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Old 01-21-2014, 10:39 AM   #81
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There are definite advantages to getting the very latest US charts directly from NOAA. I can't disagree with that. Note that only the US does that so the rest of the world doesn't have that capability. The US is a large part of the market but it's "only" 50%.

Also the major per-week updates by NOAA for their charts are notice-to-mariners based. They do not make weekly updates to basic chart features. Those come out yearly or so. NTM updates are something we handle to accentuate changes that need a pilot's attention but I agree that it's a good idea to see the changes on charts too. That said, 6 month updates is not bad and much better than most anyone updates their paper or electronic charts these days.

OK, Rosepoint. Here's what I know...

Brad Christian is the founder and main developer. He has an interesting background. He was the product manager for Microsoft Word back when it was just starting up. Needless to say, it grew in a big way. Sometime in the early 2000's as Microsoft stock was going through the roof, Brad must have had some stock options and decided to leave the company.

Speculating on what Brad saw, Nobeltec was based on Windows 3.x/95 API's and Brad surely knew the new capabilities that Windows XP had. So he created a new navigation system based on W/XP capabilities and with a more modern user-interface. Brad purchased a larger 50 foot trawler and did his share of cruising along the Puget Sound/west coast - I think this was the biggest reason why the software is so capable - Brad really used it and knew what he wanted himself. Brad was joined by Jeff Hummel to handle sales and marketing. Jeff was part of the original Nobeltec group and very knowledgeable in the marketing of navigation products. He has done a lot of sailing/racing and comes with great boating experience - an uncommon thing in marine electronics.

The Coastal Explorer software has progressed along a strong and stable path. It is very reliable and quite easy to use. My experience with their ActiveCaptain integration gave me a little insight to Brad. The typical integration takes between 2 weeks and a couple of months depending on how much the developer can devote to the process. I worked directly with Brad on the integration. It took him 4 hours to make it work. 4 hours! It took me a couple of weeks for me to integrate our own data into the Companion software base myself. The guy is a magician. It's testimony to how well designed Coastal Explorer is and how easy the architecture allows for new data.

I have to say this too. In April 2011 when all the electronics on my own trawler blinked and went black at 11 pm, 12 nm offshore in total darkness with 3 sea buoys approaching that I needed to navigate around, I reached for Coastal Explorer to fire up and take over. I was at a point where I didn't want any question of reliability and I had more real experience with CE than any other navigation product. In the for-what-it's-worth department, I started using CE as a real user years before ActiveCaptain existed.
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:02 AM   #82
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Thanks Jeff, that explains much with regard to the pragmatism incorporated in the CE user interface.
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:21 PM   #83
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Thanks, guys. Especially Jeff. What powerful insight I just gained in two pages!! Unreal.

Ordering CE today.

Note this: About an hour ago I emailed Rosepointnav with some very basic and somewhat naive pre-purchase questions. Half hour later was a return email with answers, and good ones at that. Now that is service. Kudos.

I will update once I get CE installed and running.
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Old 01-21-2014, 04:31 PM   #84
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I'll chime in here, and admit up front that I'm pretty opinionated about this......

MaxSea integrates well with Furuno NN3D products and allows for display of their proprietary Radar, Fish finder, and AIS. Other than that, I think it's a complete POS. And, with all the Furuno products now based on it, I think it's the beginning of the end for Furuno. Teaming with MaxSea was one of the most colossal strategic blunders of all time. And mapmedia is a complete black hole of broken charts. i reported a chart geo-registration problem where a Cay in the Bahamas moved 1/2 mile depending on the zoom level and which res chart was subsequently selected. No response, from mapmedia, and furuno just washes their hands of any and all chart problems and points at their retarded cousin (mapmeadi).

In contrast, when I hit a critical problem with Coastal Explored, Brad himself sent me an email over the weekend to get me a solution.
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:24 PM   #85
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Also, Rosepoint has a set of nice tutorial u-tube videos that show/walk you thru how to use Coastal Explorer very educational and complete.
No one else offers that free education I know of. Nobeltec wants to charge you for classes in it's use.

Joe
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:02 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski in NC View Post
Thanks, guys. Especially Jeff. What powerful insight I just gained in two pages!! Unreal.

Ordering CE today.

Note this: About an hour ago I emailed Rosepointnav with some very basic and somewhat naive pre-purchase questions. Half hour later was a return email with answers, and good ones at that. Now that is service. Kudos.

I will update once I get CE installed and running.
You won't be sorry from a user of CE since ver. 1.0.
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Old 01-22-2014, 02:10 AM   #87
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Me too

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You won't be sorry from a user of CE since ver. 1.0.
I too, ordered CE yesterday based this thread.

In the next few months, I will add a tablet and dedicated desktop computer for the pilot house.

Seems to be the way to go.

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Old 01-22-2014, 02:18 PM   #88
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Jumping on

I too use a lap top with Rose Point CE and a dedicated chart plotter. Very pleased with Rose Point support. I use the laptop as backup and trip planning. The chart plotter runs the boat. I have a large monitor on the bridge that I plug my laptop into and normally use as a overview and the chart plotter zoomed in with radar overlay. I like using the current and tide information when on CE for route planning.
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Old 01-22-2014, 02:40 PM   #89
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You should see DaddyO's monitor! I doubt yours is THAT big. OMG!
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:52 PM   #90
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No response, from mapmedia, and furuno just washes their hands of any and all chart problems and points at their retarded cousin (mapmeadi).

I haven't encountered a chart problem with MaxSea (or MapMedia or NN3D) but did come across some software issues. Support from MaxSea direct (i.e., France) was excellent.

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Old 01-22-2014, 06:25 PM   #91
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I haven't encountered a chart problem with MaxSea (or MapMedia or NN3D) but did come across some software issues. Support from MaxSea direct (i.e., France) was excellent.
We sold a lot of MaxSea software over the years and I have to say that my experiences were all fantastic.

Much of the US support is handled by Furuno. When there was a question that we couldn't handle, we'd refer the user to them. Whenever I heard back, their experience with Furuno support was out-of-this-world great. Those guys would walk them through the issues and fix the problems. It was very rare that something didn't work and I can't think of many times when I went back to France myself with an issue. If the solution couldn't be arrived at, we'd always refund the purchase and MaxSea never had a problem with that.

I think that MaxSea is a wonderful and capable developer. We're lucky to have so many great choices in our boating world.
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:10 PM   #92
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If one were to go with CE, would Windows 7 or 8 be the OS of choice?
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:14 PM   #93
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I asked that of Rosepointnav, I think the answer was anything from XP up. I'm going to try it on a vista machine. I'll know friday how it works.
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:40 PM   #94
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It seems that everyone talks of using CE (and other PC nav software) as a backup or planning choice to Plotters. I find this somewhat unusual. I use it with a Raymarine M1500 monitor on my bridge as the primary nav system. I use the E-120 plotter as the display for the radar and the backup for the PC system. I can stay current much easier with the PC, in fact if I decide I don't like it I can even change to a new software for next to nothing. You can't do that with a proprietary plotter unless your prepared to spend thousands.
I've been using this system for. 10 years and I would never go back to a strictly plotter only on the "big" boat.

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Old 01-22-2014, 10:27 PM   #95
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Mbevins - Interesting point. When my Raymarine radar died (came with boat and is over 12 yrs old), I installed CE on a mini PC (now using Lenovo M92P Tiny). I had a 24" monitor and am now installing 3M touch panels at the helm.

My primary system is CE. My backup will be a black box solution from Simrad or other that can use the same touch panel displays.
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Old 01-23-2014, 02:50 AM   #96
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I use CE as primary with Lowrance HDS 7/8 as backups. They run as sonars when underway and provide gps data to CE through an N2K gateway. To use CE as primary you should consider N2K and NMEA183 interfaces to be fully capable to receive and send AIS, AP, and position data. Radar I run on a separate display since I haven't made the 3G radar jump yet from an old Raymarine SLC70.

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Old 01-23-2014, 07:07 AM   #97
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It seems that everyone talks of using CE (and other PC nav software) as a backup or planning choice to Plotters. I find this somewhat unusual. I use it with a Raymarine M1500 monitor on my bridge as the primary nav system. I use the E-120 plotter as the display for the radar and the backup for the PC system. I can stay current much easier with the PC, in fact if I decide I don't like it I can even change to a new software for next to nothing. You can't do that with a proprietary plotter unless your prepared to spend thousands. I've been using this system for. 10 years and I would never go back to a strictly plotter only on the "big" boat. Sent from my Nexus 7 using Trawler
I'm with you on this. It was a big ah-ha moment for me when I finally figured out that I was relegating the wrong tool as the backup. I now use CE as the primary nav tool, and the chart plotter as secondary nav with overlaid radar. Over the past year CE added very complete support for n2K so all communications to the computer is via a single usb adapter and cable. It can display any data except radar and sounder, both of which are proprietary, and can fully control the autopilot..

By the way, a mac mini makes for a great nav computer. They are small and power friendly, and can even be hacked to run directly off 12V. Using VMWare fusiion or Parallels, you can run Windows-whatever and CE, and still run all you Mac apps too. Mine doubles as a media server for the boat with a big library of music and movies.
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:00 PM   #98
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I'm with you on this. It was a big ah-ha moment for me when I finally figured out that I was relegating the wrong tool as the backup. I now use CE as the primary nav tool, and the chart plotter as secondary nav with overlaid radar. Over the past year CE added very complete support for n2K so all communications to the computer is via a single usb adapter and cable. It can display any data except radar and sounder, both of which are proprietary, and can fully control the autopilot..

By the way, a mac mini makes for a great nav computer. They are small and power friendly, and can even be hacked to run directly off 12V. Using VMWare fusiion or Parallels, you can run Windows-whatever and CE, and still run all you Mac apps too. Mine doubles as a media server for the boat with a big library of music and movies.
This is what I like about this approach. We can change hardware as required at a reasonable cost.

One thing that I am careful about is connecting this computer to the internet. I'm a little paranoid about viruses in this situation. I'd be curious what other users think and do about this.

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Old 01-24-2014, 09:06 PM   #99
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CE showed up today. Loaded into the old laptop (vista basic), no problems. Carried it to the boat and plugged in usb gps, came right up. Fiddled with going through the charts. This is amazing (luddite, here) how the thing just picks the right charts right away!!! That old maptech stuff was like breaking rocks with a small hammer!!

I almost went for a little ditch run, but it is cold (19F), low tide, and dark. Figured if I did I would report back "software works great, but I'm piled up on a bar". So better judgement intervened. I'll play with it tomorrow in the daylight and report back.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:43 PM   #100
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Mbevins,

Connecting to a network is a fact of life for most devices. Protection is everything not to mention backups. I guess I have survived pretty well having used the same computer for CE for 8 years. I have relegated it to backup status (#3 in line actually) since I think the motherboard is starting to act up. It has a hard time booting at times. During that 8 years, it was my primary at home computer. It survived being banged around in a RAM mount on 2 C-Dory's and being carried everywhere the boat went. Compared to that, trawler life for my new notebook is benign.

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