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Old 22-11-2014, 15:55   #46
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

Still trying to explain why I default to N up (and I'm doing a terrible job)

My mind is just oriented that way

When I wake up at sea....I just know where North is.

When searching for some unknown location on Google Earth ...I pan out but cannot recognize coastal shorelines unless I north up the display.

From mentality picturing other vessel's tracks in relation to anticipated coastal routes my cognitive memory sees it all in North up

Perhaps because of years listening to weather reports on the radio and reading paper charts..... North Up has become my reference point that measures the wave direction or point of sunrise.

So for me.... North up is just how I am wired when I mentally freeze the boat to assess my situation

Did not mean to offend anyone who thinks differently.
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Old 22-11-2014, 16:03   #47
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

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Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Still trying to explain why I default to N up (and I'm doing a terrible job)

My mind is just oriented that way

When I wake up at sea....I just know where North is.

When searching for some unknown location on Google Earth ...I pan out but cannot recognize coastal shorelines unless I north up the display.

From mentality picturing other vessel's tracks in relation to anticipated coastal routes my cognitive memory sees it all in North up

Perhaps because of years listening to weather reports on the radio and reading paper charts..... North Up has become my reference point that measures the wave direction or point of sunrise.

So for me.... North up is just how I am wired when I mentally freeze the boat to assess my situation

Did not mean to offend anyone who thinks differently.
X2

North is an arbitrary point for sure, but I just seem to always know where I am or very quickly orient myself so I do. Its just easiest to orient to the north since that's what we've been taught as a standard.
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Old 22-11-2014, 16:11   #48
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

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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…

Mark
If you are actually traveling on it you can be going east, west, south, north or anything in between.

I don't understand why some people are so insistent that their way is right and anything else is wrong. If it works for you any of the three options are fine.
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Old 22-11-2014, 16:21   #49
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

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I don't understand why some people are so insistent that their way is right and anything else is wrong. If it works for you any of the three options are fine.
It is a wonder, isn't it? So much passion around such a trivial preference - particularly given that people express the fact that they navigate better and safer one way over another.

Personally, being restricted to three options is a bit confining for me. I would like a "52* heading offset" mode because that is the angle my hammock takes when I am navigating in it, and that is the way I view the world from it.

But these anti-consumer, armchair manufacturers will probably come up with a "55* heading offset" mode that will just piss me off. Not the proper way to navigate from a hammock at all…

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Old 22-11-2014, 16:51   #50
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

North up for me. I feel I can properly orient myself to the environment. I never really considered heading up as option and I don't see the advantage. Auto nav is different because cars follow roads... boats don't and the car driver wants to see what lays ahead of him.
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Old 22-11-2014, 16:58   #51
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

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Auto nav is different because cars follow roads... boats don't and the car driver wants to see what lays ahead of him.
Are you looking backwards on your boat? I don't see the difference with automobile navigation - it is just as easy to see what lies ahead regardless of the map orientation. The roads don't disappear on the map in all directions except the car's heading.

The only difference is which way the map/chart points in relation to which way the car/boat is pointing.

And if you are navigating a course on a boat, aren't you following a "road"? You are certainly following a "road" in channels, rivers, etc.

All of my instruments even have a "highway" display on them. In fact, I think that was the first graphical navigation display ever developed for boats...

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Old 22-11-2014, 17:28   #52
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

I agree Mark...Following a defined proven track or known waypoint route ... the highway mode works great to show your XTE

But I actually DO look backwards quite often when carefuly transiting poorly charted atols like Chuck lagoon or Palau where the old charts have shown clear transit lines between two island peaks

Just in case I get caught in a squall .....this is what helps me hold safe until visibility returns.
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Old 22-11-2014, 17:40   #53
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

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........... Auto nav is different because cars follow roads... boats don't and the car driver wants to see what lays ahead of him.
Sometimes boats follow a channel and that's similar to roads. With my plotter screen in heading up mode, I can easily look to see what markers to expect. Or bridges, landmarks, etc.
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Old 22-11-2014, 20:39   #54
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

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Sometimes boats follow a channel and that's similar to roads. With my plotter screen in heading up mode, I can easily look to see what markers to expect. Or bridges, landmarks, etc.
This is true.

I do actually navigate in close quarters, buoy to buoy when making a landfall or leaving. I do this from my cockpit and use a small hand held iQue3600 Garmin plotter... blue charts and all. The heading line extends as far as I wish and I can turn the boat to align the heading line with the mark, Very simple and intuitive. Setting a waypoint on the below decks plotter will give a course to steer or course to waypoint and this is useful for marks which are many miles away. I still use N up.
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Old 23-11-2014, 01:20   #55
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

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I always use N up. That's how I look at charts and that's how I orient myself normally. My partner always uses Head up. That's how she sees the world and charts just confuse her unless she rotates them. We all engage our senses of directions differently.

On the other hand I always know where I am and never get lost, and she nevers knows where she is. So I'm right.
What a coincidence ! I agree 200%, & although I'ts no fun to look stupid, I'll share my stupidity with other so they have an argument in favour of "North up": When I left Norfolk, yesterday, on my way to Elisabeth City via the Great Dismal Swamp canal, I choose FOR ONCE "Head up" on my GPS thinking "How can I go wrong ?" Well I did... I don't remember where, but instead of going South, I turned East believe it nor not ! I was hypnotized by my "Head Up" GPS. Yes, I know, I'm dumb ! Well anyway, I'm in Coinjock instead of Elisabeth City... The difference is not much in that case, 50 miles instead of 51, but I think Elisabeth City would have been a much nicer stopover especially because today the wind will blow from South* & I'm stuck here 'till Tuesday... The sun should have told me I was heading East instead of South, but of course, being alone on my sailboat, I went back & forth between my GPS, my Autohelm & the galley, trying to keep warm with soups & peanut butter sandwiches ... It's only at Pungo Ferry that I discovered my mistake... From now on, "North Up" will be my religion, as It has been during my 40 years without GPS !
*Waterway Guide recommends to avoid crossing Albemarle Sound against a fresh southerly wind, which is exactly what's in for today
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Old 23-11-2014, 04:50   #56
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

i wish that we had a knob we could just rotate to use in any direction,going through shallow bays and rivers with lots of markers i would like the use of maximum screen at the lowest zoom so horizontal across some of the bigger screens would give me more info, we don't really use the screen each side of where we are heading so why can't we have long skinny screens that give us more info, just my 2 cents worth????
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Old 23-11-2014, 05:39   #57
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

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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 ?
This is an excellent example. In tight quarters, I am frequently taking visual bearings (typically without pulling out the hand bearing compass). With N up, comparing it to the chart is very intuitive. With course up, You have to find the rose and mentally adjust for chart rotation.

I also prefer N up for when the GPS has a hiccup. It's immediately apparent that something has happened with the course on a N up display.

How many people put a lazy susan under their chart table so they can run course up?

If you prefer course up, I'm not going to say it's wrong but SWITCHING back and forth is absolutely a bad idea. If I'm expecting course up and when I come on watch and it's set to N up, it's far too easy to make a false assumption about what is in front of the boat.
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Old 23-11-2014, 05:56   #58
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

"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?"


I much prefer N up mode in this setting. Any delay or discrepancy chart moving would be very confusing. If the chart is stable and I am keeping an eye on landmarks, it easier to detect these issues.


"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 did a bit of orienteering as a kid, we always held the chart with N up. The GPS in the car also uses N up (I wouldn't put too much emphasis on car GPS as you get the stories of people driving into lakes because they blindly followed the course up the way it pointed them). More importantly, auto use is drastically different. You keep it between the lines with about 3' variance allowed side to side. After that there isn't much detail needed...except for the occasional dense downtown area but that favors N up as sky scrapers often block GPS signals so I want the map to be stable, so it doesn't randomly turn based on a messed up signal. Even in a tight channel, I might move laterally 30-50ft (compared to 3' for a car in a lane, less if you are driving a truck)
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Old 23-11-2014, 06:21   #59
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

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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,

This actually happens?

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Old 23-11-2014, 06:25   #60
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Re: Choosing Map Orientation on Chartplotter

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This actually happens?

-Chris
This site really needs a sarcasm emoticon…

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