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-   -   Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . . (https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f121/death-to-paper-more-nails-in-the-paper-chart-coffin-55960.html)

doug86 01-03-2011 14:20

Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
Wired is reporting

Quote:

The Federal Aviation Administration is allowing charter company Executive Jet Management to use Apple’s tablet as an approved alternative to paper charts. The authorization follows three months of rigorous testing and evaluation of the iPad and Mobile TC, a map app developed by aviation chartmaker Jeppesen.
FAA OKs iPad for Pilots’ Charts | Autopia | Wired.com

This will just feed the fires of debate: paper vs electronic.

If the FAA is actually approving iPads over the paper charts in Jets, can the USCG be far behind in endorsing electronic charts as fulfilling the requirement to carry charts? "Maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and in our lifetime"

ActiveCaptain 01-03-2011 15:54

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
I personally feel that at the end of 2010 there was a shift away from the usefulness of paper charts on boats. Perhaps if you're cruising across oceans, paper might still be useful. But for the large bulk of cruisers who stay along and near coastlines, I believe that using paper charts adds more risk and danger than throwing them off the boat. I reached this conclusion after visiting 20 boats in a row who had paper charts that were more than 5 years old. The electronic charts on most of my devices are weeks-to-months old.

Yes, I understand the issues (I'm a software and hardware developer). Yes, I know about lightening and the need for redundancy.

I also know that my 4 smartphones, 2 pads (soon to be 3), and 4 laptops will all show my position on charts if there is GPS available. If every GPS satellite falls out of the sky, I'll still be able to view all charts on my electronics and perform DR. It just won't show me where I am by itself. In other words, I'll be in the exact situation I am with paper charts even when every GPS satellite is working perfectly. Of course, many of the buoys and shoaling features on my paper charts would have been out-of-date.

Power backups provide enough reserve power for me to pilot with my iPhone for 1,000 nm (probably more) assuming I lose all engine provided power which is quite unlikely. New Trent makes some fantastic iOS power devices.

I know some people will feel this is crazy. I'm not advocating it for everyone or telling anyone to stop using paper. You'll come to that realization on your own much as most cruisers stopped carrying sextants a decade ago.

Since January, the few passages I've made have been sans-paper. And I'm loving it.

David M 01-03-2011 16:14

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
I'm kinda old school, I see electronic over paper as yet one more technology that is faster-better-cheaper but not a complete replacement for the old technology. Not many new technologies completely replace the old technology. Quite often, there remains at least some use for the old technology.

I use the chart plotters all the time while underway. I use the paper charts to plan and discuss what we are going to be doing out on the water with the people I work with.

No screen has a larger image or better resolution than an entire paper chart. I also know that if my plotter goes down I had better have a paper chart.

So in my case, paper has not suddenly become obsolete because of electronic charts.

A good navigator does not throw out all his old tools when a new tool comes along because you never know when you might need the information those old tools can provide. Electronic charts are just one more tool to add to your navigators tool box...along with radar, dividers, AIS, sextant, watch, pencils, logbook, your eyeballs, your hearing, binoculars, etc etc. You wouldn't throw those navigation tools out would ya? Even if God were onboard pointing to the chart saying we are here and going this direction, I would still keep all my tools.

s/v Jedi 01-03-2011 16:24

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
I always say I stopped using paper charts during 2003 and it's true, but I do have cruising guides and/or nautical almanacs that have charts and these are my paper backup. I actually used the charts in the Bauhaus guide while cruising Panama... amazing, isn't it? :)

Long time sailors need little to find their way. I wouldn't hesitate sailing from Horta to the Caribbean with just a compass. Did just that between Holland and England and found myself within 2 nm of where I wanted to be. But when available, I use electronics plotters, laptops, radar, AIS etc. The more sources of information for navigation the better, but we need very little when it comes down to that.

The same is true for pilots: just fly where there's people living below you and ask traffic control where you are and you'll find your way when the iPad has failed. Times are changing :)

cheers,
Nick.

tager 01-03-2011 16:27

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
I feel like this development by the FAA is quite disrespectful of passenger safety. The cost of paper charts is hardly astronomical compared to other airline expenses, and provides a margin of safety in many possible situations.

I carry paper charts on my boat. GPS is nice, but you can't trust it.

For instance, my friend was motoring down Portage Canal (Port Townsend Ship Canal) in pitch black conditions. On the bow, she called back to the helm saying that they were dangerously close to shore. She responded that they were "right in the middle of the channel" because she was steering completely by GPS, with no regard to actual location, they ended up almost running aground in about 5 feet of water on the side of the canal, because of the GPS.

If they had been using paper charts, this situation would never have come this close to disaster.

Same story with many obstructions: rocks, pilings, shoals.

Many GPS chartplotter users assume that the charts are accurate, and fail to give obstructions the wide berth they deserve, resulting in many "But the GPS says" moments.

Pblais 01-03-2011 16:47

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
Quote:

USCG be far behind in endorsing electronic charts as fulfilling the requirement to carry charts? "Maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and in our lifetime"
ENC electronic charts are internationally legal (the only ones) for those vessels required to carry charts. The US Navy no longer requires sextant training although merchant ships still do. Not clear why on that. Last I heard the Abacus is no longer required any place (though still legal and quite efficient).

In a bigger historical perspective sailors have always without exception used the very latest navigation tools available. At one point in time paper charts were considered state secrets and to lose one to the enemy was a criminal offense.

The whole romance of recreational sailing is barely more than 100 years old and popular and affordable for maybe 50 years. In the business of commerce and war there has never been any limits on using technology to the last degree of availability.

Paper references still are a very handy quick reference that in a slight moment of doubt might make you consider options you might not if you had to fire up an electronic device. Personally, I prefer both and I do prefer to hand steer by a real magnetic compass when not using the autopilot. I find the bounce is easier to deal with in analog.

Piloting by chart plotter is mostly foolish. In tight quarters you need your full visual attention. It's amazing how easy it is to hit a buoy or day mark when you are aiming for them on a chart plotter.

Juniper 01-03-2011 16:47

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
I have to agree with David M,
My take is,
Get some paper charts, as up to date as you can live with, if you are using electronic charts I wounld't sweat having them out of date as much, and if you really wanted to you can update your paper from electronic.

ActiveCaptain 01-03-2011 16:55

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tager (Post 632046)
...in pitch black conditions.

Actually, in pitch black conditions, with paper charts, they probably would have waited outside the canal.

Again, every GPS satellite can fall out of the sky. Then my electronic charts give me the same abilities that my paper charts used to provide. Except my paper charts were old...

I think it's a really important point that DR works just as well using electronic charts with no GPS as it does on paper. In fact, some software like Coastal Explorer actually do the cursor movement by DR settings if the GPS signal disappears.

doug86 01-03-2011 17:28

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tager (Post 632046)
I feel like this development by the FAA is quite disrespectful of passenger safety. The cost of paper charts is hardly astronomical compared to other airline expenses, and provides a margin of safety in many possible situations.

With all due respect, you can't be serious. First of all, if you had read the Wired article, you would know that this FAA legal change applies to a charter jet outfit whose customers are in general not part of the traveling public (it's called fractional ownership).

Second of all, do you really think that the pilot of a 767 landing at LAX has some paper chart in his lap as he is making his approach? I am a licensed private pilot, and I can assure you that if a commercial pilot has actually opened up a paper chart in the cockpit, your ass is in a world of hurt way beyond disrespect. Yes, they have the paper charts in a leather bag somewhere in the cockpit, but the approach speed of your average airliner is around 200 kts; if the instruments go blank on approach, they don't have time to unfold the chart even if they wanted to.

"cost of paper charts".... ROTFLMAO

s/v Jedi 01-03-2011 20:13

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
The story about navigating blind while looking at a chartplotter is either a funny story or a description of people who should not be on a boat at all.

Go get some navigation lessons; not only will they learn one how to navigate with paper charts, tide tables etc. but they will tell you about radar and how it can be used to find your way even in pitch black conditions.

cheers,
Nick.

rebel heart 01-03-2011 20:26

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
Ah, the paper vs. chart plotter debate. Always happy to re-hash this topic.

Piloting skills and advanced navigation tend to go hand in hand with better seamanship. It's rare to meet a great celestial navigator who isn't a great sailor, but it's very common to meet someone steering with a chart plotter who doesn't know a bow from a stern.

I have no idea if a chart plotters track DR positions (I don't know why they would), but one great way to determine if there's a cyclone nearby is by currents that are very abnormal from what should be going on. No set and drift without a DR, and no DR if you're not on paper, and then no course to steer because the chart plotter is keeping course to steer up to date.

Chart plotters abstract a lot of details away from you which can be very important. I wouldn't feel comfortable boarding a cruise ship if the bridge crew only had electronic navigation and the captain put his thumb up his ass when he had to use something other than a gps/chartplotter to get a lot of people home.

Charting and piloting is fun too. You're more aware of navigation aids, currents, shipping lanes, and just overall have a much bigger view of what's going on.

Pelagic 01-03-2011 20:58

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
I love paper charts because I can see the whole picture of an area, no postage stamp zooming in to read the details.

On coastal paper charts, past notations made of shore or fishing possibilities burn in to me with a clearer perspective that often lead to new discoveries. Warm memories of when those notations were made and the coffee stain stamp of approval are just simply tactile and personal

I know I can navigate with either, but that is not the reason I keep old detailed charts of areas rarely visited.

Sometimes it just boils down to your preference of a favorite book or a Kindle at times?

I still see no reason why you cannot have both.

s/v Jedi 01-03-2011 21:02

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
Ah, now we get people who admit they don't know much (or anything?) about chartplotters, telling us that they are no good.

FYI: yes, they do DR when needed. Like repeated many times already: an electronic chart is a chart... it's more chart than a paper chart; in fact, the paper chart was made by printing the electronic chart.

cheers,
Nick.

hummingway 01-03-2011 21:08

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
Cook charted a lot of the world, which is to say he had no charts. Of course he had guys hanging over the bow dropping leads and someone up the mast watching for things that go bumo in the night, not to mention fellows out in the tenders helping work things out. It's hard to get people to do that for you these days!!

I like the overview paper charts give you but am thrilled to have electronic navigation gizmos (in lieu of someone hanging over the bow) :)

delmarrey 01-03-2011 21:27

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
What I hate about paper charts is I don't have a big enough boat. IAW the chart table is always too small to get the thing flat out. I will surely welcome electronic charts. BUT, no matter what, I will carry the paper stuff if I go out-of-sight of land!
Just another back-up system. ;)

Jim Cate 01-03-2011 22:19

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by s/v Jedi (Post 632269)
... it's more chart than a paper chart; in fact, the paper chart was made by printing the electronic chart.

cheers,
Nick.

Except when the electronic chart was scanned from an extant paper chart.

What a silly argument, folks! If you like plotting positions (taken from your GPS) onto paper, then go for it. If you like to have that done automatically on an electronic chart that claims to be accurate, then go for it. But for chrissake, keep your eyeballs going out in the real world, look at your other sources of information (depthsounder, radar, AIS etc) and amalgamate ALL the info into your decision making process.

And for those of you who are offshore wannabees, don't think that charts for many third world areas are: accurate, current or even available. Don't assume that nav-aids will be where they are shown, even on the chart you bought yesterday. Don't think that they will be lit as described. Don't think that depths are as shown. It often just ain't so. For instance, outside of Port Vila, we have NEVER seen a lit nav-aid in Vanuatu, despite there being quite a few shown on the charts. In Fiji, in one area we transited 6 out of 7 charted reef markers were missing, and they are not numbered, so that there was no way to determine which the remaining one was. The chart was not corrected to WGS84, nor was it correct in the relationships between charted features. In the Solomons, despite paying a 100 Solomon dollar "light fee", there was not one single lit nav aid (this a few years back admittedly). And so on. This sort of thing is true whether your charts are on paper, silicon or whatever medium you wish. We often say "charts are for planning and dreaming, eyeballs are for piloting when close to lumpy things".

But, it's all good fun...!

Cheers,

Jim

bewitched 01-03-2011 22:52

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
This old chestnut.

Each to his own preference, but I do think there are a lot of misleading comments that are posted when this topic is discussed. Lets start with the similarities:

Plotting a position derived from GPS, visual fix or sextant can be done on both.
Dead reckoning can be done on both (a chart plottter hooked up to instruments will be far more accurate)
Route planning and route following can be done on both
Annotations can be done on both

In fact, I can't think of anything that you can do on a paper chart that you can't do on an electronic one.

I can think of a few very handy things that you can do on an electronic chart that are a bit tricky on a paper version - Radar and AIS overlays are 2 that spring to mind.

I can appreciate that some are more comforable with handling and reading a paper chart, but I believe that is more a factor of habit and familiarity. I personaly find working on a paper chart slow and tedious and it keeps me down below at the chart table when I perhaps should at the helm taking bearings to see how they compare to the GPS position on the chartplotter in front of me.

I can verify my position far quicker, with a higher expectation of accuracy, from a greater number of independant sources (Radar, depth, GPS position, visual fix to name a few), without leaving the helm.

This to me is far safer than sitting at the chart table with my calipers and protractor.

downunder 01-03-2011 23:25

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
If your chart table is by the helm on motorcruiser or on bridgedeck of a catamaran you can have the best of all worlds - old and new.

cheers

moggie 02-03-2011 02:52

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
doug86,
I fly big jets, we always have paper approach charts clipped to the column or the side panel. We do not rely on memory! Even when we have electronic flight management systems. But I guess we have more responsibilities than a "Private" pilot.
Rgds Moggie

goboatingnow 02-03-2011 04:49

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
Quote:

UT, no matter what, I will carry the paper stuff if I go out-of-sight of land!
which is of course, teh place you least need them.!!:p

dave

doug86 02-03-2011 05:44

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by moggie (Post 632415)
doug86,
I fly big jets, we always have paper approach charts clipped to the column or the side panel. We do not rely on memory! Even when we have electronic flight management systems. But I guess we have more responsibilities than a "Private" pilot.
Rgds Moggie

Moggie, You off all people should know that those small, single pages of paper are properly called 'approach plates', not charts. Furthermore, an approach plate is filled with the information needed to make an instrument approach to landing point, relying on electronic data rather than visual, which only reinforces the argument that modern navigation resources are increasingly electronic and digial, not less so. Was it your intention to argue otherwise, or did you just want to take advantage of an opportunity to put the word "Private" in quotes?

When was the last time had a sectional unfolded and on your lap in your big jet? When was the last time you plotted your position on paper in your big jet? When was the last time you calculated set & drift with an E6B while en route?

boatman61 02-03-2011 05:47

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by s/v Jedi (Post 632231)
The story about navigating blind while looking at a chartplotter is either a funny story or a description of people who should not be on a boat at all.

Go get some navigation lessons; not only will they learn one how to navigate with paper charts, tide tables etc. but they will tell you about radar and how it can be used to find your way even in pitch black conditions.

cheers,
Nick.

A coupla 3 years back I did a Skipper assist delivery from the UK to Olhau on the Algarve coast of Portugal on an Oceanis 331... a newly qualified Coastal Skipper was the owner, only on power.. so it turned into a series of lessons as well.
Anyway... he had a CP at the helm and another below set up next to the radar screen.. when we went through the channel at Ushant I was horrified to see him staring fixedly at the CP.. never a glance up(it was his watch, I was standing by)..
I asked him why he was not looking round at the rocks and treacherous eddy's and currents that try to sweep you one way or the other... his reply was he did not need it as he could see exactly where he was on the screen so did not need to...
I then pointed out a semi submerged rock 200yds to port and showed him on the plotter exactly where we were... over 500 metres ahead and to port of the CP position... in close quarters navigation the CP is always playing catch up... something many 'Lovers' do not seem to be aware of
However this made little impression and for the rest of the voyage I'd wake up and find him and his wife sat below in front of the sets when one of them should have been on watch... this blind faith in things electronic is difficult if not impossible to shake in many people...
I'm sorry but I will allways put my Paper gleaned knowledge and instincts ahead of any 'Electronic Aid'.... in many cases a 500m difference in some waters can be your boat wrecked...

s/v Jedi 02-03-2011 06:15

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
huh? Even if you have a really old system, your position on the chartplotter will be accurate with maximum a couple of seconds delay. The newest systems update every 0.1 second (10 times per second).

No way you're 500 meters "behind". The only explanation for that would be a chart that is inaccurate or (for Ushant more likely) a problem with the GPS where it looses it's fix or is about to lose it. Probably a Raytheon RN-300 which always lost fix when passing reefs etc.

But you're right: people who only look at a screen don't belong behind the wheel, or at least not before they learn how to properly sail & navigate.

ciao!
Nick.

boatman61 02-03-2011 06:56

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by s/v Jedi (Post 632475)
huh? Even if you have a really old system, your position on the chartplotter will be accurate with maximum a couple of seconds delay. The newest systems update every 0.1 second (10 times per second).

No way you're 500 meters "behind". The only explanation for that would be a chart that is inaccurate or (for Ushant more likely) a problem with the GPS where it looses it's fix or is about to lose it. Probably a Raytheon RN-300 which always lost fix when passing reefs etc.

But you're right: people who only look at a screen don't belong behind the wheel, or at least not before they learn how to properly sail & navigate.

ciao!
Nick.

Jedi.... I'd prefer the boat was 500m 'behind' the CP than ahead of it..:D
Oh.. the unit was a 5yr old Raymarine CP.. dunno what system it was loaded with..
But another thing you can maybe explain... last year going up the Canakkale, Turkey in a different boat... the plotter showed me traversing a hillside 1/2km inland instead of the position I was in the channel...
Sorry guys... to many flaws... I'll stick with the paper.. rather be honest and blame myself than some gadget with fictional perfection...

s/v Jedi 02-03-2011 07:18

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by boatman61 (Post 632497)
Jedi.... I'd prefer the boat was 500m 'behind' the CP than ahead of it..:D
Oh.. the unit was a 5yr old Raymarine CP.. dunno what system it was loaded with..
But another thing you can maybe explain... last year going up the Canakkale, Turkey in a different boat... the plotter showed me traversing a hillside 1/2km inland instead of the position I was in the channel...
Sorry guys... to many flaws... I'll stick with the paper.. rather be honest and blame myself than some gadget with fictional perfection...

With this example you probably had an inaccurate chart. If you would have plotted your GPS positions on a paper chart (same as the one in the plotter) you would have seen the same thing.

This has been discussed so often... our position fixes have become so accurate that the charts need to be fixed so that they are as accurate as the position fix. All 1st world waters and high traffic areas have been fixed but outside that you have to be smart enough to deal with it yourself.

cheers,
Nick.

boatman61 02-03-2011 07:25

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by s/v Jedi (Post 632523)
With this example you probably had an inaccurate chart. If you would have plotted your GPS positions on a paper chart (same as the one in the plotter) you would have seen the same thing.

This has been discussed so often... our position fixes have become so accurate that the charts need to be fixed so that they are as accurate as the position fix. All 1st world waters and high traffic areas have been fixed but outside that you have to be smart enough to deal with it yourself.

cheers,
Nick.

Nick.... I think the Canallake is pretty high volume where shippings concerned... like the English Channel.. its the only route for many large ports...
Try again....:whistling:

rebel heart 02-03-2011 08:23

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by s/v Jedi (Post 632269)
Ah, now we get people who admit they don't know much (or anything?) about chartplotters, telling us that they are no good.

FYI: yes, they do DR when needed. Like repeated many times already: an electronic chart is a chart... it's more chart than a paper chart; in fact, the paper chart was made by printing the electronic chart.

cheers,
Nick.

You're honestly going to tell me that even 10% of the people running chart plotters are keeping a DR up? For set/drift calculations the point is that you don't know when you'll need DR so there's no way to determine that in advance.

jackdale 02-03-2011 09:26

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pblais (Post 632066)
ENC electronic charts are internationally legal (the only ones) for those vessels required to carry charts. The US Navy no longer requires sextant training although merchant ships still do. Not clear why on that. Last I heard the Abacus is no longer required any place (though still legal and quite efficient).

Not all chartplotters, even those using ENC, qualify as ECDIS.

hummingway 02-03-2011 09:43

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
It's odd to think of but I don't imagine we ever would have heard of someone hitting a rock because they had their nose in a chart and didn't think they needed to look where they were going. Using DR they're going to be taking sitings at least and very likely in learning to navigate it became very clear you look where you are going. It's been said before but the fact that people think with a plotter they don't need to learn anything about navigating is a problem, although you might think that looking where you're going is something you learn when you're crawling!

Noname1 02-03-2011 09:50

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
My 80 year old father (USN Navigator years ago) was orating on the evils of automobile GPS units and as an example showed me a newspaper article re some dunce drove into a river when his GPS said TURN NOW.

I responded a GPS nav unit is a TOOL not a replacement for the biological computer between ones ears.

Chartplotter, paper charts, sextant, lodestone, leadline, all tools.
Use them all but don't forget to use your biological computer first of all. :rolleyes:

BTW the OM bought a GPS unit recently....:p

delmarrey 02-03-2011 09:56

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bewitched (Post 632348)
This old chestnut.

Each to his own preference, but I do think there are a lot of misleading comments that are posted when this topic is discussed. Lets start with the similarities:

Plotting a position derived from GPS, visual fix or sextant can be done on both.
Dead reckoning can be done on both (a chart plottter hooked up to instruments will be far more accurate)
Route planning and route following can be done on both
Annotations can be done on both

In fact, I can't think of anything that you can do on a paper chart that you can't do on an electronic one.

I can think of a few very handy things that you can do on an electronic chart that are a bit tricky on a paper version - Radar and AIS overlays are 2 that spring to mind.

I can appreciate that some are more comforable with handling and reading a paper chart, but I believe that is more a factor of habit and familiarity. I personaly find working on a paper chart slow and tedious and it keeps me down below at the chart table when I perhaps should at the helm taking bearings to see how they compare to the GPS position on the chartplotter in front of me.

I can verify my position far quicker, with a higher expectation of accuracy, from a greater number of independant sources (Radar, depth, GPS position, visual fix to name a few), without leaving the helm.

This to me is far safer than sitting at the chart table with my calipers and protractor.

But all it takes is one lighting strike and all power equipment could be gone. Then it's back to the ole compass, sextant and DR if you're offshore.

When the visibility is bad I catch myself 'navigating blind', especially in dense fog. Motoring, I have to keep my eyes on the compass or CP or I'll find myself going in circles. This is where paper would be useless and electronics saves the day. And paper is a PITA while trying to navigate a narrow rocky channel, in the cockpit of a sailboat, in the wind and rain. e.g. Middle Channel in the San Juans of WA.

My last CP started doing weird stuff, then one day it had me .5 nm off to the East every where I went. I even cut thru a peninsula at one point, so I deep six'd it and bought a new one the same day.

One thing I want to do before heading off again is to get a handheld GPS and keep it wrapped in a static free container in the ditch bag. It seems the past 20 years, electronics has made it very EZ for dummies to go off shore and survive.

I remember my first solo (out of sight of land) trip in 1980 aboard my Cal 2-27. I left San Diego heading for Catalina Is. at about 3 AM. About 5 miles out I ran into a fog, the wind died and there I was, adrift. According to my DR I was SE of the islands. But not knowing what the current was or having any idea when the fog would lift. All I could do was guess where I was going. So, I cranked up the ole Farymann and putted due West until I could see land, and then S. back to SD. A failed trip. :(

If I had a GPS I could have continued on securely motoring, But I didn't want to be out there searching for an Island in the fog. :banghead:

ActiveCaptain 02-03-2011 09:59

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
When was the last time anyone reading this bought a road atlas? How many 25 year olds know what Rand McNally is or purchased any type of paper map?

boatman61 02-03-2011 10:02

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
Del..... thats where a music score sheet holder and clothes pegs comes in handy... fold into required section and an occasional glance is enough to keep you on track... in fog use the sounder... also exercise your memory... you should be able to memorise channel marks etc upto 3+ miles ahead...

ActiveCaptain 02-03-2011 10:08

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by delmarrey (Post 632693)
But all it takes is one lighting strike and all power equipment could be gone. Then it's back to the ole compass, sextant and DR if you're offshore.

This is such a common come-back about relying on electronics. Here's my challenge - I've given it on multiple forums including some that concentrate on electronics (I'm a software and hardware designer)...

Has anyone had a first-hand experience - no hearsay - where a lightening strike hit and untethered, somewhat protected mobile electronics became un-operational?

I'm especially interested in knowing about a lightening strike where the phone in the person's pocket was destroyed too. I believe it is not possible without killing the person too.

This doesn't take into consideration that you can easily protect mobile electronics from strikes. We always have a phone with all charts in a secure, remote place. When a storm approaches, we protect our mobile electronics in other ways too - the microwave provides a pretty good shield.

So no "I knew a guy" stories. Direct "this happened to me" stories only so the evidence can be examined and questioned. For example, someone told me on another forum last week that they had a phone destroyed by a lightening strike which proved that I'm wrong about this. When questioned, she had put the phone in her pocketbook right below a sink, near the copper pipes. Lightening struck and wiring in the building caught fire. Do you think that copper pipes were a good protected area to be in?

rebel heart 02-03-2011 10:15

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ActiveCaptain (Post 632697)
When was the last time anyone reading this bought a road atlas? How many 25 year olds know what Rand McNally is or purchased any type of paper map?

I print out all my directions online on pieces of paper before I get in the car. I look at the maps and often enough find that the directions provided to me aren't really the best (google avoids the 74 when headed north, for all you Orange County people).

More than once I've been where I needed to on time while I listened to someone else stumble in late blaming it on their onboard navigation system.

rebel heart 02-03-2011 10:21

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hummingway (Post 632671)
It's odd to think of but I don't imagine we ever would have heard of someone hitting a rock because they had their nose in a chart and didn't think they needed to look where they were going. Using DR they're going to be taking sitings at least and very likely in learning to navigate it became very clear you look where you are going. It's been said before but the fact that people think with a plotter they don't need to learn anything about navigating is a problem, although you might think that looking where you're going is something you learn when you're crawling!

That's my boiled down problem with chartlotters and the folks who rely on them. 9/10 I can safely bet:

- they are not keeping a DR up (no set/drift or accurate awareness of current)
- they are not taking sightings
- because they're not taking sightings, they're not acutely aware of their surroundings.
- they couldn't find their way through a light list or coast pilot if their lives depended on it.


Every week there is some new story of electronic malfunction or misuse of properly functioning electronics. It allows less experienced mariners to go to sea and provides an illusion of safety.

delmarrey 02-03-2011 10:49

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by boatman61 (Post 632701)
Del..... thats where a music score sheet holder and clothes pegs comes in handy... fold into required section and an occasional glance is enough to keep you on track... in fog use the sounder... also exercise your memory... you should be able to memorise channel marks etc upto 3+ miles ahead...

Memorise? https://getmesmileys.com/smilies/0bIDtlroflF.gif Don't chano I'm over 60 now. ;)

The music sheet thingy would be nice until that first big wave. I do keep local chart books in the cockpit with the pages held in place with a clip, but they're getting pretty nasty. Its time for some new ones. The big charts I keep below to qualify the book, which is just a copy of the charts anyway.

capngeo 02-03-2011 10:49

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
I unfortunately have fallen into forgetting the old ways... For instance when I was a kid in school, math was still done on a slide rule. Now-a-days after using a calculator for the last 30 years, I can't remember how to use (much less FIND) my old slid rule.

Same with Nav... I learned to navigate when LORAN A and RDF were cutting edge stuff. Now-a-days, I MIGHT be able to get a noon shot and EVENTUALLY get a fix +/- 20 NM with my old sextant (If I could find the damn thing).

I do still carry paper... some VERY old paper! Not so much for navigation or plotting but for the wealth of local knowledge that is penciled thereupon. 30 years of it! I also carry an old Garmin.... a PC running Capn' Navigator, a Mac with GPSNavx (and now OpenCPN!) and an iPhone with Navionics. I still use my binocs, and a bearing compass to confirm what the electronics are saying.... But the parallels and dividers are real dusty!

delmarrey 02-03-2011 10:56

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ActiveCaptain (Post 632708)
This is such a common come-back about relying on electronics. Here's my challenge - I've given it on multiple forums including some that concentrate on electronics (I'm a software and hardware designer)...

Has anyone had a first-hand experience - no hearsay - where a lightening strike hit and untethered, somewhat protected mobile electronics became un-operational?

I'm especially interested in knowing about a lightening strike where the phone in the person's pocket was destroyed too. I believe it is not possible without killing the person too.

This doesn't take into consideration that you can easily protect mobile electronics from strikes. We always have a phone with all charts in a secure, remote place. When a storm approaches, we protect our mobile electronics in other ways too - the microwave provides a pretty good shield.

So no "I knew a guy" stories. Direct "this happened to me" stories only so the evidence can be examined and questioned. For example, someone told me on another forum last week that they had a phone destroyed by a lightening strike which proved that I'm wrong about this. When questioned, she had put the phone in her pocketbook right below a sink, near the copper pipes. Lightening struck and wiring in the building caught fire. Do you think that copper pipes were a good protected area to be in?

Just do a search on the forum for lighting strikes. I remember one guy in FL a year or two ago that lost everything.
I use to work with circuit boards. One thing you never did was walk around with one unless it was wrapped in a foil bag. One little static zap and it was gone.

Dustymc 02-03-2011 10:57

Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .
 
The FAA stopped requiring paper sectionals several years ago. If you've flown in the last 8 years or so (lacking company policy, possibly written by some of the folks in this thread!) you've flown without a chart. If you've flown in IMC the last 5 years or so you may have trusted your life to GPS and GPS alone. If you fly in Alaska you trust your life to GPS and GPS alone most every day. There are fewer accidents in more hours of flying in worse weather, but I'm sure that's just a fad and we'll all be scud-running down rivers (stay right, please!) again any day now.

I find it incredibly amusing that so many of you obviously have no idea how to use your chartplotters, don't understand how the things do, could, or should work, so simply blame the equipment. It's like me picking up a sextant, diddling with the knobs a bit, then declaring the damned thing inoperative because I still have no idea where the hell we are. (Is this damned thing metric er sumthin?)


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