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Old 11-22-2015, 10:55 AM   #1
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Best Electronic Charts for Mexico?

Hi folks,

I just sold a boat that had a C-Map chart card for Mexico on it. While not perfect, it worked pretty well on my Furuno NavNet setup. My new (to me) trawler has the same Furuno gear, but without the chart card. Before I buy another C-Map card, I figured I would ask you all if you have a chart card for Mexico that you use and like.

This is for the west coast of Mexico and Baja, including the Sea of Cortez. All opinions are welcome.

Thanks, Bill
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Old 11-22-2015, 11:00 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montenido View Post
Hi folks,

I just sold a boat that had a C-Map chart card for Mexico on it. While not perfect, it worked pretty well on my Furuno NavNet setup. My new (to me) trawler has the same Furuno gear, but without the chart card. Before I buy another C-Map card, I figured I would ask you all if you have a chart card for Mexico that you use and like.

This is for the west coast of Mexico and Baja, including the Sea of Cortez. All opinions are welcome.

Thanks, Bill

Bill

What model Nav Net do you have? Do you have a laptop with Coastal Explorer or Nobeltec as well?
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Old 11-22-2015, 11:09 AM   #3
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Generally the Furuno gear (vx2) only takes the card it takes, so your choices are Cmap or Cmap, unless you go to an external charting computer and bag your Navnet gear.

If you have some of the newer gear though that might be different

If you have some really really early VX two equipment then you might even have Nvionics charts, but they eliminated support for those around 2012
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Old 11-22-2015, 11:11 AM   #4
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Hi Sunchaser,

I have the VX2 NavNet. I also have my Ipad with charts on it, but I like to track my trips on the chartplotter. I was just wondering if Navionics might be better than C-Map for this area. It's probably just Mexico, but there are lots of inaccuracies in the electronic charts.

Cheers, Bill
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Old 11-22-2015, 12:06 PM   #5
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Bill

My too long ago experiences in Baja predated good chart plotting gear so local knowledge was critical. Charts were so so and at times dangerous.

The reason I asked about laptops (with CE or Nobletec) is the Active Capt site/software when downloaded may well provide some of the best navigation updates for the Baja in recent years. To go along with what Kevin says, Cmap on VX2 seems the choice. My NN3 can be downloaded off the internet for chart upgrades or with a chip. Either way it is time consuming. Call Furuno, they are very cordial on these matters.

The participants in the latest Bajaha Rally may be of some assistance too, if you know any of these people it would be worth a call as it was discussed amongst them prior to departure.

Also, Hollywood on this site is headed that way and has current experience to draw from. He is a very smart guy. Good luck and enjoy your new vessel.
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Old 11-22-2015, 12:08 PM   #6
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https://activecaptain.com/
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Old 11-22-2015, 12:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montenido View Post
Hi Sunchaser,

I have the VX2 NavNet. I also have my Ipad with charts on it, but I like to track my trips on the chartplotter. I was just wondering if Navionics might be better than C-Map for this area. It's probably just Mexico, but there are lots of inaccuracies in the electronic charts.

Cheers, Bill
The first step you need to acomplish is to determine which charting format your Vx2 takes. This is not field changable.

Then you can make a decision to either buy a chart chip from that company, or send your unit (s) to furuno for updating. When I did this the turn around was around a week plus shipping time to Vancouver, WA.

No matter what you do having a backup chart source, and better yet a second source would be critical for travel in a remote area like Mexico.

I have Max Sea on my Ipad and like it. I have charts from Alaska to Mexico downloaded and they seem to be close to my cmap charts in areas I have compared.
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Old 11-22-2015, 01:07 PM   #8
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As always, be careful about trusting the absolute accuracy of any chart. A few years ago we sailed our 52 ft. ketch to the Sea of Cortez. We were using GPS NavX on a laptop with a Garmin GPS receiver. Most of the charts proved to be quite accurate until we were entering Aqua Verde on the west side of the Sea of Cortez. Using the GPS and taking bearings on a light showed a chart error of about ¼ mile. This explained the warnings we had received in La Paz concerning an “isolated rock that wasn’t on the charts”. The rock was in fact on the chart but the chart was way off. The chart was a raster type but appeared to be of a somewhat different style. I searched the chart for the information panel and discovered that the data on the chart came from a late 1800s survey! Actually ¼ mile was pretty good navigation for the 19th century.

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Old 11-22-2015, 04:09 PM   #9
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Ask your question or search through Yahoo's Southbound Group. Probably most members are in Mexico.

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...und_group/info
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Old 11-22-2015, 07:53 PM   #10
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Bill,

I have an older (2000) Furuno chart plotter using the Navionics chips for Mexico and the Sea of Cortez. They are fairly accurate, but sometimes have 1/4 - 1/2 nm position errors. They are generally adequate for most navigation down there.

For more precision, you can't beat the iNavX supported Sea of Cortez charts that were developed by Shawn and Heather, a cruising couple. They personally visited all anchorages and any other areas that cruising boats would be interested in, and developed very precise chartlets. These are available for iPad, and maybe other devices. I have been using these for a few years now, and can attest to their accuracy.

Hope to meet up with you next spring. Good luck with your new boat.
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