Jeppesen NNS MAX Pro, it's shipping!
It’s been a while since Jeppesen bought C-Map, and even longer since the 9.0 version of NNS (Nobeltec Navigation Software) came out. But the new versions of VNS and Admiral are now shipping, and looking good too (big Admiral screen here). Of course, the major change is that the programs now support C-Map MAX Pro cartography, which is why they’re called MAX Pro and not version 10. Besides a world portfolio of some 30,000 charts—versus Passport’s 10,000–another bit of nice news is that everyone who currently owns NSS 9 gets a free upgrade to Max Pro, and a free MAX Pro chart region for every Passport region owned, and a free copy of the new Raster Plus Pack. (Owners of earlier NSS versions get various deals, depending, as explained in the press releases.)
What’s a Raster Plus Pack, you say? Well, this may come as a bit of bad news, but the regular versions of VNS and Admiral Max Pro will not read Maptech/BSB and NOSGeo rasters without the $50 Plus Pack (disregard the $300 price shown on Nobeltec’s site, it’s just a glitch as they revise everything). It was explained to me that the rationale for the extra charge is that installing third party raster charts causes a fair amount of customer service calls. Besides, MAX Pro may have the most paper-like look of any vector charts, as you can see somewhat in the screen shots (below bigger here). And what’s more it seems pretty obvious—given hints like its zero tolerance policy regarding C-Map and even Passport cartography issues—that Jeppesen is focusing on serious users. For instance, MAX Pro regions—which start at $339 for “Wide” areas like Eastport, ME to Newport, RI—will include a year of free Quick-Sync weekly chart updates, the Sailing Plus Pack now includes weather routing, and the Weather Plus Pack adds XM to Sirius, OCENS, and generic GRIB options. There’s lots more, and a good way to see what Jeppesen is up to is via the impressive 250–page VNS/Admiral manual downloadable here. I’ll be trying NSS MAX Pro soon myself, because it really is shipping ;-)