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Old 08-10-2015, 08:51 AM   #1
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Navigation software

Looking to add a PC navigation on a laptop. What are people using out there as there seems to be a lot to choose from. Thanks for the info
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Old 08-10-2015, 08:53 AM   #2
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I use Coastal Explorer. Pretty happy with it.
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Old 08-10-2015, 09:17 AM   #3
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OpenCPN and it's free. There is also lots of information in the achieves.

OpenCPN | Official OpenCPN Homepage
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Old 08-10-2015, 09:38 AM   #4
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OpenCPN unless you have some demanding navigation requirements that are particular to a specific program.
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Old 08-10-2015, 09:44 AM   #5
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Another happy OpenCPN user . Also have the standard Furuno chartplotter but use the laptop/CPN for all route planning.
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Old 08-10-2015, 09:58 AM   #6
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I haven't used OpenCPN, so can't really comment on it, but I've been using Coastal Explorer for about 5 years now, and it has (or maybe I have) graduated from being a companion tool on a laptop to being the primary and only charting and navigation system on my boat. Plus I have a second copy on my laptop for home and portable use. It's by far the best $395 I've ever spent on anything for my boat(s).

What I like, aside from running on a real computer with a mouse and keyboard is:

- Really simple route creation and modification, even while underway and following an active route.

- Works great with autopilots allowing the AP to follow the route you create on CE. CE provides all the ETA info to each waypoint and to the final destination.

- Interfaces well with marine electronics and sensors via either 0183 or N2K. When I last checked OpenCPN did not support N2K, and that was one of the reasons I did not pursue it.

- Truly outstanding support. Rose Point is one of the best in the industry in this respect. And unlike many electronics companies, they take bug reports seriously, investigate them, and actually fix them in a timely manner.

- CE supports one of the broadest selections of charts of any product out there. It supports all the US vector and raster charts, and they download and update automatically. They also support all the C-map charts, and have a really good package of raster and vector charts for the BC, Canada coast (I'm using those now). And they support all of the standard chart formats, so can work with any commercially available electronic chart.
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Old 08-10-2015, 10:08 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by MnScotty View Post
Looking to add a PC navigation on a laptop. What are people using out there as there seems to be a lot to choose from. Thanks for the info

MaxSea Time Zero... because it matches/works with/complements our NN3D chartplotter software.

-Chris
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Old 08-10-2015, 10:05 PM   #8
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As Twistedtree stated...I too have been using PC navigation as my primary source for almost 10 years. Wouldn't go back to a "plotter" for anything. I also run CE on a dedicated onboard PC and because they let you run 3 licences for the single price I have a laptop that I use for off boat planning .
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Old 08-10-2015, 10:56 PM   #9
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I use a garmin 4200 series with there chart chip. However I also use a chart book, with which Chart nav light came with it. I loaded on my laptop, impressed that the detail is by far higher than my $$$$Garmin. I also fitted a GlobalSat BU-353-S4 USB GPS Receiver (Black) $40 to my laptop. Real happy cruising the eastern Caribbean with this setup. I used to use real high end programs when ocean racing etc. But my laptop rules now, no need for a mouse all quick keystrokes.
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Old 08-10-2015, 11:24 PM   #10
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Oliver
What kind of computer do you run CE on? Which operating system are you using? Do you run Active Captain on top of CE? I'm thinking about adding CE to my boat. Have you tried loading up Navionics SonarCharts on it?
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Old 08-10-2015, 11:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Oliver
What kind of computer do you run CE on? Which operating system are you using? Do you run Active Captain on top of CE? I'm thinking about adding CE to my boat. Have you tried loading up Navionics SonarCharts on it?

I run a quad core I5 @ 3.3GHz. With 8GB of DDR3 1600. I'm running my favorite version of windows, windows 7. AC is integrated to CE. I have not tried to use Navionics sonar charts so can't comment on that.
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Old 08-11-2015, 06:41 AM   #12
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Have you tried loading up Navionics SonarCharts on it?
Chart compatibility is listed on the following link and I don't see Navionics as supported.

https://coastalexplorer.net/specifications
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:52 AM   #13
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I use opencpn but it looks like it will never have Active Captain integrated.
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Old 08-11-2015, 11:29 AM   #14
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Will opencpn run on an iPad?
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Old 08-11-2015, 11:42 AM   #15
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I found Garmins blue chart mobile to be the most user friendly for me for iPad.
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:03 PM   #16
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We have used lap top navigation since 2003. Stared with Maptech and currently using Nobletech. Recently used the updated Nobletech program in BC and SE Alaska. It works well for our needs.
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:33 PM   #17
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I use SeaClear with NOAA raster charts. Both the program and the charts are free downloads. I run it on three computers. I use a $40 USB GPS puck receiver and it works fine. I run this particular program because I prefer the look of raster charts. Also, I think they are more accurate than vector charts since the vector charts are derived from raster charts.
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:34 PM   #18
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We use Nobletec on a dedicated laptop also. Like their product very much.
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Old 08-11-2015, 01:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by No Mast View Post
I found Garmins blue chart mobile to be the most user friendly for me for iPad.
I just discovered this in the spring. The apps free and 2015 Garmin Charts for the US Coastal are $30 and all of North America are $45 plus Active Captain overlays.
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Old 08-11-2015, 01:49 PM   #20
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I just discovered this in the spring. The apps free and 2015 Garmin Charts for the US Coastal are $30 and all of North America are $45 plus Active Captain overlays.
And its so easy to build route, and see current and tide info.

BTW maybe I'm stating the obvious here, but to build a route put your starting and ending waypoints first, then drag the line to "make" any turns along the way. Fastest way to build the route I think.
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