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Old 29-05-2014, 08:57   #61
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post

I don't get the comment of turning a computer on and off for navigation. That is also how we use our chartplotter as well as our computer. It is also how we used paper charts (get them out and put them away). We never run the chartplotter or paper charts constantly when not navigating. What would be the point?
One trick I learned early on was to program the computer, via "Control Panel" to turn off the screen automatically. Control Panle allows adjustments for both screen brightness (which can usually be easily manually overridden with smart or soft keys) as well as screen off timing. It's usually called Power Management under Display in Windows. Simple. You can also adjust when the computer goes to sleep. This should not be an issue at all for power.
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Old 29-05-2014, 09:06   #62
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

When I move my boat to the East coast, I plan on getting one or two paper charts of the local area. I thought it would be good to have on hand without having to use GPS all the time.

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Originally Posted by Jammer Six View Post
Here in Puget Sound, the NOAA charts are now available as PDFs, and I'm playing with a graphics program and a 13x19 printer to make my own, smaller version of the charts I use most.

Sounds like you're doing the same as this that's already available. Couldn't this work or would you prefer trying to do it where you can print with larger pages?

http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/staff/BookletChart.html

Puget Sound is available in the Pacific Coast section.
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Old 29-05-2014, 09:24   #63
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

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Originally Posted by IdoraKeeper View Post
Dockhead, you may want the paper but you still have to lay out the route in the plotter. We deal with this all the time in the PNW. Even if you have paper you still need the GPS driven picture to avoid the obstacles along your route. A chart on the table tells you that there is a rock/reef ahead but your eyes only give you an approximate fix on your own position. In the absence of local knowledge that is not good enough. You will run aground or be forced to proceed very slowly.

It takes time to set up the route in the plotter and do the zoom in and out needed to refine a safe route. I do it at anchor the night before and then check it when I load the route in the AM. If I find a mistake I fix it prior to departure. The most challenging use of the plotter always happens if conditions force me off my route. Extreme low visability navigation on the fly in narrow rock strewn passages inhabited by fast super ferries is stressful to say the least. Nevertheless the work of doing the setup first has always payed off.
I totally agree. In fact, I think I wrote about this specifically above.

There are some things for which only paper will do

There are other things for which chartplotters are absolutely killer apps. There is nothing like having a plotter at the helm so you can see exactly where you are.

What I wrote above is that what paper cannot do is show you where YOU are in that scene. A big part of traditional navigation is figuring that out -- a plotter shows it instantly. Even with a GPS, transferring the coordinates to paper is time-consuming and can't be done continuously.

So although I sailed for decades before I acquired my first plotter, and am able to sail without a plotter, I sure wouldn't want to now.


Due to one ridiculous snafu (stupid thing on my part; I'm going to write about it separately), I sailed for two days in the Baltic without any kind of chart at all, paper or electronic. I'm ashamed to admit it. I had to get into Gedser, a Danish harbor, through rocks and shoals, with no chart other than a sketchy chartlet from the pilot book. At night!!! Well, it's possible -- I didn't run aground. Buoys, lights, clearing bearings, a hand bearing compass, Mark I eyeballs, and a depth sounder. And interpretative ability to judge what those buoys over there must mean.

If I had only had at least a paper chart, I would have had no problem. I would have simply set up waypoints with safe water between them and written down a few clearing bearings. That's how I navigated for years without a plotter.

Why didn't I have a chart? Well, I had bought (for 325 euros or something) a new Navionics Gold chart of the "Entire Baltic Sea", and it turned out not to do what it said on the tin -- "Entire Baltic Sea" excludes Denmark. So my plotter was blank in that area, and I have not yet received the full set of full sized Admiralty paper charts of the entire Baltic which a generous friend of mine, captain of an oilfield service vessel, has given to me.

As backup, I had bought (for a further 90 euros or so) a chart of the "Entire Baltic Sea" for INavX on my IPlod. Also no Danish waters (also Navionics charts )

As it turns out, however, I had the wrong bloody chip in my plotter. The Baltic chip, as it turns out, was in the drawer. If I had had the Baltic chip in the plotter, I would have had at least the essential features of Danish waters -- crucial depths, buoys, etc. It shows more detail than the INavX version
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Old 29-05-2014, 09:45   #64
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

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Originally Posted by IdoraKeeper View Post
Dockhead, you may want the paper but you still have to lay out the route in the plotter. We deal with this all the time in the PNW. Even if you have paper you still need the GPS driven picture to avoid the obstacles along your route. A chart on the table tells you that there is a rock/reef ahead but your eyes only give you an approximate fix on your own position. In the absence of local knowledge that is not good enough. You will run aground or be forced to proceed very slowly.
I construct a danger bearing when I am dealing with potentially hazardous unmarked rocks. Since I always have a handbearing compass in the cockpit, it is simply a matter of using it.

For those of you with your own boats and charts I recommend putting the danger bearing on the chart in ink. The true bearing can be in ink as well, I might put the magnetic bearing in pencil.

BTW I can also put danger bearings on my raster charts using OpenCPN.
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Old 29-05-2014, 09:47   #65
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

Other than power failure or maybe legal reasons, i see no need for paper to get anywhere. I have all the "paper"charts loaded into opencpn and can see them all at a turn of the mouse wheel. If your using a big picture chart of your route, you still need to get all the detail charts out. I dont see it as any different than a computer. Exept when i zoom in i see the same waypoint i put on the big chart. Then i can move it around alittle for obstacle avoidance and zoom back out. Really simple. And i think better than plotting transfers from one chart to the next. It all boils down to "this is how i learned so it must be right". Happens in the cad world also. Had a fella tell me once that cad could not do lofting like he used to on paper. I said "with cad, why on earth would you spend weeks to loft something the computer can do in seconds. Thats why we use cad." New technology requires a new aproach sometimes. You cant always use pencil techniques in a cad enviornment. Having said that, i learned with a pencil and drafting machine. And i have used some of that to get the cad software to do what i want. But thats probably more to do with me being self trained. I probably do the same with plotting a course for the boat because i did learn on paper.
I bet if you did a poll you would find people using paper graduated high school before there were computers in every class. And the opposite for the opencpn'ers.

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Old 29-05-2014, 10:13   #66
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

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I set depth minimums, and draw a straight (ish) path to where I want to get. Then I zoom in a little and follow the course.
And if you are beating, how do you stay on that track?

Using a danger bearing permits you to sail through an area with hazards without staring at a screen.
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Old 29-05-2014, 10:50   #67
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

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And if you are beating, how do you stay on that track?

Using a danger bearing permits you to sail through an area with hazards without staring at a screen.
This in not about traveling the course, this is about mapping it using the computer as opposed to the paper chart. We are discussing the pros and cons of paper vs electronic.
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Old 29-05-2014, 11:07   #68
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

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This in not about traveling the course, this is about mapping it using the computer as opposed to the paper chart. We are discussing the pros and cons of paper vs electronic.
On paper I construct a danger bearing. I have not seen a chartplotter that permits a danger bearing. I can construct one on a computer using OpenCPN.

Once constructed, I use a handbearing compass to keep me off the hazard. I use my eyes instead of a chartplotter.
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Old 29-05-2014, 12:41   #69
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

I learned the old way and was comfortable for years with chart, depth sounder, compass, clock, barometer and hand bearing compass for coastal cruising. I'm a belt and suspenders kind of guy in my old age but would rather have two different eletronic charts than plotter and paper. I use Coastal Explorer on a laptop and Blue Charts on an IPad to supplement the Furuno chart plotter. And I keep a hand held GPS/VHS around "just in case".

I've found that not only when planning but also when navigating a tight spot like the small boat channel of Georgian Bay using one system zoomed in and another one zoomed out works best for me.
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Old 29-05-2014, 12:46   #70
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

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On paper I construct a danger bearing. I have not seen a chartplotter that permits a danger bearing. I can construct one on a computer using OpenCPN.

Once constructed, I use a handbearing compass to keep me off the hazard. I use my eyes instead of a chartplotter.
I'm not sure I understand what you are doing. On our chartplotter, if I put the cursor anywhere, it displays the range and bearing to that point. I can easily draw a line from our boat to any point if I want. Better, I can put a waypoint on that point and activate it - now the plotter is actively giving me continual position, xte, bearing, etc regarding that point. Easy to see if you are heading at it or not.

On paper, and computer, if you draw a line from a static position, the bearing to that danger changes from that static one as you move (assuming you are not on that bearing from the beginning).

And how do you put bearings on a chart to unmarked rocks? They are unmarked, right?

Maybe I am not understanding your procedure here.

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Old 29-05-2014, 12:48   #71
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

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I've found that not only when planning but also when navigating a tight spot like the small boat channel of Georgian Bay using one system zoomed in and another one zoomed out works best for me.
Good point, your Furuno allows this split screen/different scale. I suspect other chartplotters do also? We use that function a lot for both radar and charts.

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Old 29-05-2014, 13:15   #72
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

I'm with Dockhead on this. If there's "stuff" in the waters and you're trying to lay out twelve hours en route...zoom in, zoom out, zoom in, zoom out, gets real old real fast. A nice big hunk of paper just lets you focus and concentrate without all the zoomie zoomie nonsense, and that makes the whole job easier. And safer.

There are 17" laptops commonly available, and 20-26" "all in the screen" computers as well, so all you have is a 25" flat screen, and your choice of keyboard or mouse. One of those would certainly make for less zoomie-zoomie. (And they're not terribly expensive.)
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Old 29-05-2014, 13:43   #73
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

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...
I bet if you did a poll you would find people using paper graduated high school before there were computers in every class. And the opposite for the opencpn'ers.
Could well be true, at least in a majority of cases. I think, though, that the posts right after yours discussing danger bearings may well become a "lost art" because the new gen of "navigators" are using just the screen and may not have the techniques to even do the zoom in zoom out process.

I even doubt if any of the new gen skippers using only chartplotters (even though they may have paper on board - who knows if they even look at them?) are aware of the techniques of basic chart navigation.

They're too busy following the "magenta line" and often, from stories here and on other forums, indicate they have little clue about what's around them beyond the zoom level of the screen that's in front of them.

The most basic story is, of course, the guy who programmed his chartplotter to guide his boat to the next harbor, but neglected to recognize the obstacles between them when not on a straight line between the two waypoints.
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Old 29-05-2014, 13:51   #74
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

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And how do you put bearings on a chart to unmarked rocks? They are unmarked, right?



Mark
I prefer to use an nav aid in front of my boat. I can use anything conspicuous that is on the chart and visible.

On the chart I set the limits for the bearings: In this case Not More Than 131M and Not Less Than 123M. As I go through this tight spot, I take occasional bearings with a handbearing compass on the light ahead and stay within those limits. I would also watch the deep sounder.



This Luddite used OpenCPN to get the bearings and a photo editor to add the text before uploading to my pbase account.

At one point in my career I was the Supervisor of Technology and Learning in very large school system. My major interest was the appropriate use of technology; I am very wary of the technological imperative.
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Old 29-05-2014, 14:06   #75
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

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.

I even doubt if any of the new gen skippers using only chartplotters (even though they may have paper on board - who knows if they even look at them?) are aware of the techniques of basic chart navigation.

They're too busy following the "magenta line"
Typical of paper navigators that think everyone else is a moron.

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