Totally Free Navigation Software

by Aaron on February 12, 2007

Navigation software usually costs a pretty penny. Reasons include that it’s a specialized and limited market, and that developing high quality software that will support an ongoing business is expensive. If you have a tight budget and can do without some of the features and polish of the impressive commercial products out there, SeaClear deserves a good look. Great news for Linux users is that SeaClear is said to work just fine with the Wine Windows emulation library.

SeaClear Charting Software Is Free SeaClear II is, as far as I can find, the only fully functioning free electronic navigation chart plotter. SeaClear is PC based, interfaces with GPS, and uses raster charts (such as the free NOAA raster charts) and user-scanned images of paper charts. It’s available for download at no charge at http://www.sping.com/seaclear/.

Also worth checking out is FreeNav, a nice navigation-software-focused blog. A bunch of good articles there.

Source: FreeNav – Electronic Navigation on a Budget: SeaClear Charting Software Is Free

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenia Simpson June 12, 2007 at 5:12 pm

Watch out when using Saeclear! It is based on plane trig so that distances and directions can be way off at high latitudes. The help file says that it is for Archipelago navigation. Never heard of that one! I think it means that it is to be used when surrounded by islands where you can see where you are without the program.

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Jack Edwards December 30, 2011 at 4:59 pm

I have measured the distance between points on the two latitudes 50 and 60 North Yhe East west distance was measured between longitudes 000 and 004 w.

The departures and distance obviously the same and the convergence of the meridians in practice corresponded to the calculated measurements, in accordance with the principles of the Mercator chart.

There is nothing wrong with the Sea Clear program with the Admiralty charts I am using. Perhaps you should check if the charts against some known paper ones to verify the datum points are the same.

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henry barker March 21, 2009 at 5:41 am

I have downloaded sea clear as well as a group of NOAA charts. I do not see in the documentation how to point the softwar at the charts.

Hellllllllllllllllllllp!
thanks hank

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Dave April 2, 2009 at 5:13 am

hb -
To change where SeaClear looks for the charts, you need to run the ‘MapCal.exe’ utility. load the utility, then select <> and <>

To ‘load’ the charts into SeaClear, run MapCal, select <>, <>, <>. The charts in the directory named in the ‘Set Dierctory’ function will be scanned and the new charts will be added to SeaClear’s internal database.

Note: these directions have all the guarantees and warranties that you receive with the SeaClear package itself. I have no connection with the author (but I do have a lot of respect for him and I’m more than a little jealous of his abilities.

Dave
Have

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Dave April 2, 2009 at 5:16 am

OK, that didn’t wotk quite right. Lets try again.

hb -
To change where SeaClear looks for the charts, you need to run the ‘MapCal.exe’ utility. load the utility, then select “Tools” and “Set Directories”.

To ‘load’ the charts into SeaClear, run MapCal, select “Tools”, “Autoload List”, “Scan for new charts”. The charts in the directory named in the ‘Set Directory’ function will be scanned and the new charts will be added to SeaClear’s internal database.

Note: these directions have all the guarantees and warranties that you receive with the SeaClear package itself. I have no connection with the author (but I do have a lot of respect for him and I’m more than a little jealous of his abilities.

Dave

Reply

Sachin November 10, 2011 at 7:10 pm

Hie Friend I had download the seaclear II when i try to open it .. Its gives a error ( Could not open communication port 2) what is way to fix the problem….

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Bob December 5, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Is there a way to set a “heading up” mode? I get tracks going sideways and even down. Heading up is clearly best for user orientation.

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