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Old 02-01-2017, 05:14 PM   #1
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Laptop for navigation

Hi everyone. What is the best free software for laptop navigation? I am running Windows 10,if that matters. I would like to download the free NOAA charts however, plan on spending some amount of time this summer in the North channel.Would I be better off just buying something like Navionics?Thank,s
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Old 02-01-2017, 05:31 PM   #2
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We started with Open CPN about 10 or 11 years ago. It uses NOAA CHarts, price is right, free.. A little over 2 years ago we switched to Coastal Explorer, also NOAA Charts and it has Active Captain Data. It is fantastic, it tells you when you have chart updates. Its tides and currents have proven to be a terrific asset in route planning and in running the ICW. Lately (2 years) we have also been using Navionics on an iPad as a back up, because its always easy to up date and its "Sonar Charts" Bring a level of detail and information on depths and channels not available from NOAA or Garmin. These two systems have guided us over 10,000 miles in the past two years alone. For Canada, you will need canadian charts obviously. They are readily available from Navionics. We keep Garmin bluecharts on an iPad for those times we want to check Active Captain.
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Old 02-01-2017, 05:44 PM   #3
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I use Coastal Explorer. I am very happy with its performance. You will also need to get a GPS antenna. Cheap on Amazon
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Old 02-01-2017, 06:29 PM   #4
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Before you buy a GPS antenna! There are some GPS antennas that are apparently not working with Windows 10. Confirm that it is compatible with Windows 10 before you buy!
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Old 02-01-2017, 06:45 PM   #5
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Running windows now wit OpenCPN for the last 12,000 miles of snowbirding....I love it...

Is it perfect? Probably not by some captains standards...but it gets me to from Jersey for the whopping price of a $35 gps.

It is true some USB gps pucks are finicky...but the few times my gps drops out or locks up...no big deal as I have a chartplotter backup...plus radar.
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Old 02-01-2017, 06:50 PM   #6
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Open CPN

+ 1 for Open CPN
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Old 02-01-2017, 07:23 PM   #7
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Fugawi on windows 7. Been using this Nav program since it was released. It has a great method for handling your library of charts and is very intuitive to use. The main reason that keeps me with them is I can't be bothered with the steep learning curve for a competitive program
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Old 02-01-2017, 07:26 PM   #8
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Just commenting on your boat name. Same as ours...
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