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Old 09-03-2010, 23:17   #136
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Originally Posted by mesquaukee View Post
How odd to say that a paper chart is not history. A paper chart is by all definitions history.

Even odder to say users of paper charts are not true sailors to which is tacked on the phrase “as proven by us true explorers and sailors”. Very interesting when one looks at the material in this thread.
I took the liberty of talking from the standpoint of explorers who explored uncharted area's. For them, charts were not history because there were no charts. It were the Dutch, English, Portuguese, Spanish and French who explored and charted most of what we look at on charts today. Most of the US east coast was first explored and surveyed/charted by Captain Block (Dutchman of course) preceding the colonization of New Netherland. Many points & islands bear the name of his crewmen incl. Block Island for himself.
So, how would he have thought about paper charts? He sailed that area without charts. All he had were some notes from logbooks of a handful of ships that were there before him. Could he have stated that he was a better navigator than those on the ships that came later, equipped with his charts? Would he have embraced the tools we have today, like a time source accurate to a micro-second, log, sonar, radar and electronic chart plotters?

Coming back to the subject of this thread: It is good to have a back-up of your charts and tools needed for navigation. But a paper chart back-up does not outperform an electronic chart back-up. I have multiple electronic chart back-ups but I also have a paper cruising guide that has charts and sometimes those charts are better than the official paper charts for the area. It all doesn't matter as long as you have a back-up and know how to use it. And it all starts with the knowledge and skill required for navigation.

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Old 09-03-2010, 23:28   #137
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Charts are not required. Neither electronic or paper are very accurate in 90% of the world not frequented by container ships. If some nanny state like Australia forces you to have them you can always toss them over at the sea buoy. What's all this bickering about? If you have a heavy slow boat stuffed with all manner of just-in-case-what-if stuff already ... like the explorers of old ... then by all means take a hundred pounds of paper along. If you have other priorities than historic realism, the laptop will do just fine.

Personally I like iNaxX on my iPhone the best. It's always right there for a quick peek, the charts are up-to-date, almost free, and the interface can't be beat as long as you have sharp eyesight. I can check on the doofus crew work without even lifting my head off the pillow.
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:41   #138
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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Coming back to the subject of this thread: It is good to have a back-up of your charts and tools needed for navigation. But a paper chart back-up does not outperform an electronic chart back-up. I have multiple electronic chart back-ups but I also have a paper cruising guide that has charts and sometimes those charts are better than the official paper charts for the area. It all doesn't matter as long as you have a back-up and know how to use it. And it all starts with the knowledge and skill required for navigation.
It is refreshing to see that you acknowledge that paper charts as found in cruising guides are official paper charts from which electronic charts are derived.

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I took the liberty of talking from the standpoint of explorers who explored uncharted area's. For them, charts were not history because there were no charts. It were the Dutch, English, Portuguese, Spanish and French who explored and charted most of what we look at on charts today. Most of the US east coast was first explored and surveyed/charted by Captain Block (Dutchman of course) preceding the colonization of New Netherland. Many points & islands bear the name of his crewmen incl. Block Island for himself.
So, how would he have thought about paper charts? He sailed that area without charts. All he had were some notes from logbooks of a handful of ships that were there before him. Could he have stated that he was a better navigator than those on the ships that came later, equipped with his charts? Would he have embraced the tools we have today, like a time source accurate to a micro-second, log, sonar, radar and electronic chart plotters?
Prior to Captain Block this area was explored by sailors in a period before "cheap" paper was readily available. Knowledge was passed down by oral traditions and runic symbols. If they would have had a good supply of paper on which they could have recorded or charted the area all the names would have been different.
I am sure they would have enjoyed the convinience of modern technology.
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Old 10-03-2010, 09:03   #139
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It is refreshing to see that you acknowledge that paper charts as found in cruising guides are official paper charts from which electronic charts are derived.
They often are but then they would be the same. No, a case where the cruising guide charts are better is in the Bauhaus guide for Panama. Bauhaus made those charts himself. They are not complete, but what is on them is accurate while the official charts just show "shallow" or "unsurveyed".

Also, today, most official charts are electronic. The paper charts are a print of that. This change over happened a good time ago. I do not think there is a single hydrographic institute left that has a paper chart as the master.

Quote:
Prior to Captain Block this area was explored by sailors in a period before "cheap" paper was readily available. Knowledge was passed down by oral traditions and runic symbols. If they would have had a good supply of paper on which they could have recorded or charted the area all the names would have been different.
;-) that would have been the local Indians and the Vikings ;-) I don't think they had the urge to create charts even if they would have had paper. The locals because they would grow up in the area becoming familiar automatically and the Vikings considered it their secret fishing grounds. They managed to keep that secret for a long time!

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Old 10-03-2010, 21:34   #140
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Therapy, I suspect for many it is less a loss of ability than it is a conscious unwillingness. The "new", high-tech stuff is very impressive-- until one looses power, for which many of the "adaptive" generation are unprepared. As one ages, one realizes that all the "new" stuff, frankly, "ain't that great". Novel, yes, but...

Slavish reliance on electronic wonders robs one of the ability to develop intuitive situational awareness and basic skills. While I think the electronic charting equipment of today is quite miraculous--and at this point we have no less than 5 chartplotters/gps devices aboard, we routinely shut the whole business down so that we do not forget--and the kids and grand kids do not fail to learn--how to keep track of our position, follow a course line in a cross sea and maintain our memory of "danger bearings" the "old fashioned" way.

As I said when I first began this thread, there is merit to maintaining a paper plot... Just in case, eh?

FWIW...
I don't know.
I don't really think it is conscious. I think things are not understood and cannot be mastered and are then feared or distrusted and then placed into a category that is labeled "bad".

To my thought reliance on electronic wonders reducing situational awareness could be said about the beginning uses of electric lighting in the home. I don't see the difference. It has become so reliable that few now have candles for backup in the home.

It is interesting to be on the "downward slope" and remembering the remarks made by my parents and their peers about certain things and seeing the same thing happening to me and my peers. I have noted that most are in denial and rationalize too much though.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:21   #141
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As to governments storing "paper charts" - They never really did - the originals are on acetate in layers so that they can update navigational data without disturbing the underlying acetates with soundings and another with geographical data. Those acetates were put together to then print the final paper chart. Now the various "authorized" e-chart producers scan the acetates to make their e-charts. All of which is pretty useless information as updates to charts since WWII is rarely or never done except for frequently traversed commercial harbours.
- - Commercial shipping is now authorized to use e-charts as primary navigation so finding any "updated" paper charts is akin to finding hen's teeth.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:26   #142
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I agree with Therapy. Every new technology carries with it the fear that it will replace the old and the user will feel insecure. I am sure the first flashlight user also carried a torch he could light if the new technology didn't work and he was stuck in the dark. I hardly ever carry a torch anymore though so maybe I have gotten over my fear.

While many of us carry a sextant I would venture to guess that few of us could accurately find a position any closer then DR could get us if we really needed to. The old technology for finding a position just got too old to really be useful anymore. The same will eventually take place with paper charts.

Think of a day not too far off when every change to a chart is available in real time. The bouys have position sensors and there positions can be read in real time. Would any of us want to have paper charts for very long when the real data that is important to us is handled in a different way much more accurately.

This argument is fine now and everyone can feel they are right. 10 years from now those on the paper side will be arguing to also carry a torch in case your flashlight batteries go out.

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Old 11-03-2010, 08:20   #143
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The operative word is BACKUP

Don't really know what the argument is about. e-charts are great and finding distances, findings bearings plotting waypoints for a voyage and course are much easier than on paper charts. But...
Using e-charts depends on a working laptop and a steady supply of electricity. If either of those are not available you're blind.
Fact is I have two gps units, two sextants and will soon add a chartplotter and radar. I also use e-charts.
But I also have a full set of up-to-date charts for any area I'm sailing in.
To put it another way if my electricity goes out or my laptop dies, not likely but certainly possible, I'd hate to try to work my way into and unfimilar anchorage or harbor with no chart from which to take bearings or plot courses. A paper chart will always give me that and as a safety backup IMHO its indespensible
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:59   #144
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I agree with you bloodhunter. This means that when you have sufficient back-up's for both computers & power, you can use electronic charts as a backup too. I currently have 7 computers aboard that can run Windows XP, plus two plotters. I also have too many power sources to believe that I will loose all of them (house batteries, starter batteries, engine, genset, solar panels and batteries in two laptops).
And I still want paper chartlets in cruising guides as well.

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Old 11-03-2010, 10:32   #145
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Electronic charts are my backup for paper , not the other way around .
The advantages ( pretty big ones...) of electronic charts are convenience and expediency , but for me paper trumps electronic on every other count.
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Old 04-04-2010, 05:50   #146
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I din't see it mentioned but in Canada it's actually law that you have to carry paper charts. They have to be the largest scale available
I am no lawyer, but I don't think the law specifically says we have to carry paper charts. My understanding of the Regulation is that the navigator must be able to switch to a completely alternate positioning system in an appropriate time frame should the first one go down, and must carry appropriate charts (electronic are fine if they are officially approved by CHS) and other documents. For most pleasure craft, official paper charts and manual positioning fit the requirement for backup, should GPS go down. Backup GPS receiver/chartplotters are easy options for first segment (user) failures, but a boater has no way of solving failures in the second and third segments (control stations or satellites). Having a second electronic positioning system that is completely independent of GPS and totally reliable to IMO specs is unrealistic on a small boat given current technology. These principles are consistent with long-established marine navigation traditions embodied in international conventions, I think.

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I would surely hope that all sailors know that both radar and GPS show the truth and it is the charts that are wrong, regardless if they are paper or electronic.
Forgive me if I misunderstand the context of this statement, but radar and GPS show virtual reality of the world around the boat, not the real world. Radar and GPS can misrepresent the real world in many ways. On the other hand a hand-bearing compass and sextant show manual measurements of the boat relative to real-world objects.

Both these points are central to why I believe paper charts and the ability to use them are essential when using electronic positioning/charting on recreational craft, along with many other important benefits of hydrographic office-approved paper charts made by others in this most valuable thread, for example:

- Ability to properly use electronic positioning/chartplotter systems requires a sound understanding of basic manual paper charting principles and techniques.
- Even on a small boat it's easy to plot periodic GPS fixes on paper charts, and jot periodic basic navigation data into a notebook -- just takes discipline.
- Improved situational awareness.
- Common proprietary GPS e-chart systems are not official charts and are sold as "aids to navigation".

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Originally Posted by Therapy View Post
...could be said about the beginning uses of electric lighting in the home. I don't see the difference. It has become so reliable that few now have candles for backup in the home.
Heh-heh - We use candles as backup for power failures in our community regularly!

[My personal opinion, for what its worth.]
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Old 04-04-2010, 10:38   #147
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I am no lawyer, but I don't think the law specifically says we have to carry paper charts.
I'm sure about it: electronics charts meet legal requirements world wide.

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Forgive me if I misunderstand the context of this statement, but radar and GPS show virtual reality of the world around the boat, not the real world. Radar and GPS can misrepresent the real world in many ways. On the other hand a hand-bearing compass and sextant show manual measurements of the boat relative to real-world objects.
I think not. If your radar tells you the marker is at a bearing of 214 deg. and a distance of 103 meters, that is where it is regardless of what your paper chart and sextant tell you. The radar is right... again: THE RADAR IS RIGHT.

For GPS, assuming the satellites are all working and not fooling accuracy like during war, the position on the GPS is your true position. If you are 103 meters from a rock but the chart shows you 200 meters off when you plot the GPS position on the chart, the chart is wrong and the GPS is right. Again: THE CHART IS WRONG AND THE GPS IS RIGHT.
I put those two things in capitals not for you but for all the readers of the thread. Many think the chart is right in those cases.

Now some but's: If you see a coastline on your radar, it might be the dunes and not the low beach. In other words: you should know how to operate a radar. If it were up to me, I would enforce every radar user to follow a course and pass an exam before a radar is installed on the boat.

Quote:
Both these points are central to why I believe paper charts and the ability to use them are essential when using electronic positioning/charting on recreational craft, along with many other important benefits of hydrographic office-approved paper charts made by others in this most valuable thread, for example:
All serious hydrographic offices have approved digital charts too. In fact, the electronic version is the source; the paper version is a print of it.

Quote:
- Ability to properly use electronic positioning/chartplotter systems requires a sound understanding of basic manual paper charting principles and techniques.
- Even on a small boat it's easy to plot periodic GPS fixes on paper charts, and jot periodic basic navigation data into a notebook -- just takes discipline.
- Improved situational awareness.
I completely agree. Like for radar, I would enforce a minimum level of knowledge on coastal navigation before letting anyone sail out of harbor. Many nations, incl. mine enforce that.

Quote:
- Common proprietary GPS e-chart systems are not official charts and are sold as "aids to navigation".
Yes, just like many paper charts are and most (90% or so?) sailors use non official paper charts.

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Old 04-04-2010, 10:50   #148
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Considering that most of the world makes no requirement at all for RECREATIONAL boaters to use any sort of chart, or any form of navigation at all, the question of 'required" and sufficient charts is moot except to commercial shipping.
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Old 04-04-2010, 10:56   #149
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... For GPS, assuming the satellites are all working and not fooling accuracy like during war, the position on the GPS is your true position. If you are 103 meters from a rock but the chart shows you 200 meters off when you plot the GPS position on the chart, the chart is wrong and the GPS is right. Again: THE CHART IS WRONG AND THE GPS IS RIGHT...
Your GPS must be higher tech than mine: which only knows where it is (I am), but not where any other object (rock) is.
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Old 04-04-2010, 11:11   #150
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Your GPS must be higher tech than mine: which only knows where it is (I am), but not where any other object (rock) is.
You don't have the laser rangefinder option bolted onto your portable GPS? But even if so ill equipped, surely you could use the radar to tell you that you are exactly 103 meters off that rock? ;-)

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