Originally Posted by tito1231
IS THERE ANYTHING TESTED FOR NAUTICAL USE ??I HAVE GARMIN MAP SOURSE BUT ONLY SHOW MY POSITION ON MAP.I WANT SOMETHING WITH NAVIGATION TO WAYPOINTS AND ALL THIS GOODIES.I LIVE IN GREECE (SORRY FOR MY ENGLISH).
For driving you only need a map with two dimensions; for nautical use you NEED a three dimensional chart that shows under-water features!
For ratings on Nautical chart programs try "Practical Sailor" a monthly publication in the US that tests marine products of all kinds (like "Consumers Reports", "Practical Sailor" does not accept advertising so their test reports are truly objective). Nautical computer navigation started it all.
Garmin only recently entered the auto nav scene after taking over the Nautical trade in the late '90s.
Garmin and others (notabley Raymarine and Standard Horizon) market a plethara of chart-plotters, but the real deal
is lap-top navigation using free maps downloaded from NOAA .
The "original" marine nav program was "The Cap'n". VERY GOOD through about 2004. But, after the Coast Guard adopted it, things went down-hill as the Cap'n began neglecting the consumer market if favor the the Coasties.
MapTec now sells best; but the best thing going today is an Apple/Mac based program
A deluxe program from MapTec runs about $600 US while a Mac program from MAC ENC cost $100 US and is a bit better (and can be downlosded from the net rather than purchased on a DVD). There is a VERY IMPORTANT thing to know about Marine nav-programs!!!!!! Vector charts are for recreational use in areas where you already know the water
. Vertor charts are all you can get on chart-ploters; which is why chart-plotters are only toys for in-shore recreational boating.
Raster-scan charts are Real
charts scanned from the originals and loaded onto your computer (too much memory required for the "tinker-toy" chart plotters).
What's the difference between Vector and Raster charts? Well, Raster charts are scans of REAL
charts published by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric administration), DMA (Defense Mapping Agency) or foreign Government agencies such as the British Admiralty . Quite accurate. When a NOAA chart of the East Coast says you have 6 feet of depth there the GPS "paints" you, you can be sure there is 6 feet of water (which is much more of a life & death mater than whether a street-nav map tells you precisely where "Elm Street" is.
A Vector chart is made by taking a "real" chart and sending it to India to have someone (who may never have seen the Ocean) remove data according to a cheat-sheet so as to reduce the data storage requirements.
Navigating tricky waters with a Vector chart (all that's available on any chart plotter) is akin to night-driving with sun-glasses; a good bit of the needed data is filtered out.
So, if you only need conformation of where you are on water you already know, a Garmin of Raymarine chart plotter may work OK; if you are going to new places and need to know where you are and what dangers lurk below the surface, you need a lap-top hooked to a Garmin hand-held GPS with a MapTec or MAC ENC nav-program.