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Old 03-02-2013, 06:16 PM   #1
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Navigation Software

Greetings Gentlemen:

I wonder what would be the best value software available to navigate.
People is talking about Nobeltec Odissey.
Does any of you run this software before?

Thank you for your input

P.
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:11 PM   #2
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The cheapest is OpenCPN.
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:27 PM   #3
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The cheapest is OpenCPN.
And the new update just released is pretty cool and a major upgrade. Polar Navy is worth looking at too for the bargain conscious.
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:28 PM   #4
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I've never used Nobletech myself, but have talked to a number of people who swear by it. However, with it's merger with MaxSea, it is evolving to be more like MaxSea, and a number of people I talked to are not liking it so much any more.

I've used MaxSea personally. It's best trait is that it integrates well with Furuno's NN3D system, and I think their TZTouch stuff as well. Other than that, I really dislike it. Just as one example, it has two operating modes: Planning and Navigation. Certain features are only available in one mode and not the other. But to switch you need to shutdown and restart, and that takes several minutes. It is VERY slow to start up. It also does a poor job rendering vector charts with duplicated labels all over the place. It makes reading the charts a lot harder than it needs to be.

I'm now switching over to Rose Point Navigation's Coastal Explorer. It's very reasonably priced (about $400) and to my mind is much better thought out than MaxSea, easier to use, faster, etc.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:06 PM   #5
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The least expensive is Open CPN at free, then Polar Navy for $39.95 for 5 computer activations. I have both of these as a backup to Nobeltec both VNS10 and Odyssey. Because I have always have used Nobeltec products for the last 15+ years it is the software I use. Odyssey only runs on Window 7 where as VNS will run on Vista/XP/Windows 7. To me Nobeltec is by far the best, but I know I am bias because I have always used it and have not spent the time to really figure the others out.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:37 PM   #6
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Thanks I have been running 2.5, I'll have to take a look at the new one.

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And the new update just released is pretty cool and a major upgrade. Polar Navy is worth looking at too for the bargain conscious.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:01 PM   #7
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I've never used Nobletech myself, but have talked to a number of people who swear by it. However, with it's merger with MaxSea, it is evolving to be more like MaxSea, and a number of people I talked to are not liking it so much any more.

I've used MaxSea personally. It's best trait is that it integrates well with Furuno's NN3D system, and I think their TZTouch stuff as well. Other than that, I really dislike it. Just as one example, it has two operating modes: Planning and Navigation. Certain features are only available in one mode and not the other. But to switch you need to shutdown and restart, and that takes several minutes. It is VERY slow to start up. It also does a poor job rendering vector charts with duplicated labels all over the place. It makes reading the charts a lot harder than it needs to be.

I'm now switching over to Rose Point Navigation's Coastal Explorer. It's very reasonably priced (about $400) and to my mind is much better thought out than MaxSea, easier to use, faster, etc.
You'll like CE. There may be features missing that other aps have but I couldn't tell you what they might be. Make sure you slave the autopilot to the route planning function.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:27 PM   #8
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Polar Navy.

OpnCpn is really nice but it does not include ActiveCaptain. License issue.

Nobeltec, Rosepoint, it was nice knowing you. But your days are numbered. Sure, many posters who invested in the software will protest. Let's do this thread again next year.

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Old 03-02-2013, 09:32 PM   #9
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Polar Navy.

OpnCpn is really nice but it does not include ActiveCaptain. License issue.

Nobeltec, Rosepoint, it was nice knowing you. But your days are numbered. Sure, many posters who invested in the software will protest. Let's do this thread again next year.

Mike
Why do you think Polar Navy will dominate?
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:58 PM   #10
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I too like Polar Navy. In my case, though, the choices are limited as I use a Mac. I have the Mac connected with a serial USB cable to the NMEA 0183 outputs from my Garmin 4212.

I have no worthwhile experience with other products. This week, I downloaded Open CPN and imported all the charts I had downloaded using PolarView. I have not had an opportunity to try it out on the boat, though.

PolarView NS seems like a great deal at $39.99.

I have two issues with PolarView. 1) It seems (or perhaps I just can't find it) that the documentation is a little weak. There are many keyboard commands and I have not been able to find a complete list. 2) PolarCom (the tool that actually communicates with the NMEA 0183 device) does not provide configuration options unless it is actually connected to the USB serial cable and NMEA 0183 devices. These are minor issues. Overall, and with my limited experience with navigation software, it seems to work quite well.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:58 PM   #11
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I did not say that Polar Navy will dominate.

The original post was about “best value”,

To me that means features vs cost.

As time passes, and more and more GPS apps appear navigation software will approach “free”.

This may non be true everywhere but as long as the US Government allows Nautical Charts to be distributed free, then the low coast providers will win.

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Old 03-02-2013, 10:00 PM   #12
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opencpn will work with ais, radar and weather don't know about depthsounder. So, for $400 you can buy a 17 inch touch screen monitor and with opencpn you have a good inexpensive nav system. I suspect because of windows 8 and cheap touch screen monitors the $3000 12 inch and $5000 15 inch marine nav displays will soon have to lower there prices and that would be a good thing. Yes I knbow the cheap touch screen monitors are not water proof but if it was one could opt for one of the high end waterproof monitors which are still way way less than 3,000 dollars, this industrial 22 inch touch is $1,100 22" Fully Enclosed Waterproof Monitor and Industrial Touch Screen

I was thinking of buying one of those high dollar marine systems untill you guys in the forum turned me on to opencpn. Now I'm thouroughly confused
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:12 PM   #13
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This may non be true everywhere but as long as the US Government allows Nautical Charts to be distributed free, then the low coast providers will win.
I like that the US charts are free. In my case, I also need British Columbia charts. Those were surprisingly expensive.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:14 PM   #14
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I've been using OpenCPN since before we bought the boat. I had a brief flirtation with Fugawi that cost me a lot of money and likely a couple of years off my life (frustration & elevated blood pressure). Since Dave wrote a plugin for the CHS charts I have never used anything but OpenCPN. I now have it interfaced to both my radio and my autopilot. Dead simple with the new release. For you guys that only cruise in US waters I can't imagine why you would use anything else. If you get involved with the development team you can have input into features that you want to see in the new releases. They listen too - the current release has a feature that I suggested.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:20 PM   #15
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I like that the US charts are free. In my case, I also need British Columbia charts. Those were surprisingly expensive.
I thought I saw charts for BC and was looking at the campel river...spelling, sorry

Chart 531
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:22 PM   #16
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I've been using OpenCPN since before we bought the boat. I had a brief flirtation with Fugawi that cost me a lot of money and likely a couple of years off my life (frustration & elevated blood pressure). Since Dave wrote a plugin for the CHS charts I have never used anything but OpenCPN. I now have it interfaced to both my radio and my autopilot. Dead simple with the new release. For you guys that only cruise in US waters I can't imagine why you would use anything else. If you get involved with the development team you can have input into features that you want to see in the new releases. They listen too - the current release has a feature that I suggested.
I knew it could interace to radar and ais but didnt know radio and autopilot. What about a depthsounder?
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:22 AM   #17
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I have also used Nobeltec for 13 years because that is what the work boats have installed. Nobeltec VNS10 is ok but with the usual issues of locking up etc. Nobeltec Odyssey is beyond a joke. As posted hear before,tech support for Nobeltec acknowledged the issue but said they didn't have any plans to correct. There were a few Odyssey features I did like however, the graphics were better than VNS. We have used VNS on 4 trans atlantic trips,Around South Africa, Canada, ,Med and the Great lakes.
Having said that I do keep Open CPN on a personal computer with a GPS plug in. We also run a separate computer in th Galley with Chart Pro Navigator running
On my next personal boat I will have an inexpensive chart plotter, probably a Standard Horizon 12'' model as backup and use Open CPN on my laptop as a primary because of the 17' screen. I am not familiar with Polar Navy but I will check it out.
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:35 AM   #18
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I've been using OpenCPN since before we bought the boat. I had a brief flirtation with Fugawi that cost me a lot of money and likely a couple of years off my life (frustration & elevated blood pressure). Since Dave wrote a plugin for the CHS charts I have never used anything but OpenCPN. I now have it interfaced to both my radio and my autopilot. Dead simple with the new release. For you guys that only cruise in US waters I can't imagine why you would use anything else. If you get involved with the development team you can have input into features that you want to see in the new releases. They listen too - the current release has a feature that I suggested.
+1.....
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:51 AM   #19
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One of the reasons I passed on OpenCPN is that it doesn't have native support for NMEA 2000.

OpenCPN and CAN Bus PGN's - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

Coastal Explorer is 80-90% of the way there and they are actively working on finishing it up. Starting from a clean slate, I've gone with 100% NMEA 2000 and a single 0183 converter to talk to the VHF because ICOM doesn't yet support N2K. I'm probably going to switch radio vendors the next time around if ICOM hasn't added N2K, which unfortunately I don't think they are. When I told their rep that it was a desirable feature, all I got was an argument for why I shouldn't want it. I love their radios, but that's not listening to your customers.
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:02 PM   #20
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FWIW PolarView NS (or, rather, PolarCOM) supports N2K data input natively over either Actisense NGT-1 or SeaSmart devices. This includes all usual device inputs (GPS/compass/depth/wind) and AIS. No a/p control output yet - need more users to actually start using N2K before that happens.

Sorry, I can't make PolarView free. But just because it's March and you, guys, are the ones with active discussion that mentions PolarView, here is a coupon for $10 off the PolarView NS activation code: PVTF201303

(I could swear I had registered and posted on this forum before, but can't find my registration. Strange.)
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