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Old 12-01-2012, 13:03   #61
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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.

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.
I am very familiar with my own region of the Northern BC Coast. So this summer as I have said I experimented using my garmin plotter. Well pleased never found a glitch There system has many aids, but still not the detail in the pilot guides etc.
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Old 12-01-2012, 13:09   #62
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Re: Do you still use cruising guides?

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I am very familiar with my own region of the Northern BC Coast. So this summer as I have said I experimented using my garmin plotter. Well pleased never found a glitch There system has many aids, but still not the detail in the pilot guides etc.
I find that with my plotter too. It's nice to read someone's experience approaching an anchorage or passage which the plotter doesn't cover. Actually I find the gov't charts often have anchorages marked that aren't marked on C-Maps, which I use in Jespersson's product, so I like to have charts as well.
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Old 12-01-2012, 13:18   #63
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Re: Do You Still Use Cruising Guides ?

It seems like this discussion has degraded into an either/or (tastes great/less filling) debate about paper and electrons. We use both. When we're planning a cruise like our trip to Maine this summer, we use up to date paper charts, Eldridge for tidal information and our out of date (but most recent edition) Taft. The harbors, themselves, don't change much. With modest exceptions, Taft's commentary on the highlights of various towns, harbors, islands and waterways seems to hold despite the fact that the guide is about ten years old.

Once we pick our targets, we move to more recent guides like Maptech's Embassy Cruising Guide which is dry, but has more up to date service and contact info. When we're actually out and about, we will use the electronic tools to get us the most recent information, whether that is tides confirming Eldridge, weather, or Active Captain to look for recent updates on target destinations.

As with everything about being on the water, knowing the strengths and limitations of all resources, using multiple inputs and then taking responsibility for the decisions we make based on them seems to be part of the drill. I wouldn't feel like I was fulfilling my responsibility if I limited myself to paper or electrons only.
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Old 12-01-2012, 13:32   #64
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Re: Do you still use cruising guides ?

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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.
This is certainly one way to look at ActiveCaptain - but it will make us so much poorer. There is another way to look at it - the more people participate in sharing information on ActiveCaptain, the richer your experience will be. Perhaps this is the very reason why your input is required. Make no mistake, the future is in electronic media, paper will simply and rightfully fall by the way side. This holds great promise for ActiveCaptain - if they can only sort out the zooming issue!
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Old 12-01-2012, 13:32   #65
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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.
From my experience around Vancouver Island I concur.

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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.
North West Boat Travel has ads as well. I have used the ads when I have not known where I could get provisions. They also have great instructions on how to get into Fisherman Bay on Lopez.

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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.
Dreamspeaker is pretty, but I find that Sailing Directions and the guides by Don Douglass and Réanne Hemingway-Douglass are more substantial on the west side of the Island.
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Old 12-01-2012, 13:36   #66
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Re: Do you still use cruising guides?

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Dreamspeaker is pretty, but I find that Sailing Directions and the guides by Don Douglass and Réanne Hemingway-Douglass are more substantial on the west side of the Island.
I agree, Dreamspeaker is more character then substance at times. I use the Douglass guides as well.
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Old 12-01-2012, 13:39   #67
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Re: Do you still use cruising guides ?

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This is certainly one way to look at ActiveCaptain - but it will make us so much poorer. There is another way to look at it - the more people participate in sharing information on ActiveCaptain, the richer your experience will be. Perhaps this is the very reason why your input is required. Make no mistake, the future is in electronic media, paper will simply and rightfully fall by the way side. This holds great promise for ActiveCaptain - if they can only sort out the zooming issue!
I do contribute to Active Captain and have added a few of the entries for the West of Vancouver Island.

I have a background in both studies of the future and educational technology, but I am not going to hold my breath waiting for the electronic guides to replace paper.

BTW - I am no Luddite. I carry both an Android with charts, apps, and bookmarks and a netbook with charts and Internet access - mainly for weather. In the end I use paper publications and charts for personal use and teaching. I think you need the fundamentals before venturing elsewhere.
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Old 12-01-2012, 13:41   #68
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Re: Do You Still Use Cruising Guides ?

I have yet to see anyone give a reason why any of us should trust our boats to the opinions of someone we don't know who posted on Active captain. Printed guides may have errors, but they've been compiled by competent boaters familar with the region, such as Claiborne Young, who someone mentioned earlier.
How can anyone know if the guy posting about some acnhorage is a new boater without a clue? Example - there is a chartbook out there showing an anchorage in St. augustine's creek - just over the GA boarder. Looks nice, but there's a gambling cruise ship that comes by most nights and needs the entire width of the creek. Yet someone thought it a good anchorage.
Crowdsourcing> no thanks. Give me a competent expert.
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Old 12-01-2012, 13:46   #69
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Re: Do You Still Use Cruising Guides ?

People have been saying that about paper for a long time! demand keeps increasing. People still demand hard copy? My kids love tech grew up with it it is a major part of their lives. They are between 22 and 31 and they all bought each other books as part of their Christmas.
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Old 12-01-2012, 13:56   #70
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Re: Do You Still Use Cruising Guides ?

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I have yet to see anyone give a reason why any of us should trust our boats to the opinions of someone we don't know who posted on Active captain. Printed guides may have errors, but they've been compiled by competent boaters familar with the region, such as Claiborne Young, who someone mentioned earlier.
And Claiborne was last cruising in a boat when? His books are out of print - the latest is some 6 years old.
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Old 12-01-2012, 14:13   #71
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Re: Do You Still Use Cruising Guides ?

A question to the members. Which would you consider an "expert"? Someone that landed some cash, bought a big boat and cruised up and down the ICW a handful of times? Someone that was simply passing on information from others? Or someone that spent many years cruising and writing about and sharing that information, like Claiborne Young? (Sorry but Claiborne is a friend and most of us recognize the valuable contribution he still makes to the boating community.) Someone like many members here that have experience all over the world? Which would we rely on to provide us with information we felt confident in? Most Cruising Guide Publishers like Claiborne Young and Mark Doyle will never get rich selling their guides. They do it as a service to the community they have been a part of for a lot longer than some so called "experts" have even been near a boat. I have never understood this "conversation" and I probably never will. We will all choose the format we are comfortable with and feel confident in. I know this is a detour from the original posters question but this happens EVERY time a question comes up on the board that relates to cruising guides. Anyone with a keyboard and an internet connection can post reviews on anchorages and marinas. Even if they have never owned a boat. Chuck
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Old 12-01-2012, 14:20   #72
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Re: Do You Still Use Cruising Guides ?

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Originally Posted by sailinsouth View Post
I have yet to see anyone give a reason why any of us should trust our boats to the opinions of someone we don't know who posted on Active captain. Printed guides may have errors, but they've been compiled by competent boaters familar with the region, such as Claiborne Young, who someone mentioned earlier.
How can anyone know if the guy posting about some acnhorage is a new boater without a clue? Example - there is a chartbook out there showing an anchorage in St. augustine's creek - just over the GA boarder. Looks nice, but there's a gambling cruise ship that comes by most nights and needs the entire width of the creek. Yet someone thought it a good anchorage.
Crowdsourcing> no thanks. Give me a competent expert.
Once again, this isn't really an either/or. I certainly trust the phone number for a marina in an Active Captain listing more than the number in a ten year old guide. Do I give the same credibility to a random contributor to Active Captain as to a known expert? Certainly not. However, I'll give a personal example. I hit an uncharted <5 foot rock in a well-used mooring field in an area charted as 6.5 and 9 foot depth. (My rudder draws 5 feet and that is what hit.) The rock is known to the local guys servicing the field, but it isn't marked or charted. I put the info that I struck the rock in Active Captain with the location. As someone who doesn't have a clue who I am, what should you do with that info? If it were me, the tide were low, and my draft a risk I'd probably proceed even more cautiously than normal in a relatively shoal mooring field. It's not a matter of doing what a random sailor says. It's more a matter of taking all available information and factoring it into the decisions that you have to make as the skipper.
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Old 12-01-2012, 15:19   #73
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Re: Do You Still Use Cruising Guides ?

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And Claiborne was last cruising in a boat when? His books are out of print - the latest is some 6 years old.
Okay, I guess we've hit rock bottom on this thread.

Thanks to all who answered my question. Sounds like there's still great reasons for hanging onto those old fashioned paper guides.

Back to my arm chair sailing...
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Old 12-01-2012, 15:29   #74
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Re: Do You Still Use Cruising Guides ?

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Do I give the same credibility to a random contributor to Active Captain as to a known expert? Certainly not. However, I'll give a personal example. I hit an uncharted <5 foot rock in a well-used mooring field in an area charted as 6.5 and 9 foot depth. (My rudder draws 5 feet and that is what hit.) The rock is known to the local guys servicing the field, but it isn't marked or charted. I put the info that I struck the rock in Active Captain with the location.
What response did you get from NOAA when you reported it to them? I know it took the Canadian Hydrographic Service some time to believe that there was an uncharted rock in the vicinity of Ruxton Passage. It is on newer charts.
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Old 12-01-2012, 15:34   #75
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Re: Do You Still Use Cruising Guides ?

On the west side of Banks island on Hecate Strait it is a wonderland of rock gardens the charts are good but perfect? It is a scary place in summer, god only knows what it can be like in Winter SW hurricanes.
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