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Old 11-15-2014, 03:25 PM   #1
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How often do you update Nav. Chips

Just wondering how often people update their C-Map type plotter chips? I was looking on eBay for used one to use on the dink while in SW Fla. They're 8 years old on average, which to me is way out of date. So one would reason that the original user held it that long before replacing.
I personally use a PC system on the main boat so it is updated regularly.

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Old 11-15-2014, 04:36 PM   #2
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Actually an 8 year old one for that area would do the job, in my opinion, for dinghy use. They haven't moved any of the islands lately. In some of the passes the markers get moved regularly and thus are not charted, so just keep an eye out and consult the LNMs.
Having a little plotting device is very handy in the 10,000 islands and the Shark River area, which are quite a maze.
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Old 11-15-2014, 04:36 PM   #3
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I only update chips when the islands on them move.

Just kidding. I think it's a good idea to update then about every 4-5 years. Islands don't move, but navaids do.
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Old 11-15-2014, 04:36 PM   #4
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Never done it. Things don't change that often around here, and what few changes are made don't change the positions of the islands, rocks, and reefs.

Now if we boated the ICW or rivers where the bottoms and channels seem to be constantly shifting it would be a different story.

One of our plotters is a then-state-of-the-art Echotech C-Map system we put on the boat when we bought it in 1998. The other one is a Furuno NavNet radar/plotter we put on a few years ago, also C-Map. We use both of them all the time. And despite the many years separating the the two systems and their cards we have yet to find any obvious discrepancies.

I'm not saying it's a waste of time and money to upgrade the cards, only that we haven't and for us it hasn't made a difference.

On the other hand, we have Active Captain on our IPads tied in with the Navimatics charting app. We DO keep Active Captain updated as it contains new marina, harbor, and navigation information with every update.
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Old 11-15-2014, 05:03 PM   #5
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Except for man made things, it seems that unless they have done a new bathospheric study you're looking at the same old data.
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Old 11-15-2014, 05:24 PM   #6
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Here on the CDN. side of the Great Lakes there was a period when the CCG was removing buoys from service so often we pretty much had to update each spring. But I think they finally decided they couldn't take any more out.

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Old 11-15-2014, 07:25 PM   #7
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Depends on the area. The best thing to do is check the chart update summary for the area(s) you are interested in and decide for yourself.

Notice to Mariners Chart Updates
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Old 11-15-2014, 08:55 PM   #8
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Even new charts have soundings that are 50 years old in some cases. In places with ever changing bars and inlets many charts say "local knowledge" anyway.
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Old 11-15-2014, 09:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Even new charts have soundings that are 50 years old in some cases. In places with ever changing bars and inlets many charts say "local knowledge" anyway.
Yeah. Bottom readings are typically several decades old. Notice hardly any changes from charts purchased 30 to 50 years ago to "current" ones.
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Old 11-16-2014, 07:17 AM   #10
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True about old soudings....but buoys have been moved to recently checked deeper water.

So in places where shoal in does occur frequently, knowing where the buoys should be might help and avoid thinking a moved one is "off station".

What is nice about PC navigation is there are current patch files to update electronic charts all the time for free and Internet download from NOAA.
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Old 11-16-2014, 08:03 AM   #11
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We update our plotter (NN3D) and computer versions (MaxSea TZ) at least once/year (usually only once/year is all that's available).


The two tablet apps we use get updated charts more often, incorporating new LNMs...


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Old 11-16-2014, 10:18 AM   #12
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If the actual charts that the electronic charts are created from haven't been updated, there's little point in paying to buy updated electronic charts. As mentioned above, some of the chart data can be fifty years old.

While I usually plan my trips on a PC using Garmin HomePort and upload the routes to my plotters, it's only a guide. What you see with your own eyes (buoys, day marks, etc., hazards and the depth sounder) is number one priority. There are places where following the electronic charts exactly will have you cruising on land regardless of how new they are.

To answer the Op's question, my electronic charts are several years old. One of my plotters has a newer chart than the other because it was replaced under warranty.
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Old 11-16-2014, 11:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
We update our plotter (NN3D) and computer versions (MaxSea TZ) at least once/year (usually only once/year is all that's available).

The two tablet apps we use get updated charts more often, incorporating new LNMs...

I should have mentioned there's no cost to update our NN3D/MaxSea (NOAA) charts and the new charts each year incorporate all the various changes NOAA has made over the past year...

One of the tablet apps also uses NOAA raster charts (for our area) and periodic updates seem to happen in-app; don't remember seeing any cost yet. The other tablet app uses C-Map charts and gets periodic updates, and so far I think there's been no update fee for those either.

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Old 11-16-2014, 11:26 AM   #14
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While in SW Florida local knowledge can be very very helpful

many of the passes change from month to month but on the inside the ICW does not change as much unless a large storm comes through
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Old 11-16-2014, 11:37 AM   #15
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For those that may travel at night, even just get caught out at night, or in limited visibility...
Having charts with the latest Navaid positions on it could be pretty useful.
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Old 11-16-2014, 02:51 PM   #16
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I don't feel much of a need to do annual updates on my C Map Max card that I bought new in 2012 for use on the rivers as long as the corp marks and maintains the channel I can't get lost. I would like to find another card so I don't have to move the one I have between helms. I use it to plan trips, where to anchor or what marina to stop at and to know my position relative to these and the locks. On the trip thru Lake Michigan and Huron it was invaluable along with Active Captain to planning each day's travel and anchorage. I plan on cruising south October of 2015 and will likely purchase a new card and then I'll have one for each helm.
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