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Old 05-11-2013, 13:39   #61
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Re: The End of Paper Nautical Charts

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Originally Posted by Saltyhog View Post
I don't think you're going to convince me or others to give up our paper. I think I've explained a couple of reasons I like paper, but there are also the more intangible things. I just really like looking at a good chart. There is so much information there. Sometimes, just seeing it all reminds me to check something I may have forgotten was relevant in a given circumstance. I know I'm not explaining it well, I guess it's just a human thing.
Don't get me wrong - I am not trying to convince anyone to give up paper charts. I don't care about that at all.

What I have been doing is mounting a defense against those who blindly say it is irresponsible to not have paper charts, or say with conviction that paper is superior to electronic, or say that it is a fact that it is much easier and better to plan and route on paper charts, etc.

Just in this thread, several people have said that those using paper are "real" and "experienced" sailors, while implying the opposite for those using electronics (and ignoring all commercial shipping in the world).

I do agree that nothing smells like a stack of paper charts! That is an intangible missing electronically.

Also, I just cannot use an equal key. Even when I am very careful and doing the most simplest calculations, I screw up and assume something has been stored on the stack for me to retrieve later and loose it all. I cannot think of equations or even simple additions in terms of horizontal sequential presentation.

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Old 05-11-2013, 13:41   #62
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Re: The End of Paper Nautical Charts

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x10

Like many here, I'm an engineer. I've designed firmware for avionics, medical diagnostics/imaging, and asset tracking devices. In all cases, the challenge is in presenting the data. In spite of all my day to day work with these things, I still find that electronic presentation is less useful than hard copy presentation. You mention ebooks. I agree that for most recreational reading, ebooks are wonderful. I have a Kindle and most of my fiction reading is on that platform. It's great for serial, one page after the next, reading. However for technical reference material, nothing beats paper. I often print a paper copy of data sheets. I can flip through the pages and almost instantly find what I need. My hand written notes have meaning to me months or years later. I can quickly flip back and forth between 2 or more pages. Ultimately, the paper provides a more broadband experience and allows me to more quickly digest the information rather than fighting with the presentation medium. I know there are ways to do all these things with a pdf reader, but it's just not organic and generally disrupts the my process. The same can be said of paper vs. electronic charts. That broadband view of a large chart imparts information that you're not even aware you're seeing. i can recall making the notes I see and the tracks I've plotted. Electronically recorded tracks are just one more computer generated graphic. It's not immediately obvious to me the context they were made. Perhaps it's just how I'm wired, but I definitely get more from the paper. I agree that the best (at least for me) is a combination of paper and electronics. Their use in conjunction fills all my needs. Perhaps in the future, large format electronic presentation technology will equal paper. I'm hopeful, but until then, I'm keeping my paper.
That's odd, I'm also an engineer. I pretty much never print out plans anymore and our major clients only want electronic (and they don't print them either). I can mark up the plans electronically and it's a lot easier to read type written text that is as crisp as the day it was written as compared to chicken skratch faded over a dozen years to illegibility. Also electronic versions of technical documents are far more convinent as I can do searches for key words rather than leafing thru page after page of tables and charts.

If you want top of the line for planning, it's hard to beat a pair of 20" monitors with both large and small scale side by side. If I had room on the boat, I would have that. But I've found a simple laptop screen plenty big enough to see everything needed.

Then there is the hassle factor. I can pick up a tablet or laptop and I immediately have every chart in my surrounding area at my fingertips. To view a paper chart, I have to leaf thru the charts to find the right ones, then I have to clear off the table or chart area (flat open spaces are magnets to leave stuff lying around), then I have to find the dividers, pencil, etc. (they always seem to wander away), then I get in trouble because dinners ready and we need the table back, so the whole process is reversed. For planning it's just a nuisance.

If it makes you happy to use paper go for it, but the idea that it is somehow better or neccessary is no longer the case.
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Old 05-11-2013, 13:50   #63
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Re: The End of Paper Nautical Charts

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
You absolutely cannot put a ruler on one of today's chart plotters, and see every hazard which is going to appear on your particular rhumb line, but you can do this on the paper chart. Someday soon, this problem will be overcome, I am absolutely sure.
I just told you that is possible. I own commercially-available consumer programs that have a sidebar on the screen listing all hazards as you draw a route line on the chart. It also "runs" the route for you and highlights all hazards. My chartplotter does this also.

You keep talking in strong absolute terms in the face of counter facts, while telling me that my strong statements are indicative of being wrong.

Did you not say that a single paper chart can be used to plot a route and show you all hazards, while that was impossible with an electronic chart? You still haven't shown me how to get to Block Island that way.

Now you say that it may require 3 or 4 paper charts, but even this is impossible with electronic? Instead, you throw up a red herring by saying that electronic plotting requires 300-400 zooms and unzooms. And you don't count that as a strong statement indicative of wrongness?

I don't think I have done 300 zooms and unzooms navigating the entire Caribbean, let alone one single 24nm route.

You still keep telling me what I cannot do with electronic charts, even though I tell you I can. You base this fact on your skills with a single version of charts. That is presumptuous and unprovable.

And what about all those commercial ships with no paper charts at all?

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Old 05-11-2013, 13:57   #64
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Re: The End of Paper Nautical Charts

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
That's odd, I'm also an engineer. I pretty much never print out plans anymore and our major clients only want electronic (and they don't print them either). I can mark up the plans electronically and it's a lot easier to read type written text that is as crisp as the day it was written as compared to chicken skratch faded over a dozen years to illegibility. Also electronic versions of technical documents are far more convinent as I can do searches for key words rather than leafing thru page after page of tables and charts.

If you want top of the line for planning, it's hard to beat a pair of 20" monitors with both large and small scale side by side. If I had room on the boat, I would have that. But I've found a simple laptop screen plenty big enough to see everything needed.

Then there is the hassle factor. I can pick up a tablet or laptop and I immediately have every chart in my surrounding area at my fingertips. To view a paper chart, I have to leaf thru the charts to find the right ones, then I have to clear off the table or chart area (flat open spaces are magnets to leave stuff lying around), then I have to find the dividers, pencil, etc. (they always seem to wander away), then I get in trouble because dinners ready and we need the table back, so the whole process is reversed. For planning it's just a nuisance.

If it makes you happy to use paper go for it, but the idea that it is somehow better or neccessary is no longer the case.
I am not an engineer myself, but I have several tens of them on my payroll.

We have struggled for 20 years to try to move over more and more to electronic forms of displaying and manipulating building plans, and we have achieved a certain amount of success. The key is very large monitors with very sophisticated controls operated by highly trained people. This is especially important in our particular case because our project teams are always scattered over a few countries and sometimes over a few continents, and we have to do meaningful work without being in the same room, pointing at the same piece of paper. I have spent more money on electronic means of displaying information, by far, over the years, than my boat cost.

But despite the large monitors, mega-expensive software, and highly trained operators, we are still a long way -- maybe even decades -- from entirely getting rid of the A0 size plotter output sheet, and for all the same reasons we have been discussing here. When you need to put a ruler down and see in detail what engages a particular line, for example, there is still nothing like having all the detail of all the zoom levels all at once, on one big sheet of paper. I have worked with architects of the level of, and including Norman Foster, and even with the tens of millions he has invested in IT, paper still abounds in his office, mountains of it, files lining the exposed concrete walls. There is a certain type of visualization which is still impossible without paper although, as I said, those days are probably numbered.

The display technology we have on boats is incomparably more primitive, than what we use in my office. I'm sure the technology will trickle down, but there is a long way to go.
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Old 05-11-2013, 14:08   #65
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Re: The End of Paper Nautical Charts

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Originally Posted by westwinds View Post
Lightning, Flash, BANG, Your Boat's Been Hit - Now What - Seaworthy - BoatUS
Here is an article stating that all electronic devices on a boat can be destroyed.

Lightning-Proof Your Boat | Discover Boating
Another all electronics destroyed article

SGEB-17/SG071: Lightning & Sailboats
Lightning and Sailboats, general information
Thanks. Anyone who has been hit by lightning has read these articles!

In your first example, they make a general statement to that effect, but provide no case studies where this happened, even though they provided many other case studies.

They are also talking about fixed and connected electronics. That's a no-brainer, we are already proof of that.

Likewise in the second article, the statistics regarding electronics destroyed were all fixed, connected electronics.

Interestingly, I know, and was anchored right next to it when it was struck by lightning, the only boat to have the commercially-installed lightning protection system described in the second article. They had extensive electronic and electrical damage also, but still had fully functioning iPhones, iPads, computers and hand held GPS's. They also had no problems navigating electronically following their strike.

And again, the third article goes into the detail of pointing out that the vessel's fixed electronics were taken out.

I have now talked with probably a dozen people who have taken direct lightning strikes with damage to all fixed equipment. All of them had operable non-fixed equipment after the strike. Including computers, hand helds and i-thingies.

None of them had any devices in ovens, microwaves or any other type of perceived protection.

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Old 05-11-2013, 14:12   #66
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Re: The End of Paper Nautical Charts

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Originally Posted by westwinds View Post
Lightning, Flash, BANG, Your Boat's Been Hit - Now What - Seaworthy - BoatUS
Here is an article stating that all electronic devices on a boat can be destroyed.

Lightning-Proof Your Boat | Discover Boating
Another all electronics destroyed article

SGEB-17/SG071: Lightning & Sailboats
Lightning and Sailboats, general information
Found a few more. There's a lot out there on Google about lightning and boats

http://www.marlinmag.com/boats/boat-...htning-strikes
Not all fried electronics are immediately found.

GETTING ZAPPED
More on lightning and sailboat

Lightning Damage
Do not have your electronic eggs all in one basket
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Old 05-11-2013, 14:13   #67
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Re: The End of Paper Nautical Charts

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Originally Posted by westwinds View Post
Found a few more. There's a lot out there on Google about lightning and boats

http://www.marlinmag.com/boats/boat-...htning-strikes
Not all fried electronics is immediately found.

GETTING ZAPPED
More on lightning and sailboat

Lightning Damage
Do not have all your electronic eggs all in one basket
Like I said, anyone who has been hit by lightning has spent a lot of time on google looking for information about lightning and boats!

Thanks, I will give these a lookover too.

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Old 05-11-2013, 14:33   #68
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Re: The End of Paper Nautical Charts

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Originally Posted by westwinds View Post
Found a few more. There's a lot out there on Google about lightning and boats

When Lightning Strikes | Marlin Magazine
Not all fried electronics are immediately found.

GETTING ZAPPED
More on lightning and sailboat

Lightning Damage
Do not have your electronic eggs all in one basket
These also talk about damage to fixed and connected systems.

Interestingly, one actually does mention having hand held and other non-connected devices on board and putting them in a metal case as a lightning strategy.

This is the closest yet to providing some support that proper choice of backup electronics can mitigate a lightning strike.

I don't think the metal case is necessary, but it probably doesn't hurt.

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Old 05-11-2013, 14:45   #69
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Re: The End of Paper Nautical Charts

I crossed the Biscaya with only paper, not even a GPS. It was on the edge of going to GPS and the decca slaves were for some part already dismantled or obsolete.

Save for precise navigation and to see roughly wher I am, paper might still be the choice.
The Dutch "Rijkswaterstaat" stopped with printing charts for The Sands (Waddenzee), latest edition was 2012. There is one more coming, after that it's out.

I have about 300 chrtas on board covering UK, Holland and part of France, which in my case is enough. You should always have a back up.
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Old 05-11-2013, 14:47   #70
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Re: The End of Paper Nautical Charts

Here's another 7 pages of lightning info on cruisersforum
Lightning Strike Damage Details Needed
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Old 05-11-2013, 17:08   #71
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Re: The End of Paper Nautical Charts

Colemj: when you wrote "perceived protection" relative to a small Faraday cage, was it your intention to imply that Faraday cages don't work?

If you're content with your three layers of separate, non-fixed electronic nav packages, expecially since your lightning strike, good on ya. You pays your money and makes your choices.

Plus, I think some people feel more comfortable with paper, and others, with electronics, just as a part of life. I apologize if I'm being dense, but I'm just not understanding where all the passion is coming from.
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Old 05-11-2013, 17:36   #72
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Re: The End of Paper Nautical Charts

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Colemj: when you wrote "perceived protection" relative to a small Faraday cage, was it your intention to imply that Faraday cages don't work?

If you're content with your three layers of separate, non-fixed electronic nav packages, expecially since your lightning strike, good on ya. You pays your money and makes your choices.

Plus, I think some people feel more comfortable with paper, and others, with electronics, just as a part of life. I apologize if I'm being dense, but I'm just not understanding where all the passion is coming from.
Not exactly. I was referring to many "ideas" people have told me about regarding protecting stuff beyond the normal faraday/oven/microwave things.

On the other hand, boats do not have actual faraday cages. Ovens are notoriously leaky and microwaves are protective against the wrong frequencies. It isn't correct to refer to these as faraday cages, especially where lightning is concerned.

It is more defense rather than passion. I don't have a passion for electronic charting, although I do have a preference. I also have no issues at all with paper charts, although I don't carry them for our current cruising grounds. I certainly do not have an issue with people using paper charts primarily and do not think they are dangerous in any way.

If someone were to post "I like paper charts and use them primarily", I wouldn't even be on that thread.

But what is posted in these types of threads is much different than that. The claims and statements do argue for a defense.

The defense is simply putting some logic and reason into the fray when people are making statements regarding how dangerous it is to use electronic charts, how those people are one lightning strike away from disaster, how "real" and "experienced" sailors all use paper charts, etc. Then there are the plain incorrect "facts" regarding information density and usage difficulty etc.

So I keep coming up with examples that disprove "facts", reasoned arguments why electronic charting isn't "dangerous" or "irresponsible" and thought experiments in the hope that others will reflect and examine the validity of their beliefs and possibly re-catagorize them to personal preferences instead of gospel.

The passion is really in the paper chart aficionados. They are the ones who make definitive statements and hold unexamined beliefs while denigrating the relative skill levels and experiences of those who don't believe like them.

I find it interesting that nobody will take the bait on commercial shipping doing all planning, routing and navigating electronically while no longer carrying paper charts at all. No one has even attempted to tell me that those examples have access to charts, displays and protection devices not available to us consumers.

As for my content level with layers of electronics, I have formulated a hypothesis based on experience and direct gathering of data. I have only presented it as a hypothesis and wish to refine that to understand if it is correct and have asked for other's thoughts, data and experiences.

Here is something to consider: If you have paper charts onboard, yet lose all of your GPS fix capabilities due to a lightning strike, how will you use that chart?

Perhaps you are a good, and practiced, celestial navigator with a working and calibrated sextant and non-electric and well-maintained timepiece. If so, I applaud you - I will never achieve that level.

However, if you are counting on some type of GPS capability surviving, then why isn't it reasonable that some type of charting capability can also survive? My handheld GPS has a world map on it. So do tablets, smart phones, etc.

If the argument is the strike happens in the middle of the ocean and one needs to do dead reckoning to safely make landfall, then that can be done with a plotting sheet, and I refer you to Jedi's points there.

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Old 05-11-2013, 17:51   #73
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I find it disturbing that so many here would not know which way to sail to safe yourselves without a chart of any kind. You should not be out there, if you can't.

Don't forget that Adriaen Block, another Dutchman I may add, had no chart when he drew the one used in the examples (with Block island). He, like me, had a clue of whereabout he was and which way to sail.

Do not forget that we're talking about emergency navigation after a disastrous lightning strike, not what we prefer for regular navigation. Only those with a mechanical time piece (no batteries that means), sextant, paper charts and tables and the skill to get precise positions using those, can navigate accurately after a lightning strike. I think there is only one such sailor on this thread, yet many are just repeating "paper chart!" for the heck of it.

I have sailed areas where charts, both paper and electronic, just say "unsurveyed", with reefs and rocks and coral heads everywhere and far from any possible help. If you are not ready to do this and feel your way into unknown bays and coastal waters, why not just stay in the marina, blaming the lack of required navigational tools?

May be it's time to learn to hear the waves pounding an unseen reef, to climb into something to see the color in the water and find the path in, to heave to, deploy the dinghy and go check it out, may be even set some temporary markers to show the way in. I did all of that even with all my charts and plotters and gadgets.
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Old 05-11-2013, 17:56   #74
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Re: The End of Paper Nautical Charts

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I find it interesting that nobody will take the bait on commercial shipping doing all planning, routing and navigating electronically while no longer carrying paper charts at all.

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Old 05-11-2013, 18:04   #75
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Re: The End of Paper Nautical Charts

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May be it's time to learn to hear the waves pounding an unseen reef, to climb into something to see the color in the water and find the path in, to heave to, deploy the dinghy and go check it out, may be even set some temporary markers to show the way in. I did all of that even with all my charts and plotters and gadgets.
Nah - I just watch the spreader camera on the tv…

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