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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #21  
Old 11-21-2006
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My view on this is that we'll always need paper charts and in the future Kinko's will be the local chart chandler! Why stock and inventory when you can just print on demand? The real problem with charts is outside of the USA... expense, innaccuracies and non-electronic formats. You can't even get a chartbook for Canadian waters...you have to buy 'em one at a time from the ONLY gov't authorized source at outrageous prices. Places like the Bahamas rely on Monty Lewis' to keep up with surveys and thank God for their hard work or we'd all be aground with the government charts! Turks/Caicos & Dominican Republic charts are totally useless so we have to rely on Pavlidas and VanSants sketch charts. The real question is not whether paper charts will disappear...but what will happen when these good folks stop doing what they do?
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Old 11-21-2006
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I agree with camaraderie, we sail in the great lakes. I have the advantage of working at a Architecture firm and have wide format printers right at my finger tips. I use the free download of chart navigator pro from maptech, download the charts for free from NOAA, and i can print them out full size and make my own chart books. At the local West Marine store the charts ar $24 each.

Scott
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Old 11-21-2006
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Scott,
I assume you don't pay for office supplies where you work.
I'm the sole owner of an architectural practice and can tell you that color inks for plotters and inkjet printers are not cheap - especially in consideration of all the blues and browns in NOAA charts. Coupled with the fact that plotter ink is not very water resistant, I prefer to buy my charts offset printed on heavy stock.
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Old 11-21-2006
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I print them on KIP plotter with is larger lazer jet so they are water proof, I just bought a roll of Milar from my supplier, there is no need for color, i just did gray scale and they look great. And we don't own the KIP its on a cost per copy account and its really cheap. We print huge volumes so we pay very little for copies. Plus I can plot a course in Chart Navigator and print it out on paper if were taking a trip. Oh and my Boss loves the charts when he comes out for the weekend sailing...

Scott
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Old 11-21-2006
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Scott...very interesting! I wonder what those KIPS cost. Might be a good internet business for someone!!
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Old 11-21-2006
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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.
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Time signals! Come on that's cheating! Too good to wind a chronometer where they! Hmmph!
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Cam hits close to a service that could probably make some money. Charts are often only as good as the most recent corrections from the Notice to Mariners. Having spent quite a few years doing just that, I can see a need for a place to purchase a chart complete with all of the NtM corrections since printing. It's not uncommon to return to a port after six months and find that the CG has rearranged the entrance buoys! All the locals know about it, but you've been in the Med. Some charts go for decades before being re-printed and while the corredtions in the interim may be few, they may be significant. How do the chart plotters deal with this; all new software?
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The time signals are to check the rate on the chronometer. Without a record of the rate it's just an expensive clock. That's why the BBC gives a time-tick at the top of every hour. Simple and effective.
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Old 11-22-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yotphix
Time signals! Come on that's cheating! Too good to wind a chronometer where they! Hmmph!
Chronometer ? CHRONOMETER ?? Tools of the devil !! New fangled bloody contraptions, nothing wrong with a sun dial if you ask me. You take my word for it young fella, they will never catch on. Now in my day.....mutter mutter grumble belch fart........
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