Raymarine Chart Store, the Lighthouse format go international

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.

16 Responses

  1. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    I’ll be darned! There’s yet another chart store “Powered by Fugawi…”
    In fact, Humminbird has also made great strides in the area of chart choices. The latest ION and ONIX MFDs support Navionics, C-Map and Humminbird’s own charts:
    They also support easy chart making…
    …and even live sonar chart making on an MFD, a first I believe…
    …though I believe the data is only sharable with friends, not the whole world of Humminbird users or beyond.

  2. Karl says:

    Am I the only one who runs in “course-up” mode, rather than “north-up”
    Raster charts are pretty aggravating in that mode, unless you like the challenge of reading upside-down.
    NOAA vector charts for my area seem to be in the very distant future.

  3. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Good point, Karl, and not obvious as my screenshots are all North Up. However, let me add a few points:
    * Most everyone does planning in North Up mode. Course or Head up (and 3D) are only useful when underway.
    * Most MFDs these days will let you have one chart (possibly raster) North Up in one window and a different chart (possibly vector) Head Up in another window.
    * Reading Head Up raster charts only gets truly tricky when you’re headed in a southerly direction and a lot of the data is graphic anyway, not textual.
    PS I’m surprised there aren’t NOAA ENC’s for your area. I thought that they’d pretty much finished converting the whole portfolio. Where the heck are you, Karl?

  4. Tim Thornton says:

    Autochart is probably a rehash o the DrDepth software that they bought up a year or so ago.

  5. Karl says:

    I boat only on Lake Champlain and Lake Ontario (well, Canadian waters, too).
    Last time I checked, NOAA ENCs were only available for
    ocean coastline and none of the Great Lakes.

  6. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Look again, Karl. Champlain and Ontario both seem to be covered at the same scales in NOAA raster and vector:
    However, it doesn’t look like they’ve converted the NY Canal System chartbook to ENC yet.
    Tim, “rehash” seems a bit unfair. I’ll bet the interface with Humminbird is smoother than when DrDepth was independent, and of course DrDepth could never have made AutoChart-Live happen on its own. The companies that make the chart and sonar displays are in a very powerful position and, incidentally, less beholden to any one chart maker once they support multiple makers (as described in this entry).

  7. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Digital Yacht just added $30 Canadian vector chart coverage to its $30 iOS app that already includes U.S. vectors. When it rains, it pours!

  8. Anomaly says:

    This is why I chose to upgrade to Raymarine rather than Garmin. But one question: You do need to download the charts onto a microSD card previously installed in the chartplotter, which writes an encoded file on it. The question is, previously installed in “A” chart plotter, or “THE” chartplotter?
    I know that it will share the data across the network so that the data on an installed card can be used on any chartplotter. However there are times (due to equipment failure or power conservation typically) when one chartplotter may be shut down. Can I take the microSD card initialized on my E95, download a chart to it, then use it on my e125 with the e95 shut down?
    I guess I should ask this of Raymarine, but it is of general interest. On my trip out to the Bahamas last year, one plotter (E120) failed within an hour out of Norfolk, if my charts had been node-locked to that plotter, now out of range of WiFi etc, I would have been in a pickle. Instead I just moved the cartridge to the other plotter (E80) and kept going. I don’t mind loading the charts on two separate microSD cards as insurance either, but I don’t know if the Chart Store allows that.
    Yeah I would just try this but my boat is 1500 miles away.

  9. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Good question, Anomaly, and here’s a pleasing answer from Raymarine:
    “Happy to report that once the charts are successfully downloaded to the microSD they can be uses in ANY Raymarine display with software v11 or later. Some helpful Instructions can be found here: https://charts.raymarine.com/downloads Be sure to mouse over the More info for each topic.
    In short, the cartography is encrypted to an “initialized” microSD. You may initialized any microSD on ANY plotter running v11 or later. Initialization simply writes a Lighthouse ID file to the card that is used in the encryption process.”

  10. Al says:

    I bought an A series Raymarine MFD because of the new Lighthouse software and the free NOAA charts which were supposed to be updated quarterly. The chartplotter is great but the charts haven’t been updated since last August. And their chart store as stated previously is ” powered by Fugawai”
    When I asked Raymarine about the updates they said it is still their intention to update quarterly. Maybe not enough people have brought this to their attention to make it a priority.

  11. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Navico’s new GoFree Shop — replacing the Insight Store, and also “powered by Fugawi” — is now up and looking good:
    Al, I too was disappointed that latest LightHouse NOAA charts are dated August, 2014, but am hopeful that they’ll get on a more frequent update schedule now that the transition to the Chart Store is done. Also, even yearly is pretty good for free (note that Navico only sells the NOAA rasters bundled with FugawiAboard Canadian charts).

  12. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    The Raymarine Chart Store just announced chart updates and Ray now seems committed to quarterly updates. They are no longer free, however. But $9.99 for a year subscription, i.e. 4 updates, seems quite fair. Raster and ENC are separate subscriptions, but the $9.99 will cover the whole East or West Coast if that’s what you need.

  13. Al says:

    I bought a second A65 under the premise that charts would be free and I get an email from Raymarine that an update was available and oh by the way it is no longer free. I can download these same charts from NOAA for free and use them on Coastal Explorer. Why are a couple of countries still free but no the US? I agree it is a good value with 4 updates included but it should be spelled out ahead of time and maybe “grandfathered” in.

  14. Anomaly says:

    While $10 isn’t much, it is a lot more than free which is what was advertised when I bought the chartplotter(s). I wonder how the price will change with time. The only processing they do on these is to convert them to their proprietary format, which is for their convenience, not mine. They are quilted, but laptop programs like PolarView also quilt them just as well or better, with charts and updates free and no data processing.

  15. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    It’s a good news day. Raymarine just announced lots more NV Charts coverage (raster style) for Europe and the Caribbean:
    And because I already have an account set up at Ray’s Lighthouse Chart Store, it just took a few minutes to download the new NV demo charts to check out on Gizmo.

  16. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Marine charting world seems to be in play! Yesterday Johnson Outdoors (Humminbird) acquired much of Northport Systems (Fugawi):

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