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Touching Bottom Page 2

Touching Bottom

Bathymetric systems are opening a seemingly magic 3-D window to the seafloor.

By Capt. Karl Anderson — June 2006

   
Courtesy of Furuno

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• Part 1: Touching Bottom
• Part 2: Touching Bottom

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MaxSea is a fully functional onboard chartplotting system that, in addition to 3-D bathymetric charting and PBG (personal bathy generation) functions that let you create your own bathy charts, also provides sea-surface temperature charts delivered by satellite-based e-mail that can be overlaid atop your electronic charts. MaxSea can blend and analyze data from multiple sources in real time and also provides Loran TD display, worldwide tidal data, a navigational logbook, AIS (Automatic Identification Systems) target tracking, ARPA (automatic radar plotting aids), altimetry data showing temperature gradients below the surface, surface-stream data, and a weather overlay software module that shows wind, waves, and barometric pressures with multiday forecasts.

Olex is also a multifunctional system that features bathymetry and a full chartplotter capable of working with any number of waypoints and routes. It is compatible with many electronic chart formats, including those from Navionics, Primar, IC-ENC, and NOAA. Interestingly, you can use as many chart suppliers as you want, simultaneously.

One of the really neat features of Olex is its ability to back up your seafloor data on a floppy disc, Zip drive, or USB memory stick and mail or e-mail it to Simrad. The company will quality check your data and return it to you together with all the data available in the worldwide shared Olex database. (Currently more than 1,500 vessels worldwide are using the Simrad Olex system.) Of course, you can load only the CDs relevant to your geographical area and choose to record your data by the trip, day, location or sequence number. Best of all, all this shared information is free.

Nobeltec has introduced a bathy recorder that’s an add-on to its popular Visual Navigation Suite and Admiral products. Like the other products, Nobeltec’s Bathy Recorder allows recording of seafloor topography with data from your echosounder, creating a personal database of your vessel’s actual track over the bottom. The more specific the area covered, the better the 3D images produced. When coupled with Nobeltec’s Passport Deluxe Chart for the area you are sounding, location data is supplemented and helps maintain continuity with the 3-D image.

These software programs offer power and knowledge that is a great tool for the captain. They all take the time to learn to manipulate and process their information they can access, and none can produce fish where there are none. But if the fish are in the area and you have access to this bathy data, you have a better chance of going home with more and bigger fish than you have before.

For more on electronics information and additional photos please pick up the June 2006 issue of Power & Motoryacht.

Furuno (360) 834-9330. www.furuno.com.

Nobeltec (503) 579-1414. www.nobeltec.com.

Simrad (425) 712-1136. www.simrad.com.

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This article originally appeared in the July 2006 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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