(Raster Nautical Charts) and Seafarer Viewer
are made by the Royal Australian Navy's hydrographic service (AHS).
Seafarer Charts are high-quality digital copies of Navy charts supplied on CD-ROM.
The Seafarer Viewer is a low-cost version of the full-blown Endeavour Navigator program for viewing digital charts. It provides the viewer with waypoints, zoom functions and other utilities and is a superb aid for locating likely fishing areas along the Australian coast.
The RAN charts can also be viewed and be used for navigation using authorised software systems which allow a link to a GPS unit to show real-time vessel position.
Seafarer Viewer users can perform traditional navigational functions such as bearing and distance calculation, and route planning.
From a small-boat fisherman's point of view, trips can be planned in advance by inputting routes and fishing spot GPS data from the Seafarer chart into a handheld GPS, all from the comfort of an armchair and desktop PC.
To use Seafarer Charts you need:
*Seafarer Viewer or an approved navigation system. Click here for the approved systems.
*a Pentium or better computer
*a set of Seafarer Charts
If you buy Seafarer Viewer and some Seafarer Charts your CDs and permits will be forwarded to your delivery address. You will also be sent a dongle which attaches to your computer. You will only be able to use your charts on a computer carrying your dongle.
For mariners who wish to update their charts regularly there is an Update Service.
When buying charts be sure to buy the chart pack that covers your area of interest. You can buy single charts or save money on individual chart costs by buying a Day Pack (DAY) that will cover an area of local interest, a Regional Pack (REG) that will cover a broader area or an Australian Pack (AUST) which includes all Australian charts. Click here
to see the list of available Australian Hydrographic Office charts. Click here
to see the chart pack index.
- To repeat, you need the Seafarer Viewer or an APPROVED chart viewer system to be able to use the official Seafarer digital charts as they do not work on their own. Click here
for the approved systems.
Click on the image for a preview of this excellent chart viewer, which gives waypoints for reefs, wrecks, creek mouths etc. For a full outline of features click here
With the monthly update service the latest charts are mailed to you each month on CD direct from the Hydrographic Office.