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Old 07-07-2012, 03:12   #1
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Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

I released that I have finally reached the conclusion that paper charts are unessasary on my boat.
I still have them because they are left over, but never the less it's a change in mind frame.
I would have disagreed with this philosophy untill recently, but It is an area which is changing rapidly.
When I started full time crusing about 5 years ago I had one set of electronic charts and carried paper as a back up.
I now have detailed electronic charts on 7 separate devices. Six of these have their own power supply which could be recharged with solar, or two other energy sources. I have 5 separate 12v battery supplies.
Two of the chart sources are stored away and protected from lightening damage.

I think this is enough redundancy and paper charts are no longer necessary.

Pilot books of any unfamilar area a great help and are always carried if available, but i think it wont be long before these are electronic as well.

Anyone else prepared to "come out" and agree paper charts have become obsolete on their boat.
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Old 07-07-2012, 03:29   #2
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

For the overall view i cannot go past a paper chart, and i have been using electronic since 1999 and ECDIS (at work) since 2004.....

While ever paper charts are available i will continue to use them, but that’s just me and what i am the most comfortable with.....
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Old 07-07-2012, 04:08   #3
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

There are some things paper charts do better. They still have the ability to display much more information at a glance than electronic charts can. Most boats do not have access to high resolution electronic displays that are the same size as a paper chart.
So the overall view is much better on a paper chart.
However for most types of passage planning I now prefer the electronic alternative. I can zoom into anchorages, see detail around headlands even overlay a google earth image or weather information .

Having planned a passage like this it is also much easier and quicker to change the plan. If there is a wind change and I end up sailing around the other side of an island another passage plan can easily be constructed. All my original electronic waypoints remain. On paper charts this sort of change often means transferring information to another chart.

Part of the problem is many people try to use electronic charts like paper. Electronic charts do require quite different techniques.

Not everyone will, or should share my preferences, but I think in many cases the perceived and often quoted inadequacies of electronic charts are related to people using them like paper charts instead of adapting to new ways of doing things. This is sometimes seen even in people who have used electronic charts for a long time particularly when they started sailing before there was an electronic alternative.
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Old 07-07-2012, 04:59   #4
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I agree. We stopped buying them about 8 months ago. So far BVI to Grenada, no regrets. I do like to have the guidebooks though.

We have 3 devices with electronic charts, 2 Laptop PCs, and an IPad. Two versions of data, Navionics and C-Map. We have 4 ways to generate power, 2 gensets, 2 main engines. 2 different inverters for AC charging and one DC power supply that will work with either Laptop. I just can't imagine a situation short of abandoning ship where I'd lose charting capability. And then it doesn't really matter much anymore.

From what I've seen when we had charts Florida to the BVI, the electronic data is more up to date anyway. But there may be parts of the world where you need charts if the electronic data is poor and better paper charts are available. For example on my current routing, the San Blas electronic charts don't look to good, especially the eastern side. But I do have the Eric Bauhaus book, which covers that area probably better than any other chart.
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:45   #5
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

Having made my living repairing electronic equipment over the years I would never totally rely on them for navigation. I do have a chart plotter that I do use every trip but, I always have a chartbook in the cockpit too and a large scale chart of the waters I am sailing on the chart table down below. Just like I would not sail in the New England to Chesapeake waters without having an Eldridge Tide and Pilot book on board:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: FROM BIANKA'S BOOK SHELF: ELDRIDGE TIDE AND PILOT BOOK
The fact is paper ALWAYS works. Even a chart printed 100 years ago can still be used today in a lot of areas to get you by in a pinch. Your electronic devices are dependent on hundred of cheap electronic components anyone of which can fail just when you need the device most. Yes, you can have back ups like laptops but will they be as convenient and safe to use when the wind is a blowing and spray is flying into the cockpit?

I was heading up the Connecticut River two years ago in an area I had never been to before and my chartplotter just stopped. The chip in my chartplotter did not cover the area above Essex. At first I panicked as I was in unknown waters. Then I realized I had the chartbook next to me and used that to reach my destination. I'm not against using electronic devices when I sail but, as the Ronald Regan quote goes: "Trust but, verify" is always a good policy to use on board with electronic devices. Paper charts do that for me quite easily.
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:49   #6
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

Not having a big LCD display is not a reason to stick to paper charts... it is a reason to buy a big LCD display
They are cheaper than the paper charts too...

ciao!
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:49   #7
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

"I just can't imagine a situation short of abandoning ship where I'd lose charting capability. And then it doesn't really matter much anymore."


Two words: LIGHTNING STRIKE!
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:53   #8
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

With all that "electronic redundancy", it would probably be cheaper to have paper charts !!
Anyway, what happens when "they" switch off the GPS ????....because "they" are at war with another "evil empire", your electronic charts won't be much use then...
We ALWAYS carry paper charts for the areas we are cruising in ...why ?, because **** happens...GPS off, batteries flat, solar panels broken, boat tipped over ...it can happen....better to be safe than sorry....
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Old 07-07-2012, 06:03   #9
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Not everyone will, or should share my preferences, but I think in many cases the perceived and often quoted inadequacies of electronic charts are related to people using them like paper charts instead of adapting to new ways of doing things. This is sometimes seen even in people who have used electronic charts for a long time particularly when they started sailing before there was an electronic alternative.
I do hope this was just a run of the mill statement and not a direct reference to the amount of time I have been using electronic charts......

Because if it is you can bet all your reproductive organs that i shall be laying all my credentials and experience on the subject here.....and calling you out to do the same....
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Old 07-07-2012, 06:07   #10
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
I released that I have finally reached the conclusion that paper charts are unessasary on my boat.
I still have them because they are left over, but never the less it's a change in mind frame.
I would have disagreed with this philosophy untill recently, but It is an area which is changing rapidly.
When I started full time crusing about 5 years ago I had one set of electronic charts and carried paper as a back up.
I now have detailed electronic charts on 7 separate devices. Six of these have their own power supply which could be recharged with solar, or two other energy sources. I have 5 separate 12v battery supplies.
Two of the chart sources are stored away and protected from lightening damage.

I think this is enough redundancy and paper charts are no longer necessary.

Pilot books of any unfamilar area a great help and are always carried if available, but i think it wont be long before these are electronic as well.

Anyone else prepared to "come out" and agree paper charts have become obsolete on their boat.
If you can do it safely and stress-free more power to you, but I think I will always want paper charts. They give you the big picture like nothing else can. I do the same thing in my car. I have a GPS, but a paper chart gives the big picture. The GPS handles the details.

Of course I don't have six back up electrics, but my car GPS went out recently, just as I was leaving for Miami. Fortunately a friend could use his phone as a GPS (my data plan is very limited), but I wanted that map too.

To each his own but I don't think it's a good idea unless you're always going to sail in familiar waters.
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Old 07-07-2012, 06:08   #11
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
There are some things paper charts do better. They still have the ability to display much more information at a glance than electronic charts can. Most boats do not have access to high resolution electronic displays that are the same size as a paper chart.
So the overall view is much better on a paper chart.
However for most types of passage planning I now prefer the electronic alternative. I can zoom into anchorages, see detail around headlands even overlay a google earth image or weather information .

Having planned a passage like this it is also much easier and quicker to change the plan. If there is a wind change and I end up sailing around the other side of an island another passage plan can easily be constructed. All my original electronic waypoints remain. On paper charts this sort of change often means transferring information to another chart.

Part of the problem is many people try to use electronic charts like paper. Electronic charts do require quite different techniques.

Not everyone will, or should share my preferences, but I think in many cases the perceived and often quoted inadequacies of electronic charts are related to people using them like paper charts instead of adapting to new ways of doing things. This is sometimes seen even in people who have used electronic charts for a long time particularly when they started sailing before there was an electronic alternative.

(Sits by Neoplex) -- exactly.

Locally I rarely if ever take the paper chart, but the trip I'm going on next -- ALL new waters to me. No way would I do it without paper.
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Old 07-07-2012, 06:09   #12
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Not having a big LCD display is not a reason to stick to paper charts... it is a reason to buy a big LCD display
They are cheaper than the paper charts too...

ciao!
Nick.

Not for me. I want both.
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Old 07-07-2012, 06:11   #13
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbianka View Post
"I just can't imagine a situation short of abandoning ship where I'd lose charting capability. And then it doesn't really matter much anymore."


Two words: LIGHTNING STRIKE!

He has multiple backups, and it's unlikely they would all be plugged in at the same time. Why waste the battery power?
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Old 07-07-2012, 06:16   #14
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

I have navigated with paper charts almost since God invented dirt. Sure, I use a GPS....it has no routes stored, I use it to measure my speed and to provide a quick "where am I verification." It is very helpful with tide information.

How does one do a dead reckoning on a computer screen? How does one use electronics when their trusty old battery system proves it is not as trusty as believed? There are so many routes I have plotted on paper, many that I still refer to on trips that I personally would be lost without paper. JMHO

Foggy
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Old 07-07-2012, 06:21   #15
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Re: Paper charts now unnessary

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Originally Posted by IslandHopper View Post
I do hope this was just a run of the mill statement and not a direct reference to the amount of time I have been using electronic charts......

Because if it is you can bet all your reproductive organs that i shall be laying all my credentials and experience on the subject here.....and calling you out to do the same....
No offence intent ended it was a general comment.
I don't as a general rule bet my reproductive organs
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