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  #41  
Old 10-25-2013
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Re: NOAA To Stop Printing Nautical Charts

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Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
When you are at sea for a few weeks or amongst islands that have no technical resource, it is not uncommon to lose all you electrics simply by not having a charge source.

So in addition to an expensive chart plotter, you also have to have passive charging systems. Many of the cruising boats out there have none of that stuff and most have a modest house bank as well.

So of you have just an alternator, it doesn't matter how many electronic devices you have, they will all have flat batteries. No lightening strikes or other exotic happenings, just a dodgy alternator is all it takes.

Anyway, in NZ we have always had to pay for paper charts so excuse my lack of concern for you plight
One of the biggest shockers for me, is how much amperage can be required simply to keep a laptop running... If I'm somewhere playing on the computer for much of a rainy day, my wind generator had better be spinning bigtime, just to break even with the demands of refrigeration and my MacBook's 12V converter... I can't imagine running a laptop all day for navigation, even the draw of my chartplotter(s) alone adds up pretty quickly over the course of 24 hours, and I've always suspected that most people who are running these devices all the time are doing a LOT of motoring, as opposed to sailing... Even with solar and all the rest, prolonged periods under sail alone just isn't very conducive to keeping such an array of gadgets up and running, and many of the bigger boats I run require at least an hour or two of generator run time every day, just to keep up...

Unless I'm being forced to do otherwise by a schedule, I like to sail as much as possible... Cruising in a place like the Canadian Maritimes, where one might see overcast and light air conditions for days at a time, you won't get much power generation from solar or wind, and running a plotter or computer full time can quickly run my bank down... In such situations, if I don't need to be running radar, I'll shut everything down as much as possible, and simply rely on my trusty old Garmin 48 handheld GPS and paper charts, over a period of days it can make a huge difference in power consumed... For there is nothing I hate more, than having to run my engine simply to charge my house bank, or any peripheral 'devices' I might have aboard...

I will admit, however, that it sounds like an iPad or similar tablet has changed this equation, bigtime... Everyone I know is telling me I NEED one, and it's just a matter of time before I go down that road... We shall see, but I still think I'm too much of a dinosaur at this point to ever be comfortable without the appropriate paper aboard... :-)



Last edited by JonEisberg; 10-25-2013 at 11:23 AM.
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  #42  
Old 10-25-2013
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Re: NOAA To Stop Printing Nautical Charts

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Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
No...

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...


I tend to agree with you there, Jon. I don't want to siderail this discussion too much, but if he had to come into that channel with only paper, would he have still done it? I think not.

Brian
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  #43  
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Re: NOAA To Stop Printing Nautical Charts

What does the statement that charts will be free to download for a few more months? So far as I know, I've been able to download NOAA raster and ENC charts for free for years! Are we now going to have to *PAY* for that????
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  #44  
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Re: NOAA To Stop Printing Nautical Charts

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Originally Posted by night0wl View Post
What does the statement that charts will be free to download for a few more months? So far as I know, I've been able to download NOAA raster and ENC charts for free for years! Are we now going to have to *PAY* for that????
I did not see "a few more months" anywhere. Please cite your reference for that.
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Re: NOAA To Stop Printing Nautical Charts

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
While we can print them for free off the internet, I'm not aware of the govt giving printed charts away here. They give the data away for the purpose of public safety.
Not really. According to the Canadian Hydrographic Service
Internationally, the United States is the only country where electronic charts are available at no charge. Canada and the U.S. have different domestic, fiscal and social policy. In the U.S. copyright laws prohibit the federal government from claiming copyright protection for the information it produces.

In Canada, by contrast, there is no barrier to the government exercising its copyright, or from earning revenues from such copyright. As such, there is an expectation that CHS will earn revenues and royalties from the sale of charts and publications in order to partially cover the cost of publishing, distributing and maintaining those products. Surveying and charting benefit our nation as a whole, therefore the costs of conducting hydrographic surveying and producing the charts are borne by the government and funded through parliamentary appropriations. Anyone accruing a specific benefit from the use of the derived products is expected to contribute by paying a portion of the incremental costs associated with publishing, supporting, maintaining and distributing the products.

Prices for Canadian paper charts, publications and electronic charts are among the lowest in the world. In fact, in March 2007 CHS reduced the prices of its electronic charts, both vector and raster, by more than 50% and has been constantly increasing the number of charts on most CDs. CHS also offers free updates for one year from the date of purchase of our digital products.

IMO if you are making a long passage without paper charts and marking your position regularly as a backup you are foolish. Hopefully you never need to go to your backup but Murphys law suggests otherwise
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Re: NOAA To Stop Printing Nautical Charts

John, we both know you ARE a dinosaur - no doubt about it. I have drawers filled with paper charts that have taken on alien life forms from years of non-use. Those same charts are scanned into my GPS Plotter, which I rely on as my primary source of navigation and have yet to have a failure in 11 years of constant operation. It draws very little current, the display is supertwist, which makes it sunlight viewable, and there's NEVER any guesswork as to my EXACT location. The next time we are in the same vicinity, which I sincerely hope is soon, I will give you each and every one of those charts. The aliens within can colonize your boat instead of residing on mine.

Stay safe old friend,

Gary
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Re: NOAA To Stop Printing Nautical Charts

How did they let this opportunity pass to not blame sequestration for the demise of vital service??

The NOAA National Data Buoy Center has deferred annual maintenance for buoys and C-MAN stations until further notice. We hope to resume maintenance of the coastal and offshore weather buoys and C-MAN network next year, pending adequate funding in FY14

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Re: NOAA To Stop Printing Nautical Charts

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Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
I did not see "a few more months" anywhere. Please cite your reference for that.
From the announcement:

NOAA announces end of traditional paper nautical charts


NOAA will also announce a new product full-scale PDF (Portable Digital Format) nautical charts, available for free download on a trial basis online.

This is after they reference raster and enc charts.
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Re: NOAA To Stop Printing Nautical Charts

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Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
Tom,

I am sorry it came across harsh, but as I said above, it is something I feel very strongly about.

Brian
No need to apologize. I can see your point with your boat and that experience.

The UK folks have a much simpler boat with at least 3 or 4 separate charting systems that are not connected.

And they have confidence in several modes (4 actually) of battery charging with their refrigeration(there They have no AP interface with a tiller. They're comfortable with digital charts even though they grew up (as all digital chart users I know of) navigating on paper and just feel comfortable with the new devices that convey them(the charts are the same). They're now 2 years sailing across and around the Atlantic and they seem to be happy with all their systems(except their dinghy .


This news from NOAA to move toward digital charts is having a different effect on many of us.

I realized a few years ago after 10 with a simple chart plotter, I hadn't drawn a course line or bearing on a chart. But I couldn't see clearing out the chart drawer with just one electronic charting system.

When I added a tablet with a charting app, I finally moved my outdated charts to a dry locker, just in case.

I'll add one more separate gps charting device(likely a smart phone) and feel happy in my coastal sailing.
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Re: NOAA To Stop Printing Nautical Charts

Quote:
Originally Posted by night0wl View Post
From the announcement:

NOAA announces end of traditional paper nautical charts


NOAA will also announce a new product full-scale PDF (Portable Digital Format) nautical charts, available for free download on a trial basis online.

This is after they reference raster and enc charts.
This is a new service they are offering. The charts were not previously available as PDFs, you used to need special software to read their electronic charts.

It also says "For the three-month trial period, NOAA is providing about a thousand high-resolution printable nautical charts—almost the entire NOAA suite of charts—as PDF files. The PDF nautical charts, which are exact images of the traditional charts currently printed by lithography, will be available for free download on October 22. Coast Survey will then evaluate usage and user feedback to decide whether to continue the service."

So this is an additional service that NOAA is providing, and may continue to provide if it works out.
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