A few weeks ago I ran into Garth Hitchens in Ganges. Garth is a developer at Rose Point Navigation, the maker of popular Coastal Explorer software. I’ve been using Coastal Explorer all summer and have been impressed with its stability, ease of use, and speed, even running on basic hardware.
But what I’ve most enjoyed is the ability to instantaneously switch between raster and vector official government charts (NOAA in the U.S. and CHS in Canada) and C-Map charts. In difficult-to-navigate areas, getting a different perspective can be invaluable.
One of the problems with this method in Canada is cost. The CHS raster charts for B.C. (PAC 01, PAC 02, PAC 03) are $174.95 each—$524.85 total. CHS vector charts (PAC-A and PAC-B) are even more expensive at $599.95 each, or $1,199.90 total.
C-Map chart running on Coastal Explorer.
CHS raster chart running on Coastal Explorer.
C-Map’s B.C. charts, on the other hand, are just $199. I don’t think they’re as good as CHS charts, but their low price seemingly makes them the most popular option for recreational boaters in Canada.
After chatting with Garth for a bit (and me lamenting the cost of Canadian charts) he mentioned a new deal for Coastal Explorer users: complete west coast B.C. CHS charts—either raster or vector—for $99. These aren’t dumbed down versions of the pricier CHS charts. They’re the real deal, the same excellent charts that CHS sells for hundreds or thousands of dollars elsewhere.
Coastal Explorer was already both a performance and value leader. This new chart deal makes it even more attractive to boaters who cruise in British Columbia.