C-Map PC Planner 10.0, bellissimo!
A C-Map question this morning reminded me that I’d meant to comment on my experience with the company’s latest PC Planner product. I’ve always liked the concept: bring home your chart card, stick it in Planner’s reader and use it to do fast, detailed route making on a PC, then bring the routes back to your plotter on a user card. These days Planner is a pretty mature program and also nicely shows off the goodies in C-Map's newish Max chart cards. Check out the streets, detailed harbor info, multi-shaded contours (land too), and even a yellow real time current arrow in the screen shot above (bigger here). The program can also display Max’s perspective view, animated nav lights, and harbor photos. I may have razzed C-Map last spring for its Max marketing, but I like the charts and PC Planner.
And I’ve wondered why Navionics has not yet introduced a similar product. (I have been told it was “about to happen” several times, including quite recently.) Even Garmin users can’t plan on a preprogrammed data card, though they can get the same effect by buying BlueCharts on a CD and making their own card (note that the new G2 charts will not be available on CD, at least at introduction).
At any rate, the question asked this morning was the cost for Malaysian C-Map charts for use on a PC. One reason for the long introduction is that PC charting programs supporting C-Maps can generally read them either from the CD version or from a card via the reader (SOB has a good explanation of the hows and whys here). A "Wide" size CD unlock code for the Malaysian area, either Max or regular NT+, costs about $250 and includes maybe 100 charts (you can drill down to name, scale, etc. detail using C-Map’s online catalog). I’m still working on prices for the applicable cards, which come in two possible sizes for the area; they’re likely a little higher, but can also be used in a dedicated plotter. I was surprised that I couldn’t find these prices online; I think Bluewater usually has such info but their system is down. Any suggestions for other online sources of worldwide electronic charts?