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Old 12-01-2012, 09:32   #46
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Re: Do you still use cruising guides?

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Originally Posted by UnlikelyVoyager View Post
The electronic guys aren't shy about jumping in with the many benefits of their products. Are any cruise-guide writers on the forum?
You can go back on this site and many, many other sites for a period of years and see the "electronics guys" jump on these types of discussions and tout how their products are superior and how flawed and biased printed guide, or anything not related to their product, are. Some seldom post any other time and it would appear that this might be simple self promotion. You are told to throw them all away and use only these new electronic and digital products. Fortunately most prudent boaters use several sources of information in many formats to obtain information and never rely on any one product. Each resource has their advantages and flaws, even great sites like ActiveCaptain. There is probably as much incorrect information there as can be found in any guide book. I have been involved in print guides in the past as well as lots of online resources. I have been an active boater for five decades and a serious cruiser for over 30 years. I would never consider placing the safety of my vessel or the comfort and pleasure of my crew on any one resource, whether it is a current or out of date cruising guide or an online source full of "local knowledge". I would think that most experienced boaters here would agree with me. If we toss out the cruising guides simply because they have advertising, we will have to toss out the TVs and radios, burn all printed materials, some would like that, AND ban just about every website on the internet since every one of these media contain advertising. Oh, and none of the information here on crusiersforum could be acceptable since there is advertising here. I would not expect anyone to believe that any source from any media is somehow corrupt or fraudulent simply because it advertises a business. We have carried various cruising guides on our boat for decades sailing the entire east, west and Gulf coasts of the U.S., the northern and western Caribbean and many inland waterways for tens of thousands of miles. At the beginning and during all of our cruises we carry our preference for the most current cruising guide for the areas we will travel, up to date paper charts, our electronic navigation, plotters and computers, and internet access to get both online and digital information. With all of this we have a complete picture of our cruising grounds long before we get there and we are able to both stay safe and enjoy the experience to the fullest. Our approach is the same that is taken both most experienced and serious cruisers that venture farther than familiar local waters. Chuck
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:07   #47
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Re: Do you still use cruising guides?

I don't see how electronic guides can replace printed guides on BC's coast. There is only a small part of the coast where you have internet coverage.

I don't know the ads, the only guide I've seen out here that has ads is the Wagoneer and interestingly enough many people swear by it. It's focus is marinas and I guess if you are spending your time in marinas then it's useful, even the ads. It doesn't cover anchorages so I haven't found it to be very helpful.

If you are anchoring out along coastal BC then a couple of printed guides are going to be awfully nice to have, the Dreamspeaker series is lovely, but web based guides will be by and large useless most of the time, in my opinion.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:15   #48
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Re: Do you still use cruising guides?

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I used my iPhone extensively for navigation, weather, tides, etc. Except for some large patches in the GA swamps and the wilderness of NC, I had internet access for most of the trip, at least at night when I was tucked up in an anchorage.
John, You'll find large portions of Penobscot Bay and Down East without Iphone / Ipad internet access. Heck, we can't even get a cell phone signal on our mooring, let alone many of the islands we visit. - Colin
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:17   #49
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Re: Do you still use cruising guides?

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I don't see how electronic guides can replace printed guides on BC's coast. There is only a small part of the coast where you have internet coverage.
Again, at least for us, 80% of the access of our data is offline without any internet connectivity. Have you seen all the BC coastal data that we have?

But you know, no matter what any of us might think about paper guides, and we can argue about their merits and applicability, you can't dispute the safety element possible with the electronic medium.

Here's a wonderful example - this just came in 15 minutes ago. A red daymarker was hit and sheared off near the waterline. It's in an open part of the channel and very easy to veer over with the potential to cause great harm. There is no Local Notice to Mariners report on it - I doubt that the Coast Guard knows about it yet. They'll publish a listing on it in a week or so. And yet, in the electronics, there it is waiting to assist and warn you right now.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:18   #50
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Re: Do you still use cruising guides?

I think there may be some confusion in this thread in regards guides. In the US, there are commercially produced cruising guides, and then there are the government produced Coast Pilot guides.

The Coast Pilot is available digitally, and updates are regular. You can sign up for update notices to be sent via email

United States Coast Pilot®
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:25   #51
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Re: Do you still use cruising guides?

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The fourth electronic tool is Google Earth. There isn't any nautical information on here, but I have found it to be extremely valuable for getting an idea of what the land looks like in a given area -- gives me a great way to get oriented. I wish Google Earth would add nautical information -- they already have Google Maps -- why not Google Charts? Seamlessly joined? Would be terrific!
Just a note on using Google Earth: This is what I did when preparing a trip from Dieppe, France to Ostende, Belgium in September 2011. I had last been in Ostende in 2008 so checked my cruising guide, the two on-board electronic navigational systems and finally Google Earth to find out that all in Ostende was as I remembered it.

However, when I tried to enter Ostende on a really dark night at 2300hrs I found rocks barring my way to the harbour entrance - they had built two new breakwaters around the old breakwaters, moved the entrance 150m to the NE which was now marked only by two floating buoys, no lights yet on the breakwater!

The adrelalin was pumping!
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:40   #52
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Re: Do you still use cruising guides ?

We used a digital cruising guide for New Caledonia in 2009. Frankly, it was a royal pain in the rear. We found ourselves printing the info and images for approaches and anchorages for the areas we visited. It would have been less time consuming and more convenient if a paper printed copy had been available rather than the digital version of the guide.

So, the answer to the OP question is a resounding YES -- we still use printed cruising guides when available. Use Google Earth and print aerial views when cruising areas for which a printed guide is not available.

Judy
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:55   #53
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Re: Do you still use cruising guides?

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Originally Posted by ActiveCaptain View Post
Again, at least for us, 80% of the access of our data is offline without any internet connectivity. Have you seen all the BC coastal data that we have?

But you know, no matter what any of us might think about paper guides, and we can argue about their merits and applicability, you can't dispute the safety element possible with the electronic medium.

Here's a wonderful example - this just came in 15 minutes ago. A red daymarker was hit and sheared off near the waterline. It's in an open part of the channel and very easy to veer over with the potential to cause great harm. There is no Local Notice to Mariners report on it - I doubt that the Coast Guard knows about it yet. They'll publish a listing on it in a week or so. And yet, in the electronics, there it is waiting to assist and warn you right now.
If you have internet access that will help you but that will do nothing for your offline access.

The coverage in BC is quite extensive in the gulf and the broughtons where everyone goes. I'm sure it's useful for people who've never been there.

On the other hand you can buy a couple of guides and read the experiences of someone whose experience you trust or use that mystical combined wisdom of the internet. Still, there is something to be said for a hard copy and most of the coastal waters of BC are not covered. The guides don't cover everything either but a couple of guides combined can be a big help.
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:04   #54
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Re: Do you still use cruising guides?

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If you have internet access that will help you but that will do nothing for your offline access.
I guess you really should experience it and then see how it all works. And seriously, if you get what you need from the guidebooks, rock on.
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:25   #55
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Re: Do you still use cruising guides ?

I have looked at it. You have almost no coverage on the west coast of Vancouver Island or the north coast. I don't like signing up for things that appear to have little use for me, however I did try to sign up to be fair but a yahoo email address wasn't acceptable and I didn't want to offer up one of my other addresses.
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:24   #56
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Re: Do you still use cruising guides ?

I signed up with my yahoo email address without problems!
Maybe try again??
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:26   #57
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Again. I live charts and tides us west. Use it ony iPhone and my iPad. Maybe I'm just a tech junkie , but I love active captains info and think they did a great job. Sheesh , I went to the NOAA site and downloaded all the coast pilots , someday maybe I will figure out how to get any info out of them ......,,, much rather zoom and pan around on my iPad or iPhone even , and see visually what and where I am looking for stuff. The amount if data available. For cruising the pacific northwest and the piglet sound , via active captain is simply amazing. Can't think of any other place you can get so much local knowledge and user reviews. When plans change on the fly and I need info right now , last thing I want to do is sit down and try and find that stuff in a table of contents or index in the back of a book. Search happens on like less than two seconds.
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:31   #58
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Sheesh. Two seconds. Looks like lots of markers with no zooming
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:38   #59
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Re: Do You Still Use Cruising Guides ?

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Attachment 35902

Sheesh. Two seconds. Looks like lots of markers with no zooming
Yes but that's not the west coast of the island or the north coast of BC, if your replying to my comment. They are also areas with virtually no internet coverage though as per ActiveCaptain's comment if there was coverage there you could download it in advance.
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:38   #60
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Re: Do You Still Use Cruising Guides ?

And if you are somewhere without internet or mobile phone access? Believe it or not there are lots of areas which don't! This includes a lot of the areas in which I sail and I'm talking the UK not Patagonia.
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