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post #32 of Old 10-24-2013
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Re: NOAA To Stop Printing Nautical Charts

Originally Posted by Stumble View Post

So your objection to electronic charts is that the charts are less accurate than the GPS? Just as with paper charts, take a land fix and plot it on the chart plotter.

Let me be clear - I don't have any "objection" to electronic charts, I use them all the time... I simply believe that it's not the best seamanship to rely upon them EXCLUSIVELY, without any alternative means of navigating in the event of a failure...

The paper chart of Grand Bruit is no more accurate than the C-Map in my photo that placed me onshore, there's an uncorrected anomaly in the charting of that portion of the south coast of Newfoundland... However, during my approach to that harbor, it was my reference to the paper chart that first alerted me to the sense that something wasn't quite right...

That's the primary danger of relying exclusively on e-charts, it's simply too easy- particularly for those of lesser experience - to follow the boat's icon straight into danger. Perhaps it's just me, but I find piloting by referring/cross-checking on paper forces one's eyes outside of the boat with a bit more regularity... Lots of folks out there today are practicing a pretty 'lazy' form of navigating, the trust and faith I see people putting in the accuracy of e-charts is astonishing... Particularly in places like the Bahamas, where cruisers routinely disregard the cautions against piloting tricky areas in poor light, trusting the Explorer Charts to have plotted each and every coral head with pinpoint precision... And, don't get me started on the prevalence of interfacing autopilots to distant waypoints, sailors should best leave that Lazy Man's practice to Sea Ray drivers... :-)

Pretty spooky, some of the Stupid Cruiser Tricks are being performed as a consequence of the treatment of navigation as a video game :-) I know some disagree, but I'm firmly convinced that the skipper of RULE 62 never would have attempted to enter that cut in the Bahamas that night a couple of years ago, without the aid of a chartplotter... But, we'll never know, of course...

Last edited by JonEisberg; 10-24-2013 at 06:41 PM.
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