Originally Posted by Time2Go
. . ..I have been on a few cruises where there were gaps in the paper charts
And we were totally 100% dependent on the chart plotter.
It is very unsettling to think that your fate is dependent on a 7"
Magic electronic box. . . .
I know the feeling, but if you want to cruise
really long distances you have to get over it, unless you have thousands to spend on charts and a whole separate cabin
to store them. The other thing which becomes impossible is keeping charts for 10 to 15 countries up to date.
Paper is the best, but if it's not kept up to date, and if you try to rely on it for navigation, it can be worse than useless.
thousands of miles and 10 -12 countries every year, and here is the practice which has evolved on our boat:
1. I keep paper for as much of the territory as possible, and I buy more every year (and sometimes my friends give me charts). All the bunks on my boat are full of charts under the mattresses. But I do NOT attempt to either (a) cover the whole cruising area without gaps; OR (b) keep them up to date. Paper is a planning tool only, but there is no electronic system which can give you the vivid orientation that paper can. For a really complex and unfamiliar new piece of water
, I always reach for the paper first, if I have it. But I am extremely careful to check any routing or navigation which I have done on non-updated charts, with an authoritative, up to date chart, before using it. N.B.!
2. I have out of date CM93 charts of the whole world, plus up to date and authoritative "For Navigation" raster charts for parts
of my cruising area (all British Isles, Atlantic France
, North Sea), on ship's computer used with OpenCPN
. With a large high resolution monitor
, this is a superlative planning system. I create routes and transfer to the main nav system by thumb drive. I always check the route
carefully (it takes a long time, zoomed all the way in) on the authoritative charts in the main nav system, before using it, which is especially important if routing has been done with out of date CM93 charts. Remember Team Vestas!!
3. Main navigation system (B&G Zeus plotters at helm
and nav station) has what we consider the authoritative cartography on board. Navionics
and NV charts which are always kept up to date.
4. Various backup devices, like IPad with INavX and out of date Navionics
charts (which Navionics are surprisingly gracious about supporting).
I don't have any big problem with "magic electronic boxes" except that you can't do passage
planning in complex water
with vector charts and small screens. This doesn't matter to most cruisers who don't sail much in complex or unfamiliar waters and so don't really do much passage planning. But my pet peeve is that many cruisers DON'T UPDATE their charts and don't have any up to date charts on board at all. This is dangerous!!