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OpenCPN 4.8.4

Quickly route the best way to get your boat to a destination

by Chris Wiles

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License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 10, Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 22 April 2018
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 531
Developer: OpenCPN
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OpenCPN 4.8.0
Quickly route the best way to get your boat to a destination

There are a tonne of tools out there to navigate your way through to an intended destination, by car (or moped, bike and other options), on the road. In fact, tools such as Waze are incredibly detailed with live information on potential road blockages or other issues.

But what happens if you hire a boat or are a boating novice and you need to get to a destination you've never navigated? Or you need to get the boat to a quay which is far in-shore and you're not quite sure how to get there. There are plenty of obstacles and other issues in the way, plus you have to compete with the tide, weather and other boats.

OpenCPN is a tool you can use to navigate rivers and parts of the sea to get yourself to a destination. You can download and load the latest mapping information, but herein lies the first issue. It's not live and up-to-date information, but details pre-recorded and intended to help. Once you load your map, you can take advantage of collision detection, tidal-based route planning and weather updates (with a separate plugin).

The big downside is, this is a desktop application. There is a paid Android version available, but to navigate you'll need to take your laptop on the boat. You could simply choose your route and possible issues and print off the information - at least you have a route and fairly up-to-date warnings. But it sort of defeats the object of live navigation with alarms and updates along the route.


Powerful tool for boat navigation, but you need to download maps for updates.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

WhatsApp Messenger 2.18.71

Free Full Commercial Software

WhatsApp Messenger is the world's most popular instant messaging app for smartphones.

You can use it to send and receive text and voice messages, photos, videos, even call your friends in other countries, and because it uses your phone's internet connection it might not cost you anything at all (depending on whether you'll pay data charges).

It's easy to set up and use. There's no need to create and remember new account names or pins because it works with your phone number, and uses your regular address book to find and connect you with friends who use WhatsApp already.

You can talk one-to-one or in group chats, and because you're always logged in there's no way to miss messages. Even if your phone is turned off, WhatsApp will save your messages and display them as soon as you're back online.

There's plenty more (location sharing, contact exchange, message broadcasting) and the app is free for a year, currently $0.99/ year afterwards.

What's New in Version 2.18.71

- Group admins can now choose to allow only admins to send messages to a group. Open "Group Info" > tap "Group Settings". Non-admins will still be able to read messages and respond privately by tapping "Message Admin".
- You can now easily notify people when you change your phone number. Tap "Settings" > "Account" > "Change Number". You can select which contacts or chats you would like to notify.