Files Tab (SEA<em>iq</em> and SEA<em>iq</em> Pilot)

Files/Charts (SEAiq and SEAiq Pilot)

SEAiq and SEAiq Pilot are the only marine navigation apps that allow use of any marine charts in a wide variety of standard formats on your iPad/iPhone.

A free downloader is includes for charts from the NOAA and US Army Corps of Engineers charts for USA and its territorial waters. Automatic download and updating of charts from PRIMAR, ChartWorld and other vendors are also available.

There are many freely available charts you can download from the internet.

SEAiq does not come with any marine charts so you have to install them yourself. Often, charts are installed in the form of zip files, which are special files that contain other files. They are useful for packaging many files together that can then be treated as a single unit.

There are several ways to transfer charts into SEAiq, including download directly from the internet using the iPad Safari browser, transferring from Email or another app such as DropBox, and using iTunes File Transfer.

The remainder of this help information is structured as follows:

Supported Chart Formats

This section describes the chart formats that are supported by SEAiq and how they must be packaged in order to be correctly recognized.

Note We want SEAiq to work with all charts in supported formats. However, because of the variety of charts available you may try charts we have been unable to test. Be sure to test your charts before purchasing the upgrade. If you have problems with any charts, please let us know and we will do our best to get your charts working with SEAiq.

S-57 and Inland ENC Charts

S-57 and Inland ENC Charts are similar formats; Inland ENC has somewhat different display as it is intended for navigation on inland waterways. For the purposes of this document, we will use S-57 to refer to both standards.

S-57 charts are normally distributed in a Zip file with a folder named ENC_ROOT, which in turn should contain a file CATALOG.031 along with the charts (normally in sub-folders). This is normal for S-57 charts: if you have valid S-57 charts, they should include the CATALOG.031 file along with the charts. The ENC_ROOT folder should normally either be the so-called root folder of the Zip file or there may be a single folder that contains the ENC_ROOT folder.

SEAiq will accept Zip files that do not contain a CATALOG.031 file but include S-57 chart datasets. You can also install .000, .001, ..., .015 files directly. However, we normally recommend using Zip files to package sets of charts together, along with a CATALOG.031 file, since this can avoid a number of errors, such as neglecting to install an update file.

S-63 Charts

Charts in the IHO S-63 format are essentially the same as S-57 but are encrypted. If you use charts from either PRIMAR or ChartWorld, you can visit the relevant settings for downloading and updating them. Go to Settings / S-63 Charts to for settings related to S-63, as well as detailed help information.

BSB/KAP Raster Charts

The BSB/KAP formats were developed by MapTech and are a commonly used format for raster charts. This format is used by NOAA for their raster charts. Also, the ge2kap program is used by many mariners to generate KAP files from satellite imagery, usually from Google Earth.

SEAiq by default does not display any raster charts. You must change the Display Raster Charts switch in the Raster Chart Settings to ON in order for Raster Charts to be displayed.

BSB files are catalogs listing the associated KAP files. KAP files contain the actual raster chart image data. KAP files can be used standalone without a BSB file. There are several options for how charts can be installed in SEAiq:

Creating Zip Files

These are instructions to package your charts in a Zip file. Many charts are already distributed as Zip files. If you have charts that are structured as described above then you can skip this section.

Instructions for MacOS

Creating Zip files is a built-in feature for recent versions of MacOS. Follow these steps steps:

  1. Select the folder named ENC_ROOT.
  2. Select File from the bar at the top of the screen.
  3. Select Compress "ENC_ROOT" (mid-way down the menu).
  4. When done compressing, you should now have a file called
  5. IMPORTANT: You may want to rename the file if you are installing multiple sets of charts because each Zip file must have a different name.
  6. Follow the steps below for installing the Zip file onto your iPad/iPhone.

Instructions for Microsoft Windows

For Windows, we recommend the free 7-Zip utility for creating zip files:

Here are the steps to create a Zip file of your charts using 7-Zip.

  1. Go to the folder containing the folder named ENC_ROOT.
  2. Right click on ENC_ROOT folder.
  3. Select 7-Zip sub menu (if it is not there, then there may have been a problem installing 7-Zip).
  4. Select Add to option.
  5. When done compressing, you should now have a file called
  6. IMPORTANT: You may want to rename the file if you are installing multiple Zip files, because each Zip file must have a different name.
  7. Follow the steps below for installing the Zip file onto your iPad/iPhone.

Transferring Charts to Your iPad

Once you have your charts in the appropriate format, you can now transfer them to your iPad. Most users will transfer their charts from their laptop using the iTunes File Transfer. However, you can also download charts directly from the web into SEAiq using the Safari Web browser or you can install charts from another app, such as from an email attachment.

While downloading from Safari or email can be very convenient, we normally recommend using iTunes File Transfer, especially if you are working with many charts. That way you will have a copy of your charts on your laptop and the actually transfer to your iPad will be faster.

From the Web

If you have link to a chart zip file that is formatted correctly, you can download and install the file in one step, without using iTunes. Just click the link. After downloading onto your iPad you will be asked which app should handle the charts. Select SEAiq or SEAiq Pilot.

Once SEAiq has started, select the Files tab and check that the charts were imported without errors.

From Email or other App

This is very similar to installing from the Web. Select a Zip file, choose SEAiq to open it, and then check that it has been imported correctly.

iTunes File Transfer

iTunes File transfer is a way to transfer files back and forth between your laptop and your iPad. Once you have your charts in appropriate Zip files, follow these instructions to transfer them to your iPad:

  1. Run Apple iTunes.
  2. Attach your iPad/iPhone to your computer.
  3. Select your iPad/iPhone on the upper right of the iTunes window. Be sure to not press the eject portion of the button.
  4. Select the Apps item in the upper bar.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the window until you see the File Sharing section. In iTunes on MacOS, the apps listed under Sync Apps scroll separately from the window frame they are in. This can sometimes be confusing. If only the list of apps is scrolling, then you may need to click on the area outside the apps list.
  6. Select SEAiq in the Apps section underneath File Sharing.
  7. Press the Add... button
  8. Find the Zip file you want to install on this iPad/iPhone.
  9. Press the Open button.
  10. The small activity window at the top of the screen should show the file being copied. Be sure to wait until the copy is complete before proceeding.
  11. You should now see your file listed in the SEAiq or SEAiq Pilot Documents.
  12. The charts should now be on your iPad/iPhone. Press Files on the bottom of this screen to see your charts. All the Zip files you transferred should appear in the list.

FAQ and Troubleshooting