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Old 10-05-2019, 04:41 PM   #1
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Cartography

I'm looking at potential electronic upgrades when pricing out the "next" boat. I'm not clear on the cartography features provided by different vendors. My interest is primarily US waters.

I've got Raymarine now. They support NOAA, Navionics, and C-Map. I run NOAA ($10/yr for vector or raster) and Navionics ($100/yr).

Navionics has SmartCharts -- crowd-sourced data that is very detailed and continually updated. That is important to me. In tight situations I'll run a NOAA chart on one half of the screen and the SmartChart on the other.

I like the ability to have multiple providers (including unmodified NOAA products) and the detailed crowd-sourced data.

Do other vendors have similar capabilities?

From my research it seems Furuno has NOAA, Navionics, and C-Map support. It isn't clear if they support SonarCharts or other crowd-sourced data (either gathering data or displaying it).

I've done much less research on Garmin but I *believe* they only support their own charts. No unmodified NOAA. True? Do they have a crowd-sourced solution?

As noted my main focus is US waters, but both the Bahamas and Canadian waters are in our future so we'd want to be well positioned for those too.
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Old 10-05-2019, 05:25 PM   #2
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You can always call Furuno and ask them; they are very helpful as is their forum.

https://www.furunousa.com/en/get_support

If you are going to the Bahamas you want something that incorporates Explorer Charts, and also carry with you their very excellent chartbooks.

https://explorercharts.com/index.php...ectronic-data/
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Old 10-07-2019, 07:16 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
You can always call Furuno and ask them; they are very helpful as is their forum.

https://www.furunousa.com/en/get_support

If you are going to the Bahamas you want something that incorporates Explorer Charts, and also carry with you their very excellent chartbooks.

https://explorercharts.com/index.php...ectronic-data/
Good thoughts. Thanks.

Anyone else with experience with these products want to comment?
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Old 10-07-2019, 08:03 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danderer View Post
I've got Raymarine now. They support NOAA, Navionics, and C-Map. I run NOAA ($10/yr for vector or raster) and Navionics ($100/yr).

I like the ability to have multiple providers (including unmodified NOAA products) and the detailed crowd-sourced data.

From my research it seems Furuno has NOAA, Navionics, and C-Map support. It isn't clear if they support SonarCharts or other crowd-sourced data (either gathering data or displaying it).

Our Furuno system, 10 years old now, handles NOAA (raster and vector), Navionics, and C-Map. Dunno about additional and/or crowd sourcing on their newer products, but I suspect some of the newer wireless units will at least support ActiveCaptain markers and so forth. You could ask Furuno. (What are SonarCharts? A crowd source thing?)

FWIW, our NOAA chart updates are free, simple download and installation.

Also, we use both NOAA raster and vector on the plotter, but more often raster ('cause that's what I'm more used to)... and we augment that with C-Map, Transas (now Wartsila) or more recently AquaMap vector charts on separate tablets. Just to get a slightly different view, maybe or maybe not different data, at the same time...

C-Map has been saying they contain Explorer charts for the Bahamas, and I see AquaMap offers that as an option too.

-Chris
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:04 AM   #5
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This is one of the primary reasons I'm a fan of PC-based solutions- You're not locked into a proprietary source for charts which are updated perhaps annually, sometimes longer intervals. My PC is small, 12VDC, very robust, a fraction of the cost of a purpose built chartplotter and its function can be assumed quickly by a laptop running the same software. Coastal Explorer allows 3 simultaneous instances running, their support team has always been helpful when transferring licensing between machines. Never a problem. Updating US charts is simple, free. Bahamas charts are available as Explorer charts, or based on Explorer Chart data, they're C-MAP charts, downloadable. Easy. Canadian charts are only available from CHS sources, they're not inexpensive, but not any more costly for PC than for a proprietary chartplotter. CHS support is good, obtaining the charts requires a bit of planning, online availability is not smooth, but that may have changed since I last bought CHS charts.

All that said, my PC doesn't do radar. I use Furuno, so I have a fully redundant system, and the chartplotter/radar ports ARPA targets to the PC, so it's well-integrated, but my Furuno charts are a pain and costly to update. The PC solution may not have all the whistles & bells that some of the newer proprietary gear has, but still some advantages over the proprietary systems.
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:08 AM   #6
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Good point; I forgot to mention that too. One of our back-ups is a laptop, in our case running MaxSea TimeZero... with same charts and mostly the same interface as our Furuno plotter.

Our laptop isn't networked either, but then again our even-older RADAR isn't networked with our plotter either. I could get some of that here from there, but I haven't seen the need...

-Chris
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:11 AM   #7
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Personally, I've been running with Navionics charts on the plotter at the helm. And when going anywhere unfamiliar, the laptop sits at the nav station next to the helm, typically with the NOAA raster charts on it.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:28 PM   #8
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The key reason to run Navionics is Sonar Chart which is the crowd sourced depth data. I donít think Furuno can run Sonar Chart. I also run Aqua Maps and Coastal Explorer with CMap and NOAA charting. If you are doing anything in shallow water including the ICW, Bahamas, Canada and Maine then Sonar Chart is a must have with Aqua Map as a backup because you can overlay the USACE depth survey data in places when it gets really gnarly. The latest Garmin products may mimic Sonar Charts because they bought Navionics but I canít confirm that. I run Navionics on a chart plotter and the App on an IPad.
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