It's nice to see e-charts gett better and better, and slowly more affordable. I personally have used C-Maps in the area and found them OK.
I agree that paper charts are increasingly becoming a backup for e-charts, and I don't see a problem with that. I don't think using electronic navigation as a primary tool is "dangerous and irresponsible" per se. I would say that the best navigation, in general, is the one that uses a number of information sources, not a single one. A good mariner takes every opportunity to cross check his data using electronics, paper charts, eyeballs, soundings, radar and any other method available, even his nose.
Another important element is the local knlowledge and the word of mouth, and I believe it is still very important to get out in the real world, talk with locals whenever possible, and get their wisdom and advice, no matter how many fancy electronics you have.
I work for an electronic navigation system in the making called Bloosee http://www.bloosee.com that aims to incorporate both, e-charts and local knowledge, the latter being added by sailors themselves like in a wiki.
We have not added e-charts yet, and the local knowledge is being added faster in some areas than others, but it's free, and fun to check out (you need internet or an iPhone to use it) http://www.bloosee.com I think the systems of the future will be something along these lines: places where satellite images, charts and up-to-date local knowledge are together in one place, and you can get it all cheaply with a mobile device.
At any rate, thoughts, comments and feedback are appreciated.
Last edited by SailingGeek; 09-07-2010 at 06:22 PM.