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Old 04-09-2019, 08:46 AM   #1
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Does Garmin still use Explorer Chart data?

I have a 2014 Garmin 1040xs plotter that I have never updated. I used the plotter two years ago in the Abacos and it seemed pretty accurate. I was going to update the plotter before going to the Bahamas this May, then read this:

"Big Changes in Explorer Electronic Data Availability
February 2019 introduces some changes in the sources of data being used for electronic navigation in the Bahamas. If you have come to rely on the accuracy of the Explorer chart data, this is important information for you. If you are planning a trip to the Bahamas in the near future, you may need to make some changes right now to assure that you go with the best chart data.

One of the recent developments causing a shift is that Garmin has purchased Navionics.

Garmin has announced that its new g3 marine electronics offerings will contain only Navionics data for the Bahamas. With this February 2019 issue, Garmin will no longer make Explorer Bahamas data available to its customers. The g3 will be included in the g3 accessory cards and pre-loaded chart plotters.

The Explorer data is still available on g2 accessory cards (Garmin) and earlier pre-loaded chart plotters which may be in inventory for a few more weeks. Although the release of the new g3 material has already begun, customers desiring Explorer data still have an opportunity to upgrade their g2 cards.

If you havenít upgraded your Garmin for awhile and donít have the g2 data, we urge you to call Garmin or visit your marine electronics store to insure that you travel to the Bahamas with the tried and true Explorer chart data.

Other avenues for insuring Explorer-only data is to go with C-Map by Navico products and its affiliates SIMRAD, LOWRANCE, and B&G. Also, chart data through MapMedia, MaxSea, Nobeltec, Standard Horizon, RosePoint Coastal Explorer, and Furuno can be trusted to use Explorer vector and raster information. If you are using RayMarine hardware, please inquire of the company as Explorer data is available but not on all units."

<b>Now Iím wondering if I update my older Garmin will it convert it to this Navionics-based G3? Or will it remain Explorer-based?
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Old 04-09-2019, 08:59 AM   #2
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Does Garmin still use Explorer Chart data?

Also called Garmin to ask this question. They said they will call me back, allegedly.

Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this. From reading around it looks like to me the new update DOES include the G3 Navionics-based software. Wouldnít I want Explorer-base charts for the Bahamas, so maybe I should just leave it alone?
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:17 AM   #3
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So why is it that people like Garmin? Could someone please explain to me how Garmin is so good with support of its legacy products?

Inquiring minds would like to know.
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Old 04-09-2019, 08:07 PM   #4
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Have the same issue
2014 garmin charts are accurate for the Bahamas.
Would not trust updates W/Navionics
Very few thing change in the Bahamas with the exception of shifting sands.
These need to to be read by ďeyeballĒ any way.
Iím very disheartened by Garmin discontinuing the use of Explorer chart data.
Best Iíve found is Aqua Map to supplement with Active Captian. For hazards.

Bottom line:
2014 Garmin will do the job do not rely on Navionics for the Bahamas.
Read the water (not hard to do youíll get the hang of it)
There are few if any nav aids (markers) in the Bahamas, major ones seldom change. Read the water and travel in daylight.
Safe travels.
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:15 PM   #5
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Got on the phone with Garmin support today and they said the new charts would run really slow and he also didnít advise updating to the new g3.

Thanks for the info on the update. Iím going to leave my charts alone.
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:17 AM   #6
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I'm not sure how Navionics fare currently WRT Bahamas, but they have a reputation for being inaccurate.



I would not be traveling the Bahamas without Explorer charts or an electronic version. I'm a CE user, C-Map charts for the Bahamas use Explorer Charts as a base. Very accurate.



AquaMaps also uses Explorer Charts, they recently changed their policy and Bahamas charts are now more expensive, but still pretty reasonable.
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Old 04-10-2019, 08:01 AM   #7
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My Explorer-based Garmin plotter worked pretty well last time in the Abacos so Iím not going to mess with it. I also have the big Explorer chart book and it was helpful, but I relied more on the Garmin. I also have Garmin Blue chart mobile on my iPad and it still works.
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Old 04-10-2019, 08:37 AM   #8
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Yeah, I got my Garmin plotters last year, they still have the Explorer chart data, I'm not going to update the charts. Frustrating, because I switched over from Raymarine to Garmin mostly because Garmin used Explorer data.



My Paper Northern Bahamas Explorer Chart book is from 2006. I haven't seen anywhere that has much changed over there in all that time, other than some shifting sand bores which aren't accurately charted anyway, so I guess I'll just stick with the old charts.
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:13 AM   #9
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Well the Garmin G3 electronic chart pack for all of US, Canada, Bahamas just got updated literally about a month ago, Feb 2019. I think the last update was 2012, which is what I had so I recently downloaded 2019. I don't have a plan yet to go to Bahamas, but I've been very happy with the G3 product and certain features, like customizing shallow water shading and 3-D views. The new pack also has auto-guidance but i have not yet had time to try this.
Coverage by this pack is described:


"Provides detailed coverage of the eastern coast of the U.S. from Key West, FL to the Canadian border and the western coast from the Mexican border to Puget Sound, Alaska, Hawaii and major inland rivers, the U.S. Gulf Coast to the Mexican border and the Mexican Gulf Coast thru to the Yucatan. Canadian coverage includes the entire St. Lawrence Seaway, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The Great Lakes are covered in their entirety as are the Lake of the Woods. Coverage includes Prince Edward Island, Anticosti Island, Vancouver Island including the Inside and Outside Passages, Aleutian and Channel Islands, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, Cozumel, Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands."

Sorry to the Garmin-doubters but I like the product and I don't think we can speculate about its accuracy in a specific geographic area until we get some time to test it out...
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:50 AM   #10
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I basically like the Garmin product and have had no issues to date, so donít think Iím a ďGarmin doubterĒ , but if you are cruising in the Bahamas the Explorer-based charts are more accurate. The G3 software is based on Navionics.

Did the G3 update seem to slow your unit down any?
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Old 04-10-2019, 12:24 PM   #11
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Has not slowed it down but I’ve not gone on a substantial cruise with it yet. For reference, I have the GPSmap 5212 series.
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Old 04-15-2019, 07:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
Got on the phone with Garmin support today and they said the new charts would run really slow and he also didnít advise updating to the new g3.

Thanks for the info on the update. Iím going to leave my charts alone.
So Garmin, who makes and sells the G3 charts, essentially told you not to buy the G3 chart b/c it would slow down your chartplotter???
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:43 PM   #13
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They did!
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