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NOAA wants to stop making NOAA charts!

May 25, 2012
2,273
john alden caravelle 42 sturgeon bay, wis
so what is the "fashionable 'next gen' anchor" ? are we back to a 'fisherman' ?
 
Oct 1, 2007
1,413
Hunter 44DS Pt. Judith
So one very foggy day on Rhode Island Sound we were sitting on a mooring in Great Salt Pond, Block Island. We have 16 turned on the VHF as background while reading. Guy comes on calling "..mayday, mayday,,,". Coastie answers and goes through the usual exchange. Turns out that the guy, power boat, has had an electrical failure and all his gizmos are showing blank screens. Claims he is somewhere between Block Island and the mainland but has no idea where he is. No compass, no charts, no seamanship, no nothing. I agree that our electronics really helps keep us safe on the water but we should always have fallback approaches in the event the lights go out. Back about 8 years ago we were on a Maine cruise and were departing Wood Island on a foggy morning bound for Portland. I hit the switch on Raymarine and was greeted by a blank screen. The system wouldn't boot. So after almost 10 years of GPS chartplotters we were suddenly without. No radar, no GPS. So we had to revert back to the good old days of paper charts (which I always carry, always have open on the chart table, and which I dutifully update every winter from the LNM). So we chugged over to Portland, seeking and finding buoys and plotting courses. Fortunately the fog lifted on the way to Portland. The next day we did a repeat going over to Boothbay Harbor. Had we no paper charts or other backup, we would have been sitting in Wood Island waiting for Raymarine to fix our gizmo. (turned out to be a minor software glitch).
 
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Jul 13, 2004
54
-Manta Catamaran -Manta 40 Mystic, CT
Keep in mind that the loss you speak of only effects the electronic chart itself - the loss of GPS, radar, etc is the same regardless of chart. If one decides to be so rash as to only have a single source of charts onboard, and tied to a single power system, then I agree that one should also have paper charts.

But that isn't the argument - it only represents your personal choice to have an incomplete or poorly designed electronic navigation system. I don't mean that as a knock, only as a description of your nav system - a single point of electronic failure backed up by paper charts (and presumably some non-electronic means of determining position).

However, it is in no way a valid argument for paper charts.

Our boat has 10 independent devices with electronic charts, using a wide variety of different charting data (think about that), all using independent power sources. We have 14 independent GPS on board, and 11 of them have independent power sources. The ones sharing a power source are on different circuits.

This sounds like we are bristling with antennas and glowing in the dark, but the reality is that every phone, tablet, handheld vhf, and camera we have has a GPS in it. In addition to our chart plotter, every computer, phone, and tablet has electronic charts on them, and there are a couple of handheld devices with such also.

We sail in a lot of places that are poorly charted. A single source of chart data is a recipe for disaster. With electronics charts, we always have multiple sources of data available. Very few people have multiple paper chart data sources (and fewer data sources are being offered in paper format).

To be honest, I find it difficult to believe anyone today is out on the water with only a single GPS or source of electronic charts completely dependent on the main battery. Almost everyone today has at least a phone, and charts for mobile devices range from free to almost free - certainly, detailed electronic charts for entire regions of the world can be bought for the price of a single paper chart.

Did I ever tell you the story about one time this guy on a power boat lost his paper chart overboard and had to call the coast guard because he didn't know where he was? Good argument against paper charts there...

Mark
 

TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
1,975
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
so what is the "fashionable 'next gen' anchor" ? are we back to a 'fisherman' ?
I think Rocna is the big one. And Mantus. I believe they're better than older designs, from what I read. But some advocates would have you believe, that when they bought their Rocna's et. al, the old anchors stopped working. :)

CQR will probably go out of business mostly because, they're much more expensive than the newer anchors. You can get better performance for less. If I had to replace my CQR, I'd buy one of the new gen of anchors.

The Fisherman still works! I see big schooners still using them to good advantage. Those crews know the most important part of the anchor system; where you anchor.
 
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Oct 1, 2007
1,413
Hunter 44DS Pt. Judith
Keep in mind that the loss you speak of only effects the electronic chart itself - the loss of GPS, radar, etc is the same regardless of chart. If one decides to be so rash as to only have a single source of charts onboard, and tied to a single power system, then I agree that one should also have paper charts.

But that isn't the argument - it only represents your personal choice to have an incomplete or poorly designed electronic navigation system. I don't mean that as a knock, only as a description of your nav system - a single point of electronic failure backed up by paper charts (and presumably some non-electronic means of determining position).

However, it is in no way a valid argument for paper charts.

Our boat has 10 independent devices with electronic charts, using a wide variety of different charting data (think about that), all using independent power sources. We have 14 independent GPS on board, and 11 of them have independent power sources. The ones sharing a power source are on different circuits.

This sounds like we are bristling with antennas and glowing in the dark, but the reality is that every phone, tablet, handheld vhf, and camera we have has a GPS in it. In addition to our chart plotter, every computer, phone, and tablet has electronic charts on them, and there are a couple of handheld devices with such also.

We sail in a lot of places that are poorly charted. A single source of chart data is a recipe for disaster. With electronics charts, we always have multiple sources of data available. Very few people have multiple paper chart data sources (and fewer data sources are being offered in paper format).

To be honest, I find it difficult to believe anyone today is out on the water with only a single GPS or source of electronic charts completely dependent on the main battery. Almost everyone today has at least a phone, and charts for mobile devices range from free to almost free - certainly, detailed electronic charts for entire regions of the world can be bought for the price of a single paper chart.

Did I ever tell you the story about one time this guy on a power boat lost his paper chart overboard and had to call the coast guard because he didn't know where he was? Good argument against paper charts there...

Mark
Lol!!!!
 
Jul 13, 2004
54
-Manta Catamaran -Manta 40 Mystic, CT
I didn't mean to make an anchor thread. My original comment was only to point out an observation of how cruising is changing over time. Different charting and navigation choices and different anchoring choices. Hard rowing dinghies are also almost extinct.

Sure, cqr's can still be made to grab once in a while by you old artisans :) , but those cruising more far and wide simply do not carry them anymore. Maybe cost is the reason, but most have abandoned the ones they already had for a different choice.

Don't kill the messenger...

Mark
 
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TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
1,975
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
I didn't mean to make an anchor thread. My original comment was only to point out an observation of how cruising is changing over time. Different charting and navigation choices and different anchoring choices. Hard rowing dinghies are also almost extinct.

Sure, cqr's can still be made to grab once in a while by you old artisans :) , but those cruising more far and wide simply do not carry them anymore. Maybe cost is the reason, but most have abandoned the ones they already had for a different choice.

Don't kill the messenger...

Mark
Cruising has changed a lot, and so has sailing, due to navigation advancements. It wasn't many years ago (less than 10 or so), paper charts as back up were the rule. That topic would assure a lengthy thread of heated debate.

These days, not so much.

Cruising and sailing, the boats and equipment, aren't the same thing to me. As I see old anchors on many boats that are used primarily for recreational sailing, you'll see more new (bigger-more) anchors because cruiser's boats, are usually their homes. You guys spend a lot more time anchored than we do, especially in exposed areas. We anchor less often, usually in protected anchorages. I'd rather invest $ in gear for sailing primarily so tend to keep what works.

The same could probably be said for paper charts. I'm probably in the minority not carrying paper back up (but I'd bet little of it is being used today). I feel the same as you; my back up is in independent devices. I've never felt safer or better equipped to pilot, than today.
 
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May 25, 2012
2,273
john alden caravelle 42 sturgeon bay, wis
tom, now he's implying no one likes hard dinghies any more. nobody told me.

today, everyone wants a condo. i get it. my boat is a classic camper. i'm not going to mount a lot of modern condo gear on my 66'.
of course i have multiple self powered gps's. hidden from view. having the crew navigate with paper just goes with the ambience of my old varnish farm.


paper with electronic backup is how i roll. just because i can.

you don't mount a CB antenna to a Duesenberg.

P.S. my interior kerosine lamps are in good working order. they really set the mood.
 
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May 25, 2012
2,273
john alden caravelle 42 sturgeon bay, wis
i have a 1948, cedar strip on bent frames, varnished inside and out, 14', shell lake row boat. in pristine condition.

it tows beautify. rows beautify. now it's out of style? oh well.
 
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Oct 22, 2014
10,837
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Tom you are correct in your observation, but doesn't mean us paper chart folk won't go kicking and screaming.
I grew up using paper charts for navigation and feel naked if I'm not making notations along the route one paper chart. Not that I don't plan and layout my route inspecting the tides and currents using an electronic tool. There is just a sense of confirmation when I plot my position and progress.

Having a printed plot of the route is a good back up when your venturing beyond the immediate waters of your marina and bay.

Last trip 175 mm a lot of fun.
 
Jan 24, 2017
28
Hunter 40.5 Saipan
colemj hit the nail on the head. The advent of OpenCPN means that it's now insanely cheap to have literally dozens of independent chartplotters onboard. That, combined with inexpensive GPS devices from Garmin, provides more than enough redundancy.

We keep our paper charts onboard because we have them, but they've never been used since cheap chartplotters came on the scene a few years back. In terms of the big picture, simply zoom out and quilted charts will allow for a much bigger picture than any paper chart could provide.
 

TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
1,975
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
i have a 1948, cedar strip on bent frames, varnished inside and out, 14', shell lake row boat. in pristine condition.

it tows beautify. rows beautify. now it's out of style? oh well.
Rowing tenders are still popular here, Jon. If anything, rowing is on the rise on our coast(a nice trend to see). In my local harbors, the ratio is about 1 to 1, hard dinghy's vs inflatables(in fact it's closer to 2 - hard- to 1 in my harbor).

In areas where cruisers are the norm, as you know, rowing dinghy's are rare. Big difference when your dinghy is your primary car/truck.

I like a rowing dinghy for the exercise and pleasure. And it's an especially simple piece of gear compared to an outboard powered tender.
 
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TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
1,975
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
Tom you are correct in your observation, but doesn't mean us paper chart folk won't go kicking and screaming.
I grew up using paper charts for navigation and feel naked if I'm not making notations along the route one paper chart. Not that I don't plan and layout my route inspecting the tides and currents using an electronic tool. There is just a sense of confirmation when I plot my position and progress.

Having a printed plot of the route is a good back up when your venturing beyond the immediate waters of your marina and bay.

Last trip 175 mm a lot of fun.
I get that! The only thing that will keep paper charts flowing is keeping the demand up. Today, when there are a half a dozen electronic chart options in the average house kitchen(phones, tablets, computers, etc with a $15 app), that might be tough. E-charts and getting better and cheaper by leaps and bounds.
 
Sep 30, 2013
3,014
1988 Catalina 22 central Florida
Chartplotters, like GPS in the car, does not give you the "big picture".
Bingo. :)

A couple years ago, we bought one of those big Maptech chart books for our cruising area, west Florida and the Keys. I built a special shelf for it under the dinette table. It came from WM so we paid an absurd price, but it sure comes in handy once in a while.

When you need the "big picture" - a large, detailed view of where you are, what's around you, where you're going, and what lies in between ... a 7" GPS display just doesn't cut it.
 
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Nov 8, 2010
10,744
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
People, this is NOT a redundancy issue, as if having 10 devices with GPS chips inside them makes this OK.

The simple fact is that maintaining, scanning, reading, and occasionally using paper charts creates a high level of Situational Awareness (SA) that you simply don't get by pressing your face into a LCD screen and trusting that fix and that e-map. Using a chart MAKES you actually look the the water, the marks, and the land features to understand where you are. In the business we called it 'ground truth', and we call it that for a reason.

I use GPS devices all the time. Hell, I DESIGNED a lot of them. But make no mistake, they are no replacement for charts.
 
Feb 28, 2013
67
Pacific Seacraft 40 Belfast
I have a new Raymarine chart plotter with a CMap Essentials chip. Near Johnson Cay in the Bahamas, when I zoomed in, Nairn Cay which was abeam to port in reality and on the chart, jumped over to my starboard side on the plotter. I don't know if the error is the fault of Raymarine or CMap but I will not rely solely on electronic navigation systems.
 
Jul 13, 2004
54
-Manta Catamaran -Manta 40 Mystic, CT
People, this is NOT a redundancy issue, as if having 10 devices with GPS chips inside them makes this OK.

The simple fact is that maintaining, scanning, reading, and occasionally using paper charts creates a high level of Situational Awareness (SA) that you simply don't get by pressing your face into a LCD screen and trusting that fix and that e-map. Using a chart MAKES you actually look the the water, the marks, and the land features to understand where you are. In the business we called it 'ground truth', and we call it that for a reason.

I use GPS devices all the time. Hell, I DESIGNED a lot of them. But make no mistake, they are no replacement for charts.
Yes, just like abandoning lead lines for electronic depth removes the situational awareness of the bottom type and water temp, as well as removes a set of eyes from the bow of the boat. Depth sounders make boating more dangerous.

And everyone using electronic charts never look up and at the water and land features. They prevent one from doing so.

Looking at a raster chart on a 15" screen is very different situationally than looking at a paper chart folded to 15" on your lap and flapping in the wind.

Beware arguments based on absolute generalities or misplaced appeal to authority...

Mark
 
Jul 13, 2004
54
-Manta Catamaran -Manta 40 Mystic, CT
I have a new Raymarine chart plotter with a CMap Essentials chip. Near Johnson Cay in the Bahamas, when I zoomed in, Nairn Cay which was abeam to port in reality and on the chart, jumped over to my starboard side on the plotter. I don't know if the error is the fault of Raymarine or CMap but I will not rely solely on electronic navigation systems.
And you shouldn't - that is where your eyes and brain kick in. You shouldn't even rely on a paper chart - Nairn cay is visually obvious from Johnson. They are a mile apart with deep water between them and one is 5x larger than the other.

FWIW, our Cmap charts on our Furuno are the Explorer charts and are spot on in that area. Our non-explorer electronic charts are also accurate enough to differentiate that area to the extent of keeping islands in the correct relative positions.

We have had our depth and speed readings provide incorrect data at times (thermoclines and growth). Should we not rely on them in general, and use our eyes and brain when something seems amiss, or should we go back to a lead line and chip logs and declare electronics dangerous and unreliable?

Mark
 
Nov 8, 2010
10,744
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Looking at a raster chart on a 15" screen is very different situationally than looking at a paper chart folded to 15" on your lap and flapping in the wind.
You're taking this personally and I don't know why.

My point is simple. If someone gets used to only looking at a GPS-based map which shows then where it thinks they are, they MIGHT get less likely to actually use their eyes to confirm. So YES to your bolded point, they are very different.

And it builds confidence. I know people that are afraid to sail (and will not) if their plotter is down.