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Old 07-07-2012, 21:19   #76
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
"I certainly don't let technology control me nor do I think most on this thread do. Even those who don't use paper charts appear to have put some thought into what they are doing. Unfortunately I am pretty sure that most of us do know people who let it control them even if it is unintentional."


I know a guy who put his sailboat on autopilot and then went to sit by the companionway while his wife was below. His autopilot over-reacted to a wave -- they can do that -- just has he was sailing MUCH too close to me -- he had a LOT of other water (he was overtaking, by the way) and went right across the stern of my boat. He flipped the dinghy we were towing, chewed up the plastic sleeve over my split backstay (thank goodness for the sleeve; you can see where the anchor rolled off it instead of catching the wire) an left his bottom paint across my stern -- not to mentioning he completely terrorized the friend of mine who was at the wheel at the time. We were very close hauled. If she'd fallen off he would have hit my boat much worse. If she'd pointed up we would have luffed and slowed down and he would have hit us worse. There was nothing we could do.

Incredibly, two weeks later I was leaving a marina. My friend poked me and pointed behind us. There was the same guy, JUST outside the channel markers, already on autopilot in a very crowded boating area. He was standing on his cabin top, bent over and untangling lines (can't do that from behind the wheel, doncha know ...) -- and gaining on us, this time overtaking us under engine power. We just steered away and he plowed right through where we had just been. He would have done AGAIN if we hadn't been paying attention!

It's not just electronics that can be used badly, but I think this guy would be just as dangerous "sailing" the boat himself.

Wow, that is scary. It sort of reminds me of the idiot who bought an RV. While driving he put it on cruise control and went to get a cup of coffee! The results weren't good but luckily he didn't hurt anyone physically. He did however sue the manufacturer because the cruise control didn't drive it for him!
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Old 07-07-2012, 21:51   #77
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

You know, if I could get someone to simulate current sea state at a given location ( taking info from the NOAA buoys) I could go sailing from from my laptop and I would put a chartplotter right at my wheel. That is a lot cheaper than buying a boat and you dont have to stand out in the cockpit keeping watch. Yep electronics is what I got into sailing for, and with couches and king sized beds becoming more common, I think it is the wave of the future!
(BTW just in case you do not understand my humor- I did not get into sailing to stare at a TV screen. I can do that at home. I navigate by sail to use my senses to enjoy the world, and figuring out where we are is part of the fun. I do have electronics- for route planning and backup.)
Open your eyes people! Take a look around! You live on such an amazing planet!
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Old 07-07-2012, 21:57   #78
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

It may shock you, but on many short sails I have no electronics on but a depth sounder and only 1 chart! And those are for backup! But the wind and the water seem to have magic on those days!
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Old 07-07-2012, 22:32   #79
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

Having grown up in the age where paper was the only alternative, I was dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century of technology with GPS and plotters on every boat I delivered by the younger crew I hired on. Still don't trust the new stuff 100% and always had my own set of paper charts aboard, along with sextant, reduction tables and and a very old calculator. Notes of previous passages on the same course made on the paper charts brought back wonderful memories, some good, some bad but all profound in their own way.
The satisfaction of making a landfall or harbor where and when you charted it, knowing your position every two hours sailing coastwise or every day offshore is a very positive experience. Don't get that with electronics in my experience.
As the electronic sophistication becomes more and more extensive, I envision the day when we can sit in our easy chair with a sea smell machine wafting through our lounge room, the chair set for an easy rocking motion and our sea state, position, wind direction and strength, DMG, SOG all spewing out on a computer screen with the appropriate warnings of impending problems programmed to run across the the bottom of the screen. I can hardly wait!!!! Capt Phil
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Old 07-07-2012, 22:38   #80
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

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I understand the thought about suppositions but it is more likely that the electronics will fail than the satellites, but the result is the same. A paper chart is an inexpensive and reliable backup that should be ready right away. The Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies had the arch-villain alter satellite signals. Lest anyone think this is fantasy from Hollywood, the British MOD (Ministry of Defense) announced that during a recent exercise GPS may be unavailable or worse; IT MAY PROVIDE FALSE SIGNALS! Iran recently downed a U.S. drone supposedly by doing the same thing. A professor at the University of Texas was able to do the same thing and altered the flight paths of drones. Admittedly this hasn't had much, if any, effect on yachstmen but who knows what will happen down the road. Who would have thought two years ago that phones could get a virus but anything that needs software downloaded can get it now. So too GPS navigation can be affected in the future. I am not a naysayer. I am just pointing out that things can fail and it is good to have a readily available and reliable backup.

Well... If you think James Bond movies reflect reality ... the sky is falling! The sky is falling!

All electronics are evil! They must be stamped out! Whatever you do, don't use charts AND electronics, or for heaven's sake, ALWAYS start with the charts -- or you are a bad person!

Hyperbole is never persuasive, and neither are worst case scenarios that have never actually happened.

I LIKE knowing exactly what my lat and long are. The one time I had to be rescued, SeaTow called very five minutes for our lat and long. an SAR outfit also monitored those communications. They came out and would have been there if I had fallen in the water (a very real possibility) while catching the tow.

They didn't tell me to get the chart out and plot my course. They wanted me (and so did SAR) to focus on managing the boat and just report where we were. By using the handheld chart plotter my crew could easily update SeaTow (and unbeknownst to us, SAR) while I maneuvered the boat to handle the waves as best possible under the circumstances.

No one here argues against EPIRBs, but what do they send out -- reports of what's 40 degrees to starboard on land? No -- the signal's lat and long. We know EPIRBs have saved lives.

These things aren't bad. I know two people who use or have used them quite stupidly, but both of them have been sailing much longer than chart plotters have been available. They're both in their 70's and I wonder how clearly they think (seriously, both of them ...).

I know another sailor in his 70s, a retired naval architect and marine surveyer who taught celestial navigation to other seamen while in the Navy. He uses all the tools available to him, including chart plotters. I was with him when his chart plotter died. He used the information from before it died PLUS information from the visual view of the shore and navigated the boat right to the difficult-to-find channel entrance. Even dead, his chart plotter had helped -- he knew exactly where he was when he started to rely solely his coastal navigation skills.
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Old 08-07-2012, 00:25   #81
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

Some good points have been raised but it seems to me the thread is tipping over into a phase that nothing good will come from.

Started with a few dismissive posts, now we're into exaggeration and misrepresentation of another person's line of argument in order to discredit it.

I hope this comes back to a reasonable interchange but I fear it may not.
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Old 08-07-2012, 00:54   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Beth
You know, if I could get someone to simulate current sea state at a given location ( taking info from the NOAA buoys) I could go sailing from from my laptop and I would put a chartplotter right at my wheel. That is a lot cheaper than buying a boat and you dont have to stand out in the cockpit keeping watch. Yep electronics is what I got into sailing for, and with couches and king sized beds becoming more common, I think it is the wave of the future!
(BTW just in case you do not understand my humor- I did not get into sailing to stare at a TV screen. I can do that at home. I navigate by sail to use my senses to enjoy the world, and figuring out where we are is part of the fun. I do have electronics- for route planning and backup.)
Open your eyes people! Take a look around! You live on such an amazing planet!
One reason of a few I moved the chart plotter off the helm rail. It's a tool mounted on the side of the bridge deck. I hated all the electrics stuck in my face at the helm. Course I never stand there less things are bad. Wait till the whole helm and there is no helm.
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:15   #83
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

I don't agree with the argument that electronics disconect you from the sailing environment.
I started sailing before the days of GPS and navigation and I spent a lot of time huddled down over the chart table while the boat is bouncing around doing maths and looking up tables to try and work out my position.

To be able to do all my navigation from the helm, even passage planning is usually done from the cockpit, leaves me more in touch with the outside environment. As an added bonus navigation with electronics is much quicker.

Electronic navigation may be like a video game, but traditional navigation is like sitting at a school desk and the later takes much longer.

However I think these issues are just a distraction.
Some people like navigating with electronic charts, some with paper charts. I must admit despite my comments above a have a fondness for both.
These preferences in many ways are not the question. I think the time has come where electronics have advanced to a level where it is feasible to sail a boat offshore without paper charts. You can agree or disagree with statement no matter which system you prefer to use.
I would also urge people to consider the question in the contex of a boat with multiple electronic mapping backups like mine. No one is suggesting it is safe to rely on electronic mapping without a resonable degree of redundancy.
While my boat is unusual in respect to the number of electronic backups I believe this is going to become much more common as we see chartplotters reduce in price, an explosion of tablets and even smartphones with GPS chips and cheap marine maps.
Old laptops can be purchased (or often given away) that have plenty of power for running mapping software. At the same time program's like OpenCPN are available at no charge and suitable electronic maps for much of the world are low cost or free.
For the first time sailors have access to cheap electronic maps ( both hardware and software) and we have the possibility to equip our boat with multiple electronic charts. Is it safe to rely on these?
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:39   #84
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

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How do you keep track of Your position if the sats. happen to go down?
It's seems to be a common misconception that electronic charts stop working if the GPS fails. This is not the case. The map continues to work.
It is easy to use traditional navigation techniques with electronic charts. The electronic will draw lines and crosses just like the pencil marks you put on a paper chart. The electronics will even display the distance and bearing.
I have tried a few program's like this some work better than others, but all have been satisfactory.
Of course many of the electronic mapping devices have their own gps units. So boats with multiple electronic maps are less likely to have a GPS failure. Some of the modern tablets (I am told) will use the Russian satellite system so may continue to work without the GPS system.
However boats with just electronic maps still need to know how to traditional navigation techniques because there is some risk they may need these skills.
The difference is, in the unlikely event of failure of the GPS system they will be using these methods on an electronic not paper charts.
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:15   #85
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

One of my reservations about the rise of electronic charts is the revenue stream drying up, simply because relatively few people buy them.

At first this is not a problem, because the information to go on new charts has been in the pipeline for a while.

I'm not just implicating recreational sailors; even 'flag of convenience' ships (which is most ships) will sometimes cut corners, because digital piracy is so easy it's almost trivial, and because the oceans have no sheriffs... (unless something goes wrong, when it's too late)

(which reminds me there are even doubts as to whether the Costa Concordia was using charts suitable for show-boating close inshore)

I wonder if increasingly cost-conscious hydrographic organisations will be able to maintain the quality, let alone continue to improve it, particularly for destinations where ships hardly ever go.

Naturally this will impact on the quality of all charts, paper and pixel.

I'm puzzled, in this connection, that some hydrographic offices make high resolution TIFFS of paper charts freely available on the www. It seems too good to be true. Officially you aren't to use these for navigation, but it's simply a matter of apply the gazetted corrections. All we need is for the price of large format colour printers/prints (with waterproof ink, on mylar!) to come down.

My dream vessel would have such a machine in the chart room - paper charts on demand!

But once again, what does this do for revenues?
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:29   #86
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

To address the specific question in the OP

I agree that paper charts are essentially optional in the general case.

I personally don't begrudge the extra time it takes to navigate on paper, but I'd probably feel differently about that if I didn't routinely lose my queasiness within a day or two of a voyage beginning. It's hard to do mental arithmetic reliably when you feel like cr@p

I personally don't care much for outsourcing the geometrical computations involved in running fixes, distance off, danger angles, etc, even to a programmable calculator let alone a chart plotter.
Just as I don't care much for fast food, TV dinners and suchlike.

Having said that, it's not a point of view I'd urge others to consider, let alone adopt. We all go to sea to find different things.
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:31   #87
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

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British MOD (Ministry of Defense) announced that during a recent exercise GPS may be unavailable or worse; IT MAY PROVIDE FALSE SIGNALS! .
This effects paper charts just as much as electronic charts. If using the GPS to plot the position on a paper chart it will be just as wrong as plotting the position on electronic chart.

It is one reason fixing your position from two different sources is essential in tight situations. Even when not continuously doing this you should compare the chart picture with what your eyes are telling you. This applies to paper and electronics equally.
If you have radar putting a radar overlay over an electronic chart is a very powerful method of telling if the map or GPS signal is inaccurate. This cannot be done in the same way on paper chart.
Without, or even with, radar, a few HB compass lines are sensible to confirm your position, or I often use a clearance bearing. All of this can be done on an electronic chart, usually from the cockpit.

Electronic charts do not make some suddenly stupid. The speed at which you can plot your primary position from the GPS on an electronic chart means there is more time to check secondary navigational methods or just maintain a lookout for shallow areas.
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:15   #88
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

"It's seems to be a common misconception that electronic charts stop working if the GPS fails. This is not the case. The map continues to work.
It is easy to use traditional navigation techniques with electronic charts. The electronic will draw lines and crosses just like the pencil marks you put on a paper chart. The electronics will even display the distance and bearing. "


Exactly. And if you transfer your lat/long from the electronics to the paper chart, and then have to rely only on the paper chart, you now have a very accurate and very visual record of what has happened so far. Extra visual info on a visual tool. Invaluable sometimes.

I know some people who should not be driving as well as not sailing. But I know a lot of very good sailors who include electronic charts among their tools.
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:20   #89
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

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One of my reservations about the rise of electronic charts is the revenue stream drying up, simply because relatively few people buy them.

At first this is not a problem, because the information to go on new charts has been in the pipeline for a while.

I'm not just implicating recreational sailors; even 'flag of convenience' ships (which is most ships) will sometimes cut corners, because digital piracy is so easy it's almost trivial, and because the oceans have no sheriffs... (unless something goes wrong, when it's too late)

(which reminds me there are even doubts as to whether the Costa Concordia was using charts suitable for show-boating close inshore)

I wonder if increasingly cost-conscious hydrographic organisations will be able to maintain the quality, let alone continue to improve it, particularly for destinations where ships hardly ever go.

Naturally this will impact on the quality of all charts, paper and pixel.

I'm puzzled, in this connection, that some hydrographic offices make high resolution TIFFS of paper charts freely available on the www. It seems too good to be true. Officially you aren't to use these for navigation, but it's simply a matter of apply the gazetted corrections. All we need is for the price of large format colour printers/prints (with waterproof ink, on mylar!) to come down.

My dream vessel would have such a machine in the chart room - paper charts on demand!

But once again, what does this do for revenues?

"One of my reservations about the rise of electronic charts is the revenue stream drying up, simply because relatively few people buy them."

You have proof of that? I must know very unusual sailors (from three different groups) because any time any of us are going into new waters, the first thing we do (all of us except for MAYBE those two idiots I mentioned, but I don't know what they do because I stay away from them) ... is buy charts. A friend of mine and I will be moving a boat from the other side of the state and the first thing we've done is gather up paper charts -- and all the knowledge we can both glean from all the people we know who have traveled those routes (one through Okeechobee and one around the tip of the state). He's the skipper so he has them right now and has already spent hours studying them.

He hasn't bought a single piece of electronics -- yet. He will, but he starte with paper charts, exactly what I do. I see no evidence in West Marine or the marina store -- they both have plenty of charts. I bought another chart of this area, which I know very well, two weeks ago. It had details my other paper charts don't have. I could find it on my chart plotter, but not within the context of the bigger picture.

Now you think digital piracy is going on as well? You think people never shoplift?
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:22   #90
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
You know, if I could get someone to simulate current sea state at a given location ( taking info from the NOAA buoys) I could go sailing from from my laptop and I would put a chartplotter right at my wheel. That is a lot cheaper than buying a boat and you dont have to stand out in the cockpit keeping watch. Yep electronics is what I got into sailing for, and with couches and king sized beds becoming more common, I think it is the wave of the future!
(BTW just in case you do not understand my humor- I did not get into sailing to stare at a TV screen. I can do that at home. I navigate by sail to use my senses to enjoy the world, and figuring out where we are is part of the fun. I do have electronics- for route planning and backup.)
Open your eyes people! Take a look around! You live on such an amazing planet!


Open your eyes people! Take a look around! You live on such an amazing planet!"


Once again I ask, who here does that describe???
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