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Old 20-05-2017, 11:24   #61
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Re: I need Canadian's help!

1-We're being charged for something we, as taxpayers, have already paid for. (I'd sure like to know how much money the gov't actually makes from licencing.)
2-There would be savings in SAR if everyone could easily get up to date charts.(It says that charts protect lives, property and the environment right on my charts)
3-If they charged a nominal fee for the electronic downloads they would likely take in more money at virtually no expense.
4-Some of my charts show the data source, some don't. The ones that do have a source show shallow areas last surveyed 50 or 60 years ago.
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Old 20-05-2017, 11:42   #62
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Re: I need Canadian's help!

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Originally Posted by bcboomer View Post
1-We're being charged for something we, as taxpayers, have already paid for. (I'd sure like to know how much money the gov't actually makes from licencing.)
2-There would be savings in SAR if everyone could easily get up to date charts.(It says that charts protect lives, property and the environment right on my charts)
3-If they charged a nominal fee for the electronic downloads they would likely take in more money at virtually no expense.
4-Some of my charts show the data source, some don't. The ones that do have a source show shallow areas last surveyed 50 or 60 years ago.
It IS hilarious to see all you big-boat guys complaining about chart prices .

2 - It would take an analysis of SAR events to confirm the potential savings

3 - the cost of distribution is NOT zero (I build web applications)

So look, I'm not really against free electronic charts if the numbers make sense. And also for less tangible reasons like tourism and potential safety gains. As far as the environment goes... the less boaters the better for our waters, so you're not making points there. And these poverty arguments ... not persuasive.

Besides, the whole navigation game has changed with L Ontario's elevated levels. New rules: if you see a street sign, telephone pole or a TV antenna, you're probably getting into the shallows.
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Old 20-05-2017, 11:49   #63
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Re: I need Canadian's help!

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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
That's kind of far-fetched. As I'm sure you know, the boat purchase is but one part of the equation. There's the accessories - life jackets and other mandated safety equipment. Anchor. Cooler. Camping gear. Clothing. Tools. Books. Lessons. PCOC. After that there's storage and ramp fees, gas (boat & vehicle), insurance, annual motor service, the occasional unplanned repair, replacements and upgrades. Spending maybe $40 - $80 on charts for your home waters, that will serve for 4 years or more... I don't think that's a deal-breaker.

Re electronic charts - you're going to be paying $300+ for a computer or tablet to run them on. Plus the special 12v charger adaptor.

So you're not winning me with the poverty angle. (said the guy whose current boat wasn't that much more than $2k to buy )
Sigh, while I again disagree with your statement again (half the stuff you listed is not required or frivolous), you also completely missed the point of my last post. You are absolutely right the cost of charts not being a deal breaker (however $40-$80 is out to lunch, try $300 for most home waters).

The point is free charts will encourage more people to actually use charts. Boats that never used charts before (12-20ft daysailors or fishing boats) will have easy access to them. The more people that actually use charts the safer our waters will be. Thats it, period..

I would also like to reiterate that creating this petition will directly benefit me in NO WAY. I do not boat or cruise in Canadian water. I have not, and probably will never buy a Canadian chart. However as a Canadian taxpayer I believe our government should be providing this service for the reasons I listed and a few more!

P.S. Not sure where you buy your tablets from, but $300 would be a pretty high mark. For $100 you can get a nice tablet with built in GPS that will run OpenCPN (at Walmart).
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Old 20-05-2017, 12:00   #64
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Re: I need Canadian's help!

[QUOTE=Lake-Effect;2396770]It IS hilarious to see all you big-boat guys complaining about chart prices .

Us "big-boat guys" are not necessarily wealthy, spend more on up-keep etc.

2 - It would take an analysis of SAR events to confirm the potential savings

NOPE, says right on my charts "Nautical Charts Protect Lives,
Property and the Marine Environment"


3 - the cost of distribution is NOT zero (I build web applications)

It can't be much more than what they need to spend to make it available to military and gov't ships, so a small fee would fix that.
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Old 20-05-2017, 12:10   #65
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Re: I need Canadian's help!

Hey, I'm just playing devil's advocate, and pointing out weak arguments.

Quote:
Us "big-boat guys" are not necessarily wealthy, spend more on up-keep etc.
I didn't say you were wealthy. If you can afford to own and use a large pleasure vessel, you're not poor. C'mon now.

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Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
The point is free charts will encourage more people to actually use charts. Boats that never used charts before (12-20ft daysailors or fishing boats) will have easy access to them. The more people that actually use charts the safer our waters will be. Thats it, period..
Free always equals more uptake, sure, and that wouldn't be a bad thing.

E-charts being used on open sailing dinghies? Hardly. They're 99% sailed in known waters, they're splashed or dunked with regular and joyous regularity. The $15+k bass-boats have gold-plated charts, the guys in the old tin boat have local knowledge. I don't honestly think there's significant safety gains to be made in this section from free charts.

But let's really go after safety. How's this?
  • replace the lifetime PCOC card (one test, $40) with an annual boaters' licence - say $20/year and retesting or proof of class attendance every 5 years
  • visitor's cruising permit - say $30/year
  • both of the above INCLUDE free chart download privileges
This would bring measurable improvements to safety awareness, boat tracking, SaR, navigational knowledge. And... free charts! What's not to like?
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Old 20-05-2017, 12:56   #66
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Re: I need Canadian's help!

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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
I'd agree more if we weren't talking about yachting. I'm not saying that every cruiser is wealthy, but to sail/cruise you have to be in a relatively good position - a degree of financial independence, free time, health. Poor people aren't in need of nautical charts, generally, and I can't imagine that anyone was prevented from boating or cruising because they couldn't afford a chart.
Yes good point. But I think your generalization would easily produce a plethora of counter-examples (like me, for example. My boat is my home.). This is why I would rather apply the same principle to everyone: taxes pay for public goods. Period. If that means higher taxes for everyone, so be it (although in this specific case, the tax increase required would be pennies).

The only other reasonable method of applying user-fee type taxes is to have some sort of means test. But in the case of nautical charts, this would certainly demand an expanded bureaucracy which would certainly cost a lot more.
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Old 20-05-2017, 13:35   #67
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Re: I need Canadian's help!

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Yes good point. But I think your generalization would easily produce a plethora of counter-examples (like me, for example. My boat is my home.)
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Old 20-05-2017, 15:48   #68
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Re: I need Canadian's help!

No one has mentioned that New Zealand has made their charts available for free for some years now. NZ has a fairly extensive coast line... not so many miles as Canada, but ALL of their coast is accessible by normal sailors, and that's not the case with Canada. NZ's population is even smaller than Canada's, and yet they manage to afford this tax supported distribution.

Not sure what this proves, but it addresses some of the arguments above, those saying that Canada's population can't/shouldn't afford free charts.

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Old 21-05-2017, 06:13   #69
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Re: I need Canadian's help!

I resisted getting into this. As a US citizen it's technically none of my business. But please allow a few observations:

1) I'm a little concerned about the folks who report buying and borrowing old charts, then passing them along to others. My understanding (and again, I'm not a lawyer and not a Canadian) was that the law required CURRENT charts. There's a reason for that.

2) I did a little cruising in CA last summer (the Down East loop) and to buy all the required charts, at the correct scales, would have been prohibitive. I ended up just buying the smaller scale charts covering the whole trip, and a few larger scale charts for the places I thought I might need. Even that was a significant portion of the costs of the trip. Certainly enough to consider going elsewhere.

3) One-year subscriptions to Canadian electronic charts are much more reasonable, and I actually bought more than one (for different apps.)

I'm not opposed to free stuff, but I also don't want to knock the way Canada has chosen to fund their cartography.

Indulge me in a little thought experiment: Would it be cheaper to license a one-year subscription to all CA electronic charts, then print the paper charts off at a retail print shop? (Not that I'm suggesting this would be legal, just looking at the economic side.)

If it would, as I suspect, this tells me someone is making a huge profit, and CHS should re-negotiate the contract or put it out to bid.
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Old 21-05-2017, 08:38   #70
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Re: I need Canadian's help!

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Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
I resisted getting into this. As a US citizen it's technically none of my business. But please allow a few observations:

1) I'm a little concerned about the folks who report buying and borrowing old charts, then passing them along to others. My understanding (and again, I'm not a lawyer and not a Canadian) was that the law required CURRENT charts. There's a reason for that.
We appreciate your perspective.

I guess the answer there is that any chart is better than no chart, and an old chart coupled with local knowledge is still pretty useful. The Canadian charts are updated and reissued once in a while, and the CHS puts out "Notice to Mariners" regularly which contains text descriptions of changes and other stuff to be aware of. You're supposed to read these and manually alter your charts... but I don't know many sailors who do this regularly.

Quote:
Indulge me in a little thought experiment: Would it be cheaper to license a one-year subscription to all CA electronic charts, then print the paper charts off at a retail print shop? (Not that I'm suggesting this would be legal, just looking at the economic side.)

If it would, as I suspect, this tells me someone is making a huge profit, and CHS should re-negotiate the contract or put it out to bid.
I don't think that CHS chart-printing is some undiscovered boondoggle.

If electronic charts were available for cheap or free, I expect that more places would be permitted to print and sell them, which would probably lower prices.... if anyone else thought it was a market worth getting into. As far as the local business center printing them off... I don't know of any that would print on proper chart paper.

There are other non-official sources of Canadian navigation info. There are various Cruising Guides which contain aerial photos, small schematic maps of harbour entrances, notes about aids like buoys, transits etc. They are NOT charts, and they go to great pains to state that you still need official charts... but they are darned useful.

Maptech produces Richardsons map books, which are put together from official chart data. Again, they spell out that they're NOT official, we accept no responsibility blah blah blah... but they are reasonably detailed and in reality I think for most people they would suffice.

Cracked electronic charts can be found with not too much effort, but they're likely out of date and they expose the unwary to virii and malware. In addition to being illegal.
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Old 21-05-2017, 10:33   #71
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Re: I need Canadian's help!

AND some useful to me charts have been discontinued. Others are from French data in the 1880's. Still milking the cow I guess.
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