Originally Posted by Cotemar
The problem with printed charts are.
1) They are obsolete the second you print them.
2) They do not have the ability to zoom into detail.
3) They take up a lot of room
4) When the government shuts down they stop printing them.
5) They do not tell you exactly where you are
6) They do not give you up to date marina and fuel info
1. 90% of the most important features on charts are totally static, or nearly so. Digital charts will probably be based on the same decades/centuries old data that paper charts are. As for bouyage, it's not exactly beyond the wit of man to make the odd correction, is it? Not as if they move them every weekend.
Here's the same chart, from 1974 and bang up to date digital.
Chart 18465 - 1974
Chart 18465 - 2013
OK, some more TSS in the 40 year newer one, and a few of the lights have changed a bit. The more important ones haven't. Everything else is the same. A few minutes with an updated list of lights, copy the boundaries of the new TSS on to the chart and you're golden. Let's face it, half a lifetime has passed since the chart was published so 10 minutes of work during that time to update it isn't too much really.
I hate to use the old 'rocks don't move' argument but... they sort of don't.
2. No-one, and I mean no-one, owns a screen
with size and resolution as good as you get with a paper chart. OK, you can't zoom in. Considering the speed our boats move at, changing charts from large scale arrival/departure to the enroute chart isn't exactly going to kill you.
3. So do computer screens, batteries to power them and solar panels
to charge them. The number of charts you can get in to a couple of draws under a chart table is actually quite impressive.
4. That's a US problem. The same thing is true of updates for digital charts. At least you can still buy paper charts from a chandlery
during one of your government shutdowns, whereas there's a risk the website you download digital charts from will shut down.
5. Mine do. This is because I know how to navigate. They continue to show me where I am after a power failure, GPS
breakage, etc, etc...
6. Neither do a lot of the digital charts I've seen. It's a chart, not an almanac.