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MacENC Marine Navigation Software all Fits in MacBook use.

I stated in my Marine Navigation Software introducing page that looking for real nautical navigation tool for MacBook Pro.

I would like to find a solution how to use my recently purchased new Apple gadget for navigation purposes.

I want to have software in my MacBook to use it as fully operational GPS navigation system on board. Either it is a sailing boat, engine driven pleasure craft or 65 feet cruiser which sailing seven seas, like Volvo Ocean Race 65 one design state of art wonders.

In my previous posts I have made short overviews about some excellent marine navigation software, but unfortunately, none can be used on Mac machines except iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.

Finally, I found a solution good enough to stopping by and do a deeper research to see it fit my needs? It doesn’t mean that there are not other similar products in the market but need to start with one.

So, it is MacENC.

macenc marine navigation software

Here is phrase from About page

MacENC™ is the professional solution for the mariner that wants to take the Mac aboard for real-time display of position on the vector format S-57/S-63 ENCs (Electronic Navigational Charts), Navionics Charts and HotMaps from X-Traverse AND raster format BSB and Softcharts. Plug your GPS into your Mac and watch as your vessel moves along in real-time, plotting a track behind and logging a historic position on a seamless quilted digital chart.

 

Let’s take a, more or less, professional examination what this marvel offer.

Before even dive deeper I have checked a charting solution and prices for available nautical charts for this software. As I expected, nautical charts quality is perfect and prices are in affordable range, so let’s resume our research.

What are the MacENC features?

I would not like to count all GPS navigation software functions but try to find which ones are absent, if any, for safe and convenient professional deep-sea navigation.


What I mean Professional?

Let us assume that my MacBook Pro is only GPS navigation device on board the ship. No, no, there is other must-have navigational equipment like radar, autopilot, weather station, VHF radio, AIS, echo sounder and compass in their designated positions.

Well, what MacENC offers to us? Actually, all range features for safe nautical navigation. You get real Lat/Lon position, SOG (speed over ground), COG (course over ground) and all data which arise from for above mentioned. Satellites picture and NMEA (National Marine Electronics Association) monitor.

Actually, all range features for safe nautical navigation. You get real Lat/Lon position, SOG (speed over ground), COG (course over ground) and all data which arise from for above mentioned. Satellites picture and NMEA (National Marine Electronics Association) monitor.

As far as I understand MacBook could be connected to another device and GPS data is repeated to an Autopilot for instance. Although, you can connect to my mentioned must have devices and Mac screen be able to show wind speed, depth under the keel, heading and sea temperature, as well.

So far, like on navigation bridge of an IMO (International Maritime Organization) adopted merchant ship.

What would I miss?

Let’s skip GMDSS (The Global Maritime Distress and Safety System). I have my opinion (not only my) about this system. Just my two cents. All merchant marine navigation officers GMDSS certificate is one of must paper in their folio. There is every five-year refreshment course blah, blah. In practice, this system almost never been used and

Just my two cents. All merchant marine navigation officers GMDSS certificate is one of must paper in their folio. There is every five-year refreshment course blah, blah. In practice, this system almost never has been used and knowledge fading away. No one even does not want to touch these knobs and buttons to avoid sending of false signal and get a fine for it.

I have been in real distress situations like ship collisions and man overboard accident. Never GMDSS was ignited. All communications were held using VHF radio or satellite phone. Almost all ships today have global internet communication on board so why to run so complicated GMDSS procedures.

Back to our review.

Charting.

Perfect raster and vector nautical charts with all range of abilities and features.

Zooming & Scrolling – From 1:5,000 up to 1:20,000,000 zoom. Imagine, how many paper charts to be stored in chart drawers and beautiful trees remain to be verdant.

As well as waypoints, routes, tracks, sail trimmer, alarms, AIS, Radar, weather, tides and help. All, just one click away.

You could easily send your route to family, friends or charterers to see it on Google map.

One fantastic feature, I did not meet in my marine practice, is TCP/IP Interface – Send (TCP) and receive (TCP or UDP) NMEA data over Wi-Fi to share with iPhone or iPad. You can take a sunbathes on flybridge and tapping  iPhone to alter course or speed. Unbelievable!

Well, at least theoretically I am very satisfied with my research. Let’s find minimum technical aspects. How to connect GPS antenna? MacBook has not integrated GPS receiver as iPhone or iPad. I need to be clear how to connect other NMEA tools.

How to connect GPS antenna? MacBook has not integrated GPS receiver as iPhone or iPad. I need to be clear how to connect other NMEA tools.

To solve an absence of GPS antenna we have at least four solutions. USB antenna, Bluetooth antenna, iPhone or AIS. I will not describe details which could find here.

Remaining navigational equipment could be connected via USB port. Settings and details see on above link.

Charts available from X-Traverse.

From first look prices is not so low, about $ 200 for selected are, but if compare with updated paper nautical chart prices, about $15-$25 per chart, this is a tiny number of bucks.

From first look prices is not so low about $ 200 for selected are, but if compare with updated paper nautical chart price about $15-$25 per chart, this is a tiny number of bucks.

From first look prices is not so low about $ 200 for selected are, but if compare with updated paper nautical chart price about $15-$25 per chart, this is a tiny number of bucks.

macenc marine navigation software

What else? I looked through all main necessary features and found MacENC as good GPS navigation software for MacBook. Sailing area unlimited.

 So, having MacBook Pro uploaded with GPSNavx marine navigation software we are ready to set sails to conquer new horizons.

Just to remind, for any reason, I would like to consider it as back-up navigation devices. Every serious long range marine craft have to carry  stand-alone GPS navigation system. It is not a disputable theme.

Safe sailings to the allure of the seas!


3 Comments

  1. Wayne

    Hi
    Great informative article and will please a lot of Mac users, It must take a load off your mind to know all the info like wind speed, depth of water, heading and even the sea temp. Along with other info like weather, tides Etc. you should feel pretty safe using it.

    Reply
    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi Wayne and thanks for stopping!

      I prefer using standalone marine GPS navigation systems, but if you have an independent professional marine software on such a great tool as MacBook Pro, you could feel much safer regarding high seas navigation and pre-navigate your route long before real voyage in your office.

      Reply

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