Navigation program for computer

I am looking for the best , most accurate , and user friendly Navigation program for my computer. I always like to have a back up on the boat. I did have Captain Voyager but my computer took a poop. What are you guys useing? Any thoughts or comments would be awsome.

The best ECS program out right now is Rose Point ECS. If the $2000 price tag deters you I would recommend the slightly less featured program, Coastal Explorer. I believe Coastal Explorer is about $500. Either one is much more user friendly than Cap’n or Nobeltec and I have used them all. You can download a trial version of Coastal Explorer for free from their website. On the free side of things there is Sea Clear and Open CPN. Both of those are pretty straightforward to use. Sea Clear does not have many features though and only displays RNCs if I recall correctly.

I used the Rose Point software aboard tug NORTH SEA. VASTLY superior to Nobeltec

Rose Point or Coastal Exp is the best.

Nobletec is not bad ether. It’s not as good as Ross Point but it’s very user friendly.

Rose point gets my vote

I use Furuno Max Sea Time Zero and Nobeltec Trident. Both are great.

No one has mentioned if the software under discussion is limited to U.S. waters or not. Not all readers of this forum are U.S. coastwise only.

What software works with what charts?


I know that both Rose Point programs work well with Admiralty Vector Chart Service (AVCS) electronic charts. I had no problem loading all the foreign charts for voyages between the the Gulf and East coasts to the Columbia River, through the Panama Canal and return. I know that those are the encrypted S-63 ENC format. Most of the programs should be able to use the non encrypted S-57 ENC format but foreign ENC charts are probably all S-63. All NOAA S-57 charts are available for free from their website. There are usually lists of what charts are compatible with each program on the developers websites.

Hey Stickman, I use Chart Navigator Pro. I have used it all over the gulf. It works very well. You can also tie in your AIS info. It cost about 400 dolers at west marine. btw, the pass was 4 to five overhead with about 50 people on it.

I also use Chart Navigator Pro, and like it. When I was looking for a program, several captains advised me to be sure to get the Zenstar GPS antenna.

At the time it was bundled with Chart Navigator Pro, and has worked very well.

I have used Chart Navigator Pro as well. It is a good program that looks and operates just like Coastal Explorer and my understanding is that Chart Navigator Pro is basically the same as Coastal Explorer. Rose Point licensed their software to Maptech in 2006. You can even upgrade to the latest version of Coastal Explorer from Chart Navigator Pro 1.1 or higher per Rose Point’s website.

1+ for navigator pro. Office installed it on our vessels a few years ago and we all love it. Much safer navigating when you can call a boat by name as alot of people don’t seem to know where they are. Call there position 5 times and no answer, say their name and they think it’s their buddy and answer immediately.

Check out SeaClear.

It’s free and solid.
No bells or whistles but integrates with GPS and AIS nicely.
Requires you to know a bit about your other equipment but help is available online via users forum.

I’m presently using Furuno’s MaxSea7 software with a Furuno 2117 ARPA Navnet. We’re using it exclusively with RNC’s since the vector charts require a subscription to proprietary ENC’s that get updated on a 6 month cycle, not very useful. I get fresh RNC’s a day or so before returning to work and have a fresh catalog of “as accurate as they can be” charts for the hitch. The only advantage MaxSea7 has over Rosepoint is the ability to track ARPA targets, select a target on the ARPA it shows up on the plotter… Otherwise, Rosepoint’s ability to use both RNC’s and ENC’s from the NOAA website and its self updating feature puts it on my “definitely want one” list. Additionally it includes ACOE charts and data that’s like having the Coast Pilot at your fingertips. The graphics are better with Rosepoint as is the user interface IMHO. I don’t know if its suited for Admiralty charts. I’m hoping to see Rosepoint closing the gap.
Once Rosepoint can match and utilize the data stream from a Furuno Navnet, it will leave the MaxSea7 program in the dust. As for MaxSea Time Zero, it’s a poor substitute for even MaxSea7. Not very flexible and I wouldn’t spend a nickel on it having tried it for a hitch. Furuno claims they started from the bottom up and created a fresh code for TZ, they left a lot on the floor kids, barely good enough for a modest yacht.

Rose Point works excellent with Admiralty vector charts. I don’t think you will ever see a program from one company being able to utilize a data stream from hardware by another manufacture so long it is a proprietary format ( I.E. radar overlay). Rose Point has the capability to display ARPA targets, it just has to be hooked up from the track table output on the RADAR to the computer running Rose Point. I have used it in that manner before. If you get Rose Point ECS one of the best features is it’s ability to overlay ACOE XYZ survey data on the NOAA ENC. Not all ACOE districts publish their survey data in that format but it is real handy when you can use it. I had all the survey lines every 200ft between the SW Pass sea buoy and Venice overlaid on the ENCs while working there, which was great because there isn’t any sounding data between the lighthouse and the Head of Passes on the ENC alone.

ARPA overlay, depth sonder, GPS, manual chart correcting and more.
The best is the AIS func.
Ther is an iSailor, but I haven´t tried it.

No discussion is complete without looking at OpenCPN ( Constant development by a dedicated team of enthusiasts.
Latest developments include radar overlay.

Well worth the effort to have a look.