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Old 31-10-2013, 20:51   #1
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The ICW Magenta Line is being removed

I have received several emails and calls from cruisers who think that I have misspoke by saying the Magenta Line is already being removed. Let me clarify - NOAA Coast Survey has already started removing the magenta line from some of the charts! It started removing them before they asked for any comment. On these updated charts there is no Magenta Line and NO mile marker designations -- just an occasional notation for the ICW. Not all the charts have been updated, but 11517 is a great example of one that has, since it covers the tricky areas north and south of St. Helena's Sound (here's a sample with a manageable file size which includes the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff). If this isn't a reason to voice your opinion, I don't know what is. Here's my original post with links to the official notice: Waterway Cruising Guide | Cruising Guide News. Please submit your comments to NOAA Coast Survey according to its instructions before 12/26/2013, and feel free to suggest my dashed (or dotted) line idea. Happy and safe cruising!


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Old 01-11-2013, 05:31   #2
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Re: The ICW Magenta Line is being removed

I'm surprised there has been less feedback on this issue. I haven't done a trip down the ICW yet, but while dreaming and planning I've found that line helpful.

Ps..I provided my comment.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:46   #3
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Re: The ICW Magenta Line is being removed

Is this perhaps an indication that the Army Corps of Engineers is getting ready to abandon the maintenance of the ICW?
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:48   #4
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Re: The ICW Magenta Line is being removed

Although the magenta line is occasionally inaccurate it is very useful in showing which channel is the ICW in tricky sections (especially in Georgia and South Carolina) where there are many bends and curves. Sometimes the marks are not that close or there are marks other than ICW marks and it is fairly easy to end up in another channel that is not part of the ICW. This usually leads to grounding.

When I first started doing the ICW I used the magenta line to tell me which direction the next course change would be. For example if the line went left I would know to go left at the next mark, if right then go right. There are quite a few spots where it appears that the ICW continues straight if it were not for the much maligned magenta line.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:49   #5
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Re: The ICW Magenta Line is being removed

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Is this perhaps an indication that the Army Corps of Engineers is getting ready to abandon the maintenance of the ICW?
Best I could tell, they don't do much now...
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:53   #6
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Re: The ICW Magenta Line is being removed

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Originally Posted by tamicatana View Post
Best I could tell, they don't do much now...

Actually they do a fair bit but, like highways, it is politically driven.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:02   #7
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Re: The ICW Magenta Line is being removed

Mike, These issues have generated some interesting conversations over the last few weeks. None of us can see what the future holds, but I can make a guess on how this will affect mariners in the future if the line is removed. My thoughts are, it might be a good thing because it will force boaters to actually learn how to navigate and if they can't do that, they might want to stick to local waters. On the other hand, it does offer some assistance when transiting some of the more confusing spots along the ICW. I do beleive that if NOAA removes the magenta line, that boaters will still have another source. If we are to believe the naysayer, paper charts are dead and we are just waiting for the funeral, so what difference does it make if the magenta line is removed from a chart that doesn't exist. I for one don't think for a moment that paper is going away. Back to the issue, Since paper charts have been designated a back up, our primary sources are electronic in one form or another. I beleive that Jeppson, Navionics and all the rest of the chart suppliers for plotters will continue to add the line to their products because the demand will be there. Software that derives charts directly from NOAA products will have an issue. Feeware like OpenCPN and products from Rosepoint will definitely have to rethink their products. So even if NOAA drops the line, it will still probably appear on a plotter near you for some time to come. More than likely, chartkit makers like Maptech and NV will add their own lines and that might even provide a more accurate representation given the potential for liability. Chuck
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:08   #8
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Re: The ICW Magenta Line is being removed

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Originally Posted by tamicatana View Post
Best I could tell, they don't do much now...
The Corps of Engineers does an outstanding job, in my opinion, given the number of miles of waterway they are charged with. If yo don't like the progress they are making in your waters, you need to contact congress and require them to fund the Corps so they can properly maintain the waterways. It isn't that the Georgia ICW has not been dredged for years because the Corps does not feel like dredging it. It hasn't happened because no one has provided the funds. The new bill passed by congress, yes they passed a bill, may, and I only say may, provide some funding and incentives to improve our waterways for recreational boaters. Chuck
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:19   #9
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Re: The ICW Magenta Line is being removed

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Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
Although the magenta line is occasionally inaccurate it is very useful in showing which channel is the ICW in tricky sections
Agreed. The greatest value is on electronic chartplotters to easily show where the next leg is headed. This could lead to more reliance on waypoints and routes and the temptation to let autopilots steer to those routes. Time consuming and hazardous.

This will be a minor inconvenience to the paper users who can just pencil their own line in each evening when planning the next day.

It is an interesting conundrum.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:14   #10
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Re: The ICW Magenta Line is being removed

It only takes a few minutes to trace the magenta line as route using most PC-based chart plotters.
I, like the other posters, use the magenta line as guidance for the ICW meanders and intersections. Although I run one of several chartplotting packages on my PC at the nav station, my cockpit view of the charts is on a Raymarine MFD using Navionics charts. The Navionics charts lose the magenta line at several points on the ICW or when zoomed out to check on the next leg. So I've been in the habit of creating a route that traces the magenta line on my PC and then load it on the MFD. That way it is visible no matter the zoom level.
Again, I just use the line as guidance for the tricky parts of the ICW, not as a course to follow - at least not since the 2nd time I ran aground at the mouth of the Alligator River.

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Old 04-11-2013, 05:07   #11
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Re: The ICW Magenta Line is being removed

Just to be clear to all readers (I'm not saying anyone has written anything misleading) -- In the last couple weeks, the Magenta Line has already been removed, and in some of the trickiest sections. It's gone on the raster charts. It's gone on the vector charts. The mile markers are gone, too. They are gone on the PDF downloads. They are gone on Active Captain and any other site once it updates the NOAA charts. Unless each of the chart companies create its own "line" to add to their charts, and take on the expense and exposure to do so, there may be no more line and no more mile markers.

Will Waterway Guide, Kettlewell, AC, SSECN, etc... add the line back in their products? Maybe...but it will officially lose its reference. Can we rely on any consistency across products & platforms? Not unless we all decided to use the classic line and make no location modifications (maybe we could all agree to depict a dashed or dotted line in the trickiest areas). In any case -- will a "Not to be used for navigation" notice be enough to protect us when we're adding something to a chart that historically was provided by the government?


Anyone who is travelling the waterway right now can expect some "What The ......" moments as the line and mile markers disappear while wending through the wilds of SC or GA. Some may temporarily find options that still have the line...but those charts are already out of date. Happy cruising, and be safe!!
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:16   #12
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Re: The ICW Magenta Line is being removed

"Make it hurt" ringing in my ears...
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:23   #13
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Re: The ICW Magenta Line is being removed

Well, I guess NOAA must be listening: They just updated some of the ICW charts and, although the magenta line is no longer there, the ICW markers/buoys are still in magenta and the mile markers are noted.
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Old 14-11-2013, 04:27   #14
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Re: The ICW Magenta Line is being removed

I asked and NOAA replied:

I suggest commenting to nautical.charting@noaa.gov
OCS Inquiry: 22337

Original message: Is there a reason that the magenta line has been removed or rather not included in recent versions of electronic charts of the ICW?

Thanks & Regards Thomas Bodine

OCS response: Hi Thomas - thanks for your inquiry. While we know that the magenta line is a useful convenience for planning and for navigation, our fear is that, in too many instances, its existence on charts poses an avoidable danger. We need to avoid having the chart itself contributing to, rather than preventing, accidents. Today, as many mariners realize, there are many examples where the charted Intracoastal Waterway “magenta line” passes on the wrong side of aids to navigation; crosses shoals, obstructions, shoreline; and falls outside of dredged channels, etc. These examples, and actual cases of groundings, spurred Coast Survey to protect mariner safety. The Office of Coast Survey has removed the line from all electronic navigation charts (NOAA ENC) and is removing the magenta line from new editions on affected raster charts ( NOAA RNC). The removal of the line represents an interim action being taken by this office as outlined in the Federal Register announcement here: https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-23440 This office will determine final action following receipt and analysis of all feedback received during the associated comment period. We would welcome your thoughts on the issue.. The announcement offers additional background information and provides direction on how comments may be submitted.

Regards,

Steve
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Old 14-11-2013, 04:37   #15
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Re: The ICW Magenta Line is being removed

I suppose it would not make sense to update the magenta line, with the charted markers, while moving the charted markers on the chart to reflect their current location...
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