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Old 03-02-2014, 10:43   #16
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Re: paper vs electronic charts

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Originally Posted by Mainebristol View Post
Far wiser people will likely respond, but I like paper. Paper charts make it easy to plot bearings, and I enjoy laying courses using rulers. Perhaps more importantly, paper charts have a clear legend with datum information, and they cannot be scaled so as to provide misleading information about the location and size of rocks and channels. Paper is usually the best representation of the source information provided by the survey, and probable error is easily determined from whoever printed the chart.

I know. I sound anal. But a mishandled GPS can put you on land, or on a rock.
+1 I can't say it any better either
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:16   #17
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Re: paper vs electronic charts

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Originally Posted by Wolverine View Post
I'm sailing from Vancouver to Dutch Harbour starting May 1st. I have the charts Garmin sell for my Garmin chart plotter. I have Noble tech on a PC. I have an older Garmin with only "world charts". I have Navionics on an iPad , and I have a hand-held GPS. Do I need paper charts. If so how much should I expect to spend? What do most people do?
I assume that your location refers to Vancouver BC and not WA and that you are flying a Canadian flag.

Canada has chart carriage requirments: CHS - Frequently Asked Questions - General.

Summary:
1) Official canadian paper charts meet requirements.
2) ENCs meet the requirements only if used with a full Electronic Chart Display and Information System (not something that would be on a small pleasure vessel).
3) It appears that some other electronic systems qualify under certain circumstances.
4) If you have official paper charts aboard as backup, then you may use any electronic system and data source you like.
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Old 04-02-2014, 01:26   #18
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Re: paper vs electronic charts

I totally disagree with those who say you must have paper, although I have both. I have not looked at a paper chart for the last 30,000 miles. Electronic charts are often a copy of the paper ones. Paper has issues with water as well. You have enough electronic backups. Print some charts if it makes you feel better. As to the post re Nobeltec - the GPS puck was a mistake. Use a proper gps and antenna. I used Nobeltec for most of my voyaging, but recently changed to opencpn - which is not as good, but improving.
Electronics can provide you with accurate positions all the time. No possibility of a transposed number or slip of the parallel rules to put you in the wrong place. When combined with Radar overlays, they are far better, faster and safer than paper. IMO.
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Old 04-02-2014, 03:04   #19
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Re: paper vs electronic charts

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Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
I assume that your location refers to Vancouver BC and not WA and that you are flying a Canadian flag.

Canada has chart carriage requirments: CHS - Frequently Asked Questions - General.

Summary:
1) Official canadian paper charts meet requirements.
2) ENCs meet the requirements only if used with a full Electronic Chart Display and Information System (not something that would be on a small pleasure vessel).
3) It appears that some other electronic systems qualify under certain circumstances.
4) If you have official paper charts aboard as backup, then you may use any electronic system and data source you like.

These exact same rules apply in Danish flagged vessels (don't have to be official Canadian charts)
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Old 04-02-2014, 04:15   #20
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Re: paper vs electronic charts

If you are going to Dutch Harbor from Vancouver, direct across the gulf of Alaska, I would think you would want one for the gulf of AK, and one for the approaches for Dutch. A large percentage of your run will be deep water, coming into Dutch can be tricky, rocks & such.
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Old 04-02-2014, 05:50   #21
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Re: paper vs electronic charts

A few paper charts that give a large overview are really helpfull in seeing the big picture and planning. It is just too expensive to purchase full paper charts for each area you cruise to. If we have electronic chart failure we'll use the large area charts and then the guidebook chartlets to get to safe harbour. We'd have to have multiple failjres to loose all our e-charts.
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:08   #22
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Re: paper vs electronic charts

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Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
A few paper charts that give a large overview are really helpfull in seeing the big picture and planning. It is just too expensive to purchase full paper charts for each area you cruise to. If we have electronic chart failure we'll use the large area charts and then the guidebook chartlets to get to safe harbour. We'd have to have multiple failjres to loose all our e-charts.
It's a question of priorities, I guess. I have probably 100 charts on board, if not a couple of hundred, and have rarely been anywhere I didn't have paper for. In fact, last summer, I sailed off the edge of the world (that is, off the edge of my Navico Platinum+ chart) into the mare incognito of the Bay of Biscay, with nothing but paper for several days before DHL caught up with me with the other Navico chart

I am personally not very comfortable without both paper and electronic.
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:21   #23
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Re: paper vs electronic charts

Last summer, I actually could not get a chart for Desolation Sound at either West Marine or Steveston, since paper charts are apparently getting harder to come by. I finally found the chart I needed at the little kayak store on Granville Island. When we got to Desolation, my chartplotter stopped showing depths, arguably one of the more key parameters on the chart. I think paper will be obsolete soon, but I'm sure glad I had it.
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:35   #24
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Re: paper vs electronic charts

If you have to ask the question, get a chart book, they are around $130 from west, Maptech region 15.
Some like paper, some like plastic, some will even hook the gps to the autopilot, it's all what you are comfotable with.
I like paper for planning and keeping track, and chartplotter to the next waypoint that is entered from the paper at each point and double checked, if they don't agree I slow down and find out why.
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:35   #25
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Re: paper vs electronic charts

Having had lightning fry every single 12 volt electronic device on board only strengthened my trust of paper charts. They don't let you down because of power or battery issues. You can take them with you on a dinghy, leave them unattended in the dinghy, and it can rain on the dinghy, and a week later the paper charts still function just as well as they ever did.

I like the convenience of the electronic toys, and they're fun to play with. Kind of like spending a hour with World of Warfare instead of resealing a hatch. But I know that if someone told me I was leaving on a long trip and could only take one or the other, paper or electronic, I wouldn't even have to think hard about that choice.

Ever notice how the hard core electronic geeks always answer the questions about reliability? Their answer to the unreliable nature of electronics in the vicinity of salt water is always to buy MORE electronics to back up the electronics they are depend upon. Think about that one for a moment. If something is reliable, you don't need two of them. I've seen comments from people talking about how expensive paper charts are, after telling me I need two computers, two GPS systems, backup data storage, and a microwave oven to shove it all into to save it if an electrical storm starts. That's cheaper than paper???

Ever hear of someone saying the best backup for a paper chart is more copies of the same chart in case you get struck by lightning or green water blows through the wheelhouse? Nope. They're standalone. If you don't lose them they'll last a lifetime. As for them being "obsolete", well, yeah, maybe. But that rock and that island and that lighthouse and that bay and that river and that coral head have not moved since the last update, guaranteed. As for the buoys and man made stuff that will show up in an upgrade of electronic charts....three days after the upgrade you still don't know if the buoy is in the same place. And it really doesn't matter. That buoy won't sink you, and you won't run aground on it. All you have to be able to do is find it. An old chart with the buoy in the previous position ain't going to hurt you.
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:38   #26
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Re: paper vs electronic charts

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You can take them with you on a dinghy, leave them unattended in the dinghy, and it can rain on the dinghy, and a week later the paper charts still function just as well as they ever did.

could you explain to me what use a paper chart is on its own. ( in a dinghy or elsewhere)

Equally you find yourself needing paper charts ( maybe a change of decision as to where you sail next), there are no charts available except by mail order from a far away internet shop in another country,( at €22 a chart to btw) A digital chart that you have in your chart plotter covers the new intended destinations completely.


Thirdly , you find yourself needing chart of a particular island, on one seems to stock it, as the BA chart is not used much. Its perfectly well charted on your plotter.
Whats to do. ?

as the song goes " do you stay or do you go now" !!!!!

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Old 04-02-2014, 07:22   #27
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Re: paper vs electronic charts

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
could you explain to me what use a paper chart is on its own. ( in a dinghy or elsewhere)

Equally you find yourself needing paper charts ( maybe a change of decision as to where you sail next), there are no charts available except by mail order from a far away internet shop in another country,( at €22 a chart to btw) A digital chart that you have in your chart plotter covers the new intended destinations completely.


Thirdly , you find yourself needing chart of a particular island, on one seems to stock it, as the BA chart is not used much. Its perfectly well charted on your plotter.
Whats to do. ?

as the song goes " do you stay or do you go now" !!!!!

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Dave,

I'm not a Luddite, but I don't sail without having both paper and electronic. Paper because it is much easier to plan a passage looking at paper, and just in case, paper doesn't freeze up or go down due to electrical issues.

Electronic, however, is far superior when navigating narrow waters or waters filled with obstacles, simply because it is right there by the wheel.


Besides - paper feels better to touch, and I can make notes on it (which I cannot do on my chart plotter)
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:16   #28
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Re: paper vs electronic charts

We have extensive sailing experience and I agree with you, Navionics is essential. We used Navionics on our Galaxy tablet 99% of the time for navigation. The other 1% we used, you guessed it, paper charts. It's your call if it's worth it to you to pay for that 1% of the time.
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:05   #29
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Re: paper vs electronic charts

Even with paper charts, i don't think most people will verify position without using the GPS. So if the electronics fail and its cloudy or foggy....??? No distinctive shoreline in sight. How do you use paper charts. Compass is useless if your going backwards on the current.

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Old 04-02-2014, 10:17   #30
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Re: paper vs electronic charts

what I meant in my question is the conundrum facing many sailors, not a idealogical debate about paper. ( I agree re paper backup etc)

In this side of the world paper charts are expensive, often very expensive, especially when one considers the numbers needed. to chart the Med using Admiralty charts, including all the detail charts could exceed the cost of the boat.

Then one has the difficulty of getting good charts,especially if one is away from "base" Even here at home, I have to order charts from a specialist supplier ( Todds in Bangor, NI)as my local chandlery will carry only a few local charts

Aboard, where there be "furriners", unless one is already fully charted, getting charts is almost impossible. I remember trying to find a detail chart of La Gomera a few years ago in spain, ( and this is Spainish territory ) the difficulties was enormous and the chart was mega bucks.

Its all right being all ideological, if you sail around the Chesapeake, or the Isle of Wight, its an entirely different affair further afield or on long multi country hops.

Furthermore paper charts are useless unless you have a non electronic means of locating yourself. All these people here rabbeting on about paper, are more then likely using GPS to locate themselves, you appreciate the irony in that. How many people REALLY , loaded with paper can do celestial navigation ( funnily I can ) or even do inshore three point fix's and proper non GPS pilotage.


The fact is we are bound inexorably to electronic navigation, digital charts are only the most recent development. I for one am damm glad to have them, when I needed an unexpected detour.


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