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Old 03-04-2013, 06:29 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Tidahapah View Post
Some of the other programs around are really USA centric so a bit of research has to be carried out if you are going to use this plotter software outside the USA where charts are also free from my understanding.
That's a big consideration for some people, and one of the reasons I've gone with Coastal Explorer - charts are available for everywhere. Everyone has good US charts - that's easy - but as you start to venture off into the far reaches of the planet, having a selection and being able to pick best of breed is important.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:36 PM   #42
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I think Active Captain is unbelievable info for the cruiser...I use it several times a day while cruising...even though it's not part of OpenCPN yet....I just get it off my wifi while underway or at the marina the night before.

Before I even leave on a leg..I have a pretty good idea of weather and possible "stops" or"duck-ins" before I even leave....having it available 100 percent of the time is great but really one step further than needed.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:20 PM   #43
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I think Active Captain is unbelievable info for the cruiser...I use it several times a day while cruising...even though it's not part of OpenCPN yet....I just get it off my wifi while underway or at the marina the night before.

Before I even leave on a leg..I have a pretty good idea of weather and possible "stops" or"duck-ins" before I even leave....having it available 100 percent of the time is great but really one step further than needed.
I really like it too, but for me the off-line feature is critical since I'm out of wifi range all the time until anchored or in a marina, and even then wifi isn't always available. And the web site doesn't work on an iPad so it's not accessible via 3G, or at least not with the stuff I use. There are iPAD apps that include AC, but then it's yet another nav app, and I need fewer, not more.
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:31 PM   #44
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As far as the supposedly unreliable computer to operate O goes, I've got two identical laptops onboard right now, both with O and all the charts loaded. I've got 2 pucks that connect to those computers plus a Garmin eTrex with a USB connection. If SWMBO is onboard her computer is a third backup. If all that fails then I'll take my chances with my eyeballs, a paper chart and a depthfinder.
If they are so reliable then why do you have so many of them?

Actually I don't know if the plotters are more reliable than the computers, in the long haul but so far they are winning the race by two lengths. I trust none of them.

Full disclosure: Two Furuno plotters (networked, but can operate independently) plus an RD 30 repeater, two GPS receivers, one which also feeds a serial out to hook to laptop via USB. A laptop and a desktop, and a third GPS via a Bluetooth puck. Also an etrex around here somewhere. Three compasses and a pair of bearing binocs with compass. Plotting instruments, paper charts and a partridge in a pear tree.

You never know!
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:40 PM   #45
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If they are so reliable then why do you have so many of them?
I didn't realize that two counted as "so many" - one is my personal laptop - its with me all the time anyway. One is a dedicated nav computer. Why do you have so many systems if they are as reliable as you claim?
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:58 PM   #46
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I didn't realize that two counted as "so many" - one is my personal laptop - its with me all the time anyway. One is a dedicated nav computer. Why do you have so many systems if they are as reliable as you claim?
Re-read my post, I didn't claim reliability, I said I don't trust any of them. I like the purpose built stuff because it is much easier to use, plus includes radar and fish finder view, and, as noted, hasn't broken or crashed or frozen. They came with the boat. The computers came as a result of the boat being our primary residence. I like planning and daydreaming using the computer when away from the boat. A friend gave me the etrex. The paper charts and the partridge are standard whenever I go boating.

Got it now?
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:52 PM   #47
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Actually I don't know if the plotters are more reliable than the computers, in the long haul but so far they are winning the race by two lengths.
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Re-read my post, I didn't claim reliability .....
????

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If they are so reliable then why do you have so many of them?
You asked. I answered.

I don't have any trouble using O. In fact its ease of use is one of its greatest features. As a result of this thread though I am willing to admit that Active Captain integration would be a big plus. Active Captain has much more information for this area than it did even a year ago. I hadn't looked at it for a while & was pleasantly surprised by the information I found there tonight.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:14 PM   #48
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If you have a Mac, I highly recommend MacENC; almost every kind of functionality you could imagine, free updates, and the very best customer support I think I have ever seen. Not in the budget zone at $180, but compared to Coastal Explorer and Nobletec, definitely a bargain. When you wander out of the US, you can buy Navionics Gold charts that cover huge areas through X_Traverse, as well as ENCs form various foreign countries; the program is used by a lot of overseas users, truly global.
will this software run the free noaa charts as well? and interface to ais radar depthsounder etc?
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:00 PM   #49
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will this software run the free noaa charts as well? and interface to ais radar depthsounder etc?
Yes. That is it's whole premise. Go look at the site for details.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:37 AM   #50
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Try SeaClear. II. It's free and seems to do the job. Freeware is the wave of the future, I'm guessing.
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:44 AM   #51
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Even with multiple GPS receivers you still have a single point failure. The military doesn't rely solely on GPS because they know how easily it can be jammed or disabled. If all GPS stopped working how would you navigate?
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:46 AM   #52
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Even with multiple GPS receivers you still have a single point failure. The military doesn't rely solely on GPS because they know how easily it can be jammed or disabled. If all GPS stopped working how would you navigate?
I'd do what the old Polynesians did: dangle the boys in the water and follow the warm currents.
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:59 AM   #53
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Even with multiple GPS receivers you still have a single point failure. The military doesn't rely solely on GPS because they know how easily it can be jammed or disabled. If all GPS stopped working how would you navigate?

Most of us could still pilot just fine for where we boat...a depthsonder is pretty much all you need as backup for the one in a trillion chance that someone is jamming GPS ner you.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:14 AM   #54
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Actually, GPS being affected in one way or another has happened a few times around here, likely due to the very large military presence; sometimes it is in the LNM as a pre-announcement, other times it happens mysteriously in very small areas ( a one mile area that included my marina once).

Before I ever experienced that, we have long been in the habit of having the appropriate paper chart book open at the helm with all plotting equipment immediately at hand. On longer trips, we pencil in time, position, heading and speed every hour or so on the chart. Kind of makes a nice "visual logbook" for future reference up to the point you have to start erasing entries due to congestion. Plus I like the "really big picture" afforded by the paper chart.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:48 PM   #55
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Try SeaClear. II. It's free and seems to do the job. Freeware is the wave of the future, I'm guessing.

think agian my friend, its only free untill they find a way to charge for the service. Look what happened to TV
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:03 PM   #56
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Most of us could still pilot just fine for where we boat...a depthsonder is pretty much all you need as backup for the one in a trillion chance that someone is jamming GPS ner you.
I guess there's also a measureable chance that an EMP will take out my entire electronics suite but there's some risks I'm prepared to live with.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:07 PM   #57
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I guess there's also a measureable chance that an EMP will take out my entire electronics suite but there's some risks I'm prepared to live with.
who cares, if it wasn't for sailors without fear of the water we would all still be in Europe waiting for the world to end but we're not. So the point being, who needs all this technology anyway? We discovered the world without it
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:15 AM   #58
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We? Don't you mean "they"?
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:34 PM   #59
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I have Coastal Explorer since 2009 and like it. Is there any reason to upgrade ($99) to CE 2011. My version seems to work pretty well, it gets me there and back.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:56 PM   #60
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There are iPAD apps that include AC, but then it's yet another nav app, and I need fewer, not more.
We have no use for computer-based navigation (laptop, etc), preferring dedicated units. But there is a very nice, simple charting app for the iPad which we have and use in the same way we use paper charts--- to get the "big picture" or to scan or peruse the waters around us as we go.

This app is Navimatics and it includes the Active Captain overlay and database (if you are a member of AC and download the database to the app). Navimatics is not a navigation app per se--- you cannot created, store, and follow routes. (You can enter a simple, one-leg, straight-line route from where you are to another point and the app will display steering directions to follow it, but that's it as far as actual navigation is concerned.)

But as a tool for moving rapidly around the charts, zooming in and out and panning with just a few finger swipes to go from "big picture" to close-in detail, it's great.

And it's the perfect tool for using Active Captain. The AC database is downloaded into the iPad so you do not have to be on-line to use it. You do need to be on-line in to download the latest updates to the AC database. But once you've done that there is no need to be on-line to use database.

If you have a 3G/4G iPad, it has a built-in, stand-alone GPS receiver so it can track your position on the Navimatics charts in real time with no connectivity required at all. It will even leave a track of your boat's progress.

Since it's not a full-up plotter-type app its cost is pretty reasonable, about $25 IIRC. You have to order the version with the region of the US you want. In our case it's the "US&CA West" version which includes the west coast from the Mexican border all the way up through BC and all of Alaska.

At its widest display setting it will show from the lower end of Puget Sound to the top end of Vancouver Island. From that screen display it's just a matter of a couple of finger pinches to go in tight on our marina with just our and a couple of neighboring docks on the screen.

All in all a great tool for planning ahead or looking at the waters around you as you travel with no need to keep zooming and panning on the boat's actual plotter displays. And with the Active Captain markers on the charts, you can find out about marinas, harbors, anchorages, etc. right on the spot.
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