Super Fuzzy Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Sydney Australia
Thanked 125 Times in 116 Posts
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We might always need them but will our descendants ?
Mind you I reckon you are right on the money Cam, at least in the short term. It will all be on computer and printed out as you need it. I was having a discussion with someone else the other day who was trying to chase down a chart for an obscure little reef off the coast of Australia which is actually part of New Caledonia, Chesterfield Reef by name. The only available chart with any detail at all is French and getting one is going to be quite a process as it was not available on line. If it was, simply download, off to local plan printer and away you go. Beats having to wait three weeks for the thing to come from Fance.
I still think though that the reality will be all electronic in a few years or maybe a few decades. Fifty years on, your average production yacht will have one or two computers, hard wired into the boat with permanent satellite broadband internet and large format flat screens at building stage. Most sailers will not know what a sextant is let alone how to use one. Sure there will be some old farts who will yearn for the good old days but not too many. Technology always seems to win in the end although some of us try and hold out against the tide. (Hey, I still drive a manual gearbox motor (you lot call 'em stick shifts I think) and have never owned a car with an auto transmission.) Nonetheless, the old girl has a roller furling headsail, a gps (about to buy the obligatory spare), vhf and hf radios, cd player and a refrigerator, all things that are now considered essentials yet fifty years ago were virtually unknown. When we go away in January we will of course lug along the notebook computer with its DVD player. Go back to the days of the Hiscocks for instance and they didn't even have a radio transmitter, only a short wave receiver to listen to the BBC World Service and to get accurate time signals.
Andrew B (Mal÷ 39 Classic)
ôLife is a trick, and you get one chance to learn it.ö
― Terry Pratchett.