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Old 09-07-2012, 10:39   #136
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

Basically, the only electronic charting device approved and in use for SOLAS regulations because have a hig degree of acuracy is ECDIS.

Others like Navionics, Cmap, Garmin etc... got errors, i mean , are very accurate but the Disclaimer say it very clear.

People navigating across areas full of reefs, aproaching unknown Harbours , crossing bars or shallow banks, etc... and trusting and following a electronic charting system as a primary and definitive source of navigation are putting the vessel and crew in risk.

We see it everyday when we see news talking about a ship in a reef or a boat grounded in a well charted area.

So no matter what kind of backup you got, just be sure is at least accurate .
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:47   #137
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

Good point. Our "home grounds" are full of unsurveyed areas, including reefs, rocks, bars, and thousands of coral heads. I might feel differently if all our sailing was in deep water with nothing around to run into. Who cares if you're ten meters off if you're sailing from San Diego to Hawaii? Or Block Island to Nantucket? Doesn't matter.

Here, as in the Bahamas, it definitely matters.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:15   #138
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

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Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
Good point. Our "home grounds" are full of unsurveyed areas, including reefs, rocks, bars, and thousands of coral heads. I might feel differently if all our sailing was in deep water with nothing around to run into. Who cares if you're ten meters off if you're sailing from San Diego to Hawaii? Or Block Island to Nantucket? Doesn't matter.

Here, as in the Bahamas, it definitely matters.
It would be great to do a comparrison. My own impression is that electronic charts are prepared to include data from several sources, while "official" charts will only include the detail of the original sounding ( or soundings). Data from any non official source is not included untill it has been verified which may take many years.

For example the area I am sailing at the moment was subject to an unofficial survey by a retired navy cartographer. He published a series of maps and pilot guide. It's expensive with 5 volumes in booklet form, each volume costs about $130.
He did extensive soundings of many of the smaller anchorages that are of no use to large ships and therefore tend to poorly covered in the official charts.
I have noticed much of this data is included in electronic charts, but not official paper charts.
These differences between paper and electronic charts only show up most in areas that are out of the way and therefore poorly surveyed.

Electronic charts have not been around long so I am interested in other peoples Impression. Much of my sailing was done without electronic charts so their are many areas that I know well where I have only seen paper charts so no comparrision can be made.
I have only been able to make a comparrision over the last few years and this sailing has been mainly in Europe so other areas may be very different.

What is everyone's impression are electronic charts better, worse, or the same ( as paper charts) for small boat navigation.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:34   #139
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There are two threads and issues mixed up here.

Firstly electronic charts have nothing to do with GPS. You could in theory use such charts with sextant based position fixes.

Secondly in time and not so far away all the source data for paper and digital charts is in itself digital so the solution to backup paper charts would be to print out such charts on a home printer. ( or via a service provider). This is just a copyright issue not a technical one.

So the debate is somewhat ridiculous. The data is digital, whether one carries it as a printed paper form or a vector database.

The vagaries of position fixing is a different discussion altogether.

Dave
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:43   #140
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

For long distance crusers part of the problem, when comparing The performance of paper and electronic charts, is that it is not feasible to have all the detailed paper charts of an area. The cost alone for an area that you might stay in for only a few weeks is not practical.
So we often make do with fewer, less detailed, paper charts and ironically the locals that stay in the one area and know it well, are the people carrying the more detailed paper charts.

The cheap price of electronic charts has changed this for long distance crusers. The most detailed electronic maps for the whole of Europe can be purchased for only $60 or so. I can download two or three types of electronic maps for the same area some rastar some vector without breaking the bank. Many maps are free.

For the first time it's possible for a long distance crusing boat to have extensive maps of an area. If we travel to new and unexpected area new maps can be downloaded off the Internet.
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Old 09-07-2012, 15:23   #141
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
There are two threads and issues mixed up here.

Firstly electronic charts have nothing to do with GPS. You could in theory use such charts with sextant based position fixes.

Secondly in time and not so far away all the source data for paper and digital charts is in itself digital so the solution to backup paper charts would be to print out such charts on a home printer. ( or via a service provider). This is just a copyright issue not a technical one.

So the debate is somewhat ridiculous. The data is digital, whether one carries it as a printed paper form or a vector database.

The vagaries of position fixing is a different discussion altogether.

Dave
My understanding is that this is exactly the case, for e.g., with Garmin's electronic charting for the Bahamas. They are based directly on the Explorer paper charts which seem to have a good rep.
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Old 09-07-2012, 15:28   #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow
There are two threads and issues mixed up here.

Firstly electronic charts have nothing to do with GPS. You could in theory use such charts with sextant based position fixes.

Secondly in time and not so far away all the source data for paper and digital charts is in itself digital so the solution to backup paper charts would be to print out such charts on a home printer. ( or via a service provider). This is just a copyright issue not a technical one.

So the debate is somewhat ridiculous. The data is digital, whether one carries it as a printed paper form or a vector database.

The vagaries of position fixing is a different discussion altogether.

Dave
Dave,

While you are right, you are oversimplifying the issue.

The data source for charts is not as important and the method of use. Almost no one uses anything other than gps for serious navigation. Other than fools like meself or old salts thats use eyes and casual running bearings from a hockey puck compass....

I think what is not being discussed is not the electronic vs paper as much as the behaviours that surround one who relies totally on electronic versus one who relies on a mix to electronic and paper.

Plug and play sailing, while defo easier than a mix of traditional and electronic, does not lend itself to a sailor who is more informed and in touch with his surrounding.

I'll take all comers on this argument, as you have no leg to stand on. If you have not had to approach a harbor with out full knowledge of your position and then had to make careful and safe decisions on how to approach land with this lack of knowledge them you don't have the same experience base. This trepidation on approach never leaves you even if you now rely on gps/plotter entrances.

It is this modern assumption of infallibility that makes the modern sailor who has a reliance on electronics an inferior sailor.

Sorry to draw a line in the sand, and I know I will get heat for this from certain posters, but suck it up cause it is the truth. No one is a better sailor, turn off your **** and do a couple of entrances or passages with power off to keep your skills up like I do every once in awhile.

I am sure certain posters will try to pull the elitism card on this post, but screw it, thems the facts.

GPS makes things easier, that's is the truth we all share. And by making things easier it de-skills all of us unless we choose to turn it off and practice paper navigation.

Paper navigation is so much more than just not using GPS....

...and anyone who has down it by navigating pre GPS or choosing to try it post GPS understands...
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Old 09-07-2012, 17:03   #143
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

Very well said. If you were on this coast, I would buy you your favorite beverage. Some skills pass directly from the cyber world to ours, approaching a reef bound shore is something I would want to do with and without a chartplotter. With or without a iron genny ramps it up one more notch.
And thanks for calling me an old salt
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Old 09-07-2012, 17:25   #144
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

Electronics can fail, and in extreme scenarios complete electrical systems can fail. If you're on a boat which is sinking or capsized, paper charts may be your only way out.

Said charts could be out of date, though, and needn't be extremely accurate - but then, this probably isn't what this is about, is it? Under that scenario, you'd also have to be able to determine your position.

For everyday cruising around, I think the original comment makes sense. For ocean crossing scenarios where there is the possibility of total systems failure, keeping paper charts on make sense, I think - even if they are out of date.

For island cruising near civilization, a very basic chart, or even a decent roadmap would be helpful I think just for orientation purposes - just to get a feel for an area, and to see the places you'd like to visit.

That said, I can't remember the last time I looked at a paper road map - I use Google maps! My GPS simply is not suitable for the job of viewing an area and getting familiar with it's general features.
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Old 09-07-2012, 17:28   #145
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Foolisailor

What you are talking about is the reliance on gps based position fixing. Not electronic charts per day. As a practitioner of celestial techniques I know full well what you mean.

Again it's not the digital charts that are the issue it's the reliance on close accuracy gps fixes that's scary.

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Old 09-07-2012, 17:37   #146
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Foolisailor

What you are talking about is the reliance on gps based position fixing. Not electronic charts per day. As a practitioner of celestial techniques I know full well what you mean.

Again it's not the digital charts that are the issue it's the reliance on close accuracy gps fixes that's scary.

Dave
Do you think this is going on? People out there navigating channels from their GPS and not knowing how to read the markers or judge the positions of the shoals?

I'm not saying it's not, but I would be surprised if this is a common practice. "Close fix" gps is just not that close - 2-3 meters is a very tight fix for non-military GPS devices.
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Old 09-07-2012, 20:09   #147
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

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Do you think this is going on? People out there navigating channels from their GPS and not knowing how to read the markers or judge the positions of the shoals?

I'm not saying it's not, but I would be surprised if this is a common practice. "Close fix" gps is just not that close - 2-3 meters is a very tight fix for non-military GPS devices.
I would say this is exactly what is going on- as I watch other people sail their boats and watch others sail mine. And its scarier than that. They are navigating without knowing why it is dangerous to be in the proximity of rocks tides and currents, because their GPS tells them all is well.
One guy got very put out because I questioned him sailing over a area that had been used for dredge tailings and the last depth on it was in the 30 ft range (in 1984). But the chartplotter says 34 feet! The depth sounder said 7.
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Old 09-07-2012, 20:50   #148
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Originally Posted by mbianka

I think for many of us it is not "either or" question as the title of this thread implies. I often single hand my boat and I have no problem using a chart plotter at the helm:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: WHAT THE HELM?: Part 2
but, I will also have a chart book or chart in the cockpit too and a large scale chart on the table down below. I will use all the tools available but, do believe in having a non electric backup. I find it is often easier to take a quick glance at a chart than fiddle with the buttons and joystick of the chart plotter to see what's up ahead. I have not had a direct hit by lightning yet but, I like knowing all my eggs are not in the electric basket if it does.
Very well put!
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Old 09-07-2012, 20:54   #149
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I love my electronics, and I have several redundant systems. I use them every trip. They're fun for me because I'm a nerd.

BUT, I NEVER sail without paper charts on the table, and I plot DR every trip. I update my charts manually from the notices to mariners and changes to light lists the USCG emails me every Wednesday.

Most could get by with electronic only, probably 99 percent of the time. But when things hit the fan, there's no substitute for actual hands, dividers, and pencil on the paper every hour leading up to the impending disaster. The familiarity from constant contact with the paper is irreplaceable when the screen suddenly goes blank on a zero vis night.
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Old 09-07-2012, 21:18   #150
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

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Excellent question. I don't know but I can say that based upon what little I have seen of them, the very large vessels use something different than the average cruiser. For one thing, their screens seemed to be much larger than the largest unit I've ever seen on a sloop, ketch, etc. The screen seemed to be as large as a chart providing the same situational awareness at a glance. They also seemed to have more sophistication and redundancy. I would like to hear from someone who is using those systems.
Three years on a Russian Icebreaker - Antarctica in the southern summer, High Arctic in the northern summer, had both paper and plastic. Always had a paper location and course plotted.
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