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Old 10-02-2008, 06:51   #1
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Dead Charts

I'm planning a voyage from the UK to the Eastern Mediterranean in the next few years and I would like to be able to do some in depth planning. Is there such a thing as a clearing house for old charts where I might pick up some old, cheap but nevertheless useful charts for my route. If not, it seems a shame as when I gave up sailing forthe first time 20 years ago, I ended up scrapping my UK coastal waters charts as a newspaper ad had no replies.
Had the web existed then, they would surely been useful to someone.
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Old 17-09-2008, 06:27   #2
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I'm planning a voyage from the UK to the Eastern Mediterranean in the next few years and I would like to be able to do some in depth planning. Is there such a thing as a clearing house for old charts where I might pick up some old, cheap but nevertheless useful charts for my route. If not, it seems a shame as when I gave up sailing forthe first time 20 years ago, I ended up scrapping my UK coastal waters charts as a newspaper ad had no replies.
Had the web existed then, they would surely been useful to someone.
You can pick up old charts on eBay. We bought a load this way before our recent Atlantic circuit. A complete waste of money - we hardly looked at them.

You can get electronic charts of the whole world from unscrupulous eBay sellers for next to nothing. Yes they will be pirated (boo, hiss) and yes they will be out of date (but rocks don't move), but they will run on a cheap laptop connected to a cheap USB or Bluetooth GPS receiver and will save you a lot of anxiety and give you a lot of fun. Upgrade to a proper chartplotter with unpirated electronic charts when you have the money or are staying in one chart area for any length of time. Paper charts are a waste of money in my view.

If it is just for forward planning in advance of your trip, then Google Earth is good fun.

Another fun thing to do is plan your voyage a year ahead and decide where to go and when to set off based on the weather predictions. Then look at the actual weather reports and decide how you fared. I call this Fantasy Sailing. It's great fun and helps to hone your decision-making skills. For example, crossing Biscay will be your big decision. We made some great fantasy passages across Biscay. It was quite disappointing when we finally crossed Biscay in early October 2007 and had to motor the whole way.

We have some charts of UK to Gibraltar. If you are interested in these then PM me.

Chris

P.S. I know I'm going to get flamed for this post
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Old 17-09-2008, 09:09   #3
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Dead charts

Thanks for the reply Octopus, makes good sense, that's why I now use Linux too many big boys making silly money (Lehmann Bros, Halifax etc) and we still pay through the nose, freeware and shareware rule.
I have Google Earthed extensively and marked up every possible marina, harbour, anchorage and possible bolthole between the Keil Canal and Cyprus and including Eire, still don't know where I will buy the right boat yet. Awaiting delivery of my 2nd hand laptop from the UK so I can get used to Seaclear. If I can find a way to PM? you I will do so.
Just waiting to see now whether thr "Credit Crunch" will bring European prices nearer to American prices for 40-45 footers.

regards
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Old 17-09-2008, 09:20   #4
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We at Cruisers Forum do not condone the stealing of copyrighted material....just to make that clear.

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Paper charts are a waste of money in my view.
If you are going to sail without paper charts you better have multiple backups for your electronic charts and isolated somehow from lightning. Personally, I would not go without the paper backup charts.
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Old 17-09-2008, 09:27   #5
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If you are going to sail without paper charts you better have multiple backups for your electronic charts and isolated somehow from lightning. Personally, I would not go without the paper backup charts.
David

Do you consider nine laptops, one desktop, two PDAs with built-in GPS receivers, 4 USB GPS receivers, 1 Bluetooth GPS receiver, one Raymarine GPS receiver and a handheld Garmin GPS multiple backups? That's what we sailed with!

Chris
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Old 17-09-2008, 09:29   #6
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Yup! ....that is backed up alright! So long as you also have plenty of spare batteries in case your DC system goes down.
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Old 17-09-2008, 09:41   #7
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Yup! ....that is backed up alright! So long as you also have plenty of spare batteries in case your DC system goes down.
Do you consider fourteen 220Ah 12V batteries, two 160Ah 12V batteries, two 80Ahr 12V batteries, three 3kW power inverters, two 72V/12V DC/DC converters and a 17.5kVA diesel generator sufficient backup for the DC system? Oh, did I mention that we have a Lagoon 420 Hybrid?

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Old 17-09-2008, 10:05   #8
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Chris, great set up but I think David’s point is that sh8t does sometimes happen at sea at Murphy’s command.

I know, highly unlikely, but a complete electrical meltdown or a storm tossed flooded interior and it might be that carrying a few “get out of jail” paper reference charts, stored away in a waterproof container for such emergencies, would be useful in allowing you to limp into a safe port.
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Old 17-09-2008, 10:18   #9
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I just think having backups are a good thing, especially when it is so easy to get a few small scale (large area) paper charts for the areas that you are going to be.
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Old 17-09-2008, 10:27   #10
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Must be hard to relax when there are NINE laptops on board, waiting for Murphy to catch up with them! :-)
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Old 17-09-2008, 10:32   #11
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Must be hard to relax when there are NINE laptops on board, waiting for Murphy to catch up with them! :-)
Believe me, with six kids on board the laptops saved my sanity. The desk top was a mistake 'though!
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Old 17-09-2008, 11:20   #12
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Paper Charts are Dead Indeed

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Chris, great set up but I think David’s point is that sh8t does sometimes happen at sea at Murphy’s command.

I know, highly unlikely, but a complete electrical meltdown or a storm tossed flooded interior and it might be that carrying a few “get out of jail” paper reference charts, stored away in a waterproof container for such emergencies, would be useful in allowing you to limp into a safe port.
I'm very familiar with Mr Murphy, which is why the hand-held Garmin GPS live in the water-proof grab-bag container alongside the hand-held VHF, and spare batteries for both, together with the spare GPS-enabled EPIRB and the Satphone. Murphy's law is also why all the electronics are disconnected and hand-helds go into the microwave (as a primitive Faraday's Cage) at the first sign of lightning.

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I just think having backups are a good thing, especially when it is so easy to get a few small scale (large area) paper charts for the areas that you are going to be.
Sorry David, I just cannot agree. Paper charts are like sextants, useless unless you use them regularly. So, you keep paper charts for the unlikely event of electronic meltdown (read 'impossible' if you have proper backup), you haven't plotted a position on a paper chart for ten years, you look at the GPS to get your coordinates, uh oh that's also been fried or drowned, you dig out the sextant from the bottom of a flooded locker and attempt to remember how it operates and then find the sight-reduction tables have mouldered away. Eventually you get a fix, eventually transfer it to paper (after first discovering some errant child has removed your prized H2 pencils or broken the lead), but somewhere along the line you've transposed two numbers and believe yourself safe. Meanwhile, you've just sailed onto the rocks. I, on the other hand, took a few seconds to boot my back-up device, quickly established where I was, recognised the danger of the rocks, had plenty of time to eye-ball them with interest and sailed away into the sunset.

OK, so I exagerrate, but with $200 laptops and $20 GPS receivers there is no justification for not having back-ups and once you have back-ups paper charts become redundant.

It is only the cost of electronic charts, outside the area served by the enlightened NOAA, that prevents this benefit being available to everyone. It's only a matter of time before Google buy the copyright to charts of the world and overlay them on Google Earth, giving everyone the safety they crave at a price they can afford.

Chris
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Old 17-09-2008, 11:26   #13
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Well, there's always that bolt of lightening that will take everything out in one swell swoop. Also, many countries still require paper charts, so if you had an accident couldn't this be an issue, and a potential reason for your insurance to deny coverage?
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Old 17-09-2008, 11:27   #14
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Do you consider fourteen 220Ah 12V batteries, two 160Ah 12V batteries, two 80Ahr 12V batteries, three 3kW power inverters, two 72V/12V DC/DC converters and a 17.5kVA diesel generator sufficient backup for the DC system? Oh, did I mention that we have a Lagoon 420 Hybrid?

Chris
Gee Chris, why don't you just take a nuclear power plant - wouldn't that be lighter?
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Old 17-09-2008, 12:11   #15
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Gee Chris, why don't you just take a nuclear power plant - wouldn't that be lighter?
Now there's an idea! Ah, but I'd have to take two, just for the redundancy, so that might tip the balance.

The weight certainly slows us down, but the Lagoon 420 is built to take the weight, so it never seemed much of a problem. We carried over four tons/tonnes of supplies and equipment, in addition to the equipment mentioned (most of which is standard on the Hybrid). I forgot to mention the two 72VDC 10kW water-propelled generators (AKA the electric motors).

Chris
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