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Old 03-05-2012, 11:56   #16
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

. A GPS/Plotter makes life very easy. Good tool. But I'm always using my eye's as my #1 tool. Even with a plotter, If I'm sailing overnight or longer, I always mark positions on a paper chart every now and then... easy to see trends etc...
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Old 03-05-2012, 13:09   #17
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

...not if you don't have one! I think the people that use them are the same people I see texting while driving their cars.
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Old 03-05-2012, 13:55   #18
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

The fine print that all the manufacturers ship with their recreational chart plotters...

Garmin:
  • Use the electronic chart in the unit only to facilitate, not to replace, the use of authorized government charts. Official government charts and notices to mariners contain all information needed to navigate safely.
  • Use this unit only as a navigational aid. Do not attempt to use the unit for any purpose requiring precise measurement of direction, distance, location, or topography.
Raymarine:

This product is intended to serve only as an aid to navigation. Use of specific features such as to AIS overlay, radar, and various cartographic aids are meant only to aid safety and decision-making. These features cannot be relied upon as complete or accurate as their use and availability may vary locally. It is your responsibility to use caution, sound judgement, official government charts, notices to mariners and proper navigational skill when using this or any other electronic device.
Electronic charts are an aid to navigation designed to facilitate the use of authorized government charts, not to replace them. Only official government charts and notices to mariners contain the current information needed for safe navigation. The Captain is responsible for their prudent use. The E-Series and its charts do not therefore exclude the user from carrying the required official charts and documents.


I could go on through Standard Horizon B&G etc, but it would be redundant as they all say the same thing...
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Old 03-05-2012, 14:21   #19
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

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Originally Posted by Dulcesuenos View Post
Im sure glad airline pilots don't still use paper charts for navigation. Their chart table might take up some valuable first class space...
Seriously though this was the one area where most of the testees failed on the exam. I agree knowing how to navigate is critical for offshore and trips. I still enjoy using electronics for navigation and while I carry a mechanical old school drill I use the cordless electric first!
I Love technology
Actually most still do...

See FAR Part 91.503.

Ever wonder whats in those briefcases you see those guys lugging about at the airport?



Now,there are "certificated" Electronic Flight Bags, but they are frightfully expensive to install and maintain, so most US carriers still opt for paper.

Alaska, along with American Delta and United are all in various stages of testing iPads for the job, but no matter the optimism of that article, its still a long way before the FAA will allow a truly paperless cockpit without a full up EFB.

One little surprise Alaska has found is that if the iPad is radiating WiFi, it can cause CDUs to blank out on the 737 next gens...

But thats airplanes and this venue is about boats.

As noted, any chart plotter you can buy is specifically mandated by the manufacturer to be regarded solely as a supplemental aid to navigation...

Unless you want to start talking IMO compliant ECDIS equipment.
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Old 03-05-2012, 14:43   #20
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post

me comes from the school of thought that if you couldn't get somewhere with only a pencil and a chart you would be unwise to be there in the first place.
No compass? Plotting tools are a luxury too, I guess.

No question that a responsible operator needs to understand basic navigation principles. Also no question that a lot donít. Technology is probably the reason for that.

But technology has its place in the equation. Back in the 60ís and early 70ís I made patrols on a nuclear submarine. We would be underwater for 60-75 days at a time. We used inertial navigation systems (SINS) that were basically DR machines. We trailed a wire for real time Loran C and got a satellite fix every night. That pass took 15 minutes of tracking and 20-25 minutes of computing to let us know where we had been.

The QMís kept a DR plot but it was the technology that gave the missiles the accurate position information that they and the boat needed. Also, the QMís would come back to the Nav Center to plot updates to their DR.

My point is that there is room for everything and a prudent navigator should use everything available.

Back in the 80ís I took a 34í sailboat from Bermuda to BVIís. Granted its 1,000 miles due south so not a real navigation challenge but we used DR and sun sites and were 20 miles set to the west when we got there because we didnít allow for current. Iím guessing a GPS would have nailed it except they didnít exist then. Would have been a lot dryer finishing the trip.
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Old 03-05-2012, 15:01   #21
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

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No compass? Plotting tools are a luxury too, I guess.

No question that a responsible operator needs to understand basic navigation principles. Also no question that a lot donít. Technology is probably the reason for that.
You do know that the original Transit Navsat was invented so the Polaris boomers could update their fix for a launch?

Have jotted down the little star symbol from the derived fix on a chart many a time...That is if the ship didn't turn in the middle of the multi minutes it took for the box to compute one..then it meant another DR "hump" with the turn factored in as best I could until the next fix would come along. Which, in the low latitudes, would be a while.

Or I could always go and fiddle with the roulette wheels on the Omega set and see what happened (usually nothing of value).

We are of the same vintage.

I really like my little Standard Horizon chart plotter BTW ...a CP155C that came with the boat that I put a recent vintage C-Map card and AIS feed into...Quite a nifty useful aid.
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Old 03-05-2012, 15:15   #22
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

I'm sure when the first caveman decided to attach a wooden handle to his rock and call it a hammer, there were a bunch of idiots standing around the campfire telling him it was never going to be as reliable as just a rock, that if he couldn't hit something with just a rock he had no business hitting things. They had been hitting things with rocks for years, there's no need to put a wooden handle on it, and that wooden handle will never make it any better than a rock.

Having a chartplotter onboard does not mean that you can't also use other more primitive means of navigation. It does not mean that you won't also look around and pay attention to where you are going.
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Old 03-05-2012, 15:53   #23
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

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You do know that the original Transit Navsat was invented so the Polaris boomers could update their fix for a launch?
Yep. I was on SSBN 610 Blue crew with 16 bad a** Polaris A-2ís!
I was a NAV ET. Transit (AN/BRN-3), was my gear along with Loran-C (AN/WPN-3), the Radar, IFF and ECM systems.
Transit was actually used to reset the Master SINS which then fed the birds via NAVDAC. Hard to believe I still remember that stuff!
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Old 03-05-2012, 15:59   #24
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

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Originally Posted by Fishspearit View Post
Having a chartplotter onboard does not mean that you can't also use other more primitive means of navigation. It does not mean that you won't also look around and pay attention to where you are going.

Lets see how the S/V Aegean accident investigation plays out....
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Old 03-05-2012, 16:02   #25
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

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Originally Posted by sailpower View Post
Yep. I was on SSBN 610 Blue crew with 16 bad a** Polaris A-2ís!
I was a NAV ET. Transit (AN/BRN-3), was my gear along with Loran-C (AN/WPN-3), the Radar, IFF and ECM systems.
Transit was actually used to reset the Master SINS which then fed the birds via NAVDAC. Hard to believe I still remember that stuff!
Just curious...

Now that QMs are gone...

What did you think about the trials and travails of the San Francisco?

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Old 03-05-2012, 16:14   #26
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

This thread has taken an interesting turn about chart plotters (and other electronic aids) being an aid to safety but going back to the OP question for a moment - are chart plotters a luxury or a necessity?

Surely no one here believes they are a necessity. As in necessity, meaning absolutely requisite or indispensable. To say a CP is such is foolishness at best and demonstrates ignorance of other navigational techniques and methods. Note the OP does not ask if they an aid to safe navigation and he/she only offers one other option to the question, i.e. are they a luxury. Given only the two options (luxury or necessity) and having shown one option is untenable (necessity), then the answer must be "luxury".

Now onto the thread drift which seems to be argument (discussion?) about whether or not they aid safety aboard your vessel. This is much more simple, of course they do assuming they are used intelligently. They are no different then most other stuff we have on board. Engines, storm sails, drogues, dry bunks, water makers, radars, GPS, paper charts, lifelines, PFD, EPRIB, etc etc etc, these all aid safety at sea and most require intelligent use otherwise you might as well leave them at home.

Another aspect to be considered though, is the misuse of equipment. Can the misuse of certain equipment lead to unsafe conditions? How hard is it to misuse equipment? Does certain equipment lend itself to be easily misused?

I suggest that a CP is such an item that can be easily misused and probably encourages misuse by the unwary and especially by the new chum.

Conversely, in the hands of the skilled, it is a great tool and a definite safety aid.




Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
......A simple example that happened to a frend recienty, where the chart plotter probably saved the yacht.
He started dragging rapidly, towards rocks in the middle of the night. The bay was enclosed with a narrow entrance garded by rocks. It was raining with very poor visibility, he sprang up on deck with no dark adaptation, as he came on deck all shore light went off no doubt due to the lightening from the storm.
He kept the yacht in safe water in the middle of the bay using his chart plotter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
..........All salors should be able to manage if electronic devices fail. Having a chartplotter does not prevent you maintaining these skills..............

It was not the anchor alarm that saved my frends boat, but knowing his position in the bay when other clues were absent, only a chart plotter could have given him this information under the circumstances.
Noelex, please excuse the selective editing however I don't believe any of the above has been taken out of context.

First let say I am glad your friend stayed safe and I am sure that the chartplotter was a great aid to him that night.

However it seemed to me that you were saying that the chartplotter was essential to him in that situation (unless I have read your post incorrectly). I suggest a hand held GPS would have done the job just as adequately.

And with knowing the exact location and conditions, I surmise that without a CP or GPS, he may well as saved the day (err.. I mean night) by using his other skills which he has been maintaining (??).

For instance, without such aids, perhaps he would have anchored better but even so, stuff happens so then he would have known his rough position (near rocks, downwind from where he anchored) and where he needed to go (upwind back to original anchored position) and a rough idea of distance whether it was miles or a couple hundred yards or so. So retrieve anchor under power and motor back to estimated position using wind direction (and compass for confidence), sounder and eyes (I understand the low visibility was an issue but usually you can see a boat length or two. Re-anchor or if that is not possible, jill around very slowly using sounder and eyes until night vision kicks in or rain eases or conditions allow for other options.

My point being the same as yours which is "All salors should be able to manage if electronic devices fail. Having a chartplotter does not prevent you maintaining these skills".

However, I add, the continuing everyday use (reliance?) of especially a CP makes it difficult to fall back on other older harder methods of staying out of harms way.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
Went sailing last weekend on a 38' charter catamaran that didn't have radar or a plotter. It felt quite primitive, not having the data I'm accustomed to having at the binnacle.

My own boat has a plotter at the nav station with a full repeater at the binnacle. I can overlay radar on each plotter, and when I'm running the radar I have an advanced collision avoidance system. The system integrates with the autopilot, which means I can make course corrections from the nav station. I carry two handheld plotters as well, but these don't integrate with the system--they function only as backups. Both of the integrated plotters have a MOB button that will help guide the boat back to the exact spot where someone went overboard.

There's no way someone could convince me that those systems don't contribute to my safety underway.
Agreed Bash, they obviously contribute to your safety because in part, you are a skilled operator of these aids. I even bet you would manage OK if one (or more) went dark on you but I have to ask "are they a necessity for you rather than a very nice to have onboard type item".
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Old 03-05-2012, 16:29   #27
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

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Just curious...

Now that QMs are gone...

What did you think about the trials and travails of the San Francisco?


Yeah, that was a tough one although I think QMís were still on board at the time.
1 ďAĒ ganger died and lots of other injuries. That boat could easily been lost.
Through some USN forums I ďknewĒ the CO, Leading ďAĒ division chief and a QM 2 (maybe ET2?) who was busted after the incident.
As I understand it the ďunchartedĒ sea mount was actually warned about on one chart but not the chart SF was using. Squadron apparently signed off on the chart in use but it was determined that the CO, NAV, etc should still have known better and, as always, no blame attached to squadron. I believe they were on a flank bell at 500í when they stopped short.
The CO, Kevin Mooney was a real hot runner and on the flag track until then. Very sad but could have been a lot worse.
SF is back in the fleet with a new front end grafted on. Donít think I would want to be diving to deep on that one!
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Old 03-05-2012, 16:31   #28
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

G'Day all,

When we first started our cruising life, celestial was the only option for off shore navigation, and we learned to use and trust it. When satnavs became available and affordable, we bought, used and trusted (sorta) them, and only used celestial when the satnav died... which it did as we approached the Tuamotus. I was damn glad that I had the skills and the equipment to make that switch in methodology. When GPS became available and affordable, we bought one and learned to use and trust it, still using paper charts and pencils. Loved the instant availability of positional info. Later we started using various laptop based charting systems linked to the GPS, and loved that as well... but I still carry the sextant and paper charts.

This obviously puts me in the old fart school of navigation!

But, I believe that the new technologies are beneficial and do indeed add to ones safety at sea. My worry is that a newbie (like the OP) will buy the plotter and never have any inclination to learn the basics of pilotage and navigation, and thus be ill equipped if there is a failure of any part of his e-systems, or to evaluate the reliability and accuracy of the plotter in the areas of the world where charting is suspect.

We have encountered a shocking number of "cruisers" who are in this scary category, and they worry me a bit.

Excuse the rant, please...

Cheers,

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Old 03-05-2012, 16:43   #29
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

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I suggest that a CP is such an item that can be easily misused and probably encourages misuse by the unwary and especially by the new chum.

Conversely, in the hands of the skilled, it is a great tool and a definite safety aid.
Cogent points all Wotname...

I know mine saved my a@@ a few months ago when I found myself standing into a tight channel lined on each side with crab traps, with a pretty fair beam wind and sea, and the fog got so thick I couldn't see past the glare from the running lights at the pulpit (but could hear the Coastie rhibs sounding their horn..Thank God for their compliance in that regard).

Without it, I would likely have gotten wrapped up in a nice little mess with a crab trap...In the fog and with traffic around.

Now, I will self-critique that it was a mighty dumba-- decision to begin the transit into that mess when I could clearly (pun intended) see that the viz was headed down the tubes....

All I can say is: I Learned About Sailing From That.

But whatever, it sure doesn't help that these electronic aids are being marketed as End All/Do All tools for Navigation...

This idea that they will "Plot your course, so you don't have to enroll in one"...

Is a course fraught with rocks and shoals -and Sirens- ready to snarl the unwary and unlucky...

IMHO....
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Old 03-05-2012, 16:55   #30
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
...... My worry is that a newbie (like the OP) will buy the plotter and never have any inclination to learn the basics of pilotage and navigation, and thus be ill equipped if there is a failure of any part of his e-systems, or to evaluate the reliability and accuracy of the plotter in the areas of the world where charting is suspect......
Nice post , Jim

much as I love a cheap laptop and opencpn, one thing it doesn't add is the constant and fairly intense attention which comes from never being entirely sure how accurate your position fix was...
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