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  Product Reviews and Evaluations . . 
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  Maptech Digital ChartKit
  (Florida East Coast and the Keys)

Fishing Charts and GPS Product Review

Fish 4 Fun has been given the opportunity to use and evaluate Maptech’s Digital Chart Kit covering Florida’s East Coast and the Keys.

Let me start out by saying that I have tried other similar products and have not been very happy with the quality of charts and usability of the included software.  However, this Maptech product right out of the box was top quality, easy to use and setup….It was downright fun!

This chartkit (Florida’s East Coast and the Keys ) contains the following:

Certified NOAA digital navigation charts provided in the Maptech / BSB 3.0 format. 
Graphical Tides and Currents
Hyperlinked Notes
Marine Facilities / Coast Pilot
Lights list
Symbols and Abbreviations Help
Chart Navigator PC Planning Software
USGS Topographic maps
Navigational Photos and Aerial Pictures
Marine and Travel Facilities Database
Florida Saltwater Fishing Guide

 

Tides and Currents

Tides can be found by clicking tide icons on the chart or by using the “Go To” function to check a specific tide station or different area.  Graphs of tide height are displayed  and can be date adjusted.



Marine Facilities / Coast Pilot

Each Chart is loaded with additional information.  They are marked with symbols showing marine facilities such as marinas, fuel and food, etc.   If you are confused by the symbols, a help tool is provided.  Most of the regions include Coast Pilots, Light Lists, and a facilities database for additional aid in planning and navigation.

Chart Navigator

Chart Navigator software is included to view all charts and to help with planning routes.   Route planning is simple and easy.  Click a location to set your first waypoint on the chart,  Click again at your next waypoint and you have created a route leg.  It’s really that easy!

Print your route plan, current and tide graphs, and a chart packet to create you own custom trip plan.

Chart Navigator makes working with your GPS better and easier. You can transfer waypoints from your GPS to your PC, view them on your charts, edit, add, delete waypoints and then transfer them directly back to your GPS.  I hooked up my Magellan handheld GPS and easily transferred my fishing waypoints to the charts.  It was a snap!  What was truly amazing was the accuracy,  I compared from where I actually made a waypoint to where it appears on the chart.  It was very close if not exact.

          
USGS Topographic Maps and Aerial Pictures

The inclusion of topographic maps and aerial photos gives the user an additional reference to see what is really there.  Sometimes charts alone will not give you the whole picture.  You can split the screen and look at the chart and map or photo side by side for easy comparison. Aerial photos are geo-referenced to match you chart position exactly. Topo Maps cover an area from the waters edge to five miles inland to assist in any land activities.

Florida Saltwater Fishing Guide

Florida Digital ChartKits include a Florida saltwater fishing guide CD.  Maptech has gathered information and included 14,000 GPS hot spots and 47,000 species location sites marked on the digital charts.  You may also enter your own hot spots.  Just click on one of the hot spot icons and you will be provided its location (Lat, Lon) along with detailed information about what fish species may be found there.  Also included on this CD are guides covering how to find, catch and cook some 85 Florida fish.

Findings

This complete package from Maptech gets Fish4Fun’s highest recommendation. Any coastal navigator or fisherman would benefit from its content and functionality.

For more information, contact Maptech at (888) 839-5551 or visit their website at www.maptech.com .

 

 

 

 
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Bass Master Fishing Magazine SubscriptionBass Master -- Bassmaster is the official magazine of BASS, a worldwide membership of more than 1/2 million bass anglers. 
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