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Old 03-02-2015, 09:00   #61
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

There was a time, nobody would have considered blue water cruising without a sextant. I think paper charts may go the same route.

On my last two cruises, one from the BVIs to Florida, I brought paper charts, but never once looked at them. Zooming in and out to get the exact over view I wanted and measuring bearings on my iPad was much easier than on a paper chart.

Sure, electronics can fail, but one can lose a paper chart as well. I think redundancy is important, but as time goes on, it seems less and less important to me that redundancy must mean paper. For $50, I can buy the Garmin charts and have them on both an iPad and iPhone as back ups with far greater detail than many paper charts. I don't think the odds of loosing both of those is really any greater than the odds of losing a paper chart.
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:12   #62
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

Another interesting consideration is that there are now several companies and open-source groups that are doing their own electronic chart surveying of popular cruising areas. Some of these areas are in places official bodies will never survey because there is no commercial importance to them.

Paper charts will never be created from these data, and these data will never be shared or given to governmental bodies for distribution.

As an analogy, there are musicians and bands now that only release electronic versions of their music. Many books are also now electronic-only.

Going forward, this may certainly change the landscape of the paper chart argument - where the only paper charts available are collection pieces many years out of date. It is possible then that one may be found in fault of the law for using a paper chart.

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Old 03-02-2015, 09:24   #63
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

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Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
Canada (from all reports) absolutely requires up-to-date paper charts for the waters you are in in their waters. They are pretty uptight about it. And it isn't cheap to get any version of Canadian charts - digital or paper. Not like US charts. Someone please let me know if any of this is incorrect.

Going across the South Pacific, large paper charts were virtually essential for good planning (for us). Using a chartplotter to plot routes was very difficult for long distances. As others have noted in other threads, CP's are great for going in to harbors or around "known" reefs. I have tried plotting long routes on CPs but they do not show smaller islands/reefs unless you zoom in on every inch of the route.

By small I mean anything smaller than the Great Barrier Reef. The loss of the Volvo racing boat north of Madagascar was probably due to this issue.

On the other hand the cost and management of paper charts can be a real problem, especially updates. All of you who have gone for any distance know how much room they take up and how hard it is to find the specific chart(s) you need and then get them stored back in some semblance of order.
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:26   #64
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

i vestas racing had paper charts they would not have piled up a volvo 65 onto a reef going 19 knots
suggest YOU ALWAYS HAVE THE PAPER ONES as well, dont believe everything you see on the screen. one cyber attack on the world GPS system would leave you with NADA
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:30   #65
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

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i vestas racing had paper charts they would not have piled up a volvo 65 onto a reef going 19 knots
suggest YOU ALWAYS HAVE THE PAPER ONES as well, dont believe everything you see on the screen. one cyber attack on the world GPS system would leave you with NADA
Umm, Vestas Racing DID have paper charts.

Your cyber attack fears are so overblown and unrealistic as to be incredible. Besides, there is no "world GPS system" - and if all of the unrelated GPS systems were somehow to be brought down, civilization would pretty much end and you probably wouldn't want to be navigating toward anywhere you had paper charts for...

Facts, please - not emotions.

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Old 03-02-2015, 09:33   #66
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

Offshore I turn off the electric to save power. Don't need the accuracy of GPS and plotting each days run on a paper chart is still a quick and practical way to do it. If you need to refine the EP or position it only takes a few min to boot up a GPS. This also makes sure I maintain my skills in case of emergency (electrical failure still being one of the most common).
2and point. Unless you run a commercial ECDIS system it is illegal in many countries to navigate without paper charts on board, or rather official hydrographic charts which a chart plotter cartridge is not. We have few rules at sea but the ones we do have are there for good reason.
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:35   #67
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

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Boy, Canada certainly isn't crystal clear on this.
I find the Canadian regulations are quite clear:

Charts and Nautical Publications Regulations, 1995

Charts and Nautical Publications Regulations, 1995

Almost all of my sailing is teaching. I ask the sailing school / charter company for the following

1) paper charts - I have a list of what I need if going around Vancouver Island

2) Sailing Directions. I will also get a couple of cruising guides for comparison

3) CHS Tide and Current Tables

4) Radio Aids to Marine Navigation id going around the Island

5) Lights of Lights Buoys and Fog Signals

6) Current Atlas

7) Colregs ( I have on my tablet)

8) Canadian Aids to Navigation System

All trip / passage planning is done with official publications.

Transport Canada has issued Recreational Boating School standards which we must follow.

In all of the standards, we teach paper charting before we teach electronic charting.

BTW - I have charts on my tablet (OpenCPN, GPS Nautical Charts, and Navionics), phone (Navionics) and I have a Garmin 76Cx.
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:38   #68
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

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Offshore I turn off the electric to save power. Don't need the accuracy of GPS and plotting each days run on a paper chart is still a quick and practical way to do it. If you need to refine the EP or position it only takes a few min to boot up a GPS. This also makes sure I maintain my skills in case of emergency (electrical failure still being one of the most common).
2and point. Unless you run a commercial ECDIS system it is illegal in many countries to navigate without paper charts on board, or rather official hydrographic charts which a chart plotter cartridge is not. We have few rules at sea but the ones we do have are there for good reason.
Our GPS uses 0.16 amps (<4A/day). How much electrical conservation is required?

There has been some discussion about Canada requiring paper charts, but even that seems to be with a lot of confusion. Can you list other countries that require recreational craft to have full official hydrographic paper charts of the regions they are operating in?

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Old 03-02-2015, 09:38   #69
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

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I have used both Transas and Furuno ECDIS systems quite extensively. Both systems will quite happily allow you to plot a course over shallow areas, neither was able to automatically plot a course through an obstacle course of islands and rocks.

What they will do is warn the user that the course plotted is over areas where the water depth is less than that shallow water depth alarm has been set by the user.

The ECDIS has a Safe Check function. Once the route is plotted, if the safe check is used, the ECDIS will high light all areas of concern, including restricted areas, TSS etc, as well as depths less than the shallow depth alarm.
That corresponds to what other professional mariners have told me.

That Safe Check function sounds really useful. It sounds like what Furuno plotters have, and I'd like to have it. Maybe it could be implemented in OpenCPN. I guess it would have prevented the Team Vestas accident.
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:43   #70
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

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I have no dog in this fight because we don't sail Canadian waters, but the above isn't clear to me since it has soft exceptions - particularly around "knowledge of the waters", "unable to reasonably obtain charts", and "unable to obtain update notices to mariners".

I could easily see these as very difficult to defend on both sides.

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Old 03-02-2015, 09:56   #71
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

Redundancy, or the lack thereof, is the critical question in determining if paper charts are essential.

Thinking only in terms of the chartplotter is outdated. These days multiple electronic devices can display marine maps. Laptops, tablets, even smartphones can be loaded with inexpensive (or free) marine maps.

These devices are not very robust, but the the low cost (we are entering the era of disposable tablets) and rapid advancements means that multiple units are becoming quite common. Without trying, I have 8 units on board that have electronic marine maps. Many of these have their own independent battery supply.

With one or two units stored in a waterproof container and a metal box (to act as a faraday cage) there is quite a high level of redundancy.

My own view is that failure, while not impossible is highly unlikely. If failure did occur, with common sense and other resources (such as cruising guides etc) a typical voyage could be completed with some inconvenience, but without enormous risk, especially as for an upcoming voyage I make a mental note of the hazards as I am sure most do.

If another layer of redundancy is required, maps can be printed from the electronic sources before the trip.

A decade ago when my electronic charting systems consisted of a single chartplotter I regarded paper charts as essential. 5 years ago with a couple of chartplotters and a couple of laptops with electronic charts I was starting to have some doubts. Now I have relegated paper charts into the category of nice to have, but not essential. As always, every skipper must make their own judgments.
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:58   #72
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

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Any "enforcement" will occur after an incident. That comes a a friend who is in the Office of Safe Boating.
Do you know of any recreational boater being charged under this law Jackdale? More importantly, has anyone ever been convicted? I've never heard of such a thing, but you are better placed to know.
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Old 03-02-2015, 10:02   #73
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

Paper charts are a relic but then so am I. If you are wandering how much conservation you need, it's about 0.16 amps (<4A/day). I am also going to learn the Sexton before I head off for my loop of the Pacific.
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Old 03-02-2015, 10:06   #74
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Another interesting consideration is that there are now several companies and open-source groups that are doing their own electronic chart surveying of popular cruising areas. Some of these areas are in places official bodies will never survey because there is no commercial importance to them.

Paper charts will never be created from these data, and these data will never be shared or given to governmental bodies for distribution.

As an analogy, there are musicians and bands now that only release electronic versions of their music. Many books are also now electronic-only.

Going forward, this may certainly change the landscape of the paper chart argument - where the only paper charts available are collection pieces many years out of date. It is possible then that one may be found in fault of the law for using a paper chart.

Mark
That's called crowd-sourcing, and I can't wait for it to penetrate deeper into our market -- it offers tremendous possibilities.

In general, I think electronic charting is vastly superior to paper for purposes of updating. Paper charts are usually a few years out of date when you buy them. To use them right -- and according to official procedure -- you have to read all the Notices to Mariners and enter all the information from there by hand. Who does that? No one, among leisure sailors I know.

I have given up keeping my paper charts updated -- it's just too much work and expense.

So I don't rely on my paper to be updated. Neither do I update all of my electronic charts. I keep charts in the following formats:

1. paper
2. Navionics on my main network
3. Navionics on an IPad, on INavX
4. CM93 on ship's computer, on OpenCPN

The main network always has up to the minute updates -- using Freshest Data, which is a great (if expensive) service. I always refer to this cartography as authoritative. Keep in mind, however, that "up to the minute" might still be 200 years old, and the Baltic (and probably other places) is full of uncharted rocks.

The CM93 charts are of all kinds of different ages -- no way to know for sure. But in all of the areas I sail in, I have found them to be perfectly usable, more up to date than any paper I have on board. I do a lot of planning on OpenCPN and CM93 charts because the screen is bigger and higher res, and you have a lot more control over detail at different zoom levels in OpenCPN.

I find the plotter to be useless for planning unless it's dead simple water and/or a place I know very well.

I use paper for an overview of large areas -- so I can see a large area without losing the detail -- and for planning passages in complicated water where it is impossible with electronic charts. For these purposes, it is not necessary for the paper charts to be updated. In any case, after determining a route, I check it for hazards using the main network system with the latest updated charts.

I think few sailors actually do much passage planning. That is because the great majority of sailors spend the great majority of their sailing time just sailing back and forth in familiar waters. Here a chart plotter is really all you need, and such sailors naturally cannot understand why anyone would want paper.

And once I have a large enough, high enough res screen, and software which allows me to see the big picture without dropping the details, paper will also become optional -- I'm sure the day will come someday. But like the paperless office (as someone aptly said) -- that day is not quite here yet.
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Old 03-02-2015, 10:12   #75
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Re: Are paper charts a dinosaur?

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I am also going to learn the Sexton before I head off for my loop of the Pacific.
You think you will need an artillery vehicle for the Pacific? Those haven't been needed there since WWII…

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