I bought the Garmin MapSource Atlantic BlueChart CD including a 16mb Garmin chip, normaly £235 for £99 at O M Watts. The interesting thing is that the CD I bought was version 4.0, it has now been replaced by version 4.1 which gives more up to date info. When I looked at the Garmin web site it showed that the CD I had covered all of the Med, Uk & Ireland and the Baltic States. You are permitted to unlock one of 40 charts, unfortunately the UK south Coast was split into two regions 1 & 2. On the web site it stated that if you had not unlocked an earlier product e.g. the 4.0 I bought they would upgrade it free to 4.01 saving $125 per region! that is just for the upgrade, I think it is about £170 per region to buy after the one they give you.
I contacted Garmin to get the free upgrade and they told me that if I waited until Feb 2003 I could get version 4.5 with all the latest info on it, not only that they have now changed the regions and the whole of the South coast of the UK including Chatham is all Region 1 (this also includes verion 4.1) New Region 1 includes :- British coast: covers from Felixstowe to the Isles of Scilly, including Dover, The Solent, and the Isle of Wight. Also covers the River Thames from Twickenham to the North Sea. French coast: covers from Dunkerque to L’Aber Wrac’h, including Rouen and the Channel Islands.
This is important as it now makes Garmin much better value for money, I will now not need to buy another region or pay for the upgrade to 4.5. If you want to get more coverage including Northern France (see link) perhaps you should check out Garmin. I know that buying the plotter is one thing, getting the maps is another. I don't know if G map and Atlantic are compatible. You are permitted to download the maps twice only, I guess that is for people with a laptop and desktop.
I hope this helps a bit. Although I have downloaded the whole CD, you can't see anything unless you enter the unlock code. The charts are for use in the Garmin 176 colour plotter I bought from O M Watts reduced from £585 to £295, what is good about this one is that you can also use it in the car. I already use the e-map in the car and the Europe Mapsource maps are compatible same as the memory chips, brilliant value and a great screen for my little boat. I now have the best of both worlds, all Europes streets and soon the South coast charts.
Info from Garmin :-
"If you've previously used GARMIN's G-Chart¨ line of electronic maps, please note that Garmin will continue to support that product line (however, G-Charts will not work in the BlueChart-compatible chartplotter product line). The BlueChart line provides added flexibility, greater coverage, and offers you cost savings. To encourage current GARMIN customers to upgrade to our new BlueChart line, GARMIN provides a 25% discount on new BlueChart data cards or MapSource™ BlueChart CD-ROM for those end-users who send us an old G-Chart. This is a one-for-one discount available directly from GARMIN only. To verify compatibility with BlueChart data, you will be asked to present proof of a new chartplotter purchase"
BlueChart provides navigators with innovative "object oriented" cartography. Descriptive details for features typically found on nautical charts can easily be viewed with a simple key stroke. Cursor movements over the chart provide descriptions for contour depths, chart number, navaid name, and much more. When displayed on a Garmin Chartplotter, BlueChart offers its user a paper chart like appearance. This data will include shaded depth contours, inter-tidal zones, spot soundings, wrecks, navaids, port plans, restricted areas, cable areas, anchorages and more. Additionally, Blue Chart includes chart numbers, name, scales, revision dates, and Notice to Mariner dates.