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Old 10-11-2018, 06:36 AM   #1
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Windows PC software for pretrip planning?

What software do you guys recommend for a Win 10 PC for pre-trip planning? I would like to be able to sit down when away from the boat and plan out my trips. It would be nice to be able to drop a way point and add info. That info could be something like, so and so website reported shoaling or XYZ marina closed due to storm damage.



I've been following the tablet nav thread. I just can't get used to those things.
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:43 AM   #2
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I've been following the tablet nav thread. I just can't get used to those things.

Hahahahaha
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Old 10-11-2018, 07:11 AM   #3
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I use TimeZero, but my version is long in the tooth now... has been superceded... and my old version won't reload ActiveCaptain markers anymore since the European privacy law change.

OTOH, I would assume the current version of TimeZero works with AC. TZ is not inexpensive, but it'll do most anything.

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Old 10-11-2018, 08:29 AM   #4
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Check out Rose Point as well.
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Old 10-11-2018, 09:00 AM   #5
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OpenCPN is a good option for the PC.
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Old 10-11-2018, 09:42 AM   #6
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What software do you guys recommend for a Win 10 PC for pre-trip planning? I would like to be able to sit down when away from the boat and plan out my trips. It would be nice to be able to drop a way point and add info. That info could be something like, so and so website reported shoaling or XYZ marina closed due to storm damage.



I've been following the tablet nav thread. I just can't get used to those things.
I'm a Coastal Explorer fanboy. I've been using it full-time cruising since 2008 and have well over 20,000 miles planned and run from PEI to the Bahamas and out to Georgian Bay. It still interfaces with Active Captain, and despite it not being what it was before it was absorbed into Garmin, it's still probably the best game in town for what it does. For domestic use, CE uses NOAA charts & updates are easy and free. Canadian charts are not free, but they're very good. I use C-Map for the Bahamas, basically it's the renowned Explorer Charts that are the undisputed standard for Bahamas navigation.

CE allows installation on multiple machines, so it's easy to do planning off site and bring it to the boat. Routes can be uploaded to a chartplotter within the parameters of the plotter. I use a 12VDC mini-ATX PC on board, it interfaces with all the NMEA gear on board as well as the AP. Now in our 10th year migrating, I have saved scores of routes for travel north and south bound and have become adept at utilizing previous tracks and routes in creating new routes to use in our daily travel. The tracks and routes are transportable between platforms, so a track or route can be used on a chartplotter, in Google earth, or a variety of planning methods. CE also transposes satellite images over charts to get an idea of how a route or track might work where sat images show depths/shoals.

The new NUC computers are a great option for on-board use, and CE's Nemo N2K interface makes quick work of connecting.

We've recently started using AquaMap on iPad devices. Not as quick as Garmin's BCM, but it does have ActiveCaptain, and the charts are lifetime update. Not a bad deal, I have it on my iPhone 7 and it's helpful in the dinghy.
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:55 AM   #7
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Another Coastal Explorer (Rose Point) fan.
Add a GPS puck and take the laptop you planned the trip on to the boat and use it to navigate.


Customer support (my experience) is excellent.
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Old 10-11-2018, 12:04 PM   #8
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I have CE on the boat PC and at home; it comes with two site licenses. Both PCs are set up to load and save the route file to a Dropbox folder, so I plan at home, then when at the boat it loads the most current route file saved to Dropbox. Always the most current file is loaded as long as you have an internet connection.
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Old 10-11-2018, 12:21 PM   #9
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Until Garmin screwed it up, the Active Captain on line map website worked pretty good for trip planning. It let you produce routes on the NOAA chart and see all AC markers for marinas, anchorages, etc along the way. You could save the route and then download it for uploading to your chart plotter.


But alas early this year, Garmin introduced their "new and improved" AC map and it no longer supports routes or even simple point to point distance measurement. There is no expectation that it will ever be reinstated.


Coastal Explorer or OpenCpn is another way, but it sure seems like overkill compared to the old AC on line map.


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Old 10-11-2018, 12:38 PM   #10
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Time Zero and Rose Point, I'll have to check out. I don't know much about those other than a few mentions.


I tried OpenCPN in it's infancy. I'm sure it's better now. Are they still using the Yahoo group or do they have a website now? I'll search.


Leave it up to Garmin to leave a few loose screws. Active Captin has been around a good while. I'm sure I'll put that on something, phone maybe.


Thanks for the suggestions. Keep them coming. I need something to tinker with when I'm stuck home. Might as well do some pre-boat pre-trip planning.
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Old 10-11-2018, 01:42 PM   #11
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We’re iOS-based for navigation (Mac-based for business/everything else) and have just switched over to TIMEZERO’s TZ iBoat app. So far really like it.

But my wife has a laptop PC and we’re considering getting TIMEZERO software for it. The latest version sounds quite powerful.
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:17 PM   #12
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OpenCPN is now pretty good. It's support and development site is at our sister forum, Cruisersforum.com.

Also look at whatever your chartplotter or cartography vendor offers. Generally their app will allow you to plan on the PC or laptop, and easily migrate it to the plotter. Newer devices work over WiFi or even Bluetooth, so you don't even have to shuffle memory cards around.
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Old 10-12-2018, 06:40 PM   #13
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We’re iOS-based for navigation (Mac-based for business/everything else) and have just switched over to TIMEZERO’s TZ iBoat app. So far really like it.

But my wife has a laptop PC and we’re considering getting TIMEZERO software for it. The latest version sounds quite powerful.

I couldn't get the hang of Mac products. I'm mostly a Linux Mint user. My laptop died a month ago. I decided to upgrade to a higher end (compared to my old one) Acer PC laptop with Win10. I giving Windows another good ole college try again before going back to Linux full time.






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OpenCPN is now pretty good. It's support and development site is at our sister forum, Cruisersforum.com.

Also look at whatever your chartplotter or cartography vendor offers. Generally their app will allow you to plan on the PC or laptop, and easily migrate it to the plotter. Newer devices work over WiFi or even Bluetooth, so you don't even have to shuffle memory cards around.

Thanks. I didn't know CF had an OpenCPN forum. I'm glad they've mover away from yahoo groups. I'll have to hang out over there and get reg'd. Being able to easily move between PC and chart plotter would be a nice feature.
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Old 10-12-2018, 07:30 PM   #14
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Opencpn, I use Linux mint as well

Web based navionics is handy
Allows draft and fuel burn at x knots input and gives usage for passage.
https://webapp.navionics.com/#@6&key=zqsfDsr%7De%5C
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Old 10-12-2018, 08:12 PM   #15
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Opencpn, I use Linux mint as well

Web based navionics is handy
Allows draft and fuel burn at x knots input and gives usage for passage.
https://webapp.navionics.com/#@6&key=zqsfDsr%7De%5C





Do you run OpenCPN on Linux? If yes, are you using Virtual Box to run it?
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:44 PM   #16
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Do you run OpenCPN on Linux? If yes, are you using Virtual Box to run it?
Yes, I run it on Linux.
Why would I need virtual box?
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Old 10-12-2018, 11:46 PM   #17
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For planning use OpenCPN is fine. It's free (although you should consider a donation). I also have TZ Navigator. While TZ is better, a little easier to hook up devices, OpenCPN is plenty good enough for most yacht operators. US charts are free for the downloading.
I run both programs, one on a PC and one on a laptop when cruising. TZ has features I never use, like the 3D, and only uses over priced proprietary charts. TZ chart updates are not as often as the free charts and usually several years old. TZ will not use the free US charts unless you upgrade to a more expensive version.
If you're only cruising in the US, with OpenCPN, all your charts are free and can be updated daily if you like.
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Old 10-12-2018, 11:48 PM   #18
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Cm93 (the whole world) is still available if you hunt
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Old 10-13-2018, 08:14 AM   #19
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TZ has features I never use, like the 3D, and only uses over priced proprietary charts. TZ chart updates are not as often as the free charts and usually several years old. TZ will not use the free US charts unless you upgrade to a more expensive version.

??

My TZ version is 2.dot.somthing, so not current (I think they're at least up to 3-something).

BUT... we have free access to NOAA raster and vector charts (annual updates), and choice of C-Map or Navionics vector charts at extra $$$ cost. "Annual" isn't "often" but it has suited.

They've changed?

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Old 10-13-2018, 05:11 PM   #20
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Yes, I run it on Linux.
Why would I need virtual box?

I was thinking that OpenCPN was Windows only which could be run in Virtual Box if needed. It's been years since I have messed around with OpenCPN.




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For planning use OpenCPN is fine. It's free (although you should consider a donation). I also have TZ Navigator. While TZ is better, a little easier to hook up devices, OpenCPN is plenty good enough for most yacht operators. US charts are free for the downloading.
I run both programs, one on a PC and one on a laptop when cruising. TZ has features I never use, like the 3D, and only uses over priced proprietary charts. TZ chart updates are not as often as the free charts and usually several years old. TZ will not use the free US charts unless you upgrade to a more expensive version.
If you're only cruising in the US, with OpenCPN, all your charts are free and can be updated daily if you like.

Good info. I don't think I would use 3D charts either. Eastern US and Canada will be my starting point. Possibly the Bahamas and Caribbean. I have a few dream cruises but that would be more money than I could amass this late in life, along with a substantially larger boat than I am currently researching.




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Cm93 (the whole world) is still available if you hunt




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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
??

My TZ version is 2.dot.somthing, so not current (I think they're at least up to 3-something).

BUT... we have free access to NOAA raster and vector charts (annual updates), and choice of C-Map or Navionics vector charts at extra $$$ cost. "Annual" isn't "often" but it has suited.

They've changed?

-Chris



Noted to look into during research.
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