$45 U.S. chart DVD, that’s what I’m talking about


The good folks who make GPSNavX and MacENC just announced a $40 (plus $5 s/h) DVD containing all NOAA U.S. coastal charts, including Alaska, Hawaii, and the Great Lakes. They’re in BSB 3 file format and should work fine with any Mac or PC charting program that reads BSBs—which is just about all of them. Note that the BSB 3 format is not encrypted. Note too that these are the same charts available for free download at freeboatingcharts.com (but what a hassel it would be to order, download, and unzip all of them).

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

19 Responses

  1. GPSNavX says:

    It is my hope I can add the Alaska, Great Lakes and Hawaii regions to the unencrypted DVD.

  2. GPSNavX says:

    Just as a follow-up. The NOAA BSB 3 DVD does include Alaska, Great Lakes, and Hawaii in addition to ever other US region.

  3. Andrew Smith says:

    You say that ‘almost all’ pc charting programs suport BSB 3, Which of them do not? Any major ones?

  4. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    All majors I’m pretty sure. The only program I can think of that doesn’t support BSB 3 charts is SOB from Digiboat:

  5. Frank says:

    Are any charts NOT included?

  6. NOAA BSB DVD says:

    All NOAA Coastal Charts and Great Lakes charts are included. Click the link below for more details of the coverage.

  7. John Esch says:

    Does Garmin support free BSB charts? I have a Garmin 2010C and would like to know how to use free charts instead of those sold by Garmin. Thanks in advance.

  8. GPSNavX says:

    Garmin uses proprietary vector charts that are limited to three Garmin units and do not meet ECDIS requirements. The free BSB charts are raster format and work with many PC and Mac based navigation software such as GPSNavX or Coastal Explorer.

  9. Bob Siegel says:

    RE: $45 chart DVD- Do you think the “First Mate” system could use these? It currently is loaded with soft-charts. Use 2 laptops, 1 has Windows XP and one Windows ME. Think it will work? Updated soft-charts cost $149 per area.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Works fine with my First Mate.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I copied the DVD to my huge hard drive and then made a copy of the DVD and then (finally) copied portions of it to CDs for my old boat-bound notebook computers that will not read DVDs. Also, when I set the path in First Mate to all the charts, the program crashed. First Mate does fine on something like the Gulf Coast or East Coast collection, which is a more realistic usage anyway.

  12. bob says:

    Installed $45 CD of charts on Capn First Mate System but now have duplicates of several charts on system. How to remove original charts without losing newly installed updated ones? If I leave the duplicate charts on the system, which ones will display when the GPS is connected (if any?)

  13. GPSNavX says:

    A friend of mine has put together a great resource on electronic charting..

  14. GPSNavX says:

    Here is the link to that site on Electronic charting

  15. Anonymous says:

    Laptop with Windows ME does not read NOAA CD. Acts as if there is nothing in CD drive. Works fine with Windows XP. How to load NOAA disc?

  16. GPSNavX says:

    “Laptop with Windows ME does not read NOAA CD”
    It’s a DVD, not a CD. So if you have a Laptop with just a CD drive then you cannot use it. Best to find a friend with a DVD drive who can burn individual regions on to a CD for your use. Contact me directly if you need further assistance.

  17. Mark says:

    I found same NOAA DVD for $30 that included shipping. They were responsive to questions and sent it promptly. It has an index of the charts with names and publish dates. Let’s hope the rest of the world catches up quickly so we can get even better coverage. chartsdvd.com

  18. Jess says:

    I bought one of the disks that GPSNavX mentioned at http://FreeNavCharts.com Great product! Everything was split into all 24 regions and there’s even an on-disk web site that provides a list of all of the charts, INCLUDING latititude and longitude coverage! This was really well done.
    I’ve also bought a few others (but won’t mention any names, at the risk of offending someone). The FreeNavCharts Maptech disk have several hundred more charts than any of the rest. I counted them and like they told me, there are 2,183 unique charts (unique, not total). I was going to download them myself before, but gave up because Maptech’s system is so inefficient and they also don’t have all of the charts on there that are supposed to be available (only about 2,000, I think)
    I ordered one of the “NOAA DVDs” should be a lot cheaper. Check NOAA’s web site — they only have 1,016 TOTAL charts — not eve half of what should be available.
    When I read some of these comments about saving fifteen bucks, I have to wonder what kind of shape you keep you boat in.
    Just my 2 cents.

  19. Mark says:

    I keep my boat in fine shape, thanks for asking.
    The coverage of the charts on the DVD I purchased matched the list offered on NOAA. I found that they reference them differently somehow on Maptech, making you think you are getting more charts when really it’s the exact coverage. I’ll keep reviewing, but on another comment posted here they mention Mobile Alabama: on maptech that is shown as #11379, while on NOAA site it’s 11380 for the same chart. Try searching maptech for 11380.
    Other than that, spend the extra money if it makes you feel better. I’ll buy a nice bottle of wine for the next overnight.

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