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Charts for Sth Pacific Cruise

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This is a bit of a follow on from a discussion I had with Bad Kitty at Xmas.

Hope to head off this winter for a typical cruise - Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, maybe Solomons and New Caledonia.

On the Electronic side I have C Map on a plotter, and OpenCPN running the LINZ chart set and CMAP 93.

On the paper side an eclectic set from the late 80's that came with the yacht including Fiji F5 and Pickmere's Yasawa charts.

Tonga is covered by LINZ, New Cal by the French charts. Fiji seems to be a mix of their own and Admiralty. Vanuatu appears really dodgy with a lot still based on 1800's lead line survey's.

Interested to hear peoples' recommendations/experience on electronic vs paper charts in these areas, sourcing and which they prefer to use primarily.

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I used to say that people cruising without paper charts are reckless and irresponsible, but I've changed my tune.  I still carry some, but honestly haven't looked at them.


You can get the entire south pacific for Navionics for about $20.  I have 3 tablets on board with these Navionics charts and they are updated regularly.  Download large areas for offline use is a bit laborious, but still perfectly do-able..

edit: The Navionics app is called "Boating"


I also run OpenCPN and have some other program that uses the same charts.

People rave about Google Earth integration with Open CPN to give you better visibility of reefs etc under water.  I haven't bothered to create my own Google Earth Imagery, but you can download some pre-prepared ones.

...or just sail in good sunlight with a good watch in reefy / poorly charted areas.

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I'm not sure I entirely understand the question...


Navionics charts are freely available online via the web, but I doubt thats what you mean.


If you have an Android device, you can download the free version of Navionics



You then need to buy charts and from memory, you get a 30 day trial before you have to commit to buying.

You can buy the charts from within the app, or from the app store.


I've hit them up before about the fact that you can't see the South Pacific charts in the Android online app store, but you can definitely get them from inside the app.


I have the South Pacific which says $13.99 and boundaries are Tuamotus in French Polynesia, Hawaii, Phillipines, and Norfolk.

I also have the Au/NZ charts which show as $10.99 and cover... well... AU and NZ.


I suspect my pricing is in USD.



I also think these are supposed to be annual subscriptions, but my Pacific Islands charts show as 'subscription expired', but I can still see all my charts in extreme detail.


The level of detail is incredible. If you have an internet connection, the level of detail can include "sonar charts" which is a whole 'nother world of detail - collected from vessels actual sounders.  A connection also gives you access to "Community Edits" which is a little like a living clickable cruising guide.  

I seldom cruise with an internet connection, so never get the best out of it... but it's still worth a lot more than I paid for it!




1 - Here's the Navionics Web App in case thats what you were asking about: https://webapp.navionics.com/#@6&key=vx~_F_ppi%60%40


2 - I've forgotten.

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Option 1:  Buy an iPad, a waterproof case, and the $15 Navionics charts. (My recommendation for you, because its the best for a technophobe)


Option 2: Buy an android tablet, a waterproof case, and the $15 Navionics charts (I have this x 3, but only pay once for the charts)


Option 3: Laptop with OpenCPN

 3a: LINZ charts (that you probably already have)

 3b: CM93 charts that fell off the back of a truck and can be 'borrowed' from most cruisers (but not me 'cause I'm standing on the moral high ground)

However, if you're a little bit technophobic, you'll probably need said cruiser to install the charts for you on your PC / laptop.


Option 4: Buy one of those fancy chart plotter things that KM mentioned


Option 5: Buy the latest charts for your existing plotter


Option 6-66: Variations...

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Ok - I have navionics on my phone (still can't figure how to get it on the laptop) with the free trial, I'll have a play this weekend. The charts for Fiji certainly seem adequate.

OK, if you have a smartphone and are happy with the tiny screen, then you're sorted.


You're not going to (economically) get Navionics charts on to your PC to use offline.


You can use the web app that I linked to earlier for planning (https://webapp.navionics.com/#@6&key=vx~_F_ppi%60%40)


Presumably you now have the LINZ charts on OpenCPN and the Pacific Islands charts on your phone.



See you in Fiji :)

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