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Old 09-11-2018, 21:07   #46
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Re: Is a chart-table necessary?

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If I had the space on my boat, I'd have my mini-lathe, MIG welder, table saw, a bigger wine cellar, more counter space around the stove, and a bigger refrigerator to fit more beer. As most boaters - we are limited in space though it's sorta fun storing stuff in really weirdly shaped spaces. It's even more fun when I can find something I stored months before, or a long gone girlfriend has moved.
My chart table is totally useless and is covered in crap I haven't yet figured out how to fit anywhere else.
Waste of space.
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Old 09-11-2018, 22:35   #47
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Re: Is a chart-table necessary?

Gotta have the chart table.

My chart table is also the only truly usable counter space in the galley. The only time a chart isn't occupying the space is when I am rolling out flatbread.
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Old 09-11-2018, 23:35   #48
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Re: Is a chart-table necessary?

Very few people still use paper charts, so the chart table as such is not necessary. Using the space for an office is much more practical and typically the chart table is on the opposite side of the saloon table, so you can alternate on different tacks. Interestingly though, I always end up working on the saloon table.

In terms of navigation, let’s face it, navigating today takes minutes vs. hours because of the modern chart plotters. In fact, it is best done on a phone/tablet because it is simpler, and the information is right there. Compare routing using SailGrib vs. Raytech for example. One takes a few taps, the other takes 100 clicks and produces an incomprehensible result. Some people prefer to plan on a big monitor but then there is nothing better than the 32” TV and a trackball.

Then the whole concept of the nerve center... not so sure. I have moved instruments around the boat a lot and ended up with the following areas: one electrical panel, two heating control panels, one in living area, one in sleeping area; two autopilot controls, sleeping and chart table area; one TV/cameras control/laptop area; etc. I really do not see the point of having all this centralized. You want to be able to control heating from where you sleep; you want the water gauge to be close to the water maker control, the waste gauge to be close to the overboard valve and so on. Basically, the only equipment I still have not relocated from the chart table area is the SSB radio... and, I recently found out that I can connect multiple head units to the SEA-235, so I could put one extra head unit in the forward cabin where you can talk all night long if it was not such an overkill for a 31’ Hunter. I guess some people prefer everything centralized but it does not have to be at the chart table, it could be on a bulkhead.

I believe many people would benefit if they remodel the chart area as counter space (always useful on a boat, drawers or storage. In my case, I have been eyeing the space for a Splendide washer/dryer (the only place to fit on a small boat).

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Old 12-11-2018, 00:51   #49
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Re: Is a chart-table necessary?

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Very few people still use paper charts, so the chart table as such is not necessary. Using the space for an office is much more practical and typically the chart table is on the opposite side of the saloon table, so you can alternate on different tacks. Interestingly though, I always end up working on the saloon table.

In terms of navigation, let’s face it, navigating today takes minutes vs. hours because of the modern chart plotters. In fact, it is best done on a phone/tablet because it is simpler, and the information is right there. Compare routing using SailGrib vs. Raytech for example. One takes a few taps, the other takes 100 clicks and produces an incomprehensible result. Some people prefer to plan on a big monitor but then there is nothing better than the 32” TV and a trackball.

Some of this might be true for some use cases, but not indeed for many others.


Really long distance sailors nearly all use paper charts in some way or another. I am 90% electronic myself, but some kinds of chart work can only be done with paper, and sometimes you just want to spread a chart out, no matter how good your electronic gear is.


And having a nav station is not useful only for paper charts. It is not true that navigation takes "minutes" -- for all kinds of sailing. It depends on where you are and what you are doing.If you have serious navigation work to do, you need a place to do it. On a long voyage in complicated waters, where you need to spend a few hours a day on navigation and passage planning, the salon table just doesn't cut it.




Sailing through the Faroe Islands, for example? There are vicious tide races there, capable of sinking you at worst, and making you turn back, at best, if you hit them wrong. The only atlas of those races requires a moon meridian passage to use. Between tides and weather (and fog), it takes some serious time and effort to plan a passage through there. It simply cannot be done with a few mouse clicks.
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Old 12-11-2018, 01:50   #50
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Re: Is a chart-table necessary?

YES It is my space and my space only.
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Old 12-11-2018, 03:00   #51
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Re: Is a chart-table necessary?

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I'm specifically thinking about liveaboard catamarans here. I can see how on a monohull or chartered boat you might want a dedicated space to set up your laptop if nothing else.

Assuming I had a nice salon table to work on my laptop or iPad at, and that even if I carried paper charts that's probably where I'd be looking at them, is there any advantage to having a dedicated chart table in your opinion?

Am I'm missing something completely obvious to seasoned sailors and liveaboards?
Nothing is really necessary , as you and others have said, you can make do on other tables to LOOK at charts.

However, IF you like to prepare paper charts with parallel index lines offsetting safe distances from known dangers, circle and highlight those dangers and show safe course lines on those offsets, its very nice to have a handy storage place for your passage charts and the tools to prepare them with.

NICE but not Necessary!
Using Radar for blind navigation is great, but if Murphy calls and your screen goes out, the prepared chart is a godsend.

The best designs create multifunctional uses for large spaces and on a cat you have a lot of width

My Chartable is used for many things as it compliments the Pilothouse table for serving family style.

But it is also where I prep my charts before going into new waters.


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Old 12-11-2018, 05:42   #52
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Re: Is a chart-table necessary?

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Really long distance sailors nearly all use paper charts in some way or another.
They do?

Not the ones I drink with Very likely some paper stashed away somewhere but most long distance cruising boats seem to run electronic day to day now. The ones I've met along the way anyway.
Just getting paper for a lot of the world is not the easiest once drifting around the oceans, up to date is very rare, the data doesn't exist. Satellite images can be extremely useful, sasplanet is a fast way to jump through all the available images & webnavionics. Ge2kap tp convert the mages into opencpn chart files.
Chart table is certainly nice to have, but far from essential.
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Old 12-11-2018, 06:32   #53
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Re: Is a chart-table necessary?

last time I crossed the Atlantic we put a paper chart on the saloon table - it showed Europe, the ocean and the Caribbean. We all looked at it, ran our fingers along the projected route we would take, and said "hmmm" a couple of times. Then we put the paper chart away and never looked at it again.

I think a chart table (aka the nerve centre) is not needed any more. Our control panel is hidden away, we have 3 chartplotters, 2 ipads and a laptop. That's all we ever look at.

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..Really long distance sailors nearly all use paper charts in some way or another..
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Old 12-11-2018, 06:55   #54
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Re: Is a chart-table necessary?

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Is doing actual navigation and passage planning a big part of what you do on your boat, or not?
If you are old school and navigate with sextant and a wind up clock...by all means, navigation is a big part of sailing.

With modern electronic systems, you can simply note the coordinates in a note book periodically as a backup and navigation really isn't a big part of sailing in most cases.
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Old 12-11-2018, 07:40   #55
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Re: Is a chart-table necessary?

Seen it mentioned a couple times that catamarans have more room.

That's actually why the chart-table in the salon frustrates me. I'd say LOA for LOA, most catamarans have the salon seating space of a monohull 10' shorter.

Compare the amount of salon seating in a Fountaine Pajot Saona 47 (which has a pretty typical modern-cat layout) to the smallest Beneteau Oceanis, the 35.1. They actually have a pretty similar amount of seating space in the salon.

Sure catamarans are great about exterior spaces, and cabin space, and heads, and storage space. But their salons are generally not all that large. And then many cram a big desk there instead of giving you more seating.
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Old 16-01-2019, 06:59   #56
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Re: Is a chart-table necessary?

This is my answer to the chart table monolith which was in my boat until a month ago.
I now have the original teak chart table for sale if anyone wants it for $100.
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Old 16-01-2019, 09:48   #57
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Re: Is a chart-table necessary?

I think most of the monohull advice doesn't apply to the catamaran as asked about from the OP. Smaller Cats don't have good place for one. If you get an owner's version, then you will likely have a small desk area in the owner's hull. This will serve as a dedicated space to keep all the charts and items needed to use the chart. Large paper charts will best be viewed on the salon table. No worry about meals, people eat outside, in the shade. Much better underway, at the dock or on a mooring. You can keep things on the salon table if required.

The nerve center on many Leopards like mine is above the fridge and freezer. You have a flat surface to constantly battle keeping clean. But no seat.

I think having a modern MFD with AIS and Radar interfaced at the helm is best. Your second helm station is a tablet or smartphone that you can move anywhere around the boat.

My ideal setup would consist of a forward facing helm, comfortable seat with backrest and enough flat surface area for a large portion of a standard chart. Duplicate items from the helm located there as well. However, this requires a 44+ cat to still leave enough room for galley up an saloon table.
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Old 16-01-2019, 09:55   #58
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Re: Is a chart-table necessary?

Is a chart-table necessary?




For me, big YES. For others, don't know, it is up to them to decide.
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