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Old 06-05-2023, 06:36 PM   #1
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Should I upgrade my Navionics+?

We have a new-to-us boat with a 2016 Raymarine ES128 chartplotter and Navionics software that was installed in 2018.

I'm trying to decide whether to buy a new version of Navionics. The marks here don't change much if at all, and the lake bottom hasn't been sounded for years, so this isn't about updated data. The way the charts display on our 2016 chartplotter just isn't as pretty (lol), legible, and clear as the way they display in https://webapp.navionics.com/. Raymarine says the charts will display on the chartplotter the same as they display on the web app. I'm skeptical.

Do the existing charts look kind of crummy because the software is old? Or does the chartplotter hardware degrade the quality and color? On the web app, detail pops into view a lot sooner than on the the chartplotter, and again, I don't know if that's due to the old chartplotter (seriously? when did 2016 become old?) or the old software.

Appreciate any input.
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Old 06-05-2023, 06:59 PM   #2
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So here is my answer. I have been cruising the same waters for 40 years. IN that time there have been no new rocks and no reefs have moved. I haven’t updated my charts in 20 years.

Now take careful note. Coast GuArd aids to navigation have changed greatly over 40 years. In one case a red and green can hAve swapped places. This can be disastrous when running in the fog if you are not extremely knowledgeable of the area you are running in.

So, how familiar are you with your cruising area? Would you recognize a buoy out of position and would you know where to go if a buoy was missing?

Obviously I am going to CMA and say get the update, even though I haven’t.
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Old 06-05-2023, 07:15 PM   #3
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Yes, thanks, I get all that, and we know our cruising area like the back of our hand. Yes, we would recognize if a buoy were out of place and would know where to go.

I promise that my question was not about safety. I get that. It was about legibility, clarity, and optics.
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Old 06-05-2023, 07:22 PM   #4
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Yes, thanks, I get all that, and we know our cruising area like the back of our hand. Yes, we would recognize if a buoy were out of place and would know where to go.

I promise that my question was not about safety. I get that. It was about legibility, clarity, and optics.
Just guessing but I think the issue of legibility, clarity, and optics has more to do with the 2016 Raymarine ES128 chartplotter than the age of the Navionics charts.


Edit: I just retired a 2015 vintage Garmin 840 running 2015 vintage charts. while the display was good enough the improvement with the new plotter is very noticeable.


And a comment. I would not cruise anywhere with outdated charts. Not even Lake Champlain which is where I started my boating life.
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Old 06-05-2023, 08:24 PM   #5
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Just guessing but I think the issue of legibility, clarity, and optics has more to do with the 2016 Raymarine ES128 chartplotter than the age of the Navionics charts.
That's my suspicion too. Unfortunately, upgrading the chartplotter isn't on the short-term list.

As for the charts themselves, not to worry. Our paper charts are current and electronic aren't exactly antique at 2018 vintage especially considering the very few changes on this lake.
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Old 06-05-2023, 08:57 PM   #6
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Should I upgrade my Navionics+?

This discussion highlights the main reason I use Coastal Explorer. I up date the Canadian raster charts one year and the ENCís the next. And while the rocks havenít moved many soundings on charts were made in the 1930ís. Entire shorelines in some regions in BC may be out by 100ís of metres.

Jim
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Old 06-05-2023, 09:08 PM   #7
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That's my suspicion too. Unfortunately, upgrading the chartplotter isn't on the short-term list.

As for the charts themselves, not to worry. Our paper charts are current and electronic aren't exactly antique at 2018 vintage especially considering the very few changes on this lake.
A couple of inexpensive setups to have current charts to cross check your old Navionics charts.

Navionics app on a tablet. Inexpensive and easily kept up to date.

OpenCPN on a laptop. OpenCPN is free. It uses NOAA free to download charts
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Old 06-05-2023, 09:16 PM   #8
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In the past Navionics had several different grades of charts, standard, gold, and platinum. Fishermen really liked all the extra sounding data that came with platinum. I personally thought it cluttered the screen and the data was not needed.

Now upgrading from one class to another did change optics. I have not found updating with in the same class to have any affect on optics. I have not even seen upgrading plotters improve optics in general. I have seen some interesting things like radar targets moving away from you showing up in green and coming towards you being red but chart optics is pretty much the same.

What I have noticed is that newer equipment is more powerful and faster. This means the refresh rate is better and radar overlay has gotten better. I haven't seen newer equipment do anything exceptional when it comes to displaying charts.
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Old 06-05-2023, 09:49 PM   #9
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A couple of inexpensive setups to have current charts to cross check your old Navionics charts.

Navionics app on a tablet. Inexpensive and easily kept up to date.

OpenCPN on a laptop. OpenCPN is free. It uses NOAA free to download charts
Good ideas - thanks! I'd tried OpenCPN in the past and abandoned it as too difficult to use for navigating. Yes, I know, it's probably me and my inability to understand icons. Hadn't thought about it just as a cross-reference. Makes good sense.
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Old 06-05-2023, 09:51 PM   #10
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In the past Navionics had several different grades of charts, standard, gold, and platinum. Fishermen really liked all the extra sounding data that came with platinum. I personally thought it cluttered the screen and the data was not needed.

Now upgrading from one class to another did change optics. I have not found updating with in the same class to have any affect on optics. I have not even seen upgrading plotters improve optics in general. I have seen some interesting things like radar targets moving away from you showing up in green and coming towards you being red but chart optics is pretty much the same.

What I have noticed is that newer equipment is more powerful and faster. This means the refresh rate is better and radar overlay has gotten better. I haven't seen newer equipment do anything exceptional when it comes to displaying charts.
Our previous boat had a Raymarine Axiom Pro 12S - thank you Travelers Insurance - and the display was really nice. Much better than this ES128.
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Old 06-05-2023, 10:12 PM   #11
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Our previous boat had a Raymarine Axiom Pro 12S - thank you Travelers Insurance - and the display was really nice. Much better than this ES128.
It's starting to sound like a hardware problem rather than a chart problem.
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Old 06-06-2023, 12:53 PM   #12
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I replaced a 6 or 7 year old Navionics platinum with a new southeast platinum
last August, lots more information available. Updates for the first year
are free, but then it is half the cost of a new one ($300.00) for every
year after that(seems a bit much). It took a couple of tries to figure
out how to update. I think the graphics are better. Next time I will go
with a C-Map, My Simrad evo3 can use either one.
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