Digital Yacht announce new charting product

SmartChart from Bristol based firm has several interesting new features

Thursday October 30th 2003, Author: Tina Mansell, Location: United Kingdom
Digital Yacht, the Bristol-based manufacturer of marine PCs and hardware is expanding its range for 2004, with a new electronic charting software product.

Appropriately named SmartChart, it uses the latest C-Map cartography for stunning chart detail and worldwide coverage. All the normal chartplotting functions are included with an easy-to-use operating system. See your current position plotted onto the detailed charts together with a tracking facility, future course predictor and build routes, waypoints and marks with just a click of a mouse.

Digital Yacht and C-Map have teamed up to add a unique feature, in the way that chart updates are handled. In the past, any electronic charting system would require either a new CD or cartridge with updated chart information as and when chart corrections are made. Technology developed in conjunction with C-Map now allows the customer to automatically download these chart corrections over the Internet. These “micro-files” of information can be downloaded over a GSM or satellite communications link as and when required. Digital Yacht are also making the corrections available free-of-charge for a year. Thereafter, there will be a nominal charge to update charts but it will mean your system is always up to date and will dramatically enhance your safety.

Using proprietary technology, the chart correction data is compressed into a “micro-file” so that download times are minimised. The size of a typical chart correction file for the whole of the UK would be in the order of 30-40K – just a few seconds of download time once the connection is established. On the same server, weather data is also available and this can be freely downloaded and overlaid onto the charting background with an animated weather forecast covering a three to ten day period and showing wind, pressure and sea state conditions.

SmartChart comes supplied on CD together with a separate C-Map charting disk. Charts are unlocked using a simple security process. Unlike other charting systems, charts can also be rented for a four month period at a fraction of the cost of purchasing a chart. This makes it ideal for people who are heading off to new destinations for summer cruises and who may only need a chart for a limited period of time.

SmartChart is available now at a cost of £299 including VAT, complete with GPS interface cable.

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