BlueChart software from Garmin


Has anyone used the BlueChart software from Garmin?
I have an eTrex Vista C and would like to use it on my next trip to the British Virgin Islands.
It seems you buy the software, which I would have to download to my computer as the eTrex Vista C has no card slot.
I heard you then have to buy the various maps as well, that they are not included.
Would love any feed back on other peoples experiences with Blue Chart.

It's these changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes Nothing remains quite the same With all of our running and all of our cunning If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane

Good Question

I am also interested in this matter - thanks for making the query.

RKF (Bethesda, MD) Garmin Nuvi 660, 360 & Street Pilot


The Vista C has 24MB of on-board space for supplemental maps.

You would purchase the desired maps and install them on a computer which would also install MapSource if you don't already have it.

Then you would use MapSource to select the maps segments/tiles that you wish to load to the unit. The Map tab in MapSource will show how big the mapset is. You will have to keep it under 24MB.

Then you would use the "Send to Device" button in MapSource to compile the mapset and send it to the GPS unit.

If you wanted to load other areas, you would need to go through the procedure again. Note that each time you send maps from MapSource, the previous maps on the unit are overwritten.

BVIs Bluecharts

I have the BVIS in Bluechart. The maps are tiny, should easily fit on an Etrex. But, what are you using them for? The trouble with the BVIs is that the POIs are not terribly accurate. That part of the world was mapped a long time ago, and Garmin simply uses existing data to create the Bluecharts. I would say if you were planning to sail the BVIs using only the Etrex and you were trying to get to Anageda Reef, you'd want to use traditional navigation techniques as well. Ie plot your course on a paper chart. The Bluecharts are absolutely NOT accurate enough to get to Anegada safely. Also, I wouldn't sail down there at night, many small frieghters and boats zip around the islands, and often don't have running lights, so you might not even see them.

That said, I have been down there probably nine times, and each trip was as interesting or better than the ones before. The scenery is great, lots of fun snorkle spots and of course the sailing is the best.

Good luck, whatever you decide. But like I said, if you are planning to navigate tricky areas with the Etrex, be sure to use paper charts as well to ensure you don't crash into one of the many hidden reefs!

Garminfone (Android) Colorado 300 NUVI 550 NUVIFone M20

Purchased the bluechart CD

Well I purchased the bluechart CD, which is now discontinued.
West Marine had two left, so I used an Amazon print out to get a price reduction and decided to lay out the 100 bucks for it.
The back of the package clearly states that you get one region and you need to purchase each additional region after that.
I have heard that the BVI map is out of dated and can not be trusted.

I would always use traditional navigation, when using a GPS as the battery doesn’t die and you can’t loss sat reception on paper charts.
Seriously, always remember the GPS is a navigational aid when sailing.

I am also going to load it on my laptop and hook that to the Etrek, so I have a real nav station on broad.

This is my third trip to the BVIs, and I can not wait to be lime’n in the hot sun.

It's these changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes Nothing remains quite the same With all of our running and all of our cunning If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane