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  #41  
Old 06-24-2013
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Re: charts

So the conclusion is that you need both charts and cruising guides. It's called research and is probably the most important part of navigating. There are plenty of unpleasant surprises to deal with given the best planned trip without exacerbating the thorny path by setting off without adequate information. The nice part of the electronic age is that this information about remote places is steadily becoming available for FREE through crowd-sourcing. Greedy governments are also beginning to see that this is a safety issue and that it's irresponsible to withhold data collected over the years through taxpayer dollars.
NOAA, Brazil, and NZ have set a good example. Now the Admiralty and France need to get aboard the free updated chart boat.
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  #42  
Old 06-24-2013
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Re: charts

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
So the conclusion is that you need both charts and cruising guides. It's called research and is probably the most important part of navigating. There are plenty of unpleasant surprises to deal with given the best planned trip without exacerbating the thorny path by setting off without adequate information. The nice part of the electronic age is that this information about remote places is steadily becoming available for FREE through crowd-sourcing. Greedy governments are also beginning to see that this is a safety issue and that it's irresponsible to withhold data collected over the years through taxpayer dollars.
NOAA, Brazil, and NZ have set a good example. Now the Admiralty and France need to get aboard the free updated chart boat.
Newfoundland, too.

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  #43  
Old 06-24-2013
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Re: charts

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Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
I don't have a chart plotter and thus don't know the answer to this question: Does a chart on a plotter provide this type of information...
Actually, electronically the information is going to be much more current and have input from other boaters who might have experienced the hazard recently and provided a first hand report.

I tried for 10 minutes to upload a 91K jpg file and it wouldn't let me - sadly, I could have shown how much nicer the electronic versions of the warning are pointing to the specific hazard.
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  #44  
Old 06-24-2013
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Re: charts

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Originally Posted by JeffreySiegel View Post
Actually, electronically the information is going to be much more current and have input from other boaters who might have experienced the hazard recently and provided a first hand report.

I tried for 10 minutes to upload a 91K jpg file and it wouldn't let me - sadly, I could have shown how much nicer the electronic versions of the warning are pointing to the specific hazard.
I know of several electronic systems that do include the type of information you are talking about, and I love the guides. I am trying to get them in ebook form as much as possible to be able to keep them on my NOOK and tablet and laptop. I love to read, I read and research a lot to help me understand more about where I am going, and to find all of the things to do and see. I use Noonsite.com and Sailnet.com a lot to help me get that information.

I am really liking what I am seeing so far on the Nobeltec Trident Timezero software, and I am wondering if you have looked at it and what you think of it Jeffrey? The price is not terrible for all that it does and I would like to talk to someone who has used it while cruising, so if any of you have tried it let me know.

Mark
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  #45  
Old 06-24-2013
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Re: charts

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Originally Posted by JeffreySiegel View Post
It's been a good discussion. I'm happy for the people who find nostalgia in using their paper charts - that's a very nice thing. I'm not sure it relates to the cruiser going thousands of miles but if you love it, keep doing it.
Can't imagine why such "nostalgia" wouldn't apply equally to those cruising locally as opposed to those venturing further afield, but I can assure you that in my case, it certainly does "relate"...

Actually, the further away I sail from my home waters, and wander into unfamiliar/unknown territory, the more I feel the need for paper charts for planning and backup... Then again, perhaps I've simply been unlucky, in that water and electricity have not mixed especially well on so many of the boats I've sailed...

As much as I love having those electric winches aboard many of the larger boats I run, I still sure as hell want some winch handles aboard... And, that ain't simply due to feelings of "nostalgia" for the Good Old Days, or the pleasure of grinding away... (grin)

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Originally Posted by JeffreySiegel View Post
Electronic navigation is safer. It doesn't mean that it's without risk. So is walking across the street.
I don't see anyone arguing that the traditional use of paper charts exclusively is "safer" than today's state of the art electronics, I'm certainly not... My point is simply that having paper charts in addition to my array of plotters, etc, makes my sailing even safer than if I were to rely on the flow of electrons and abundant battery power alone... Seems to me if the ultimate Safety of one's navigating is of the utmost concern, the belt-and suspenders approach of electronic and paper backup still affords the best possible solution...
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  #46  
Old 06-24-2013
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Re: charts

Keep in mind that Jon's an old guy, well relatively speaking, so he's a bit nostalgic, which is not a bad thing. I love lots of old things, old cars, old buildings, and I play music for lots of older people. Hell, I'm old! (Almost forgot.) Like Jon, I have a pile of paper charts, none which have been used in decades, and I guess someday I'll sell the boat and pass them on to the boat's next owner.

One of the things I've recently investigated was the plotting of the ICW on the charts, both paper and electronic. You see, I have a great friend who is somewhat like Jon, a person that loves the old school form of navigation, even while in Chesapeake Bay. This past Saturday, we sailed down the bay from Havre de Grace, MD, he in his Morgan 321 and I in my Morgan Out Island 33. This is the same person that sailed back to the bay with me in March when I returned home from Marathon, FL, a guy that constantly was looking at the paper charts and telling me "You're going to come up to red number 2 in about 10 miles." "Yeah, I know, I can see it on the GPS/Plotter." (grumble) "I just don't trust those damned things, though. Paper charts are more accurate. What happens if that thing stops working?" "Then, I'll turn on the backup GPS/Plotter." "Well, what if that one doesn't work either?" "I guess I'll turn on the handheld GPS/Plotter."

At one point, somewhere in southern Virginia and parts of North Carolina, the GPS clearly showed that our position would have been 100 or more feet outside the waterway and aground, which obviously wasn't true. So, what was wrong? Was it the GPS/Plotter, the charts, both? A call to an old friend in Washington, DC provided me with the answer. The problem is that when the charts were created, the same charts that were scanned into the GPS/Plotter, the ICW didn't exist. Sure, it was on the charts, but many of those dredged ditches between creeks and rivers were not yet in place. Therefore, what is on the charts, and in the GPS, is the proposed locations of those ditches - not the actual locations. Now, the GPS/Plotter's accuracy is +/- 9-feet - it knows exactly where you are at any given time and displays that location perfectly. The problem, then, is obvious, the charts. Whoops!

Keep in mind that we've been the best of friends for several years, but during the trip up the ICW there were times when I wanted to put him ashore and give him money for a bus ticket home. My charts didn't have a wrinkle when I left Marathon, but by the time I got home they looked like they had been through a shredder. The entire time we were under sail he always had either the main sheet or a jib sheet in his hand. When I said "Hey Wayne, why don't you just cleat the sheet off?" His reply was always, "Well, Gar, you gotta be ready for anything that comes up."

On our Saturday and Sunday trip, he didn't turn on his GPS/Plotter, he didn't turn on the VHF, and his cell phone was somewhere buried in a duffel bag in the cabin and he couldn't hear it ringing. Consequently, there were times when he was inside the no-boat zone of Aberdeen Proving Grounds, times when he touched bottom before he realized that he was not where he thought he was, and I had to sail over to him to inform him that there was a nasty thundershower bearing down on us from the southeast.

I guess my point is, those electronic gadgets, IMO, are the best thing since sliced bread. Paper charts are now, merely a backup system for the GPS/Plotter.

Cheers,

Gary
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  #47  
Old 06-24-2013
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Re: charts

Quote:
Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
Keep in mind that Jon's an old guy, well relatively speaking, so he's a bit nostalgic, which is not a bad thing. I love lots of old things, old cars, old buildings, and I play music for lots of older people. Hell, I'm old! (Almost forgot.) Like Jon, I have a pile of paper charts, none which have been used in decades, and I guess someday I'll sell the boat and pass them on to the boat's next owner.

One of the things I've recently investigated was the plotting of the ICW on the charts, both paper and electronic. You see, I have a great friend who is somewhat like Jon, a person that loves the old school form of navigation, even while in Chesapeake Bay. This past Saturday, we sailed down the bay from Havre de Grace, MD, he in his Morgan 321 and I in my Morgan Out Island 33. This is the same person that sailed back to the bay with me in March when I returned home from Marathon, FL, a guy that constantly was looking at the paper charts and telling me "You're going to come up to red number 2 in about 10 miles." "Yeah, I know, I can see it on the GPS/Plotter." (grumble) "I just don't trust those damned things, though. Paper charts are more accurate. What happens if that thing stops working?" "Then, I'll turn on the backup GPS/Plotter." "Well, what if that one doesn't work either?" "I guess I'll turn on the handheld GPS/Plotter."

At one point, somewhere in southern Virginia and parts of North Carolina, the GPS clearly showed that our position would have been 100 or more feet outside the waterway and aground, which obviously wasn't true. So, what was wrong? Was it the GPS/Plotter, the charts, both? A call to an old friend in Washington, DC provided me with the answer. The problem is that when the charts were created, the same charts that were scanned into the GPS/Plotter, the ICW didn't exist. Sure, it was on the charts, but many of those dredged ditches between creeks and rivers were not yet in place. Therefore, what is on the charts, and in the GPS, is the proposed locations of those ditches - not the actual locations. Now, the GPS/Plotter's accuracy is +/- 9-feet - it knows exactly where you are at any given time and displays that location perfectly. The problem, then, is obvious, the charts. Whoops!

Keep in mind that we've been the best of friends for several years, but during the trip up the ICW there were times when I wanted to put him ashore and give him money for a bus ticket home. My charts didn't have a wrinkle when I left Marathon, but by the time I got home they looked like they had been through a shredder. The entire time we were under sail he always had either the main sheet or a jib sheet in his hand. When I said "Hey Wayne, why don't you just cleat the sheet off?" His reply was always, "Well, Gar, you gotta be ready for anything that comes up."

On our Saturday and Sunday trip, he didn't turn on his GPS/Plotter, he didn't turn on the VHF, and his cell phone was somewhere buried in a duffel bag in the cabin and he couldn't hear it ringing. Consequently, there were times when he was inside the no-boat zone of Aberdeen Proving Grounds, times when he touched bottom before he realized that he was not where he thought he was, and I had to sail over to him to inform him that there was a nasty thundershower bearing down on us from the southeast.

I guess my point is, those electronic gadgets, IMO, are the best thing since sliced bread. Paper charts are now, merely a backup system for the GPS/Plotter.

Cheers,

Gary
You pretty much put it in the right perspective. I wish you luck sailing with your buddy, sounds like it will never be boring.
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  #48  
Old 06-24-2013
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Re: charts

Hmmm, where to start? First I guess I should say that I have been at this for 40+ years and tend to think of myself as a bit of a traditionalist. I even collect antiquarian charts and land maps. My first offshore passages used celestial and RDF, but I don't miss these at all. Next comment is that we have to keep clear in our minds that we are talking about two, closely related, but separate processes: knowing where you are and knowing what is around you. With electronic navigation, the two become so integrated that they seem as one.

We find ourselves increasingly relying less and less on paper charts for long distance cruising. When we crossed the Pacific we had more than 120 charts from Bellingham Chart Printers. These were the 2/3 scale charts and new were close to $800. If we had 'real' charts they would have been more than $3000 and that is only for one ocean - and we rarely used them. The electronic charts and cruising guides, along with materials passed from cruiser to cruiser were much more useful. In some areas, southern Indonesia comes to mind, US govt and Admiralty charts are basically useless for gunkholing, since the charts were designed for commercial and naval ships and had no detail about the places you wanted to go, eg. One bay where we wanted to anchor had one sounding and it was grossly inaccurate. The Indonesian charts (old Dutch charts?) were better but we did not see anywhere you could buy them. Here it was cruising notes from others.

Our primary charts are Navionics on a Raymarine plotter. Our backup are also Navionics on an Ipad. To complement these we have all the cruising guides and notes we can find, from Noonsite, blogs, etc. We also have an ancient Garmin 12 GPS which works just fine, along with the GPS in the AIS which we can hookup to a laptop, four independent GOS units for position - and we have been struck by lightning so I know that threat.

I wonder how much longer there will be paper charts (note that I am not saying hydrographic data)? If navies and commerce are completely electronic they will not keep producing the for other interests, plus prices can only go up dramatically. An aside, when I started sailing, Canadian charts had the new price $2, over the old price, $1. I think the over/under for paper charts disappearing is 20 years.
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  #49  
Old 06-24-2013
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Re: charts

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Originally Posted by mark2gmtrans View Post
I am really liking what I am seeing so far on the Nobeltec Trident Timezero software, and I am wondering if you have looked at it and what you think of it Jeffrey? The price is not terrible for all that it does and I would like to talk to someone who has used it while cruising, so if any of you have tried it let me know.
I'm a bit too close to all of the different apps and products on the market. I know the guys who wrote Nobeltec TimeZero as well as just about every competitive product on the market. NTZ is literally a week old. You're not going to find many with cruising experience on it yet.

My suggestion...don't get wrapped up in one $20-$35 app over another. They're $35 after all. Get a few of them. Get one that uses free charts if you're lucky enough to cruise in an area where free charts are available. Purchase others just because they're different and use different chart data. They're all good and all have advantages and disadvantages. I have every single product that exists for marine navigation - none of them are "best".

All of that said, I mainly use Garmin's BlueChart Mobile and Navimatics Charts & Tides (not Navionics). I like Garmin's product because it includes Bahamas charts in their US region and they are the licensed Explorer data which is fantastic. I like Navimatics because it's fast. There's a new PolarView MX product for iOS that costs $4 and uses the free NOAA charts.

There are a variety of products for Android about to come out. If you swapped your Nook for a Kindle Fire (or other Android tab with GPS) you'd still have your books and the tab would act as a chartplotter too. There is much more available for iOS today but that will change over the next 5 years.

I write apps too - everything I produce is free. My DragQueen anchor alarm and eBoatCards Exchange are in the Apple App Store and Google Play now. I have a major social navigation product coming out (hopefully) this summer for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. It's a much different kind of nav product and is unlike anything else - a totally different dimension of navigation. It too will be free so you'll see.
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Re: charts

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Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
My point is simply that having paper charts in addition to my array of plotters, etc, makes my sailing even safer than if I were to rely on the flow of electrons and abundant battery power alone...
With all due respect, I hear what you're saying. I've heard others say the exact same thing. Then I walk onto their boats to actually see their honored and revered paper charts. Yep, 3 - 5 years old in almost every case. Some even older.

Maybe you're different. Maybe you just re-purchased all of your paper charts for the new season of cruising. You'd be the first that I've come across but it is surely possible. I'd seriously doubt though that you throw out the old charts and re-purchase them all every year. I've never known anyone outside of a an unlimited ton license who actually did that.

So if your charts are 3 - 5 years old, are they all that safe especially in the US where almost every chart gets updated about once a month with navigation updates?
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