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  #31  
Old 07-09-2013
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Re: Need Opinion: Chart plotter, north up or course up?

Thanks for the post, Kellysails. I've always wondered what others prefer, and why. Great Post!
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  #32  
Old 07-09-2013
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Re: Need Opinion: Chart plotter, north up or course up?

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Originally Posted by kellysails View Post
And they better damn well like or it's off with their head
LOL! Hey, trust me, I feel your pain...

Over the years, I've had the honor of escorting an ICW Virgin or two down the East coast and ICW for her first time... Many of these trips were way before GPS or plotters, and my powers of reasoning and explanation were stretched to the limit, attempting to dissuade them from using the ICW strip charts like an old AAA Trip-Tik, and orienting them upside-down, to better "See where we're going..." Reason generally prevailed, and I let them have it their way... (grin)

One thing bothers me about the preference for "switching" back and forth between modes that I'm hearing from many in this thread, however... I say, Pick one mode for planning AND piloting, and STICK WITH IT. Anything else is a very poor practice, in my estimation... One of the greatest challenges any sailor is likely to face in terms of navigation, is minimizing the potential for error due to FATIGUE... Seems to be really asking for trouble, to inject this sort of variation and needless complexity into one's practice of navigation, when mistakes can so easily be made at the end of a difficult passage, or whatever...

So much of sailing safely is about the effort to maintain a comfortable and familiar ROUTINE, and this switching back and forth between different modes of navigation makes me nervous, and seems a recipe for disaster when one is under stress, or suffering from exhaustion...
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Old 07-09-2013
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Re: Need Opinion: Chart plotter, north up or course up?

One more vote for north up when planning, course up when underway. And I'm an old guy...started with paper charts only and compass, then went through the loran phase, then the GPS with just numbers, then chart plotters and separate radar, then integrated systems. Yea, walked to school both ways in the snow without boots too.

If you have vector charts, the course up label's turn right side up. If you have a good radar overlay, everything is on one neat picture, and I find the latest navigation gear from the big vendors tends to do a course up display that is smooth even in rough conditions. You need good heading information for this to work right (or your radar and chart overlay won't line up).

All that said, we keep the paper chart open on the nav table and keep a position log on long passages, for when everything breaks onboard and the satellites fall from the sky during the zombie apocalypse We can still plot, DR, etc., just incase.
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Old 07-09-2013
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Re: Need Opinion: Chart plotter, north up or course up?

Perhaps it's my ground-pounder background, but I prefer course up. Like Kelly mentioned, that's standard for navigating with topo maps and that's how I did it for 20+ years in the Army. Aviators also tend to use course up -- especially those who are moving fast and are at risk of hitting massive, immovable objects (like mountains.)

I do navigate with the plotter "north up" on occasion, and don't find it difficult but always seem to migrate back to "course up."

I guess it's kind of like the debate over Hellman's or Miracle Whip -- no right answer, just personal preference. (And yes, I'm a Miracle Whip guy )
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Old 07-09-2013
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Re: Need Opinion: Chart plotter, north up or course up?

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Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
I like that Idea ( I have a Cw95 ) and can split that screen too. Do you every overlay your radar? On which one?( I am assuming head up)
Our radar is ancient and at the nav station. Eventually we'll upgrade and integrate. Until then, navigation in the fog requires two people.
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Re: Need Opinion: Chart plotter, north up or course up?

electronics (raymarine) have course up, heads up, and north up. At nav station have north up to match paper. Under dodger and at helm have head up to match radar. Agree with using split screen when running radar. Easier to see targets and match contour of land masses when making landfall. My 2 cents.

p.s.- did this for crew. seems to make for less confusion. until I know crew has basics of chapman's don't even let them sit at the nav station or put a pencil on my charts. So north no issue there but to be honest flip back and forth N up/head up even at nav station as auto sych function may screw up if radar functioning.
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Re: Need Opinion: Chart plotter, north up or course up?

Course Up. Chart up. Keeps me on track
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Old 07-09-2013
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Re: Need Opinion: Chart plotter, north up or course up?

Not only do I have chart and plotter North up, my car navigation system has to be North up as well. I have tried using course up but with every glance at the plotter or nav system my eyes first look for the North cursor. That's a step that's not needed with North up.
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Re: Need Opinion: Chart plotter, north up or course up?

Guess it boils down to cognitive dissonance. Some folks brains are over learned in heads up or north up so get viscerally upset to see it otherwise. Whatever floats your boat. Problem is when you have crew hell bent on doing it their way or no way. Think it polite to do the way the captain/owner stipulates and suck it up. He/she will be the one taking the blame if you hit a hard edge.
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Re: Need Opinion: Chart plotter, north up or course up?

To take a different view on this. At one point I was considering a dissertation on how the human brain organizes spatial data, a sort of how does one's mental maps come into being. I was born and grew up on the north side of Lake Ontario. My mind organized location in relation to where the lake was, a sort of south-focussed view of things. When I went to the other side of the lake I was thrown off a bit because now the lake was to the north. When I first cruised in the Southern Hemisphere I wondered if it would be at all disorientating and it wasn't at all. I thought about it a lot (lots of time on a passage to think heavy thoughts) and came to realize that my spatial sense is not organized around absolute direction eg north, but on the relative position of things, the lake is there or South America is there while the Galapagos is there. Hence my preference for having the plotter set to course up. I remember crossing the Indian Ocean and zooming out on the plotter and seeing in what direction I would have to go to India, Australia, Madagascar. From the discussion here it seems that many people work on a north is there basis. For me I don't care where north is unless I am going that way.

For the north at the top crowd, do you have true or magnetic there?
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