K-Charts are a further development of Onwa Marine's own chart navigation system. K-Charts are supplied by Onwa free of charge and updates, as they become available, will similarly be free of charge. Being free to Onwa owners doesn't mean its a lightweight product - K-Chart software is a completely usable navigation tool that compares favorably to other chart cartography that will set you back quite a lot in terms of cost; not to mention the updates.
With every new plotter that we sell we bundle a K-Chart of the customer's choice, this might be whole of U.K (which also extends to the North Coast of France and Holland) or one of four areas that cover the rest of western Europe. Additional charts, e.g if you wanted the whole of Europe, would be free as a download or just the cost of the SD cards required plus postage if you wanted AVES Marine to supply the charts ready formatted onto SD cards that you just have to plug into your Onwa plotter to use.
K-Charts are supplied free of cost as a sales incentive without warranty as to their accuracy. The warning regarding accuracy is somewhat misleading as it is almost always the case that electronic software for charts and maps comes with such a warning advising that it is the responsibility of the user use the software with a caution - likely even your car Sat-Nav' will have this.
Our caution and condition for you, the user, using K-Chart is as follows:
K-Charts, as with all electronic navigation software, should not be relied upon for safe navigation at sea. They should always be used in conjunction with up to date paper charts and it is the responsibility of the navigator to ensure that this is the case. K-Charts are supplied strictly on this basis and no warranty is given as to their accuracy. Acceptance of this by the navigator is conditional upon using K-Charts.
However, having given the required caution, from my own experience using the UK K-chart in my home sailing area around the Kent coast, I can say that they compare very favorably with other navigation software. Depths, hazards, navigation aids etc are very similar to other systems.
K-charts only work with Onwa plotters so they won't work on your Raymarine etc!
The SS Richard Montgomery is a WW2 wreck that sank in the Thames Estuary in 1944 loaded with munitions. It is generally considered too dangerous and too expensive to remove the estimated 1,400 tonnes of explosives which remain viable today (it is rumoured that the figure may be as high as 3600 tons!). It is speculated that if the munitions exploded it could create a mini tsunami and cause widespread damage to the surrounding area. It is a ticking time-bomb that could, possibly, explode at any time. The wreck lies in two parts in a North-South position marked by an exclusion zone of four warning buoys. Wreck position is 51.27.996N 0.47.090E
A really fascinating You Tube video of The SS Richard Montgomery taken from the BBC series Coast. The quality could be better but the content and the story it tells is a must watch. Click the You Tube icon to watch.
An interesting and informative site - worth taking a look, click on the blue link address.
2012 UK Government report on the wreck. Click on the blue link address to view.
SS Richard Montgomery on WIKI.