Install Navionics media card into software's chart library, illustrated example of importing Navionics SD card -- Fugawi Marine 5 and Voyage Planner

Article FF12350, September 29, 2015

Walk through of a typical successful import of a typical Navionics media card (nTag enabled) into Fugawi Marine 5 or Voyage Planner using the menu Charts | Install Navionics Charts from Media Card. A follow-on section describes how to open the Navionics charts from their assigned sub-folder.


Some preliminaries: what is required to import Navionics charts

The instructions below assume you have a Navionics media card manufactured from April 2010 onwards (i.e. nTag enabled). If you have an old Navionics card, you may wish to purchase a Navionics Updates card which provides a deeply discounted means of getting a new nTag enabled Navionics card with new revised charting data.

Also assumed is that your computer has (at least) a temporary Internet connection which is needed to authenticate the card for a valid import on to a computer's hard drive.

The common types of Navionics cards that are compatible are Navionics+, Navionics Updates, Navionics Gold, Navionics HotMaps, Navionics Platinum+. Many new chart plotters come bundled / preinstalled with a Navionics card (often the Silver type) but these may be copy-protection locked in such a way that the software can not import the chart files.


How to import the Navionics charts from a media card

(Step 1.) Connect the Navionics card to your computer. Do that by using either a built-in media card reader or an external USB card reader. The USB card reader can be any brand of USB card reader with a slot able to take SD / microSD cards (or, if applicable to you, the larger Compact Flash (CF) card format). Once a computer sees a media card, it should appear as a removable drive with a given drive letter. If you notice a Navionics web site automatically launches the moment the computer sees the media card, you may ignore the web site, it is generally not involved in importing the charts into the software; so just close down that web page for the time being.

(Step 2.) If you are unsure of the drive letter of your Navionics card, look for it in Windows Explorer / File Explorer (keyboard short-cut Windows key + E). In the example below, a Windows 8.1 computer shows the removable drive labeled Navionics as the F: drive. Your drive letter and the particulars in your browsing window may vary. If you do not see a Navionics card, plug the USB card reader into a different main USB port (not a USB hub) or put the Navionics into a different card reader.

Windows Explorer showing a Navionics F drive

(Step 3.) Click Charts | Install Navionics Charts From Media Card.

Charts and Open chart

(Step 4.) To the right of the first text box of the dialog, click the SD button to browse to the Navionics media card. (Do not manually type in a drive letter and path.) Then choose the correct drive letter of the card, as determined earlier, and click Select. (Do not browse into any sub-folders of the Navionics card, this will always make the import fail.)

Selecting the Navionics media card by drive letter

(Step 5.) In the second line of the dialog box, type in a descriptive name of the chart collection. Then click OK.

Entering a name for the chart collection

(Step 6.) In the upper-right corner of the software window, a spinning progress wheel may be clicked on to view what is happening. The Navionics media card files are listed one by one as they are copied to the local hard drive.

Installing files from media card

(Step 7.) Eventually, an Activate Navionics Chart prompt must appear. Click OK to allow the charts to be enabled for permanent use within the software on this unique computer. This requires an Internet connection.
(FYI: Mention of a limit to the number of activations is made; this has no implication for re-importing updated Navionics chart files in the future.)

The Navionics card activation prompt

(Step 8.) A few minutes are needed, just once, for the software to optimize the charts for display in the software. 
(FYI: A threaded process called "fugworker.exe" transforms each Navionics chart into the final optimized file format of extension type .FX5. All this happens in the background and you do not have to concern yourself over it unless you receive error messages. The time for completion of this task depends on the computer's resources. A budget computer with low memory and/or an Atom type of processor will be the most problematic but most average computers speed through chart transformation without difficulty.)

Transformation of NV2 to FX5 in process


Opening the Navionics charts to confirm they imported properly 

When the spinning wheel of progress has gone away, the charts are ready for viewing. Click Charts | Open Chart | Navionics | {{variable chart collection name}} | Navionic | Charts. (You may see other sub-folders such as UGC or TopDown or other names; ignore these.)

Browsing down into the correct folder to view Navionics card's charts

A list of Navionics chart regions is shown (the names are the same as you would see on a chart plotter using the same Navionics card). Click to select any given chart (notice the geographic preview image on the right-hand pane) and then click OK.

List of Navionics 43XG chart regions in Fugawi 5

Selecting any one region actually selects all charts in the collection for viewing. Initially you may see only land outlines if the chart is zoomed out at an overview scale. Zoom in (mouse scroll wheel = up, or tap the + icon in the lower-right corner, or press keyboard + key).

Overview of Navionics chart seen in Fug 5

Chart object and area details appear and re-draw as one zooms in and out. Panning the chart in any direction reveals adjacent chart areas to the limit of Navionics chart coverage of the given chart collection.

Zoomed in chart near Rome