SOB!, free PC charting w/ AIS


A reader from Sydney, Australia, wrote to say that he’s happily using a NASA AIS Receiver with a program I hadn’t heard of called Software on Board (SOB) from DigiBoat. I gave it a brief looksee, above and bigger here, and was impressed that SOB comes with a 15 MB C-Map world map that’s detailed enough for large area voyage planning. For actual navigation you need full detail C-Maps on a CD or memory card (which you can buy from DigiBoat, ergo the business model). On the other hand, it doesn’t support other chart types, and I found the interface a little difficult—no standard drop-down menus and oddities like those scroll bars in the data windows (probably related to my particular screen resolution/font setup). It’s totally irrelevant, but I also wonder if SOB is as common a swear in Australia as it was in the house I grew up in?

PS: SOB does require registration and a key to access all features, but it really is free at the moment (it may eventually become shareware).

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.

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