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Old 27-10-2012, 10:38   #841
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

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Originally Posted by wolfenzee View Post
Because the same data is used in the creation of electronic charts (raster charts are actually scanned from the same source). So it's not a matter of one being more accurate than the other. The main gist of this thread is not are paper charts unnesary, but rather considering everything that chart plotters can do is it necessary to learn how to navigate...the answer is an unequivocal YES.
Many years ago I was in The Bahamas, getting ready to go back around Whale Cay. There were two other boats in the area headed the same direction. When one stopped the other radioed him and inquired as to why. The response was that his GPS had quit and he did not know where he was. I was tempted to tell him to pick up his head look around, but did not. I was using paper charts, a cruising guide and a handbearing compass to get through the reefs.

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Old 27-10-2012, 10:39   #842
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

I asked this question when I was doing a couple of courses and the instructor told me about 2% and I was just getting other opinions. Thanks
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Old 27-10-2012, 10:43   #843
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

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I have a question. How many of you know celestial navigation?
I took a course years ago, I could do it in a pinch but I need to get much more practice.
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Old 27-10-2012, 11:16   #844
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

The builder of my boat made fiberglass mast steps (a "master" was made of bent steel and a mold of that)...there are three places on the mast where you can stand with your feet at the same level (spreaders, intermediates and about 5' down from the masthead)....in some parts of the world a higher vantage point permits one to see discolorations in the water (Pacific coral grows at an average rate of 10mm/yr) from coral or other underwater obstructions.
Though if you have your boat equipped with side scan sonar these would not be nesesary. Even mounting a depth sounder transponder on one side of the boat aft of amidships (as is actually common practice) leaves a very big blind spot.
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Old 27-10-2012, 11:53   #845
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

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Originally Posted by kiwitrucker View Post
I have a question. How many of you know celestial navigation?
I learned it 20 years ago as a young girl before GPS became available for widespread civilian use. Today I use a variety of electronic navigation aids, including radar, AIS, chartplotter and GPS, but I prefer to use celestial navigation whenever possible as both a practical and mental exercise, and see how close I can come to my GPS position.
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Old 27-10-2012, 12:40   #846
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

There is a certain amount of satisfaction gained when your position is spot on (or at least what is necessary) without the use of electronic gizmos. Sort of like the feeling you get when you get cleaner, better fitting joints using hand tools than power
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Old 27-10-2012, 12:44   #847
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

Just because paper charts are not "necessary" doesn't mean they are "unnecessary"...
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Old 27-10-2012, 13:02   #848
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

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Originally Posted by wolfenzee View Post
Just because paper charts are not "necessary" doesn't mean they are "unnecessary"...
A very nice distinction.
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Old 27-10-2012, 13:02   #849
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

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Originally Posted by wolfenzee View Post
There is a certain amount of satisfaction gained when your position is spot on (or at least what is necessary) without the use of electronic gizmos. Sort of like the feeling you get when you get cleaner, better fitting joints using hand tools than power
I think this is playing a role in some of the discussion. There is a great deal of satisfaction when using a paper chart that is lost when doing the same thing on a chart plotter.

I wonder if sometimes there is even some ego involved. Non sailing people are very impressed by a navigator that disappears to there special chart table and draws mysterious lines on a complicated bit of paper. Even picking up a pair of dividers and measuring out a distance is impressive to a passenger.

Do the same thing on chart plotter and the reaction is "I have got one of those in my car".
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Old 27-10-2012, 14:18   #850
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

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I wonder if sometimes there is even some ego involved. Non sailing people are very impressed by a navigator that disappears to there special chart table and draws mysterious lines on a complicated bit of paper. Even picking up a pair of dividers and measuring out a distance is impressive to a passenger.
Well,... yeah. That's how it feels when you do the math and realize you're only a few miles from where the GPS says you are. I mean, you're out of sight of land. There are no landmarks.

Is there a bigger confidence builder? To know for certain that if, for whatever reason, the excrement hits the air velocitator, you still know where you are.

Imagine doing the plot at night and using your star sights to correct your course and in the light of dawn, there is your destination right off your bow. (As an aside, if anyone has done that, please let me know and I will share your victory vicariously, mine seem to be a few miles port or starboard. Damned unpredictable currents...., that's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

How could you not be stoked? Pride? You betcha!
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Old 27-10-2012, 14:40   #851
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
Many years ago I was in The Bahamas, getting ready to go back around Whale Cay. There were two other boats in the area headed the same direction. When one stopped the other radioed him and inquired as to why. The response was that his GPS had quit and he did not know where he was. I was tempted to tell him to pick up his head look around, but did not. I was using paper charts, a cruising guide and a handbearing compass to get through the reefs.
This sort of thing I find fascinating and I think is a function of how the brain seems to work. I get it driving, if tomtom or whatever is there in front of me then all the usual more zoomed out spacial thinking of where I am in relation to the rest of town or whatever stops, the brain seems to focus on the screen and turn left/turn right/ next move. Same thing doesn't seem quite as pronounced sailing but it's still there, the brain doesn't seem quite so "zoomed out" with a nice precise gps mark on a chartplotter.

GPS/chartplotter is more "where i am" while no gps is more "where I'm not"

And I find the same goes with any display, the brain wants to get exact "this is the wind speed" or whatever instead of looking around the real world.

None of which directly applies to paper/electronic charts but perhaps even without a gps signal there is a tendency to think of a cocked hat on a screen to be somehow more real then on a chart.

Or not Who knows. Anyway, if it all gets a bit crazy and no gps fix I'd want a bit of paper to scribble on
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Old 27-10-2012, 15:03   #852
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

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So along the lines of this original thread, how many find the old pencil/pen line sketches of prominent land features found in the old coast pilots (and on some paper charts) to be more useful than something more modern in identifying distinguishing land features?

Even with new buildings/modernization I find these old sketches to be easier to apply/use. I suspect this is because they were drawn from the same perspective (i.e. in the offing, from a boat deck) and that the artists intentionally or unintentionally emphasized the most distinguishing features. Even in San Francisco Bay, with the tremendous amount of development that has occurred in the last 150 years most of the key landmarks are still very recognizable from these sketches.

Once you get closer, of course, having a modern picture with the current buildings makes things easier, but from a distance I find that the old sketches work better for me.

Anybody else?
I think they are very useful. they are still found on up to date charts of the Norwegian Coast and some other Scandinavian countries.
Around the UK, mostly found in the Admialty Saićing Directions. Very useful making a landfall and trying to get your bearings.
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Old 27-10-2012, 17:06   #853
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

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there is another problem no one has mentioned--as a cruiser out in the cruising world, i have had charts stolen from me--i know souls who have had gps stolen. if your gps is stolen and you havent the funding nor location factor for delivery, how ye gonna get around when you find yourself without any nav info????
Why would you only have one GPS? You can buy three or four handhelds for the cost of a good sextant.

Is this a fair question? I do not want to upset the traditional navigators.
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Old 27-10-2012, 18:29   #854
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

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Why would you only have one GPS? You can buy three or four handhelds for the cost of a good sextant.

Is this a fair question? I do not want to upset the traditional navigators.

Personally I have a backup -- a handheld that doesn't do things like waypoints nearly as well as my bigger one, but that will at least give me lat and long.

People who have sailed for 40 years may well sneer at that, but I've been sailing five years, and am not ready to commit the safety of me, my friends and my boat to my navigation skills solely. It gives me confidence to continually stretch myself to know that I'm not really going to get all that lost.

Does it mean I ignore navigation skills? Of course not, but the next time someone lists all the many ways they know how to navigate, I would like to politely request that they include how long they've been sailing. There has to be room in the world for beginner and intermediate sailors, or some day there will be no highly accomplished sailors. I bet a lot of the people who can claim competence with every possible form of navigation grew up sailing and were taught how to do these things by their parents under controlled and safe circumstances. They didn't just go sailing off toward the horizon and assume they'd figure that sextant out as they went.
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Old 27-10-2012, 19:54   #855
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

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I bet a lot of the people who can claim competence with every possible form of navigation grew up sailing and were taught how to do these things by their parents under controlled and safe circumstances.
In my case there is a certain element of truth to your statement. My father and brother (who is much, much older than I and made his living at sea), made sure I knew celestial navigation before my first long voyage with them--and they double checked my figures and position plots every day during the voyage.
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