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Old 02-06-2011, 15:50   #286
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

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Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
Google Earth images are nice for seeing where people are anchoring, where boats transit(if you can spot wakes), and for getting a general idea about an area but I would not trust them to plot waypoints or use with plotting software although the calibrated files APPEAR to work. As Osirissail has mentioned, there is no useful information and I have not been able to even detect buoys which would present a way to at least compare to charts.
I did not say that! - I said that Google Earth Photos are a useful tool to get additional information about a place of interest. Information that is not present in/on actual Nautical Charts. Such nautical charts may also be grossly out of date but at least they do indicate where underwater hazards to your boat's health may be or "used to be."
- - But as others have mentioned Google Earth is only an additional tool to be used to assist you in visualizing your place of interest - However, you must be prepared and aware that things depicted on Google Earth photos can be long gone and no longer exist or have been significantly changed.
- - As smurphny states - "Use them to get a general idea but that's it."
- - As to using them for navigation of a vessel that is really pushing your luck, not to mention the legal requirements for insurance and other purposes.
- - The prudent navigator will seek out any and all information relevant to his journey, but carefully weigh them as to their veracity and currentness.
- - And as boatman61 states "You play with your new toys and I'll stick with my Charts, Sounder and eyeballs thank you... served me well to date.... That and a good pinch of common sense..." there is no replacement for good old basic navigation techniques and principles, first, last and always.
- - Dustymc obviously has never been to St Georges as his upper Google Earth clip is of the "Carnage" which is off limits to recreational vessels so the information is not relevant to cruising vessels. The Google Earth photo that contains the "Lagoon" is also useless as the whole Lagoon has significantly changed and is no longer available as an anchorage.
- - This is where the prudent navigator also has at hand current "Guide books" such as the Chris Doyle series which Chris updates frequently - both the book and in his on-line website for the very "latest."
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Old 02-06-2011, 16:34   #287
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

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Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
I did not say that! - I said that Google Earth Photos are a useful tool to get additional information about a place of interest."
I agree completely, Google Earth is not, nor was it ever, intended to be a navigation tool.
If you want (A probably way out of date) general picture of the location you are heading for, it will likely give you a very good impression of the town / city whatever and give you some idea of where things of interest are and how to get there.
But don’t ever think for a moment that it’s up to date.
In example;
G.E shows my harbour (Hamilton Dock, Lowestoft, UK) as being a very tempting, large open and empty space to pop in and drop anchor or even tie up with ease.
The reality is that a couple of very large pontoons and about 70 boats of various shapes and sizes now take up much of that “Empty” space and the changes were made more than three years ago.
My house in a Norfolk village is identified as a “Public House” and although I like the idea of living in a Pub, I don’t actually do so.
Ergo, I view G.E as being a “Toy” rather than a tool.
I’m sure that over time, real time satellite imagery Will become integrated with All E.Nav systems but at the moment, G.E is little more than a baby step in that direction.
And anyone who uses it as a navigation aid would undoubtedly benefit from some basic courses in marine navigation and be a heck of a lot safer as well.
James
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Old 02-06-2011, 16:40   #288
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

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Dustymc obviously has never been to St Georges
If I ever make it and see that picture, now I'll know I'm lost!

Nice post, by the way. Electronic chartplotters, paper maps, georeferenced photographs, depthsounders, sextants, whatever - they're all just tools. Used knowledgeably, all of them can help us get where we're going, and used incorrectly all of them are capable of leading us to trouble.
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Old 02-06-2011, 17:01   #289
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

Two years ago, transiting the Cape Cod Canal, my Garmin chartplotter would have had me up 1000 yards driving on the road that parallels the canal. GPS is great to get you CLOSE as long as you have the common sense to keep your eyes open and know where you are by using a number of tricks such as depth, ranges, landmarks, and all the little clues that a good sailor keeps in his/her own computer up there between the ears.
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Old 03-06-2011, 02:11   #290
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

I'm with Mark on this one. As long as islands didn't move, Google Earth with GPS link and cached sat data can be a very good navigational tool. If for nothing else, it allows you to calibrate your regular chart until you get within radar range to confirm.

If you are in areas where charts are accurate, you don't need this at all. If you are where charts are flaky and miles off, it does help to use a tool that provides an accurate location of your destination.

I don't understand all the remarks about marina's, anchored boats and changed docks in Grenada... how does that prevent you from plotting an approach waypoint to the island/port with the sat image? When you get close enough to think about anchoring/docking you better stop looking at your charts and photo's ... use eyeballs and/or radar/flir and other short range nav methods.

We have cruised the Florida keys in 2003 and available charts and marked channels were off enough to stop us entering ports/places. When I later looked at these places with Google Earth, I realized that it would have taken me there as it showed me the bottom contours and thus the way around the shallows. Channels and markers were not maintained. The only other tools to help in those situations is local knowledge and forward looking sonar.

ciao!
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Old 03-06-2011, 11:57   #291
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

This photo is of the navigation console of a Canadian Coast Guard Rescue Vessel.




The label below the chartplotter just about says it all.
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:10   #292
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pirate Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

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This photo is of the navigation console of a Canadian Coast Guard Rescue Vessel.




The label below the chartplotter just about says it all.
+1A....
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Old 03-06-2011, 14:06   #293
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

"Not to be used as sole means of navigation".... what a ridiculous label. You could justifiably put that sign under the wet compass and be just as correct. What good is a knowing your mag heading if you don't know where you are going and where you started from? Or how fast you are going?

Can you use a paper chart as the "sole means of navigation"? Without looking outside? Without a compass? How can you plot your position on paper chart without some other piece of equipment, like a pencil? How will you determine your speed? Does a flashlight to illuminate the paper in the dark constitute an additional piece of technology? That the CanCG feels the need to put those words under a chart plotter doesn't say much about how they train their coxswains. Nothing should be your sole means of navigation.

No one proposes to use an electronic chart or a chart plotter as the "sole means" of navigation. We all have compasses and binoculars and depth sounders and eyeballs and so forth.

However, consider this hypothetical: you are entering a strange harbor at night, known for its strong cross currents and tightly marked channels. You can choose only one means of navigating from the following two choices:
A) a GPS chartplotter with up to date charts, mounted right next to the helm or;
B) a paper chart, latest edition.

That's it. No flashlights, no binoculars, no spotlights, no depth sounders, no pencils, no knotlogs. No other technology. I.E, you are actually faced with choosing what that ridiculous little label proposes: a single source of navigation. Just ONE THING.

I choose the chart plotter every time.

How about you?
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Old 03-06-2011, 14:55   #294
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

There are plenty of places where GPS nav, for reasons such as recording error, accuracy variations, and any number of variables is not dependable enough to trust 100%. I am picturing, for example, the entrance to Menemsha Harbor: about 100 yards wide, current running 5-6 knots, requiring a sharp turn to port in EXACTLY the right spot so as not to go aground or crash into boats on the pier. NO WAY would I even think of using a chartplotter for this and in fact would expect to hit something attempting something so foolish. In Doug's scenario, I would turn around.

You would think the Canadian CG guys would know the idea behind this sticker already. So who is meant to read it?
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Old 03-06-2011, 16:46   #295
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

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"Not to be used as sole means of navigation".... <snip>

Nothing should be your sole means of navigation.

I need a sign like that to hang around my neck so when people are on my boat they stop thinking I know where we're going!
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Old 03-06-2011, 20:26   #296
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

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Originally Posted by doug86 View Post
However, consider this hypothetical: you are entering a strange harbor at night, known for its strong cross currents and tightly marked channels. You can choose only one means of navigating from the following two choices:
A) a GPS chartplotter with up to date charts, mounted right next to the helm or;
B) a paper chart, latest edition.

That's it. No flashlights, no binoculars, no spotlights, no depth sounders, no pencils, no knotlogs. No other technology. I.E, you are actually faced with choosing what that ridiculous little label proposes: a single source of navigation. Just ONE THING.

I choose the chart plotter every time.

How about you?
Sorry but I would choose to stand off and not enter... and I think that is the only right decision. I would attempt this only when I can add my radar and auto-pilot to that chart plotter.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 03-06-2011, 22:08   #297
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

Yes, but my thoughts are a chart book on hand just for redundancy to my 3 Itronix and 1 solid statee PC, 2 handheld GPS's and an old Magellan 1000
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Old 03-06-2011, 22:16   #298
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

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There are plenty of places where GPS nav, for reasons such as recording error, accuracy variations, and any number of variables is not dependable enough to trust 100%. I am picturing, for example, the entrance to Menemsha Harbor: about 100 yards wide, current running 5-6 knots, requiring a sharp turn to port in EXACTLY the right spot so as not to go aground or crash into boats on the pier. NO WAY would I even think of using a chartplotter for this and in fact would expect to hit something attempting something so foolish. In Doug's scenario, I would turn around.

You would think the Canadian CG guys would know the idea behind this sticker already. So who is meant to read it?

Years ago, the Commanding General of the 2nd Infantry Div in Korea sent out a memo. Best of my recolection was 'LORAN and GPS are not to be used to navigate thru minefields'

Why did he have to put out that letter? Yep, we lost a few dipsticks.
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Old 04-06-2011, 01:13   #299
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

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Sorry but I would choose to stand off and not enter... and I think that is the only right decision. I would attempt this only when I can add my radar and auto-pilot to that chart plotter.

ciao!
Nick.
Surely you didn't mean to sat auto-pilot? You would use your auto-pilot to enter a strange harbour at night?
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:37   #300
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

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Years ago, the Commanding General of the 2nd Infantry Div in Korea sent out a memo. Best of my recolection was 'LORAN and GPS are not to be used to navigate thru minefields'

Why did he have to put out that letter? Yep, we lost a few dipsticks.

I don't know much about mine fields, but it would seem to me the issue is that no navigation technology can deal with such tiny resolution. I would guess that 6" either way makes a big difference in a land mine field, and GPS can't reach that accuracy.

Today's GPS can achieve 6' accuracy, which should be fine for navigating most channels.
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