Uses for Chart plotters and chart plotting software - Page 5 - SailNet Community
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post #41 of 42 Old 10-07-2011
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Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
I hope I do not come across as mean-spirited or full of myself, but, when electronics die from a lightning strike, when the GPS fails because of solar activity or an outage (and there are planned outages that can last for a long time) do you know how to transfer what those tools do to your paper charts? I don't mean just "referring" to the charts. Can you take a fix to get your position so that you can accurately provide your location if you have a mayday situation? Plot a DR course on the paper chart and run it? If you can, than I misunderstood your use of the word "refer" and I apologize.

I agree that electronic chart plotters are easy to use, they're fun, they give you all the information you need quickly, they won't fly overboard in a breeze, etc. They also fail.To me common sense means knowing how to seamlessly use a paper chart and plotting tools to give you the exact same information that your electronic chartplotter can give you. I respectfully disagree that advocating knowing how to use a paper chart is anything other than responsible boating.
Re: para 1. I probably could get pretty close in a pinch, but I am in no way proficient. But as I said, I am a brand new sailor, and all of my journeys - other than bringing the boat home after purchase - are within 20 miles of home (Toronto). I know this side of Lake Ontario quite well.

In my above post I am in no way suggesting that I am any kind of expert. nor did I advocate the abandonment of a paper chart navigation system. I think that for anything other than the very local cruising that I do, you probably want to be proficient with old school navigation skills, even if you never have to use them. I am sure that I will do more navigation studying before I do more adventuresome cruising, but for now, my skill level suffices.

All this having been said, I stand by my statement that some of the early posters in the thread were pretty full of themselves. But I should not be at all surprised, as that's common to the forums I follow for diving, aviation, motorcycles, and whatever else.

The main point of my post was actually about the iPad, which is brilliant as a plotter, easy to use, and CHEEP compared to the schmansy ones from the boat store.



Bashing about on Lake Ontario and Beyond
"Ariel" '79 Endeavour 32
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post #42 of 42 Old 10-07-2011
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I have the Garmin 441s and it really is a great navigation tool, I keep a chart opened to the area I am in for a quick reference of where I am heading and to get a bigger picture. My plotter is set to 800 ft so I have depth detail and what I feel is a good range from my position.
It also has a quick MOB button which if needed in snotty weather could be a great feature, though have never used it except in drills.
The anchor alarm works great and in night mode with screen off it draws little power but if we move alarm will wake me, which is a good feature too.
The laptop is used to plan out trips and points of interest along the way and what great is having a few routes to one place for contingencies of weather, sickness or friends, all I need do is bring up an pre done route switch it over to new destination and load plotter with new info, how simple is that. Obviously the MK1 eyeball is used throughout the route and tracks are then loaded in to laptop for re route updating to have a more accurate route plan at my disposal.
how many grease marks can your chat hold before you loose it.
honey holes, big fish I have trolled for get marked as well and the plotter will show me them as were moving along, great reminder if fish chowder should be added to the menu that night.
Also and lastly I single hand alot and it gives me (well maybe wrong) it gives me a good feeling to just look over zoom in or out to get a quick reference of my position which I can eyeball verify.
Having my exact position is not always imperative, but general position is nice.
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