a back-up/planning laptop. Good.

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Old 03-30-2019, 02:40 PM   #8
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Coastal Explorer. Simple, reliable, easy on system resources, great support.

I've been playing with TimeZero in my iPad and I like it, but it crashes too frequently (at least once every 24 hours) and occasionally AIS targets stop updating but stay on the screen. Rebooting the app fixes the AIS problem, but it's disconcerting, especially because the continued presence of old AIS targets can cause all sorts of problems.

Just got off a friends boat with full Furuno TZT2. I noticed the same issue with AIS targets not updating (solved by switching to a different screen for a moment then back to what you want). TZ Navigator on the PC crashed constantly. Probably a configuration problem (or problematic serial converters), but I played around with it for a few hours and couldn't figure it out. The most reliable chart plotter (and the one the owner uses 90% of the time, despite spending tens of thousands on TZT2 and Nobeltec) is Navionics on an iPad.

Coastal Explorer isn't as sexy, but it's rock solid in my experience.
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Old 03-30-2019, 03:02 PM   #9
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OpenCPN has worked for us.
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Old 03-30-2019, 03:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retriever View Post
Just got off a friends boat with full Furuno TZT2. I noticed the same issue with AIS targets not updating (solved by switching to a different screen for a moment then back to what you want). TZ Navigator on the PC crashed constantly. Probably a configuration problem (or problematic serial converters), but I played around with it for a few hours and couldn't figure it out. The most reliable chart plotter (and the one the owner uses 90% of the time, despite spending tens of thousands on TZT2 and Nobeltec) is Navionics on an iPad.
Interesting, my Furuno gear and Trident have not had the issues you describe. Who set your friends's systems up? Most Class B AIS units can be slow to update, is that his problem? My Simrad Class B AIS data goes both to Trident and NN3, without issues. My next upgrade will be to add one of the smaller and newer Class A AIS units with a quick redraw.
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Old 03-30-2019, 03:53 PM   #11
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Interesting, my Furuno gear and Trident have not had the issues you describe. Who set your friends's systems up? Most Class B AIS units can be slow to update, is that his problem? My Simrad Class B AIS data goes both to Trident and NN3, without issues. My next upgrade will be to add one of the smaller and newer Class A AIS units with a quick redraw.
Not sure who installed it, other than they're in Anacortes. The issue isn't related to Class B...all the vessels we were around were class A (transiting Panama Canal). The problem seemed to be the TZT2s (and separately, on a different boat, the TimeZero iOS app) just stop updating AIS targets. The targets don't disappear (or show as lost), they just stop refreshing.

In this case, there were two MFDs. When AIS stopped refreshing on one, it still worked on the other. Both MFDs exhibited the same behavior at various times. Switching to radar and then back to chart or vice-versa immediately resolved the issue. This indicated to me a software issue, but I'm certainly not an expert.

TimeZero on the PC was so unreliable I didn't bother to look at it. It literally crashed once an hour. Pretty sure it was a driver or serial adapter issue, but frustrating nonetheless.

I guess I was surprised to see an issue with the same symptoms on TZT2 that I've experienced using the TimeZero iPad app. Now I'm curious if it's a broader problem with the underlying software that drives the TZT2 MFDs, TimeZero iOS app, and TimeZero PC software (is that even a thing? or are each of these products engineered independently but with a common UI?).

Coastal Explorer, by contrast, works super reliably and without glitches or excessive fiddling on all the installs I've encountered.
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Old 03-30-2019, 04:09 PM   #12
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Opencpn is awesome and free.
Software designed by actual cruisers for cruisers
Using a mouse and one click instead of getting lost in menus and endless button pressing as is found on expensive plotters makes things so easy.

Over the years it has moved from my #3 charting system on board to #1
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Old 03-30-2019, 11:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskan Sea-Duction View Post
I use a laptop with Coastal Explorer (CE) in addition to Raymarine. I use CE to plan my routes and as a backup navigation.
Same with us. CE on our tablets, Raymarine C120 that we "inherited" with the AT34.
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Old 03-31-2019, 12:40 AM   #14
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Opencpn is awesome and free.
Software designed by actual cruisers for cruisers
Using a mouse and one click instead of getting lost in menus and endless button pressing as is found on expensive plotters makes things so easy.

Over the years it has moved from my #3 charting system on board to #1
Where do you source your maps?

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Old 03-31-2019, 01:26 AM   #15
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Where do you source your maps?

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Wherever you can get them, google is your friend.

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Old 03-31-2019, 07:10 AM   #16
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On OpenCPN, I don’t know where there come from, (somewhere in the web) but they are free and government issue. Just did an update, by clicking “update all charts.” Pretty easy.
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Old 03-31-2019, 08:08 AM   #17
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All my electronics are Harmon do they interface with coastal explore?
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:34 AM   #18
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All my electronics are Harmon do they interface with coastal explore?


I presume that's Garmin via spellcheck? The Rosepoint Nemo interface will work with N2K or NMEA0183. The make of the gear doesn't matter much, it should all communicate. If your system is N2K it should be plug n play with maybe an adapter.
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Old 03-31-2019, 03:05 PM   #19
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On OpenCPN, I don’t know where there come from, (somewhere in the web) but they are free and government issue. Just did an update, by clicking “update all charts.” Pretty easy.
Unfortunately, not in Australia.
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Old 03-31-2019, 03:47 PM   #20
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I have a NUC, with CE and a Nemo Gateway that brings in both NMEA 2000 and NMEA 0183. Its seamless and easy to install.
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