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Old 04-10-2010, 16:05   #76
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OMG yes... it amazes me how many people either dont have them, or have charts that are 20 yrs old. If something goes wrong with your power you should have something to navigate by.
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Old 04-10-2010, 16:13   #77
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Yes, on my boat, I don't have that much faith in my electronics.
Think about that one next time you strap yourself into a commercial aircraft. Especially when on a newer design with aerodynamic controls, engine thrust, and brakes all totally dependent on the electrons behaving properly since they no longer use mechanical cables. Some aircraft also experience salt air at airports adjacent to the oceans, in addition to occasional volcanic dust, outside temperatures that are minus 60 degrees F, and the odd cup of coffee spilled on the center console. And remember if it all goes wrong, you will be six to eight miles ABOVE the sea, in air too thin to sustain you, and going 100 times faster than your boat.

Now surely you will feel a lot better about your electronics while sitting on the ocean doing six to eight knots?
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Old 04-10-2010, 16:15   #78
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This debate, like a lot on this subject, trends towards absolutism.

I sail alot, when I can I carry paper charts, especially IMRAY, which I use mainly for planning and as a backup. But in my experience, most people do not carry paper charts in anywhere near the detail that is available to them on the plotters. On this side of the pond, charts are insanely expensive, Forexample I calulated on a recent trip from the UK to the canaries, that I would need close to 50 charts ( at an average price of 40 dollars), thats 2K dollars and even with 50 charts I am missing many detailed ports of refuge information. The module in my chart plotters references over 250 charts for 350 dollars.

It is an unforunate fact that paper charts are disapearring from boats and by that I mean proper chart sets. The rise of IMRAY style charts shows this to be the case, nobody can afford a complete set of Admiralty charts anymore.

The argument about software ( or hardware quality) is irrelevant.You dont need bug free code,merely free enough to perform 99.9% of the time. The resulting .1% results in your death so what, we all accept this everytime we get into a car/aircraft/elevator etc. We accept a "failure rate" for the convience.

The fact is that "traditional" methods of navigation are just or arguably more as unsafe as modern ones. History is full of sextant error fatalties and paper charts anomalies.

Lastly merely pushing buttons does not shut your brain down.

Just for info, I can and do use a sextant ( and I can even do lunar distance calulations!) but its a hobby,

DAve
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Old 04-10-2010, 16:55   #79
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I had a interesting experience just a few weeks ago. I'm sailing up the Connecticut River planning to visit Hamburg Cove for the first time:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: NOAA, NO WHA? & THE HAPPY ENDING
So I'm using my Standard Horizon 180i GPS at the helm and enjoying the sail. As I just pass Essex Connecticut it stops working. Seems my CMap chart cartridge does not have coverage beyond Essex. Happily, I had my chart book out with me in the cockpit so I just used that for the rest of the trip.

Some also might also remember a few years ago a small cruise ship ended up on the rocks by Nantucket after sailing from Bermuda. Seems somehow the GPS antenna got knocked out and the unit chart plotter went into dead reckoning mode. But, no one at the helm noticed until it hit the shoal. Doh!

I love the my 180i GPS and agree it has made my cruising less stressful and safer. But, I agree with others it is just another tool in the navigation kit. I may not look at the chart as much now that I have a GPS/Chartplotter at the helm but, I do have a chart available in the cockpit and do look at it on every passage at some point even with the GPS right there.


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Old 04-10-2010, 18:43   #80
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Paper a definite yes. Electronics certainly. They are complimentary, not alternates.

If anything has changed, I just feel less need to carry lots of detailed paper charts. But that depends a bit on what I plan to do ...
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Old 04-10-2010, 23:19   #81
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Paper vs electrons

Timely query,crew
I cruise the east coast of Oz, and have paper charts to get me from Tasmania in the cold south to Lizard island in the tropical north. I enjoy taking 3 point fixes and pencil lines on charts, and I only rub them out when they're dead wrong. But. First mate and I are planning to return to her home country - France, via the North Indian ocean, Sri lanka and Djibouti, and I'm torn between the library of charts I will need, and the current offerings for my laptop computer. OpenCPn, Software on Board, MaxSea. Any thoughts on preferences between one computer-based charting system and another. Cheers. Bill
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Old 05-10-2010, 06:01   #82
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I've sailed a few boats with these things. I'm aware of the red coloring available, but it's still a really bright screen dead ahead of you. I find myself like a moth inexorably attracted to the screen. Your experience may differ, but I'd much rather have a general idea of where I am and be able to see rather than stare mindlessly at the "TV" while staying between the markers.

In a past life I worked motoryachts as crew, My bridge watches usually consisted of getting my bearings and putting a towel over all the monitors except rader, uncovering every 1/2 hour for log updates.
100% agree. On a recent passage, I found that it was important for the non-helmsman to stay away from the helm station to keep from getting sucked into that display. Otherwise, we might well have hit something that wasn't on the display. I.E., another vessel.
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Old 05-10-2010, 06:51   #83
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... I don't have that much faith in my electronics ...
I have been using charting software on a laptop since 1993 and so far (perhaps 70,000 NM) have not had a failure on the system. It's simply a GPS (of varying vintages over the years) plugged into either a serial port or a serial-to-USB cable on the computer (also of varying vintages over the years), etc. I like it.

At the same time I recently spent hundreds of dollars to obtain a set of charts for the Newfoundland South Coast that I used this past summer. They worked quite well with no failures. I just can't imagine entering a strange harbor without a paper chart in my hand, while at the same time staring intently at the laptop.

I long ago gave up trying to convince others about anything related to sailing, but still cannot imagine placing total reliance on electronics. They are great and have served me well, but too much can go wrong (even though it hasn't yet). Seems to me that if a person has little faith in his or her electronics he or she should perhaps change equipment.
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:10   #84
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Now there are certainly differences between driving a car and piloting a boat but this experience is what every 20-40 year old is having today when they go on road trips now. I doubt any of them have a road atlas or a fold-up map with them. I certainly don't and have no intention of ever buying a road map again.

Those are the current and next generation of boaters.
In the 50's, 60's and early 70's they used to keep racks of maps in every gas station. They had county, state and neighboring states, and regional maps. FREE! If you pulled in to ask directions, they'd open a map and show you... "You're HERE,..." and so on, then hand you the map to take with you.

Then they started charging for them, now some of them charge for the same AIR we breath for free!

BTW -- When I was a kid I never thought I'd have to pay for a drink of water. The TV came over the air and the phone came over the wire. I know I sound like a curmudgen... but what's next?
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:41   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
This debate, like a lot on this subject, trends towards absolutism.

I sail alot, when I can I carry paper charts, especially IMRAY, which I use mainly for planning and as a backup. But in my experience, most people do not carry paper charts in anywhere near the detail that is available to them on the plotters. On this side of the pond, charts are insanely expensive, Forexample I calulated on a recent trip from the UK to the canaries, that I would need close to 50 charts ( at an average price of 40 dollars), thats 2K dollars and even with 50 charts I am missing many detailed ports of refuge information. The module in my chart plotters references over 250 charts for 350 dollars.

It is an unforunate fact that paper charts are disapearring from boats and by that I mean proper chart sets. The rise of IMRAY style charts shows this to be the case, nobody can afford a complete set of Admiralty charts anymore.

The argument about software ( or hardware quality) is irrelevant.You dont need bug free code,merely free enough to perform 99.9% of the time. The resulting .1% results in your death so what, we all accept this everytime we get into a car/aircraft/elevator etc. We accept a "failure rate" for the convience.

The fact is that "traditional" methods of navigation are just or arguably more as unsafe as modern ones. History is full of sextant error fatalties and paper charts anomalies.

Lastly merely pushing buttons does not shut your brain down.

Just for info, I can and do use a sextant ( and I can even do lunar distance calulations!) but its a hobby,

DAve
Man thats a lot of charts... were you harbour hopping..
Poole to Gibralter I used 2 charts.. 1 for the Western Channel and one that covered La Coruna to Gib... both with insets of primary and secondary ports etc along the way.
I guess its a case of sailed it so many times its sorta local... you get to recognise where you are just looking at the coastline landmarks without referall after a while..
No mockery intended.. just different strokes..
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:01   #86
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I currently have about 18" of charts lying flat, separated by region, stacked up in my pilot berth (Imray, BA, US, French, and the odd AU/NZ). I've also got a navcomp with a lot of electronic charts. I spend most of my time in the cockpit and heading down to look at the navcomp's a pita. I have a good GPS in the cockpit with the route all laid out. With a good GPS and a bit of customization, I get 95% of the info I need from that little 4" display, all weather, low power, device. I look at that far more than I look at the navcomp screen. I was never in love with TV.

The charts, by now well used with pencil marks, erasures, stains, and the odd squiggle or three, all serve to remind me of my last passage in those waters. I suppose I could always look at the cookie crumbs on the navcomp, but I seem to prefer the look of the chart.

I like to think of it as wearing a belt and suspenders. Which you prefer is up to you.
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:24   #87
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The fact is that "traditional" methods of navigation are just or arguably more as unsafe as modern ones. History is full of sextant error fatalities and paper charts anomalies.


DAve
Great comments Dave, spot on... including the parts I snipped.

I still like to carry paper charts even though I don't ever use them anymore. As a coastal sailor I never learned to use a sextant, though I inherited one that's kept in the attic. I have 4 GPS receivers aboard of various types. With multiple battery banks and all that redundancy it is highly unlikely we will be without GPS.

Beyond control is the US Department of Defense, or some act of war by an enemy of the US that can introduce GPS errors at-will or simply jam or shut the whole system down. In that event my biggest concern would not be the GPS system itself.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:14   #88
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One of the reasons for the demise of the paper chart is the outrageous cost. Last year we visited Greenland and Iceland. The electronic chart cost £230.00. The back up paper charts would have cost £1,700.00. We made do with a large scale planning chart as the paper backup. If the Admiralty could get it's head around the idea of mass marketing they'd sell far more charts.

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Old 05-10-2010, 10:40   #89
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The back up paper charts would have cost £1,700.00.
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Someone like to calculate the cost of paper charts I would have needed?

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Old 05-10-2010, 10:45   #90
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One of the reasons for the demise of the paper chart is the outrageous cost. Last year we visited Greenland and Iceland. The electronic chart cost £230.00. The back up paper charts would have cost £1,700.00. We made do with a large scale planning chart as the paper backup. If the Admiralty could get it's head around the idea of mass marketing they'd sell far more charts.

P.

Here in the US i've been buying 2/3 size black and white prints. Much cheaper, and by folding in half only they fit perfectly on the nav desk.
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