— July 2003
By Ben Ellison
Fugawi Marine ENC
Fugawi is a Canadian company that has been quietly developing utilitarian, value-priced PC land and sea navigation software for many years. Its current standard edition even includes both Palm and PocketPC programs in its $99 price. The new Marine ENC (Electronic Navigation Charts) edition costs $199 and is one of the first to support NOAA’s own vector chart format.
ENCs are a long-anticipated and interesting development that NOAA is giving away for free. You can find out a lot more about the format at www.chartmaker.ncd.noaa.gov as well as see a list of specific areas available for download. My familiar home waters (shown) are covered, and I’m finding the detail and presentation to be good. However, I’m going to go by NOAA’s disclaimer that during this testing and evaluation period the ENCs “are not to be used as the primary means of navigating a vessel” (and continue to wonder what they may mean to the evolution of electronic charting). Fugawi’s Marine ENC edition will also soon support the WeatherPort live Nexrad overlays discussed in this month’s column.
Overall, there are many charting programs that offer more features, better displays, and easier interfaces, but none that pack in so many possibilities at such modest cost. Demos are available.
Fugawi Phone: (416) 920-0447. www.fugawi.com.
This article originally appeared in the June 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.