Few marine navigation software applications have been available for those of us using Apple computers. Sure, we can dual boot into Windows or run a virtual Windows machine to use Windows based navigation software, but this can be clunky and defeats the purpose of using a Mac in the first place.
Enter Navimatics Charts & Tides for Mac. Navimatics has long been a player in electronic charting on the iPad, and now their software is available on Mac OSX as well.
Navimatics is owned and run by local cruiser Bill Zissimopolous. A former Microsoft software engineer, Zissimopolous founded Navimatics after leaving Microsoft. His goal is to offer Apple-focused marine applications.
Charts & Tides for Mac is an easy-to-use piece of software. The interface is immediately familiar to anyone who’s used Charts & Tides on the iPad, and that’s a good thing. It’s visually clean and simple, with straightforward commands.
Navimatics Charts & Tides is visually pleasing and easy-to-use.
The feature set is somewhat basic, but perfectly adequate for many mariners. Routes are easily be plotted and exported (or imported), a USB or Bluetooth GPS can be used to turn your computer into a chartplotter, and both north-up and heads-up views are available.
Charts & Tides for Mac is no competitor to Nobeltec, Max Sea, or Coastal Explorer, all of which offer far more advanced features. It is, however, an excellent planning tool, good basic chartplotter, and solid backup to other onboard systems.
Charts & Tides is available as a free download from the Mac App Store. Complete U.S. charts are available as a $39.99 in app purchase, and Canadian charts will be available shortly.