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Old 02-10-2010, 11:56   #1
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Does Anyone Still Use Paper Charts ?

Forgive my ignorance: Anyone still using "paper charts"??

(Yes! Paper! Huge in size, you'd have to fold them many times to use them on yachts, and you could actually chart your course and position on them with a pencil....... and part of the fun of meeting other cruisers in port was the big trading-game(!) ::

(Nowadays I am almost 24/7 behind the computer, I love them, I hate them, they make me a good living since I cant be cruising right now, but I have a deep distrust for all these "electronic" gadgets in salt-water-environment.

Maybe worth a separate thread but it would be interesting to find out how many of you still know how to and actually do use sextants and nautical almanachs in every day operation on a boat?
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:04   #2
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Yes. Used to use them all the time, then got seduced by electronic charts, but still wherever I go I keep a paper chart or charts of the area in a waterproof transparent map case tethered in the cockpit - that is my (cheap and easy) answer to chart plotters or outside monitors.
The sextant gets dusted off about once a year to check on it and do a shot, reduction, and plot a LOP; haven't plotted my course exclusively with it for twenty years...

Michael
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:04   #3
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Forgive my ignorance: Anyone still using "paper charts"?? ...
... Maybe worth a separate thread but it would be interesting to find out how many of you still know how to and actually do use sextants and nautical almanachs in every day operation on a boat?
Yes, already we've had several versions of that interesting conversation.
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:13   #4
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There is much material in the archives.

I could probably summarize:

1. Marine electronics are very reliable. Hardly anyone has any deep distrust of them.

2. Some people don't use paper charts any more and don't seem to miss them.

3. More people do use them or at least keep them on board, and would feel uncomfortable with them.

4. Paper charts can do a couple of things which plotters so far still can't, like easily checking a whole route for hazards or obstructions. On a plotter you have to scroll, zoom, scroll, zoom, scroll, zoom etc. etc. to do that, and people have run right up onto rocks because they didn't check out their route first.

5. Almanacs are not the same thing as charts. They are absolutely essential in tidal waters. In easier waters you can probably get away with a pilot book but you need one or another if you need to do any pilotage.

6. Few people are able to use sextants any more.
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:39   #5
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Most boaters don't know diddly aboot charts....

I even had one person ask me how to get to the Eastern Shore of The Chesapeake.....

"Well do you know where the "Spider Mark is at Bowleys?"

Head East from there.......on a clearish day....YOU CAN SEE IT!!!!!!!!!!!

Way too much dependency on Electronics IMHO
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:41   #6
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charts, yes. sextant, no.
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:52   #7
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I had an interesting experience last Fall. We brought the boat into Charleston for a month with plans to drive to my wife's parents for Thanksgiving for a few days during our time there. So we rented a car, jumped in, and took off over roads that I've never been on, in a city where I had never driven in my life.

I never even thought about having a paper map with me. When I got in the car, I popped my phone into the 12v charger, typed in the address where we were going, and headed down the road for 6 hours following the "turn left" and "turn right" spoken directions. I never once worried whether I'd get to my destination or not.

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.
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:59   #8
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Now there are certainly differences between driving a car and piloting a boat . . ..
Umm, yes, like the fact that there are no roads in the ocean. And no shoals or underwater hazards on the roads, just to name a couple of examples.

If the ocean were like the roads, there would be no need at all for paper charts, I agree, or for chart study, or for pilotage. But, it's not.
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:06   #9
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Yes, already we've had several versions of that interesting conversation.
Mea Chulpa!

I actually wrote this posting into another thread about them electronic charts, sort of as a remark on the sideline...

But, even so, I think some issues are so vital it doesnt hurt if they pup up again and again - and as to sextants & paper-charts and all the other "old fashioned stuff": I personally believe that "decent seamanship" requires good knowledge - and occasional use! - of these techniques.

I will be entering the new "electronicised" age of sailing soon, chart-plotter & GPS included, but I already now know that I'll be using GPS only for entering ports or anchorages but never for cruising........
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:13   #10
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Umm, yes, like the fact that there are no roads in the ocean. And no shoals or underwater hazards on the roads, just to name a couple of examples.
Yeah...like I said, there's a difference. But you missed the entire point of my posting.
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:16   #11
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:30   #12
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Yeah...like I said, there's a difference. But you missed the entire point of my posting.
I think I caught it very well. I'm just politely disagreeing with it.

If I may paraphrase: Frank Sinatra generation -- paper; I-Phone generation -- electronic. Not to put too fine a point on it. Road = ocean. But road does not equal ocean; ocean is many layers more complex and challenging than roads. It takes more than a thumbboard to deal with it.
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:32   #13
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Mea Chulpa!
I actually wrote this posting into another thread about them electronic charts, sort of as a remark on the sideline...
But, even so, I think some issues are so vital it doesnt hurt if they pup up again and again ...
Ideed. I was merely responding to your "Maybe worth a separate thread..." comment, with which I agree. This may be that (one of those) separate thread(s).
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:47   #14
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Have -yes, use - no. Friend of mine uses GPS as time piece for sextant, go figure!
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:51   #15
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Yes, on my boat, I don't have that much faith in my electronics.
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