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Old 08-02-2015, 20:43   #1
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Apps and charts question...

Hi everyone. Sorry for the newbie question. I have been searching and found lots of different opinions. I want to start learning about charts. Any apps you'd recommend? How are the CDs that I see up for auction that are supposed to be for the world? One listed is World-Atlas-Oceans-Pilot-Charts-Marine-Sea-Ocean-Sailing-Voyage-Navigation-PDF
Any suggestions? I want to plan my cruise along the west coast, possibly from Vancouver, BC to Huatulco, Mexico.

Thanks,

Rich


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Old 08-02-2015, 20:52   #2
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Re: Apps and charts question...

If it's reading and use of charts for sailing, then you could check out online courses offered in navigation. A lot of them base their courses on learning charts (centered on East Coast of the US). They'll walk you through all the basics - reading a chart, plotting a course, taking bearings, etc. At the end you'll take a test to confirm knowledge. I took an online course for this and got a lot out of it.

YouTube is also filled with videos from online courses with details on reading and using charts.

App-wise... once I started using apps, I felt there was little need to think about or look at the paper charts. Still keep them on the boat, but only use them for large scale trip prep... and would use them if something went wrong with the device/apps.

Plenty of real-world schools offer ASA (and other organization) certification in various use of charts, cruising, going offshore, etc.

For all of this, Google is your friend. I'd name the online course I used, but I think it's against the policies of the forum.
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Old 08-02-2015, 21:48   #3
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Re: Apps and charts question...

Go download OpenCPN (OpenCPN | Official OpenCPN Homepage).. Then get the free NOAA charts. They will cover the entire coast of the USA.

You can play around and discovery how electronic charts work..
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Old 08-02-2015, 21:52   #4
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Re: Apps and charts question...

Ok thanks for the info


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Old 08-02-2015, 22:04   #5
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Re: Apps and charts question...

Just a thought, but always kept a Coast Pilot aboard! Only really helps if ya can see the coast line with Binoculars, but really helps when you are heading for a anchorage or such. We carried one's from the Canal to Nome. Can't tell ya the times they saved us from making mistakes !!
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:59   #6
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Re: Apps and charts question...

Navigation courses are good but depending on your experience of learning you can do it yourself. Lots of how to books and you can buy a chart from your local chandlers (or print one if you have access to a larger printer). Would definitely say start by learning how it works with paper based navigation then go onto electronic. Doing it that way you will understand all the principals involved rather than just how to tell the machine how to get you where you want to be. My sugestion would be one of the RYA course books for either Coastal skipper or Yachtmaster but there are lots of others. The way I think of it is that the science of navigation is position fixing but the art of navigation is passage planning and no 'black box' can do it.
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Old 09-02-2015, 13:06   #7
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Re: Apps and charts question...

Dutton's PILOTING. or Nigel Calder's How to Read a Chart.

BoatSafe.com - Boating Safety, Boating Courses, Boating Articles

Fascinating that you can't find these with Google.
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Old 09-02-2015, 14:18   #8
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Re: Apps and charts question...

Yes, saw that one on google believe it or not. Just thought I'd ask the board to see which people prefer since there seem to be a lot of options out there. Hope your day gets better.
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Old 09-02-2015, 19:10   #9
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Re: Apps and charts question...

I would get an old paper chart (of my area, best) and a book on basic navigation where charts are explained.

Read the chart, understand how it is built, how it is used, what the symbols mean, etc.

Then think about what sort of sailing you want to do and then get the most adequate chart for this type of sailing.

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Old 09-02-2015, 19:14   #10
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Re: Apps and charts question...

Arghhhh. Sure thing great advice from american above!

Like here:

https://www.google.es/search?q=admir...ml%3B300%3B199

etc.

Just download any chart and start learning.

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Old 10-02-2015, 15:32   #11
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Re: Apps and charts question...

You can download all the Coast Pilot volumes and charts you will need for US coastwise and territorial sailing. Store them on your lap top along with OPNcpt. Don't forget Google Earth, great for aerials of harbor entrances and the like.
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Old 15-02-2015, 21:25   #12
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Re: Apps and charts question...

Noaa has an online viewer here:

NOAA's On-Line Chart Viewer

OpenCPN and charts are a good idea, too. But take a course on boating and another on navigation if you're going in the ocean.
Better yet, travel with an experienced mariner.
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