Boating Electronics

Why Use Mapping Software?

You would be excused for thinking that sea charts have got continually better, with increasing detail over the years. While some chart producers may have put more effort into interpreting local data, that data may be many years old, and in fact, some areas around New Zealand have not been hydrographically surveyed since the 1800’s. People often ask about chart updates, hoping for better bottom detail, but while navigation and safety features should be accurate, the bathymetric information can be a bit average. But does that matter?

Not if you are a cruising yacht happy enough to miss dangerous rocks, but if you are a charter skipper targeting kingfish, or a keen fisho trying to locate hapuku, then the more bottom detail you can see the better. A small rise on your chart may actually include a steep face that, when the current is right, creates an upwelling that concentrates food for baitfish, and where there are baitfish …

Local knowledge of tidal flows and prevailing currents, combined with a detailed seafloor map, can greatly increase your chances of finding fish by knowing where to start looking. So if you have a Lowrance (Insight Genesis) or Garmin (Quickdraw Contours) capable of it, then get stuck in and use it. More knowledge equals more fish!

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