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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > charts
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-26-2013 09:16 PM
capta
Re: charts

In the days before electronic navigation, I used to get my charts from freighters. After 6 months or three corrections, their charts were no longer useful and were sent to "the cancelled chart drawer".
I'd go up to a ship in a port and ask for the second officer (third on Norwegian ships), the navigation officer and ask for cancelled charts. This usually led a a fine friendship, meals and laundry aboard.
After a few years I had a pretty complete world portfolio of charts, for free. Obviously, as cancelled charts they were no longer up to date, but hey, I wasn't sailing a 70,000 ton ship drawing 22 feet, so with due diligence, they worked very well.
Biggest problem was weight and storage; a thousand charts is a BIG pile.
Today I use the Garmin Blue Chart Data Cards and I've found them to be spot on (actually better than paper for accuracy) everywhere I've used them except the ICW. A bit pricey but lots smaller for storing.
Just as an aside, are you aware of the EU Shengen Laws? They are keeping us from sailing to the Med. F-ing politicians!
06-26-2013 03:08 PM
mark2gmtrans
Re: charts

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Looks like the equivalent in Norwegian might be "Slitt"...





Norwegian Hull Club
Uhm close, but I am not sure it quite makes it all the way there, think stuck on a ....
06-26-2013 03:04 PM
JonEisberg
Re: charts

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark2gmtrans View Post
Once more, the chart plotter mentioned in accidents above was not to blame, the Captain was driving his boat without paying attention to things around him. I have to say some people just are never going to get it, the electronics should not be sailing your vessel, you as the Captain must sail the vessel. The same accidents can happen when a Captain is looking through his bifocals at his charts. In Spanish we have a saying, a word really, envergado I won't translate it to closely but it means you screwed yourself...sort of... by getting stuck on it.
Looks like the equivalent in Norwegian might be "Slitt"...

Quote:

According to Geir Skoglund, vice president of loss prevention for the Norwegian Hull Club, “Despite having far more sophisticated equipment, [boats] are currently twice as likely to have an accident due to navigational error than they were five or six years ago.”

Dockwalk - The Essential Site For Captains And Crew - DockTalk

In the winter of 2003, the tug North Service was pushing the tank barge Energy 5501 when it ran aground near the Norwalk Islands off Connecticut, puncturing holes in all six starboard tanks and spilling 2,500 gallons of heating oil into the water.

According to documents provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, the captain had plotted a foul weather route using the electronic chart navigation tools. The official cause of the accident was that neither the captain nor the mate had double checked the route against a paper chart and they had failed to recognize a charted navigation hazard on the plotted course – in other words, human error.

...

According to one of the Coast Guard investigators, “This case highlights the fact that mariners are using electronic chart systems (ECS) without adequate knowledge of how to best use these systems. Nor do they necessarily understand the functional differences that exist between paper and electronic charts…. This is evident in the manner in which the master plotted for the heavy weather by zooming out to maximize the area displayed on the screen rather than ensuring that the chart was displayed at the proper scale.”
I would guess Mr. Skoglund probably has access to some "facts" to support such an assertion, no? (grin)

Norwegian Hull Club
06-26-2013 11:46 AM
JonEisberg
Re: charts

Quote:
Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
Man, you guys underestimate some sailors out there. Paper charts aren't as uncommon as you think. The poster who said nobody uses them? Not true at all. I also don't agree with your logic that we have to embrace all new technology. If we did, wouldn't we not be sailing at all? I'm going to Canada tomorrow. Wouldn't technology tell Me I don't need sails and a slow boat when I could get a powerboat and be there already? Paper charts are far more fun for me. Maybe someday I will change...
Well, that day will likely come when you eventually make the switch over to power... (grin)

In my opinion, the mindset that results from reliance on this technology exclusively for route planning and navigating underway is FAR more conducive to cruising under power, as opposed to under sail... An undue preoccupation with straightline, (way)point to (way)point piloting is the result, and the lazy man's method of chartplotter/autopilot interfaced 'piloting' is often employed... There is no stranger or more amusing reaction than that of a 'sailor' who begins to freak out when his Cross-Track Error from the dotted line on the screen begins to exceed a few hundred feet... One can only imagine how many times sails have been furled, and the Iron Genoa fired up, solely due to the inability to sail a course within a few degrees of a plotted rhumb line. Or, when some take it all to the next level of dependence upon such route planning, and actually do something as dumb as attempting to cross the Florida Straits from Miami, by interfacing their autopilot to a waypoint off Bimini....
06-26-2013 02:45 AM
northoceanbeach
Re: charts

Man, you guys underestimate some sailors out there. Paper charts aren't as uncommon as you think. The poster who said nobody uses them? Not true at all. I also don't agree with your logic that we have to embrace all new technology. If we did, wouldn't we not be sailing at all? I'm going to Canada tomorrow. Wouldn't technology tell Me I don't need sails and a slow boat when I could get a powerboat and be there already? Paper charts are far more fun for me. Maybe someday I will change, but when I just went into the nautical store and they had a roll of paper for Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas. I wanted it. The newest plotter not so much.
06-25-2013 10:50 PM
mark2gmtrans
Re: charts

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
You're right, of course, I have no disagreement with much of what you say...

However, it's just that the modern gizmos make it so EASY to develop bad habits as a navigator, and the reliance upon them exclusively can so easily breed laziness, and imprudence... Again, no need to ask me how I know this... (grin)

A few years ago, Beth Leonard (yeah, I know, what would SHE know about this, right?) wrote:
Okay, if you have a networked chart plotter system or use the one I am really wanting to see that is new the Nobeltec TIMEZERO setup which combines all of the systems into one that is pretty much 3D and realtime. You still have to open your eyes and swivel your head a bit. It is kind of a duh situation.
06-25-2013 10:45 PM
JonEisberg
Re: charts

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark2gmtrans View Post
Once more, the chart plotter mentioned in accidents above was not to blame, the Captain was driving his boat without paying attention to things around him. I have to say some people just are never going to get it, the electronics should not be sailing your vessel, you as the Captain must sail the vessel. The same accidents can happen when a Captain is looking through his bifocals at his charts. In Spanish we have a saying, a word really, envergado I won't translate it to closely but it means you screwed yourself...sort of... by getting stuck on it.

If you get stuck on a chart, a cup of tea, or a chart plotter you are distracted. If you are sailing rapidly in the dark into a mooring area or dock, as would have to have been the case in the above mentioned boating accident, you were in the wrong before you even got started looking at the plotter. If you get envergado you did it to yourself.
You're right, of course, I have no disagreement with much of what you say...

However, it's just that the modern gizmos make it so EASY to develop bad habits as a navigator, and the reliance upon them exclusively can so easily breed laziness, and imprudence... Again, no need to ask me how I know this... (grin)

A few years ago, Beth Leonard (yeah, I know, what would SHE know about this, right?) wrote:

Quote:

...we have recently seen more "electronic chart assisted groundings" than any other type of accident. The charts look so real we start thinking they are reality and don't check them against any other navigational aid.

In the end, the GPS and chart plotters are just another aid to navigation, not the aid. The old warning about never relying on one aid to navigation is as true for GPS as for any other position-fixing device. We have to constantly remind ourselves to corroborate its readings with the radar, depth sounder, bearings on landmarks, or just eyeballing and identifying each passing island so we know where we are. These good habits die quickly when the GPS comes aboard, but preserving and encouraging them may well save your boat someday.

A Teachable Moment Beth Leonard
06-25-2013 07:35 PM
mark2gmtrans
Re: charts

Once more, the chart plotter mentioned in accidents above was not to blame, the Captain was driving his boat without paying attention to things around him. I have to say some people just are never going to get it, the electronics should not be sailing your vessel, you as the Captain must sail the vessel. The same accidents can happen when a Captain is looking through his bifocals at his charts. In Spanish we have a saying, a word really, envergado I won't translate it to closely but it means you screwed yourself...sort of... by getting stuck on it.

If you get stuck on a chart, a cup of tea, or a chart plotter you are distracted. If you are sailing rapidly in the dark into a mooring area or dock, as would have to have been the case in the above mentioned boating accident, you were in the wrong before you even got started looking at the plotter. If you get envergado you did it to yourself.
06-25-2013 07:27 PM
JonEisberg
Re: charts

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffreySiegel View Post

In my mind, I'd rather be onboard with a guy who has an extra phone in a watertight case who can pinpoint his position within 20 seconds at night should the boat find itself on its side. Those wonderful charts in that situation won't ever be found and would be useless even if they managed to float by.
Uhhh, have you actually ever experienced a knockdown that put your spreaders in the water, or the mast beyond horizontal? It's hard to understate the violence of such an event, and the chaos that ensues - and I'd wager the average paper chart stands a better chance of surviving such trauma, and maintaining its utility, than, say, a laptop computer...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffreySiegel View Post
But it's even more than that. Because this topic also tends to move toward the exaggerated example - finding a wild scenario where either method of navigation fails like I just did myself.
Well, it's not like such examples very hard to find, after all... Right now, there's a Swan 48 floating somewhere between Bermuda and the Caribbean, largely due to the fact their electronics went dark a few months ago... Would that example be less "exaggerated" if the boat was only worth $250K, instead of the half a million or so her sisterships are generally worth? (grin)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffreySiegel View Post
For nearly every moment of all of our cruising, the reality is that we all are going to be sitting behind a glowing screen showing our exact position on a chart.
Well, until we aren't, of course...

I'll admit, I've only suffered the loss of the glowing screen once on my own boat, and it was likely my own fault, for attempting to start my engine with my battery lower than it should have been allowed to have gotten... Nevertheless, it couldn't have come at a more inconvenient place, or time... About 10 years ago, while preparing to depart Baracoa, Cuba, for the Ragged Islands in the Bahamas...



Good luck getting a Simrad chartplotter repaired anywhere in Cuba, or having a replacement shipped in... Especially in a spot as remote as Baracoa, which was only connected by road to the rest of Cuba a few decades ago, and where the internet has yet to exist...

And, good luck finding paper charts in such a place - especially, for any waters outside Cuban territorial waters... The mere possession of such could easily land a Cuban citizen in jail, after all... And, good luck waiting for another cruiser to show up in Baracoa that might give you theirs, I remained the sole yacht in that harbor for over a week...

If I had not had my compliment of paper charts aboard, I could have been in serious trouble... What would you have done in such a situation, having thrown away all of your charts beforehand? Only thing I can imagine, is that I could have tried to make my way up to Clarence Town, on Long Island... The Flying Fish Marina would have been the likely closest place I might have been able to fine some Explorer Chartbooks... Still, such a trip without charts would have been extremely risky - even for one as comparatively familiar with those waters as myself... For someone cruising that region for the first time, it could have resulted in big trouble... And, of course, my planned cruise back through the Jumentos - one of the most magnificent regions of the Bahamas - would have been taken off the table, it would have been nuts to venture anywhere close to them without charts of any kind...

Funny, but your vision of sailors "sitting behind the glowing screen" is a big part of the problem with the ever-increasing reliance on electronic navigation, IMHO... John Harries relates an incident that illustrates how 'seductive' these systems can become, and how easily sailors can forget to simply look outside of the boat:

Quote:

It was 4:00 am on a black early morning anchored at Cape Lookout Harbour when Phyllis and I were awoken by a crash from up forward followed by a sickening scraping sound. A quick look out the companionway showed the outline of another sailboat reversing away from our bow.

...

Two days later George and I had a long conversation in which he clearly and frankly told me how this very experienced and skilled sailor had come to have his first accident in over 30 years of owning this particular boat. And George’s experience in which two relatively small problems built on each other to cause an accident contains lessons for us all:

...

Plotters Don’t Show the Real World

After struggling with and finally clearing the rode and getting the anchor aboard, George returned to the cockpit where his first action was to look at the plotter to see where he was. A few moments later he looked up from the plotter to see our bow looming right in front of him. The by then inevitable crash took place seconds later.

Lesson 2: If George had not been equipped with a plotter he would have oriented himself by looking at his surroundings first, or possibly, if so equipped, glancing at his radar. Either way, he would almost certainly have seen us in plenty of time to avert a collision, particularly since we were showing a bright anchor light.

George is not alone in making this mistake, I have made it several times myself since getting electronic navigation two years ago—the damned things are just so seductive. I have just been luckier than George. In fact Phyllis and I now have a standard reminder that we use when we see the other looking down at the screen at the wrong time or for too long: “Look up…that’s not reality”.

Analysis Of An Accident Between Two Sailboats
I'll confess to being as easily "seduced" as Harries, as well... Start playing with a plotter while running a boat at 25 knots or more, it's astonishing how narrowly disaster might be averted... No need to ask me how I know this... (grin)

I've always thought every chartplotter should come with a warning label stating something along the lines of the conclusion of the NTSB inquiry into the crash of Eastern Flight 401 in 1972, the first-ever crash of a jumbo jet, and a classic example of the flight crew becoming so distracted by dealing with a problematic 'gizmo' in the cockpit, they basically forgot to keep flying the damn plane:

Quote:

The final NTSB report cited the cause of the crash as pilot error, specifically: "the failure of the flight crew to monitor the flight instruments during the final four minutes of flight, and to detect an unexpected descent soon enough to prevent impact with the ground. Preoccupation with a malfunction of the nose landing gear position indicating system distracted the crew's attention from the instruments and allowed the descent to go unnoticed."
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffreySiegel View Post
For nearly every moment of all of our cruising, the reality is that we all are going to be sitting behind a glowing screen showing our exact position on a chart.
LOL! So, then - which is more important? Your exact position on a CHART, or your exact position on THE EARTH'S SURFACE?

Again, I'll let John and Phyllis on MORGAN'S CLOUD take it from here...

Quote:

Things Are Different Now
by Phyllis on July 9, 2011 3 comments

Onboard Morgan’s Cloud one of the biggest changes is that we now have electronic charting for the first time while voyaging in Greenland. And so far we have been able to navigate electronically, because C-Map has done an amazingly good job of correcting the datums (the original paper charts are off by as much as Ĺ mile in places against the GPS).

However, there are still some spots where the datums are significantly off and we suspect that this discrepancy will only increase as we continue north. Since we have all the paper charts we aren’t worried, though we are a bit concerned about how rusty our ability to use the hand-bearing compass, parallel ruler and course protractor has become!


On this chart C-Map has done a very good job of correcting the amount that the datum of the original paper chart is off. However, the ranges shown are where we checked the distance to the shore to be sure.


What is worrying is how seductive electronic charting is: after using a plotter for just a little while it is extremely hard to believe that the picture on the computer screen is not reality! So we are constantly reminding each other that we have to regularly confirm our position relative to the land using radar ranges and bearings, which are reality.

http://www.morganscloud.com/2011/07/...ion-greenland/
06-25-2013 08:26 AM
Net0man
Re: charts

Good morning. I am new in sailing. Everytime. I go sailing I forget my paper chart however I have iPhone with Navonics app and it works perfectly fine for my club boat. I'll try iPad next time.
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