First post for me on here, but as a fellow CO32 owner and seeing as you haven't had a reply let I thought I'd chip in.
Reason for the ARCS is that they can be updated (unlike some of the plotter stuff) and they show all the detail at whatever zoom level - I don't like the suddenly appearing/disappearing rocks when the scale changes on vector charts, and access to more charts is just a phone call away.
So what I want from you guys is your experiences and thoughts for and against. Does anyone actually use ARCS?
I looked into this last winter and for a variety of reasons (including concerns over power use) put of the decision and made do with paper for another season. I have been looking again recently and after thinking about the options I agree that I prefer raster charts to vector charts because (i) I trust them more (no/fewer hidden rocks!) and (ii) they're more familiar and (ii) because a cartographer has drawn them, rather than a computer, generally clearer (e.g. text isn't printed over chart symbols as happens with leisure vector charts ). ARCS seem to be the best raster charts money can buy and are available with global coverage.
However, as you say they're not cheap and for UK use only (which I appreciate doesn't deal with your Norwegian plans) there are alternative sources of raster Admiralty charts. These come bundled with some of the available charting packages:http://www.neptune-navigation.com/plotter%20plus.htm
[software and a portfolio of around 80 charts costs a similar amount to one ten chart ARCS folio without software (just under £100) and can be updated for about £30 a year]http://www.tideplotter.co.uk/chart-plotter/index.htm
[slightly cheaper than the above (~£70) but slightly more expensive to update (~£50), but seems to include raster images of all UK Admiralty charts not just one area so you'd get the west and east coasts of Scotland in one go]http://www.norcom.demon.co.uk/meridian/seatrak.htm
[their website doesn't show it, but these people now produce a ~£100 package with all UK admiralty charts as well, which can be bought from here: http://www.bookharbour.com/epages/BookH ... ories/1003
but there is no update service, you have to buy again each year and their lack of website update for 4 or 5 years is perhaps concerning]
There is also a version of MaxSea (more sophisticated than the above) which comes with all of the UK Admiralty charts but it's 600 Euros. They do another covering Norway though, but I can't get the price up. http://comen.maxsea.fr/MaxSea/Products/ ... fault.aspx
I think the only catch is that these packages can't read any other charts in these version so you are limited to the UK.
I hope this helps, and finally I don't think SeaClear can read ARCS charts - it's more aimed at the US/NOAA chart format.