Software for Marine Electronics: Marine Charts

Chartplotters typically come loaded with a default basemap that provides basic charting information covering the continental US coastlines and lakes. As add-ons you purchase more detailed marine charts specific to a region of the U.S. or another part of the world. Your chartplotter will come pre-configured to be compatible with a specific chart set. For example, Garmin uses their own Garmin BlueChart series and Lowrance favors the Navionics chart sets. It is worth checking out the different types of marine charts available from the various marine chart suppliers before you lock yourself in to a particular chartplotter.
Most of the charts cover the world’s coast lines and coastal roads and include information regarding tides and currents. Many offer additional features like wreck sites, marsh areas, location of buoys, marsh areas and so on.

Marine Charts: Navionics
Navionics charts are available in gold, platinum and platinum plus. The gold series are 2-dimensional whereas the Platinum series offers 3-D views and satellite overlays and aerial photos. Bathymetric charts provide detailed underwater coverage and terrain topography. Navionics 3-D marine charts also give you panoramic views of harbor entries and port services including marinas, hotels and restaurants. mccoy marine 50

Marine Charts: Garmin
Garmin makes the BlueChart series. The latest in the series is BlueChart G2 Vision. BlueChart G2 gives you enhanced 3-D marine maps, arial and satellite view overlays, coastal roads and auto guidance as well as thousands of points of interest including harbors, ports, marinas, hotels and so on.

C-Map by Jeppeson
Furanao recently teamed with Jeppesen to offer the C-Map series of marine charts known as MapMedia charts. These are offered with Furano’s NavNet 3D system. Currently MapMedia vector charts are available for North America and Central America and can be viewed in 2D and 3D. Several more regional charts are available and a full range of world charts is in the works. MapMedia makes use of NOAA Raster and Vector Charts as well. Incidentally NavNet is also compatible with Datacore maps by Navionics

Marine maps are generally available pre-programmed on data cards that plug directly into your chartplotter so it is quick and easy to install and upload them. When you wish to buy a marine chart or map for a new area it is always worth verifying that the format you are purchasing is compatible with your chartplotter device to avoid unnecessary frustrations when you receive it. Not all chartplotters from the same manufacture will accept every possible format of marine chart.


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