Nobeltec alert, & other product problems

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.

7 Responses

  1. Dan (b393capt) says:

    Yes, lets show some compassion for Nobeltec.
    As upset as customers may be about this, I think Nobeltec should get solid credit for making this announcement and preparing to help customers.
    Other vendors would bury this under a rug.
    For instance in early December I asked another marine electronics vendor about bugs I found in a specific area of their product and asked if they would be fixed and if their were related bugs I had not yet identified. I got back a response that the information was proprietary. I asked to escalate this to a manager, been waiting 2 weeks for a call back.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Well, at least the idiots who make waypoints out of buoys and lights won’t hit them.
    I’m not giving up my sextant, chronometer, stopwatch, paper charts and magnetic compass. Nothing beats a good set of eyes when piloting anyway.

  3. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Oops, I annoyed a reader who’d rather not comment directly:
    You should really call them and check before spreading FUD about Rosepoint. I saw Brad at Pacific Marine Expo and it is clear that the company and the product are doing quite well – thank you.
    All of those cool new features (including multiple monitors and radar overlay) will go into a major release due out early next year. Given the price points he was discussing — I think Nobeltec Admiral is in for a big run for their money.
    I was very impressed with the demo and given that they spend practically nothing on marketing it would be very hard to lose money in their business, let alone go under.
    Anyway, as a responsible journalist, you should not whisper rumors like that without checking them.
    Geez, and I thought I was dispelling that rumor in a public way (as opposed to whispering).

  4. Jeff McLaren says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Ben. Hope to catch up again soon. Don’t rile up the masses too much over the holidays.

  5. George says:

    Removing S57 support is a real problem for me. The chart coverage on the Pacific coast is pretty good, and I do rely on this feature — it is one reason that I upgraded to their latest version. I would not have bothered otherwise. I have a complete set of older raster charts, but my intention was to use the vectors on my new boat.
    I do have a complete Garmin system on my boat as well, but after spending somewhere north of $10K for the Nobeltek radar, 12 volt nav computer and monitor (not to mention installation labor) I do want the damn thing to work in my home waters.
    If they want to drop S57 support, they can jolly well give me free US passport chart regions.

  6. George says:

    Is Nobeltec the grinch that stole the electronics Christmas?
    Let’s not call the US charts “free” as if they were some shareware program available from some shadetree programmer. These are the offical NOAA charts that your tax dollars have paid for. This is how the US government releases charts nowdays, they are just as accurate and approved for navigation as the paper charts. It is no more free than the NOAA weather broadcasts.
    Converting to their proprietary format actually introduces an opportunity for error, since the data has to be translated from the official format.
    This is a pretty big issue. If Microsoft were to release a patch that XP could only reach approved Microsoft websites you would be going after them with torches and pitchforks. I see no reason to cut Nobeltec any slack for this. This is especially because we are not talking about a problem that affects just S57 charts — the bug affects the passport format as well. It looks suspiciously to me like they are using this as an opportunity to withdraw a feature (otherwise known as “bait and switch”) that was costing them some revenue.
    It is particularly suspicious that they are doing this just before a format switch from Passport to C-MAP. Withdrawing the S57 support (in a bug fix!) means that I now have to buy the soon-to-be obsolete chart format from them. This ensures them a revenue stream that would have otherwise dried up as people waited for the new format to come out. You can certainly make a colorable anti-trust case.
    I think that it is about time for Nobeltec to start thinking of offering Christmas gifts rather than taking them away. Since they are part of Boeing, there are some deep pockets here…

  7. mvrespite says:

    I sent an email to Rose Point Navigation asking them to comment on your concerns. I received the following response:
    Well, we have been quiet for a while, but we most certainly are not going out of business. We are doing very well and are very busy working on a significant update for Coastal Explorer. We are also about to release a line of radars that integrate with CE with radar overlay, etc.
    Next year should be an exciting year for Rose Point and our customers; the rumor mill will have to look elsewhere.

    Steven J. Hodgen
    Customer Support

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