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Old 06-03-2012, 11:42   #1
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Buy paper charts?

How much can one rely on electronic charts today without buying paper backups? The difference in cost can be huge!
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Old 06-03-2012, 11:58   #2
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Re: Buy paper charts?

The difference is in what kind of sailing you do. Some can go without paper charts, others cannot. There is also the psychological aspect - some WILL sail without paper charts, others will not.

If concerned with their quality (... how much can one rely...) then the digital charts are as good as paper charts.

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Old 06-03-2012, 12:24   #3
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Re: Buy paper charts?

My concern is the reliability of electronic chart systems.
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Old 06-03-2012, 12:28   #4
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Re: Buy paper charts?

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Originally Posted by Chris Wren View Post
How much can one rely on electronic charts today without buying paper backups? The difference in cost can be huge!
Don't do it!
There will come a day when the electronics will go TU and if you happen to be in a tight spot when it does, you'll have no backup.
You also have no way of updating moved ATONs, new restricted areas, etc. from LNTMs. This does not even account for chart offset errors or zoom errors.
There are lots of incidents of the operator following a magenta line on the chartplotter right into the dirt.
And you don't want to hear someone retelling after an incident "and he/she didn't even have current charts".
IMO: If cost is a factor, you would be better off with only paper than only electronic.
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Old 06-03-2012, 12:37   #5
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Re: Buy paper charts?

Just my opinion, from 50 + years of sailing, if you go to SEA with out paper charts,notice I said go to SEA,you are just plain making a mistake ! you need at least some of the harbor charts for places you plan to vist ! and some larger scale of the general area your going to Cruise ! I say this as ALL charts paper or electronic are not always correct!! so paper to chart a course in and out of harbors by sites is really nessary as your electronics can really put you somewhere you don't wish to be !! many other threads on here have shown examples of where your electronic charts will show you being ashore when your not really there !! if you want to use them with out backup well your a better sailer then me !! Im old fasion I like to SEE where Im at when I run a harbor !! Just My 2 cents !!
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Old 06-03-2012, 13:30   #6
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Re: Buy paper charts?

Legally it may depend where you are.

In Canada without a ECDIS and the required training you are required to have the appropriate charts and publications.
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:19   #7
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Re: Buy paper charts?

Reliability is there. If still worried, get at least one unit that will run off the internal battery if the boat power is gone. With two power-independent systems onboard, only a ligtening strike can wipe you out.

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Old 07-03-2012, 06:44   #8
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Re: Buy paper charts?

Any electric device can stop working without warning, it might be brand new or 10 years old. Cell phones and blenders stop working every day. Paper charts are a must have. It's just the cost of cruising. Having a spare GPS/ chartplotter and maybe even a third hand held unit is good security, but still no reason to go paperless. I think some in the redundant electrical backup crowd fool themselfs into thinking they have some high-tech edge over paper. That we are just old school, and too cheap to get with the more accurate systems. If you never use paper, you probably won't know how when you need to. I can't stand trying to see my whole route on a screen, panning in and out. Maybe someday a 30" chartplotter screen will change this, but that won't help reliability issues. I'm sure many disagree but, going to sea without paper seems as silly not carrying life jackets.
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:39   #9
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Re: Buy paper charts?

my 0.2 cents. if any accident happen and you have an insurance claim it will be very important to proof that you had newest paper chart onbord
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:32   #10
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Re: Buy paper charts?

I wonder how much of the distrust of electronic devices is age related. I came up when an electronic gizmo was something designed to break. Now I have a hard wired GPS and a portable GPS for a backup, but I can't bring myself to sail without paper charts. When sailing coast wise I have the charts at the helm and consult them probably more often than the chart plotter.
Different strokes etc.
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:51   #11
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Re: Buy paper charts?

It looks to me that the US government is trying to get out of the paper chart business. Ocean Graphix prints better quality charts than the government ever did so I see no loss if the government quits the printing business anyway. I like paper charts but I have to admit I rarely use them for the type of boating I do. To me paper charts are much easier to plan a trip on than the electronic ones but I'm old. I bet the kids who grew up with computers will be comfortable without paper charts.
If anyone wants to buy Ocean Graphix charts, I'd love to quote you on them. I'll figure out some sort of Cruiser's Forum discount.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:22   #12
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Re: Buy paper charts?

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To me paper charts are much easier to plan a trip on than the electronic ones but I'm old.
There is nothing like spreading out a 3' by 4' smaller scale chart to do some passage planning. A 8" or 10" screen is just not the same.

I do have electronic charts on my phone, my handheld GPS and my netbook.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:32   #13
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Re: Buy paper charts?

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Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
I wonder how much of the distrust of electronic devices is age related. I came up when an electronic gizmo was something designed to break. Now I have a hard wired GPS and a portable GPS for a backup, but I can't bring myself to sail without paper charts. When sailing coast wise I have the charts at the helm and consult them probably more often than the chart plotter.
Different strokes etc.
I'm youngish (33) and have worked in software development professionally for over a decade. Had a relationship for a couple of years with a girl who did digital signal processor cores for Nokia. It's people like me and her that build the electronic stuff.

Sticking with paper.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:56   #14
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Re: Buy paper charts?

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I'm youngish (33) and have worked in software development professionally for over a decade. Had a relationship for a couple of years with a girl who did digital signal processor cores for Nokia. It's people like me and her that build the electronic stuff.

Sticking with paper.
LMAO!
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:12   #15
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Re: Buy paper charts?

Like everything else I do not think there is a hard and fast rule these days. I'm a professional navigator and on my boat as opposed to what I do for a living I use paper charts plus a hand held digital chart plotter. I find it virtually impossible to do a passage plan on an electronic chart display - even on the large screens we have on ships; I am more comfortable with paper charts.

However if my sailing was limited to day sailing I'd use just the electronic version.

If cost is an issue - think about 2nd hand paper charts, they are available and often for a fraction of the cost of new ones. You can update them if you wish. The main advantage of paper charts is you can use them without power, or if the GPS signal fails for any reason etc.

At the end of the day it is your choice along with any consequences either way.
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