nav software

Steve and Linda,

You have one of the most useful resources on the internet and I have learned a lot from your websites. I was curious what you currently use as navigation software and what you would recommend for someone looking to do world cruising and why that is the best choice in your very knowledgeable opinion. I did find your recommendation for Coastal Explorer referenced in your Nav section. I am pretty computer savvy if that makes a difference. I have tried to figure it out from the various pictures but (looks like VNS to me or maybe MaxSea) but what is best for you may not necessarily be best for me. I am building a motorsailor if that also makes a difference.

Thank you very much for your input.

Happy and safe voyaging.


Hi Mike:

Choice of nav software comes down to what you need in the way of features. The first is chart availability. In the US everyone now uses the free NOAA database, so by charts we are talking offshore.

Weather and routing are important features to us, even with a powerboat. There are various routing programs that run outside of the nav software, such as Nick Whites program about which we wrote in some detail during 2008.

As far as Coastal Explorer, Nobeltec, or MaxSea, they are all good programs. You just have to look at the costs for charts, chart availability, and features and decide which package makes the most sense.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (February 15, 2010)

Comments are closed.