Boating Gear Essentials: Electronic Charts 

Boating Gear Essentials: Electronic Charts 

Temperatures are rising, and we’re all starting to anticipate that moment when vessels get back on the water and a new season of boating days begins.  Just make sure the first “right” day doesn’t catch you unprepared. Have you drafted a checklist with all the items that need preparation? This list definitely should include charts. 

Electronic charts are valuable aids to navigation. Among the greatest benefits of having electronic equipment with digital charts on board is the speed of use particularly crucial in challenging situations such as night crossings, difficult weather conditions and during anchoring in unknown waters as they provide an eye below the water and facilitate maneuvers that may create a bit of anxiety.  In standard navigation, they still prove a useful tool just by virtue of the fact that since you actually see your GPS position marked on the chartplotter screen, they help finding your bearings relative to surrounding objects such as navigational aids, obstacles and hazards. Planning is also easier: for example you can simply select a departure and arrival point and the data contained in the chart will allow the GPS chartplotter to suggest a viable route that takes into consideration the information contained in the map. In this way, you can dedicate the right amount of time to planning and map study — and take advantage of other, more enjoyable aspects of life on the water.  

How to Choose an Electronic Chart 
There are several aspects to be considered: 
- First of all, what is your passion? Some manufacturers provide specific solutions for freshwater for example, so look out for products that can help take the most out of your time. 
- Secondly, what makes you feel more confident when boating? The amount of information you can refer to, how recent it is and the ease of reading it can definitely make a difference in this. 
Navionics® All-in-one Solutions
Navionics charts are essential on any boat and for any type of on-the-water activity. 
They provide all the essential cartographic reference for boaters, allowing you to study port plans and safety depth contours, identify tides and currents, and locate navigation aids, nearby marine services and more. On top of this, Navionics offers the SonarChart™ patented bathymetry map and Community Edits, a layer of local information provided directly by users where one can add new information or edit/correct existing ones. 
The comprehensive global cartography database for marine and lakes areas grows constantly as we integrate data from official hydrographic services and private entities to generate a valuable, easy-to-use product that goes well beyond official charts. 

What makes Navionics stand out? 

Navionics has the only charts that are updated every day.  
It’s a fact that nautical charts change more often than we think, and relying on outdated charts can lead to quite unpleasant situations.
Instead, having easy access to updated charts means that you can be right on top of any recent change to the seabed or channel floor, sand bar shifts, new relics or obstacles and changes in navigational aids such as buoys and navigation lanes.   Imagine your sense of confidence knowing you can update your charts every time you leave the dock and synchronize your onboard chartplotter and mobile device to make sure you always have the latest data available on any device.  

How does Navionics do it? 
Daily chart publishing is the result of the following items: 
- The effort the company puts into scouting new sources and carefully selecting the content that ends up in the final product.
- The sophisticated proprietary software systems developed for processing data in such a timely way. In addition, our experienced team of cartographers scrutinize the results before any changes are released within our products.  
With a wealth of information, compelling features and exceptional ease of use, Navionics charts can be a greatly beneficial tool when on board and should always be a part of the boater’s standard equipment. 
Navionics charts are available on popular brands of GPS chartplotters and for mobile devices. They are even accessible for free on our online Chart Viewer.