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Old 08-04-2012, 18:30   #61
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Re: Buy paper charts?

Joe,

If you know something is going to come off wrong it is still OK to express ones views. Not all sailors are sissy poofters though we both know that applied statistics delivers a proof that there must be some hanging around. I might be the last to get offended when people say my ways are wrong - since I have already discovered this truth by myself.

You can disagree as much as you please. You must have noted I did not encourage anybody to follow my example. In fact, I too admit some of my methods suck. But I too admit I did just that (sailed in coral by the eye with no chart at hand but now and then looking up our laptop's screen). (I also admit getting out of a bad situation relying solely on a GPS. Not doing so would in my judgment lead to exposing the ship to a higher risk than doing so.)

It is one thing to agree on what is proper or not and another thing to retell ones experience. Even if only to give others a reason to object and criticize. All constructive criticism is good.

Remember no single thing in this world remains fixed and seamanship too gets defined and redefined. Who knows, maybe in 10 years from now someone will look at our discussion here and conclude we were two old farts, and even worse: we were both wrong? Who is to judge?

I navigated my way and you navigated your way, and we are both fine and our ships are fine too. Perhaps both ways of navigation are equally right when applied by people who understand the methods and their limitations?

So, frankly, whoever is fast enough to keep eye on the coral heads, take bearings, transfer them to the chart and ... may they do just this. I am not all that fast anymore and hence my rotten piloting methods.

READER BEWARE: NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION

Big hug,
b.
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Old 08-04-2012, 18:49   #62
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Re: Buy paper charts?

Barn,

All I'm saying is I've been on the assistance side of things more than once when someone used these methods to get into someplace and their equipment failed. In both cases I put my own vessel at some risk to pluck them from the frying pan.

In one case the datum on their GPS was not set correctly and in the other case the unit failed and they drove a charter boat aground.

The key part of my argument is that the likelihood of failure with an analog instrument is far lower than electronic instruments. Paper charts encourage planning ahead because they do not deliver a solution on a silver platter to you. I used a plotter briefly but found my other skills eroded so quickly that I switched back and am quite content with the money I've saved on upgrades, maintenance, etc.

The other point I want to make is that there are those that read these posts (as you yourself point out) that lack either of our experience. They may use the points people make about paper charts being unnecessary as justification for going all electronic and I think that's an unsafe decision.

I've seen these people out there in the real world and they are a floating hazard to navigation in their own right. In many cases this is because technology solved enough of te momentary problem to make learning the skills I'm talking about unnecessary.. until it's too late.

You can always say screw them and sail away when they run themselves into a reef, but I think every sailor has a duty to those in distress, even if it's stupidity that got them there.

I do have a laptop with some very sophisticated routing software and electronic charts on it, but there's a time and place to be using it. The problem with all these things, especially GPS, is that there is a single point of failure for the entire system. I prefer to keep my skills sharp with tools I can trust to work if the lights go out.

Again, don't take this as a personal attack. I have no reason to fault your personal navigation skills. What concerns me is the justifications others may draw from your insistence that certain skills can't be performed efficiently hence electronics are the solution.

I'll buy the beer next time we're in the same anchorage
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Old 08-04-2012, 18:55   #63
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Re: Buy paper charts?

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Originally Posted by bobconnie View Post
Those coral heads In the Tuamotus are the reason I have ratlines up at least one side of my forward mast !! I much rather see then trust electronics. just my 2 cents
100%! One person is up the spreader. But usually we were able to tell the person in the spreader "Coral head, 5 o' clock, 500 meters", before the lookout was able to spot them. In some cases we drove there to find a coral head. The Sat Pics are just another input, use them like a chart, print them if you want.
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Old 08-04-2012, 18:58   #64
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Re: Buy paper charts?

Thatís a lovely interior you have there....

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFish View Post

By the way even though i run a high end nav program i never sail anywhere without my paper charts, i seriously could not leave the dock without them, it would be to unnatural and uncomfortable for me to do....

I lay out my tracks and plot my position on paper as i have always done, at work as well as recreationally.....

Each to their own i guess...

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Old 08-04-2012, 19:12   #65
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Re: Buy paper charts?

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That’s a lovely interior you have there....
Thanks! 40 footer with the interior of a 30 footer, but it is pretty. Wish someone would invent UV impervious varnish though

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Originally Posted by IslandHopper View Post
By the way even though i run a high end nav program i never sail anywhere without my paper charts, i seriously could not leave the dock without them, it would be to unnatural and uncomfortable for me to do....

I lay out my tracks and plot my position on paper as i have always done, at work as well as recreationally.....

Each to their own i guess...

You and I are probably taught by similar folks. My laptop has the same software the Volvo teams are using for routing, but it's no replacement for paper for actual real-time navigation. We'll both be dismissed as technophobes at some point but I'm good with that.

Cheers!
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Old 08-04-2012, 19:13   #66
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Re: Buy paper charts?

One of the things you Plotter guys will never get from your charts is info from 30 yrs ago when charts had things like Closed halibut grounds ! Approved ancorages that are STILL there ! they just dont show in the last 20 yrs or so ! I and other old timers have kept at least a copy of most every chart we have ever owned!! They don't take up that much room and ya only need the ones where ya are going !! If I had 5 bucks for the shrimp and Halibut Ive caught because of OLD charts I would be rich LOL
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Old 08-04-2012, 19:15   #67
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Re: Buy paper charts?

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One of the things you Plotter guys will never get from your charts is info from 30 yrs ago when charts had things like Closed halibut grounds ! Approved ancorages that are STILL there ! they just dont show in the last 20 yrs or so ! I and other old timers have kept at least a copy of most every chart we have ever owned!!
Nice.. really nice!
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Old 08-04-2012, 19:26   #68
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Re: Buy paper charts?

I simply don't believe all the coral heads are plotted accurately enough so that you can navigate safely in the Tuamotus following a chartplotter track. If so, those must be the only coral waters in the world charted so accurately and to such detail. Other coral areas I have been in, like the Bahamas and the San Blas Islands, absolutely require eyeball navigation much of the time as there are no charts that are so accurate you can trust them 100%. I have personally found islands in the Bahamas that did not exist on any chart, and other times I have been unable to find islands that are shown on charts of the San Blas, not to mention all the other numerous places I have found things off from the charts by distances measured in large fractions of a mile. I have also seen coral heads breaking the surface in the Bahamas on charted course lines that people claim are safe for day or night use.
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Old 08-04-2012, 19:29   #69
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Re: Buy paper charts?

Until I can get a 2' x 3' sunlight-readable touchscreen with 300 dpi resolution, I'm going to keep a few paper charts around. I love spreading them out all over the desk to plan the next cruise and to help memorize the landmarks.

I do find that my printer gets a surprising amount of use in the summer.... printing out letter-size chunks from the electronic charts for the day's route, at whatever scale I deem appropriate for a particular region. (A waterproof helm-mount chartplotter that could survive the conditions on my boat would be worth more than the boat.)

Yes, I'd love to have all the gadgets on board, but for the kind of inland / short range cruising I do and the kinds of boats I use, it just doesn't make sense to spend that kind of money on a nav computer.
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Old 08-04-2012, 19:35   #70
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First cruise will be through Indonesia and expect lightning ++ and unfamiliar territory with charts that are notoriously inaccurate so will carry Chart plotter with Navionics, computer Cmap charts and full set of paper charts. Still expect trouble. In a better charted area I would go lighter with the paper but still enough for overview and difficult areas. Stuff happens. Most of my paper charts are discards or out of date or need corrrections which is just my time to fix with NTM .
Electronics are current so a study session at the table should be good for any discrepencies.
Maybe!
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Old 08-04-2012, 19:35   #71
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Re: Buy paper charts?

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I simply don't believe all the coral heads are plotted accurately enough so that you can navigate safely in the Tuamotus following a chartplotter track. If so, those must be the only coral waters in the world charted so accurately and to such detail. Other coral areas I have been in, like the Bahamas and the San Blas Islands, absolutely require eyeball navigation much of the time as there are no charts that are so accurate you can trust them 100%. I have personally found islands in the Bahamas that did not exist on any chart, and other times I have been unable to find islands that are shown on charts of the San Blas, not to mention all the other numerous places I have found things off from the charts by distances measured in large fractions of a mile. I have also seen coral heads breaking the surface in the Bahamas on charted course lines that people claim are safe for day or night use.
No they aren't all plotted. Some areas have good chart coverage, some don't. Some areas have better satellite imagary, some don't.

I hope I never said to follow a chart plotter in the Tuamotus! Eyeballs first here, as any place with coral heads.

But some charts/sat-pics have been great, and once I was there, I would have no problem following my track back, for example when the anchorage becomes unsafe.

Dirk
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Old 08-04-2012, 19:47   #72
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Re: Buy paper charts?

Joe,

Yes, it is always a risk someone will half read a post and jump to a quick conclusion. Like that sailing in coral while only now and then looking at the plotter is good seamanship! Hopefully, this kind of reader will not remember in which forum they read this and who the poster was.

And I bet you will agree a chart held in the cockpit in a quick changing situation may fly away in the least expected moment. I mean: even when we use the 'safer' methods of navigation, we might be taken by surprise and exposed to finding (or not!) a safe and quick way out. A compass may get smashed, a gps can fail, we cannot offset all risks, much as we should try to avoid and allow for as many of them as we reasonably can.

I do have here what to many looks like an old antiques shop full of paper charts. Some of them drawn by one Cook himself ;-) (sure thing, being on the budget I have but copies). I used many of those charts and I wish I had many more charts at times! But having and and loving them all (and advocating the use of paper charts in all situations that call for such use) I still say I did at times what some see as a cardinal sin. (Like e.g. entering the Gambiers with no chart but an uncalibrated sketch from an unknown book and two pairs of watchfull eyes). Definitely bad seamanship and not an example to follow.

Otherwise, I will stick to my eye and plotter bias for piloting when timing is essential and there is nobody to read and follow the paper chart for me. Only a fool would sail his boat towards a danger only because the plotter says there is an open water ahead.

So, whoever takes patience to read the whole story, may live long. If someone quick reads me, that's still OK, we may never meet outside of this virtual forum (unless we end up on the same rock!)

;-)

big hug,
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Old 08-04-2012, 19:52   #73
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Re: Buy paper charts?

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I simply don't believe all the coral heads are plotted accurately enough so that you can navigate safely in the Tuamotus following a chartplotter track. (...)
And who said this is the case? I bet it was Joe!

And Tuamotus are not any exception. We have seen not heads (btw these are not marked on charts, other than say by the text: 'area full of coral heads') but pretty well sized coral reefs in Tonga that were not on our charts either. Not on the electronic ones, neither on the paper ones!

;-))))
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Old 08-04-2012, 20:18   #74
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Re: Buy paper charts?

Heck Ive even got a hand drawn chart of some of those reefs In Tonga, made for me by a local fisherman ! never used them but I got em LOL
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Old 08-04-2012, 20:28   #75
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Re: Buy paper charts?

There is also a list compiled by local pilots (aircraft, not whales) and someone from the charter business there (Moorings?). I believe it is Tonga and Fiji area. Can't say if it is authentic or fake.

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