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Old 22-11-2014, 05:39   #31
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

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Originally Posted by jmtindle3 View Post
I have a new Garmin 740 chartplotter. Used it going north on ICW. Worked great. Now I am going south on ICW do I change top of plotter to head up, leave north up, or use course up. In the past I have always left at North up in the Caribbean but that was long distances. What do most people do.

Some people's brains are wired to think in North UP (and east/west/south). Others are wired to think in Head Up (and right/left/back).

Determine which you are.

Pick chart settings accordingly.

Change settings when/if a specific situation warrants.

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Old 22-11-2014, 05:59   #32
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

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Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Ok I'll try...

Imagine you are in heavy fog, Zero visibility approaching San Diego channel
using radar and your plotter

Over the radio you hear an urgent message obviously directed at you:


“Vessel bearing 220 degrees True from XX fixed marker at a range of 0.4nm, steering 030 degrees at 5.2 knots…. this is American Naval ship approaching your stern at speed 29 knots on urgent business.

Please immediately change course to 120 degrees to avoid severe wash and you must turn back onto a reciprocal course once we pass you in 2 minutes and remain safely outside harbor until further notice"



How well does that work for you in course up and radar ranges when you are blind piloting in a developing emergency situation where soon there may be many craft around you from all different cardinal points ?
Well, first, I imagine the Navy vessel would simply hail me directly using my AIS MMSI #, or at least call me by name - that removes a lot of confusion as to who is being spoken to. Even if they didn't, if I am the only vessel in the vicinity, then all that position information can be ignored - even if one is too dumb to know their own specific direction and speed of travel.

Then, I see no problem adjusting course to a specific compass point. Who uses their relative position on a plotter to adjust course? There are multiple repeaters of true heading in our cockpit - and that doesn't even include the mechanical compass staring me right in the face.

This example makes no sense to me on why it would be confusing. I wouldn't even be looking at the plotter if this (extremely rare, if even it ever happened) situation arose.

Even if I looked at the plotter, I would simply place the cursor on the fixed position I was given instructions from and the range and bearing would immediately show up in big font.

Let me ask this: You have arrived a bit late to a reef with a bad sun angle with an overcast sky. You know you have excellent charts and have several plotted paths through the labyrinth reef into an anchorage. You will need to do this mostly by video game because of visibility, and you will be making many sharp turns quite close to reefs.

How well does this work for you in N up mode?

My type of hypothetical situation is a much more common one than yours.

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Old 22-11-2014, 06:11   #33
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

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Please immediately change course to 120 degrees to avoid severe wash and you must turn back onto a reciprocal course once we pass you in 2 minutes and remain safely outside harbor until further notice.

?
I'm not a professional mariner but do my best to operate my boat in a professioal manner.

In this situation I guess I would glance down at the compass and turn to steer 120. Probably set my soft drink down.Then wait 2 minutes and do a 180.

All the while using my apparently suspect methods to understand where I am in relation to the dirt above and below the water.

I may die in my naivete. But that's what I'd do. I must be missing something?
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Old 22-11-2014, 06:13   #34
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
Some people's brains are wired to think in North UP (and east/west/south). Others are wired to think in Head Up (and right/left/back).

Determine which you are.

Pick chart settings accordingly.

Change settings when/if a specific situation warrants.

-Chris
I agree that one should use whichever way they prefer, but some of us have no problem using either orientation - they are just different is all.

It is interesting that boating is the only application of N up that I am aware of (maybe airplanes and others are also?). I spent a lot of time as a youth doing orienteering, which requires bearings, etc just like on a boat, and we never used N up on our charts. Automobiles are the same.

I don't even understand the point about paper charts on a boat - where one has to plot positions using N up. I plot positions regularly with the chart at any convenient orientation. Plotting is relative - one either walks out lat/lon or draws bearing lines from fixed points. Neither requires any specific orientation of the chart on the table or to the person doing the charting.

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Old 22-11-2014, 06:49   #35
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post

Let me ask this: You have arrived a bit late to a reef with a bad sun angle with an overcast sky. You know you have excellent charts and have several plotted paths through the labyrinth reef into an anchorage. You will need to do this mostly by video game because of visibility, and you will be making many sharp turns quite close to reefs.

How well does this work for you in N up mode?
Mark your scenario works better in heads up as would a winding Chanel or following an old track. 3d presentation is even better as you would on a Garmin car GPS since you are driving a prescribed road

But to be honest, if no eyeball confirmation I would probably hold off entering by depending on GPS alone
Maintaining tight position at sunset when atmospheric conditions can create GPS interference and lag times

Yes my example was not very good or believable. What I was trying to create is an offtrack scenario without history and a stressful situation that requires interaction with non AIS controller like you might have when approaching Elat at night and the Israeli defence force start giving you north up type instructions
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Old 22-11-2014, 07:13   #36
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

About a year before installing a chart plotter on my boat, I helped a friend take his boat up the Chesapeake during the night. He went below for maybe a half hour while I took the helm and needed to adjust coarse to get out of the shipping channel and away from a freighter approaching from astern. I looked down at the plotter and was totally confused once I left the north heading. I did not know about the heads up /course heading and had to rely on the compass to see that my heading was proper.


I have a Furuno chart plotter and now use the course heading. I notice that the course heading puts the boat icon at the bottom of the screen giving more emphasis to where you are going whereas I think the north up heading puts that icon in the middle of the screen like I believe the heads up does also. Also the course up allows for leeway and current effects which I prefer over the heads up.
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Old 22-11-2014, 07:17   #37
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

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Yes my example was not very good or believable. What I was trying to create is an offtrack scenario without history and a stressful situation that requires interaction with non AIS controller like you might have when approaching Elat at night and the Israeli defence force start giving you north up type instructions
I apologize for picking apart your examples, but you seem to be trying very hard to come up with an example to prove why one should keep their plotter in N up - and the examples you can imagine seem to be almost fantastical (how many people cruise the Gulf of Aqaba, and why do these examples all involve warships shouting specific and detailed instructions at you?).

And even if one did manage to find themselves in one of these rare situations, the examples are all of approaching or navigating near shore and in channels, where you state that H up is preferred!

Again, regardless of which orientation the plotter is in, there are 4 instruments and a mechanical compass telling me what heading I am on, and I can place the cursor anywhere on the chart and get true range and bearing (as well as relative). I bet all other cruising boats are similarly equipped with at least a mechanical compass and one electronic device (autopilot) telling them their heading.

It simply does not matter which orientation one's plotter is in, as long as one is comfortable using it that way. It also doesn't matter what any commercial or military school teaches, or governmental body recommends.

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Old 22-11-2014, 08:01   #38
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

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It also doesn't matter what any commercial or military school teaches, or governmental body recommends.

If you collide with another ship, it matters to them because the lawyers will pick their navigation practices apart bit by bit. They may do the same to you.


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Old 22-11-2014, 08:40   #39
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

Course up is the only way I set my Chartplotter. I'm also overly the radar. I am looking at the real world view on both visual, chart and radar. Any other way is taking mental power that just confuses the situation to me. For large scale situational awareness I zoom out occasionally to see where I am.

I don't have the ability to overlay AIS on my chartplotter, so I use INavX on my IPad or IPhone for that in the cockpit. I do have overlay on my PC with AIS on my Raytech software, but that is only class A and is is at the Nav station below.

Back in my early Air Force flying days, everything was N up, analog instruments in the cockpit. It was confusing, stressful and much harder to implement. At 9 miles a minute, it was much harder to do. Along came HSI (horizontal situation indicator) and we thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. It was the analog equivalent of today's Chartplotter. We could orient to the direction we were actually going. Sailing at very slow speeds is a piece of cake in comparison in either mode, but I prefer course up and believe it is much safer and easier.


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Old 22-11-2014, 08:44   #40
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

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If you collide with another ship, it matters to them because the lawyers will pick their navigation practices apart bit by bit. They may do the same to you.
Fair enough, but give me an example of how this would be a problem. If one actually manages to hit a commercial freighter or military destroyer, it is unlikely that the orientation of one's chartplotter had anything to do with it.

Really - explain how a H up mode on a plotter would cause one to T-bone a 1500' freighter. I don't even see how it would cause someone to hit another small recreational boat.

I can even imagine hitting certain types of military vessels in the black of night or in fog because they might not be transmitting an AIS signal, using any lights or have an appreciable radar return. But it would have nothing at all to do with plotter orientation - and they would be totally at fault.

It is also unlikely that a recreational vessel would do any harm to one of these ships such that lawyers would be pursuing damages or incarceration.

Some seem to be stretching to amazing lengths to justify a belief that a plotter should always be oriented in a N up mode. I don't understand it.

To be clear, my position is that the plotter orientation should be in whichever mode the user finds best for them and their situation.

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Old 22-11-2014, 09:37   #41
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

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............. Those who do not learn to communicate and navigate in North Up presentation will always be suspect to a professional mariner.
Perhaps, but most of us don't give a crap!

The OP just asked how other people orient their plotter displays. As so often happens, just answering the question wasn't enough for some people. Now it has evolved to where some people are claiming that those who don't set them the way they do are ignorant and will lose in court if they collide with another vessel.

I call BS!

If they were required to be set a certain way, the manufacturers wouldn't have provided a way to set them differently.

Unlike some here, I do not judge someone as inferior to me if he or she chooses to do things differently as long as doesn't endanger me.
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Old 22-11-2014, 10:02   #42
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

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Perhaps, but most of us don't give a crap!
Speak for yourself - I'm very sensitive to this issue. Every time a professional mariner hails me on the VHF (using all sorts of fixed position, heading and bearing descriptors to describe me) and demands to know how I have my plotter set, I tell him N up regardless to save myself the shame of seeming less than professional in his eyes.

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Old 22-11-2014, 10:22   #43
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

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Fair enough, but give me an example of how this would be a problem. If one actually manages to hit a commercial freighter or military destroyer, it is unlikely that the orientation of one's chartplotter had anything to do with it.



Really - explain how a H up mode on a plotter would cause one to T-bone a 1500' freighter. I don't even see how it would cause someone to hit another small recreational boat.



I can even imagine hitting certain types of military vessels in the black of night or in fog because they might not be transmitting an AIS signal, using any lights or have an appreciable radar return. But it would have nothing at all to do with plotter orientation - and they would be totally at fault.



It is also unlikely that a recreational vessel would do any harm to one of these ships such that lawyers would be pursuing damages or incarceration.



Some seem to be stretching to amazing lengths to justify a belief that a plotter should always be oriented in a N up mode. I don't understand it.



To be clear, my position is that the plotter orientation should be in whichever mode the user finds best for them and their situation.



Mark

I agree for a cruiser it doesn't really matter. I suppose all I am saying is that in the heat of the moment when you can see imminent danger and you are scrambling to figure out who is calling you and where you are..it MAY (emphasis on may) be disorienting if you use multiple sources of position referencing-ICW guide/chart and the plotter is in a different orientation. The ICW can get extremely busy sometimes and there are many blind bends. People get flustered no matter if you are a pilot or joe blow sailor. It helps to have everything look the same sometimes.


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Old 22-11-2014, 10:26   #44
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

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The ICW can get extremely busy sometimes and there are many blind bends. People get flustered no matter if you are a pilot or joe blow sailor. It helps to have everything look the same sometimes.
Turn the ICW guide to represent the plotter orientation? I mean, the EC ICW only runs two directions and one of them is N up anyway…

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Old 22-11-2014, 11:18   #45
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

No correct answer except that's how I look at paper charts. I always use North up. And on my boat the MFD stay's that way. If I have to react to an emergency, there is no guessing, I know what I am looking at.
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