Homeport vs. BlueCharts vs. BlueChart and BlueChart G2?

Not sure if this is the right place, but trying to figure out options for marine use.

First the Homepost. As I understand it, it is basically a copy of chart plotter software to be used on a PC, but you have to plug in a USB drive with the charts on them. I find this horribly inconvenient and just won't use it, if this is the case. However, can one "load" the charts so they don't need the plug it? And can it be used to do route planning and transferred to a Garmin plotter?

Second, what is the difference between BlueChart and BlueChart G2?

I have BlueChart with Active Captain on it for both the IPad and Iphone, and overall I find it very good software, but not easy to use and no good user manual. For example, I can't for the life of me figure out how to save a route and NOT see it on the chart... can't "close" it.

Also, anyone using both BlueCharts and Navionics can compare the two?

Goal is to have some portable charting that, preferably I can download to my chart plotter on the boat, and use as a back up for trips and planning when not on the boat.

Thanks for some insight as to what the above will do.

Garmin 4208
Garmin 740S
IPad Mini
Iphone 6
  • I can only respond to your first statement/question: Yes, you must copy the maps from your chart plotter to a USB device and then plug that device into your computer to use HomePort. Many of us feel this is less than ideal but it's not a reason not to use HomePort. You can buy a "mini" USB device that only sticks out a quarter inch or so from the computer and just leave it in place all the time. If your computer has multiple hard drives, I suspect you could copy the charts to a different drive from the software but I haven't tried that.

    As for loading routes and transferring them to the plotter, that is what Homeport is designed for. I do it all the time and have been doing this for years.

    Hope this helps.