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Old 04-02-2015, 16:40   #196
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

Why suffer from the tyranny of "or" when you can have the genius of 'and!" Paper charts, and plotting on them, provide one with a situational awareness that digitization does not. Equally important, remember Murphy's Rule; if it can go wrong it will (and usually at the worst possible moment).

I was in the Army for quite a while, hence the name (I know, it's a tad bit unusual going from tanks to sailboat!). We had numerous issues with situational awareness and those problems were usually worse than the inevitable digital failure. GPS offers many great features and it is sure nice to be able to confirm your plots late at night or early in the morning when one is tired. Having said this, planning/plotting by hand provides for much better results as it forces the mind to know what is going on.

There is another aspect to this that many overlook. GPS can and does provide inaccurate readings on occasion. Although rare, if one doesn't have the situational awareness to see something is amiss, then disaster, or at least the fright of potential damage is sure to follow. Around a year and a half ago, the British MOD (Ministry of Defense) issues alerts to mariners that GPS may be unavailable due to maneuvers or worse, may provide inaccurate locations. There are other reasons this happens on occasion but nonetheless it does occur occasionally.

Chart plotters themselves issue a warning that they are not to be used as a primary source of navigation. There are reasons for this beyond liability issues.
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Old 04-02-2015, 16:45   #197
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

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Not even a 3'x4' HD display of electronic charts?

Mark
Well maybe. My home TV is only a 40" diagonal, 20" X 35".
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Old 04-02-2015, 16:45   #198
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

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If so, it would be a first for any topic in the history of the internet.

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I don't know. I'm thick as **** and twice as nasty but have changed my mind when proven wrong. I just hate the blow hards.
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Old 04-02-2015, 19:22   #199
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

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What is interesting to me are the few posters here who actually recognize the flaw in the paper-chart carrying logic (but aren't directly admitting it). These are the posters who are advocating carrying a sextant and all its attendant peripherals and being proficient and practiced at using it.

Few others seem to understand their point - even though they continue to blindly push the paper chart backup argument. The flaw in the argument is that if one loses their positioning source, one doesn't have much use for their paper charts unless very close to land. And even then, I bet many will get into rapid trouble.

Sure, there are some here who could dead-reckon their way for a couple of weeks and continue their passage safely. I suspect they are a minority.
Still, even with my rudimentary navigational skills, if I were ever to lose all power and electronic positioning capability while sailing anywhere, I'd much rather find myself WITH paper charts aboard, than WITHOUT...

Even more so, if cruising in a place with no shortage of hard bits, or fog, and renowned for its numerous "sunkers"... (that's classic Newfie-speak for rocks lying just beneath the surface, or barely awash at low water. )

;-)





Seems many seem to be overlooking the notion that the value of having paper charts may increase depending upon the waters in which you're sailing. This is one of the points made by John Harries in the link I posted earlier in the thread... Certainly, running the ICW without paper charts carries little risk for most... Sailing to a place like Labrador, however, seems an entirely different ballgame...

At any rate, this dinosaur wouldn't do it without paper, even the latest and greatest smartphone is essentially worthless up there ... ;-)
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Old 04-02-2015, 23:25   #200
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

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I didn't know the Japanese were working on a system let alone had one deployed. Or are you confusing the Japanese and the Chinese. They really are different ethnic and political groups and would appreciate being lumped together about as well as Russians and US citizens.
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Ha... no the Japanese.

Quasi-Zenith Satellite System - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

My garmin GPS will pick it up with an upgrade when/if it goes online and if we happen to be in the area of Japan.

FYI - we don't even have ROOM on our boat for all the charts that would be necessary for a circumnavigation, which for us would be the only reason we would be more than 20-24 hours away from land.
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Old 04-02-2015, 23:55   #201
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

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Ha... no the Japanese.

Quasi-Zenith Satellite System - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

My garmin GPS will pick it up with an upgrade when/if it goes online and if we happen to be in the area of Japan.

FYI - we don't even have ROOM on our boat for all the charts that would be necessary for a circumnavigation, which for us would be the only reason we would be more than 20-24 hours away from land.
Yeah I know about this system, but:
A) it is not yet deployed,
B) it is an augmentation system to improve results, not a positioning system in it's own right, so it's not really an alternative to anything
C) not anywhere near a global system, at best it might cover 5% of the globe
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Old 05-02-2015, 00:02   #202
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

Not gonna quote the original cuz it was too long, but be warned if you think your iPhones, watches, and Tablets with GPS will work as a backup at sea, be sure to test them within and outside of WiFi and cell tower range... I just played with this on my new tablet and went back to using my USB dongle to get a good Satellite GPS signal. The onboard GPS chip did not work well enough for navigation and I could not control whether I was getting my position from WiFi or Satellite.
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Old 05-02-2015, 06:46   #203
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

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Not gonna quote the original cuz it was too long, but be warned if you think your iPhones, watches, and Tablets with GPS will work as a backup at sea, be sure to test them within and outside of WiFi and cell tower range... I just played with this on my new tablet and went back to using my USB dongle to get a good Satellite GPS signal. The onboard GPS chip did not work well enough for navigation and I could not control whether I was getting my position from WiFi or Satellite.
Yep, I don't understand people who think their telephone makes a good navigating tool for a boat. Maybe for a dinghy............
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Old 05-02-2015, 06:53   #204
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

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Originally Posted by Jon Eisberg View Post
even the latest and greatest smartphone is essentially worthless up there ... ;-)
Really? Why? Is there a law against them?

If the GPS system itself goes down, that does not take down one's computer, tablet, phone, other computer, chart plotter, HH GPS and any other electronic device that is capable of displaying electronic charts. Others have shown examples of how easy it is to do DR using electronic charts.

If you are going to make the case that the GPS system itself goes down, all of the 12V batteries on the ship goes down, all of the alkaline dry cell batteries are lost, all of the internal device batteries are ruined and absolutely no charging sources are present (solar, generator, wind, etc).

Then yes, you have a point (and should now be worried about asteroid strikes)…

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Old 05-02-2015, 06:54   #205
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

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This is one of the points made by John Harries in the link I posted earlier in the thread...
BTW, Jon - the links you posted go to a paid site that doesn't allow access without a subscription.

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Old 05-02-2015, 07:04   #206
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

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Originally Posted by jkindredpdx View Post
Not gonna quote the original cuz it was too long, but be warned if you think your iPhones, watches, and Tablets with GPS will work as a backup at sea, be sure to test them within and outside of WiFi and cell tower range... I just played with this on my new tablet and went back to using my USB dongle to get a good Satellite GPS signal. The onboard GPS chip did not work well enough for navigation and I could not control whether I was getting my position from WiFi or Satellite.
Mind saying what tablet you are using? None get their positioning from wifi, so I don't understand what you mean there. Some can triangulate off of cell towers, but this isn't the way they navigate. None that I know of "switch" between cell and GPS for positioning. All of them will use a cell triangulation to get a faster initial GPS fix - then stay on the GPS fix.

In what way does it not work for navigation? Does it give you a worse fix than a sextant? Logic says it would have to in order to not be useful as a backup.

FWIW, we have two tablets on board that are not connected to either cell towers or wifi and I can place them right next to the four fixed marine GPS receivers on our boat and get the exact coordinates as them.

Keep in mind that nobody has argued that a phone or other piece of consumer electronics is a valid primary navigation device. But these are a valid aspects of backup systems.

Likewise, I don't think anyone is really pushing for a sextant as a primary navigation device…

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Old 05-02-2015, 07:56   #207
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

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Really? Why? Is there a law against them?
Sorry, I should have qualified that, to refer to a smartphone that relies upon cell coverage to navigate...

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If the GPS system itself goes down, that does not take down one's computer, tablet, phone, other computer, chart plotter, HH GPS and any other electronic device that is capable of displaying electronic charts. Others have shown examples of how easy it is to do DR using electronic charts.

If you are going to make the case that the GPS system itself goes down, all of the 12V batteries on the ship goes down, all of the alkaline dry cell batteries are lost, all of the internal device batteries are ruined and absolutely no charging sources are present (solar, generator, wind, etc).

Then yes, you have a point (and should now be worried about asteroid strikes)…

Mark
The case I was attempting to make was in response to your own hypothetical citation of a total loss of electronic positioning capability. And that namely, in such an instance, I would prefer to have paper charts aboard, than not...

But again, that's probably just me... :-)

Another aspect that informs my perspective on this, one that may not apply to most others, is the fact that I sail a pretty small boat compared to most. When sailing my own boat, I'm all too aware that I'm considerably more vulnerable to the loss of the functionality of my electronic gizmos, than I might be aboard most of the larger and more complex boats I deliver. Only time I've ever lost a computer to the elements, was while aboard a boat of a similar size to mine... Additionally, my boat lacks the battery capacity and auxiliary charging sources that most larger and more complex cruising boats today have, it wouldn't necessarily take too drastic of an event for me to wind up with a electrically dead boat, or to lose the ability to keep powering up my plotters or iPad indefinitely... In addition, while I'm fairly capable of effecting basic repairs, keeping a diesel running, and so on - the rejuvenation of Black Box items is most certainly not my strongest suit ;-) I simply lack the head for electronics repair many others seem to possess, hence my preference for a bit more of a belt & suspenders approach than other cruisers today might view as necessary...
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Old 05-02-2015, 08:03   #208
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

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BTW, Jon - the links you posted go to a paid site that doesn't allow access without a subscription.

Mark
Ahhh, sorry about that... But are you sure you need to subscribe, instead of merely registering? Perhaps you do now, but it's been awhile since I first signed up there, I honestly don't recall...
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Old 05-02-2015, 08:52   #209
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

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Why suffer from the tyranny of "or" when you can have the genius of 'and!"

Because it's easier than suffering the tyranny of the bank account. Paper charts are more expensive and if you want to store a large selection, you need a bigger boat.

There is another aspect to this that many overlook. GPS can and does provide inaccurate readings on occasion. Although rare, if one doesn't have the situational awareness to see something is amiss, then disaster, or at least the fright of potential damage is sure to follow. Around a year and a half ago, the British MOD (Ministry of Defense) issues alerts to mariners that GPS may be unavailable due to maneuvers or worse, may provide inaccurate locations. There are other reasons this happens on occasion but nonetheless it does occur occasionally.

and how does paper charts fix a bad GPS reading? I believe you are presuming someone using paper must use good seamanship and someone using electronic must use poor seamanship...obviously a falicy.

Chart plotters themselves issue a warning that they are not to be used as a primary source of navigation. There are reasons for this beyond liability issues.

Yeah, I'm pretty confident it's mostly about liability.
YMMV.
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Old 05-02-2015, 09:16   #210
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

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Sorry, I should have qualified that, to refer to a smartphone that relies upon cell coverage to navigate...
I am not aware of the existence of any phone or tablet relying on cell coverage for position fixes or navigation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Eisberg View Post
Another aspect that informs my perspective on this, one that may not apply to most others, is the fact that I sail a pretty small boat compared to most. When sailing my own boat, I'm all too aware that I'm considerably more vulnerable to the loss of the functionality of my electronic gizmos, than I might be aboard most of the larger and more complex boats I deliver. Only time I've ever lost a computer to the elements, was while aboard a boat of a similar size to mine... Additionally, my boat lacks the battery capacity and auxiliary charging sources that most larger and more complex cruising boats today have, it wouldn't necessarily take too drastic of an event for me to wind up with a electrically dead boat, or to lose the ability to keep powering up my plotters or iPad indefinitely... In addition, while I'm fairly capable of effecting basic repairs, keeping a diesel running, and so on - the rejuvenation of Black Box items is most certainly not my strongest suit ;-) I simply lack the head for electronics repair many others seem to possess, hence my preference for a bit more of a belt & suspenders approach than other cruisers today might view as necessary...
Yes, this is interesting in its own right. If, as I believe, paper charts are mostly going away regardless of how people feel about that - or what will exist for paper vs. electronic will be so out of date and inaccurate to be mostly useless - then people with boats and systems that are small and not suitable for current electronic-only navigation will have a problem.

But I bet by that time the electronic systems themselves will have evolved to accommodate. For example, my previous 5yr old laptop had a battery that lasted 3hrs and required replacement after 300 charge cycles. My new, identical (but higher performance) laptop has a battery that lasts 8-10hrs and requires battery replacement every 10,000 charge cycles.

While that example isn't really related to navigation instruments, it was meant to illustrate that advances in battery technology, portability, power requirements, ruggedness, etc will mean that what you consider today as being unsuitable may just be suitable in the future.

Right now today, this topic is similar to that of roller furling back when everyone "knew" someone who had one jam at sea and render their sails unusable. This too shall pass...

Mark
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