Originally Posted by Chris
I am currently running v9.0 which I bought last March. I recently checked with Garmin to see if there were any updates to the maps and they said since v9.0 there has been v9.5 and they are now shipping 2008. So I logged onto MyGarmin and ordered the 2008 disk which is free, I then need to unlock my existing regions (I have 2, the Channel and the Irish Sea) for this I have to pay $75 per region so $150 in total....
So I guess the question is should I bother? is it worth it? last year they bought out 3 updates and this year will probably do the same. At $150 a time its quite a lot over the year.
Garmin seem to bring out at least 2 revisions a year (generally Jan / July I seem to recall).
You will find on their website they reference the particular charts that are within each region (e.g. English and French Charts). You could check out the revisions on the Admiralty etc sites to see what has happened to those since you bought your set and make a decision based on that. Of course, there are an awful lot of charts in one of the regions so to do the lot is a chore.
If you don't want to do that you have a few choices:
- Buy every revision - qute expensive! (but a lot cheaper than buying all the paper charts!)
- Buy revisions on a cycle (say once a year/every other year) as a matter of course. I tend to go for this option and just accept it as part of the cost of
boating (e.g renewing the flare pack / servicing the engine.) It's a bit galling to chuck away perfectly serviceable stuff.
- Do nothing and accept that you use the GPS only as a guide. and that updated paper charts are better for detailed stuff.
Macro stuff doesnt tend to change a lot of course but buoys do get (re)laid and banks can shift quite a bit over time. You can of course pick up changes to charts and mark them as waypoints (e.g. a clearing waypoint on a bank change or new marks).
From what I can tell, many people never update their electronic charts - that feels a bit strange to me. And I do think that having paid for the charts, a annual update fee at a reasonable cost would be a much better system for the chart providers and would encourage sensible behaviours but I guess it's down to licensing arrangements or something (I think the Admiralty offers this type of service for its raster ARCS products).