US NOAA Raster and Vector Chart Updates

These US charts have been updated and are available as of March 3rd, 2014 in our Chart Catalogue:

MX NOAA Chart update


The following NOAA chart versions are now available:

NOAA Raster chart coverage (left) and NOAA Vector chart coverage (right)

NOAA Raster chart coverage (left) and NOAA Vector chart coverage (right)

Updated Information

  • Updated NOAA Vector Charts (S57): This Edition adds 71 new Vector Charts to the library as well as many other chart updates.
  • Updated NOAA Raster Charts: This new edition includes the latest chart updates that can be found on the NOAA paper charts.

Read full information about these chart updates in this PDF file.

Example of improvement to the NOAA vector charts: now buoys are numbered (right)

Example of improvement to the NOAA vector charts: now buoys are numbered (right)

NOAA charts are totally free of charge so you can download them right now, to make sure that you’re using the most up-to-date chart data available for US waters.

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5 Tips for Choosing the Best Nautical Chart

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In Search of Fish with Maxsea TimeZero

This week, MaxSea partner Olivier Journaux, A.K.A. Cpt. OJ, gives his advice on how to find the best fishing spots. He does this both by using the right onboard equiment, and by understanding the types of areas that certain fish like to be found. Cpt. OJ is an accomplished athlete who now provides sport fishing lessons in France. 

When fishing with a line, jigging or vertical bait fishing, it has become essential to be extremely precise. In my line of work, I coach recreational sport fishing.

For this, it is important for me to position the boat as close as possible to the fish so that my customers can enjoy close contact with the beautiful fish.

It is also essential to constantly discover new fishing areas, which allow me to manage the amount of fishing in each spot. In this way, I take one or two fish per area out of the water and practice the “catch and release” technique that I described in this earlier MaxSea blog post here.

Then I move on to another area before returning again several days later.

cpt oj

Finding predator fish

To catch a predator fish, first we must find the place it is most likely to be. This is obviously the biggest job, the hardest and longest one to master.

Where are the fish

95% of the time, bars, shade-fish and saithe can generally be found near the water surface. They position themselves above their prey and upstream of the current. The pout, their main food source, usually hides in hollows. As a result, it is very common to catch bars and lean on rock surfaces as this is where the pouts can be found.

Onboard equipment

To be able to localise the fish, it is essential to have a sounder and GPS system with nautical charts. Unfortunately electronic charts are never 100% accurate. Maxsea TimeZero PLOT or MaxSea TimeZero SportFishing are perfectly suited to fishing as it allows the user to record the sea floor and generate their own, extremely accurate chart of their favourite fishing grounds.

Useful features within MaxSea TimeZero

A computer with MaxSea TimeZero connected to the GPS and sounder can store unlimited depth points, and adjusts for the current water level depending on the time and date (integrated tide information).

This means that by simply navigating in your fishing spot, you are simultaneously saving thousands of contour lines and the precision of your seabed data becomes increasingly sharp.

Thus, in places where all charts tell you that the bottom is flat, you discover hidden contours, sometimes more than 10m high over distances of 500m long. All you need to do is to explore the area with your sounder.

MaxSea offers the ability to create whatever you want, ideal routes, specific marks that can represent fish, rocky peaks , buoys, wrecks etc.

Then you can also add comments to each mark. In TimeZero software, you can consult classic hydrographic office charts, and add your own bathy data, and even record a bottom classification to view the type of sediment in each area

two fish

Types of spots favoured by fish 

Depending on the direction of the current, we can have a good idea of where fish are most likely to be found.

They are usually

  • upstream of the current and
  • above the rocks (the highest point)
  • just below the first step of a rocky “staircase” if there is one in the area. They like these spots because it means that they are high up yet sheltered from the current. It is often a favourite spot for saithe when the current exceeds 1.5 knots.

By following these steps, I personally found wonderful fishing areas in the rocky waters of Antioch and Breton in France where I came across beautiful fish that had never previously been disturbed by humans.

Read more about Cpt. OJ on his website (in French) by clicking here.

You can email him at olivierjournaux@neuf.fr or call him on +33 (0) 6 50 58 56 59.

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MaxSea TimeZero SportFishing

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Team Jolokia on TV: Sailors like no Others!

On February 1st, the French TV channel TF1 broadcast a special report named “Sailors like no others”*. The show was presented by well-known French television personality Claire Chazal and gives us a recap of the 2013 season for Team Jolokia: their crew selections and the Rolex Fastnet Race.

*Original title: “Des marins pas comme les autres”

Team Jolokia is a MaxSea partner, and this sailing team has recently been receiving increased media attention. This is due in part to the fact that this successful team comprises twenty-five people from different backgrounds, including seniors, young people, men, women, able-bodied or disabled.

For more than 30 minutes, the camera recounts an intense year of emotion: Tour de Belle -Ile, Armen Race, Record SNSM, and finally the race of the year: the Rolex Fastnet Race! We are shown several moments experienced by the crew of novices, for better or for worse!

The report also immerses us in the personal lives of these amateurs: envy, challenge or discovery, they reveal why they signed up for this unique adventure.
We also see beautiful landscapes at sea and ashore. The crew shows us their desire to excel to achieve a common goal.

This TV show can be viewed in French by clicking here.

A report by Aurélie Saillard and Robert Iséni
Production: GEDEON Programmes
Editing: Manuel Odinet

gedeonLOGO_TF1_RVB

Well done, Team Jolokia on this great TV report!

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The Ultimate Guide to Boat Rentals

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The Winter Storms 2013/14

The stormy weather that is currently affecting Europe began on approximately December 17th 2013, and more strong winds are forecast. This succession of storms has been named “the Winter Storms” and has caused widespread power cuts, flooding and snow storms.

The seas have of course been affected as a result, making it extremely dangerous to navigate in many areas. It is currently not advised to navigate in most parts of Europe.

The UK had its wettest January since records began, and continues to battle ferocious flooding and violent seas. 100mph winds have been recorded, blowing down trees, trucks and people.

January 2014: Porthcawl harbour, South Wales

Serbia: At least 1,000 people had to be rescued from snow storms in Serbia at the end of January. Gusts of more than 150km/h (93mph) battered towns across the country, as police and the army helped motorists trapped by snow drifts.

Portugal: Violent high waves have been recorded along its coastline.

Wind Forecast for Saturday February 15th, 2014

Here is a summary of the different storms that have been ravaging Europe during the Winter Storms:

  • Bernd (Emily) – December 17–21, 2013.

Wind gusts hit the west of Ireland at 133 kilometres per hour (83 mph) and there were strong winds across Scotland and parts of England. This caused power outages in 22,000 homes, 8 injuries and one fatality.

  • Dirk – December 21–28, 2013.

National severe weather warnings for wind and rain across southwest and northern areas of the UK.

  • Erich – December 25, 2013–January 1, 2014.

Further rainfall and some stormy conditions.

  • Anne – January 1–6, 2014.

Storms along the coasts of France and the United Kingdom

  • Christina – January 3–10, 2014.

An area of low pressure responsible for a winter storm in the USA and Canada moved over the Atlantic and was named Christina by the Free University Berlin on January 3.

  • Nadja (Brigid) – January 29–February 5, 2014. 945

Coastal flooding from Scotland to Spain. Teenager reported missing in northern Spain and a woman was washed away off the coast of the UK.

  • Petra – February 3–8, 2014.

    Copy of 04056333

    Cargo ship Luno, broke in two in stormy waters

Coastal flooding and high waves from Ireland to Spain, with Cork flooded again. The Cargo ship Luno was washed ashore and broke in two near Bayonne, France.

  • Qumaira – February 5–8, 2014.

Many areas of France were placed on orange alert, with further flooding across Brittany.

  • Ruth (Charlie) – February 6–12, 2014.
  • Stephanie – February 8–13, 2014.

Affected the Iberian Peninsula and southern France before moving across the Mediterranean towards Italy. The entire Portuguese coast was put on red alert in anticipation of expected high seas and gale force winds.

  • Tini – February 10–Currently active, 2014.

The UK Met Office issued a rare red warning of wind for North Wales and north western England. Met Eireann issued a red alert for southwest Ireland in counties Cork and Kerry.

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The Winter Storms are forecast to continue for the short-term future at least. Remember to take all possible measures to stay safe, and avoid boating until the waters calm down.

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MX sales

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Get on Board! Crew Selections for Team Jolokia 2014

MaxSea’s partner Team Jolokia is committed to promoting diversity in their racing crew and they have enjoyed huge success over the last few years. This winter, Jolokia team’s big events are taking place primarily on land. Selections are being made for the 2014 crew and a TV report was broadcast on the French channel TF1 on Saturday February 1st.

Team Jolokia is definitely continuing its momentum and starting the New Year with a bang!

The first steps in the crew selection process took place in Paris on January 27th and more will be run on February 6th and 7th, followed by Lorient which is the home port of their vessel, in late February and early March.

Team Jolokia

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Tests on land and Seine – Three Selection Phases

Phase 1

In the previous try-outs 130 candidates sent in applications during the 6 months following Jolokia’s ad. However, in the 2014 try-outs, between October and November 2013, they received 190 applications to be considered in the first phase of selection.

The number of applications was a great success for the Team, as it continues to receive more and more support. Among all of these diverse and highly-motivated profiles, 45 were selected to participate in the second phase of selection.

.Phase 2

This group included 27 men and 18 women from all backgrounds, aged between 18 and 64, from all over France and into Germany, Poland and Spain. They all wanted to join the adventure of diversity that Team Jolokia offers.

Sailing skills, team spirit, ability to share and commitment are all criteria used by Team Jolokia to make these selections. These qualities are desirable as they help enrich the whole team.

Candidates met on January 27 at the premises of the Navy in Saint -Lazare. There, they took written tests on various topics such as weather, hydrodynamics, aerodynamics  etc. This was followed by written psychological tests. The Navy is a loyal partner of our Team, and we use the expertise of their psychologists in the recruitment for extreme trades.

On February 6th and 7th, the Nautical club of Sèvres will welcome Team Jolokia for the second consecutive year.

On the Programme: dinghy regattas between barges on the Seine and indoor physical and sports tests.

To complete the day, motivational talks will be given by the organisers as well as psychological interviews with the Navy.

Team Jolokia Mosaic

.Phase 3

The third phase of selections will be held in Lorient, home port of Team Jolokia’s boat: 3 days of navigating aboard the Volvo Ocean 60. Two sessions are planned to welcome the future teammates in late February and mid-March.

At the end of the third phase, the crew will have 25 teammates in 2014: 17 new candidates and 8 of the 2013 crew will continue the adventure.

.The Team Jolokia Adventure on Television!

The report “Des Marins Pas Comme Les Autres” (“Sailors Like No Others”) recounts the 2013 season, selections of the crew leading up to the Rolex Fastnet Race. It was co-produced by GEDEON Programmes, Ushuaia TV and TF1, and runs for 32 mins.

It was broadcast on French TV channel TF1 on Saturday, February 1 at 1:20pm, just after the news, in the magazine show “Reportages” presented by Claire Chazal.

A great year for Team Jolokia begins under the sign of diversity and living together!

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Download your free guide

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A Doctor’s Advice on Sleep Onboard

Last November, the well-known French doctor Jean-Yves Chauve gave us advice on how to combat seasickness onboard. This week, he is back with more useful advice about the importance of adequate sleep, especially for racers.

Jean yves chauvre

Dr. Chauvre is a doctor who specialises in providing remote medical assistance to sailors and boat racers. He was involved in several high-profile cases in which he aided racers via telephone to avoid dangerous health situations.

A doctor’s advice about sleeping onboard

Offshore racers know this from experience: Sleep is a necessity to maintain vigilance. It is imperative for assuring good security and your own physical performance. Tests have proven that after 16 hours without sleep, your level of drowsiness is equivalent to a BAC of 0.5 g. This means that your level of concentration is substantially impaired.

It is therefore very important to have regular periods of sleep when navigating. To sleep effectively, you must be aware that throughout the day, there are times when one is predisposed to sleep. Yawning is a sign that the body sends to indicate that it is ready to sleep. This is the moment when you should try to sleep or take a nap.

eat sleep boat

How Long should I Sleep?

Sleep duration depends on the constraints of navigation. The ideal length would be to sleep for one a complete sleep cycle, which is from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Otherwise, it can be useful to take short naps for 20 to 30 minutes. Napping regularly can be very effective for a few days. If napping is not possible, then there is the final option of “flash” naps, consisiting of just a few seconds of sleep.

When “real” sleep is impossible, this brief disconnection can allow the brain to de-stress, which is very important when engaging in such a physically demanding activity as navigating.

No matter what, make it a priority to get at least some sleep while onboard. Otherwise your judgement and physical ability will be significantly impaired.

The Ultimate Guide to Boat Rentals

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Software Update: MaxSea TimeZero ECS and PLOT v2.0.4

The MaxSea TimeZero ECS and PLOT v2.0.4 update improves compatibility with the new FURUNO DFF1-UHD TruEcho CHIRP network sounder. The DFF1-UHD (Ultra High Definition) broadband sounder delivers significant advancements in signal clarity and target definition, and is also able to send Bottom Discrimination information to TimeZero (similar to the BBDS1).

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MaxSea TimeZero Sounder Module

Thanks to its full compatibility with Furuno fish finders, the sounder module allows you to enjoy all the advanced features of Furuno sounders on your PC. The FURUNO DFF1, DFF3, BBDS1 and now the DFF1-UHD can turn your TimeZero display into a powerful, dual frequency fish finder.

MX Tech news dff1 pic 0

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The MaxSea Sounder Module is available for:

.The DFF1-UHD TruEcho CHIRP network sounder

Designed to operate over a wide range of frequencies utilizing a broadband transducer, the new DFF1-UHD TruEcho CHIRP-enabled network sounder for MaxSea TimeZero delivers significant advancements in signal clarity and target definition.

.CHIRP Technology

The clear presentation of the DFF1-UHD marks individual game fish and bait fish, even when tightly schooled together or very near the sea floor.

.Benefits of CHIRP Technology

  • Scans across a range of frequencies
  • Enhanced depth penetration, resolution & clarity
  • Precise separation between bait fish and game fish
  • Enhanced ability to distinguish targets from noise using improved signal-to-noise ratio
  • Improved bottom tracking at high speeds
  • Vastly improved shallow water performance
  • Reveals more fish by eliminating surface clutter & noise

 MX Tech news dff1 pic 1

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A full PC-Sounder solution

Paired with a Furuno Ethernet Sounder, TimeZero is a full PC Sounder solution:

  • Bottom Discrimination
  • Bottom hardness
  • ACCU-FISH

 MX Tech news dff1 pic 2

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Find a reseller - MaxSea TimeZero PLOT

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