K-charts

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Aves Marine
by Alan Vick

Onwa K-Charts.

With every new plotter that we sell we bundle a K-Chart of the customer’s choice, this is usually the whole of U.K and Ireland but any part of Europe, or indeed, any part of the world can be substituted. If you should need more than one area – that’s no problem, we can provide multiple chart areas on SD card for a small charge.

There are two versions of K-chart, version 2 and version 3:

K-Chart2

Released in December 2015, is a completely useable navigation tool but it is a free product so cannot be compared directly to commercial charts such as Navionics or C-Map. For the majority of users K-chart will be perfectly adequate for their needs but for the most discerning navigator who requires the very latest updated chart with the best cartography available, a commercial chart may be better. K-chart is best used as an open water chart and for coastal hopping where it will be completely satisfactory. However, for some in-shore locations the detail could be better although for others it can be excellent, it depends entirely upon the location. We can provide images of any area if you would like to assess the K-charts – send us co-ordinates for the position that you would like to see.

K-Chart3

K-chart 3 release date: April 2019 and should  be evaluated as a beta version. For some areas the detail in K-chart 3 is better, sometimes very much better, than is the case for K-chart2. However, the present version of the UK K-chart 3 is a huge file (>800 meg) and because of its size plotters run more slowly when using it. This is because the hardware (processor and memory) takes a small amount of time to process the very large file size and the result is that the plotters run more slowly. For 39 models this is quite pronounced, for 708 models less so and for 99 series it is further improved but is still evident and the curser movements may seem ‘clunky’.   Hardware is enhanced on the more expensive 99 and 708 models and they are better able to handle the large file size, particularly the 99 series plotters. Please understand that this is not a plotter issue – it is the way that K-chart3 has been written. For all models, Zooming will seem to be slow and it is best to key in zoom commands slowly – waiting for the plotter to catch up.  In normal sailing and navigation, a relatively slow-moving sailboat is unlikely to experience any problem using K-chart3. The new Version 3, 12 inch models, which have even better hardware work pretty well with K-chart3.  It is hoped that K-chart3 will be reduced in size in the future so that performance over the entire product range will be improved. Whilst we await an update for K-chart3 it is recommended that you use K-chart2 unless you have a 12 inch model in which case you are best off using that version.

K-Charts, as with all electronic navigation software, should not be relied upon for safe navigation at sea.  They should always be used in conjunction with up to date paper charts and it is the responsibility of the navigator to ensure that this is the case.  K-Charts are supplied strictly on this basis and no warranty is given as to their accuracy. Acceptance of this by the navigator is conditional upon using K-Charts.

K-Charts are supplied free of cost as a sales incentive without warranty as to their accuracy. The warning regarding accuracy is somewhat misleading as it is almost always the case that electronic software for charts and maps comes with such a warning advising that it is the responsibility of the user use the software with a caution – likely even your car Sat-Nav’ will have this.

Our caution and condition for you to use K-Chart:

K-Charts, as with all electronic navigation software, should not be relied upon for safe navigation at sea. They should always be used in conjunction with up to date paper charts and it is the responsibility of the navigator to ensure that this is the case. K-Charts are supplied strictly on this basis and no warranty is given as to their accuracy. Acceptance of this by the navigator is conditional upon using K-Charts