Capn’ navigation program reintroduced

One of the first full-featured electronic chart/navigation software packages was the Capn’. We were partial to it here at Ocean Navigator since it had a celestial navigation plotting capability that allowed you to plot celestial LOPs on a chart.

Now Capn’ program is being reintroduced by its current owner, Maptech. It comes with a full array of raster and vector charts, AIS capability and something Maptech calls Smart Chart Logic.

According to Maptech, here is a rundown of some of the Capn’ latest features:

“Charts: Capn’ includes the largest inventory of raster and vector charts available in single navigation package covering the United States and its inland waterways. It comes with:

RNCs (raster) and ENCs (S-57 – Vector) from NOAA

DNCs (vector) Digital Nautical Charts from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)

RNCs and IENCs (S-57) Inland Waterway Rivers from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers

Aerial color and black/white photos

Color 3D bathy charts

Capn’ comes on 18 DVDs with a MSRP of $449.95. Fleet discounts are available.

“Smart Chart Logic: Switching from a raster to a vector chart causes some programs to display charts that look fuzzy or with lines that do not connect and most programs do not even run DNC format. Capn’ manages the charts so you automatically see the best chart at the best scale for the area selected.

“It smoothly quilts diverse charts together &mdash ENCs with DNCs or raster with vector. Smart Chart Logic automatically displays charts and chart insets at different scales &mdash for example, see a 1:80,000 chart with an inset at 1:10,000 automatically.

“Chart Transparency: Enables you to see the raster chart through a vector chart or see through a photo overlaid on a raster or vector chart. By moving the transparency bar you decide what level of transparency works best in your current position. Transparency blending is a valuable and unique feature to the Capn’.

“AIS: Capn’ has all the standard AIS functions that are configurable to your needs. AIS lets you see an image of your vessel and the barge you are pulling so you see your full length. It plots position, course, speed, type, size and identity of commercial traffic sending an AIS message.

“You can even see and receive a warning projection of a possible collision (“closest point of intercept) based on current data. This real-live projection brings new meaning to situational awareness.”

No mention of celestial capability!

Harold Brown on 05/15/2007 18:14

Electronic Navigation is a wonderful tool but it can be deadly if you allow it to become your only navigation aid. We were coming in from a 12 day fishing trip on Three Dory and Harvey Blacks ridge, there was a hard winter gale that iced up our antennas and eliminated any and all electronic navigation. The visibility was around 3 boat lengths The wind was over 40 knots with 50 knot gusts it is easy to tell because at around 50 knots the wind starts to blow your eyes out of focus. The compass was useless as tits on a boar because we had to head the boat up wind about 30+ degrees to offset leeway. We had gone into Portland harbor so many times that we had learned to use the depth finder as an entertaining diversion to regular navigation just to prove we could do it as well. I followed the fathom lines into the harbor without a problem but the wind still made tying up hard. The ocean is a hard mistress it has never learned the meaning of mercy much less ever tried it. Redundancy is the key to not just surviving but to overall success on the water. Always! Always have redundancy for navigating and don’t let the electronic perfection lull you into a false security, an old fashion lead line will provide more insurance than two electronic navigation systems. All said when the electronics are working well it is a wonderful boon for any vessel working the water and I wouldn’t be without one for normal use but life isn’t always normal. I like that Capn chart system and think I might try giving it a look. Harold Brown

By Ocean Navigator