{Stus-List} Computer Nav Software

Frank sailor at nyc.rr.com
Tue Feb 13 10:25:58 EST 2007

I have chart software from Nobeltec. I just noticed that as this date, they are stating that they are working on making their software compatable with Microsofts Vista OS.
     Windows VistaT:  Jeppesen products will not be supported during the initial release of the Vista OS. We will be doing everything we can to ensure our products are supported on this new platform as quickly as possible while maintaining focus on the quality and safety of our products.

      Suggest everyone who is thinking of upgrading to Vista should consider, if in fact their navigation software will be compatable.
      Sea Fever 30 MK1
      Bayside, NY 

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Jeff and Christine Cole 
  To: cnc-list at cnc-list.com 
  Sent: Sunday, February 11, 2007 2:28 PM
  Subject: Re: {Stus-List} Computer Nav Software

  Hi John,

  While I've not compared the Garmin Mapsource / Bluechart software to other brands on a feature-by-feature basis, I'm very pleased with the reliability and stability of the software, as well as the integration with the GPS.  In 2005/2006 I put about 5,000 miles on our GPSmap 176 unit, running the Bluechart software using about perhaps 5 regions or so.  We used a total of at least 3 versions of the software, updating as new version came along.  

  We had only one instance of the Bluechart (Mapsource) software crashing on any of our three PCs on which we installed, which was related to a defect in a the "properties" section of a particular tiny port chart in southern Portugal.  Reliability is important to me. 

  The most important factor to me is the ability to download the maps to the GPS for use at the helm.  This was also a highly reliable function, as was the GPS. In the trickiest of port entrances, we would navigate by eyeball and the helm-mounted chart plotter whil a second crew member was simultaneously running the chartplotting software on the PC for a larger, alternate view of the same entrance. Raw pixel count is helpful in assimilating graphical information. But we still did not depend on the PC for real-time navigation - it is unsafe to make the trickiest of real-time operations, such as navigating an unfamiliar rocky channel - depend on a Windows PC. For planning purposes, creating routes and waypoints - absolutely, especially if you have the software installed and ready to run on alternate laptop if you're on an extended voyage. But never Windows alone for safety-critical real-time work.

  The sotware itself is pretty easy to use, and offered all the features I needed for execution of our travels, although it's probably not as feature-rich as some other PC packages.  It will also work with the hand-held GPS 72 we had as a back-up GPS receiver system, although it was non-mapping so we just downloaded waypoints to it.

  It's not free software, but ordered from Defender or on-sale at West or your local retailer from time to time, it comes with one chart region and isn't unreasonably expensive for what it gives you. About $139.  Downloading to your GPS unit is, I think, essential.  Check to see if you need to buy a memory card before you download charts to the plotter, that was a surprise to me when I first got the system.

  No affiliation with any named vendor - just a satisfied customer.

  1979 C&C Landfall 38

  John Willhard wrote: 
    I am working on adding computer navigation software to my nav station (ie. the salon table).
    I have successfully connected the computer to my hand held Garmin, and will connect it to my Garmin 2006 mapping GPS on the boat when the temperature gets above freezing. I have experimented with the MapTech freeware, but before purchasing a full navigation software package, I am wondering what software others would reccomend and what are the good or bad points to each.

    Thank you in advance for your input.

    John S. Willhard
    S/V Quintet
    1988 Newport 27 MKIII
    Port Washington, WI


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