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NOAA wants to stop making NOAA charts!

Dec 28, 2009
397
Macgregor M25 trailer
If I'm just putsing around known waters I just use the chart plotter. But if I'm going on a cruise I'll plot my course on the paper chart, transfer the way points to the plotter. During the cruise every once in a while I'll mark my position and time on the chart, habit from the days of loran.

At night mostly just use the compass and clock.

Every once in a while I'll take a sight with the sextant, and compare my reading with the GPS just to keep in practice.
 
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Jul 13, 2004
54
-Manta Catamaran -Manta 40 Mystic, CT
"]The same as you do when you need to read your paper chart

Mark
not the same! the navigator and helmsman on my boat are not the same usually. i'm a sailor, not a cruiser. i choose to optimize my vessel for sailing, even when i'm cruising. the light from the nav station is kept dark from the helm's eyes. i like to sail into a harbor or bay. so, i like at least 2 per watch. trimming, lookout, nav, cook, ..... not the helmsman.[/QUOTE]

OK, then it is still the same - the navigator does the navigating work with the electronics, while the helmsman stays dark. The inescapable fact is that light is necessary for both paper or electronic. The difference is that electronic presents far more options for night-friendly viewing than paper. How one divides the responsibilities is no different either way.

Mark
 
Jul 13, 2004
54
-Manta Catamaran -Manta 40 Mystic, CT
Errr, paper charts have been around for 500 years or so. Maybe longer. Electronic charts for 25 years? And your statistics are?
Perhaps Jon had a better sense of humor and appreciation for a subtle point than most? The statistics are inescapable for the very reason you list in your first sentence. That is also the humorous part. The subtle part is noticing that people have regularly come to grief with paper charts (and still do), and that the possession of such does not mean that they maintain a constant lookout, have superb situational awareness, know everything about navigating, or even have better luck.

That is the part of logic that is missing when people assign those qualities to others using electronic charts.

Mark
 
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Jul 13, 2004
54
-Manta Catamaran -Manta 40 Mystic, CT
If I'm just putsing around known waters I just use the chart plotter. But if I'm going on a cruise I'll plot my course on the paper chart, transfer the way points to the plotter. During the cruise every once in a while I'll mark my position and time on the chart, habit from the days of loran.
We do the same, only we plan routes, and plot positions, on computers (usually a computer and 2 iPads). Much less possibility for error that way (in fact, to plot a position, all that is needed to be done is to waken the iPad and computer for a couple of seconds and the application automatically drops a point and time at the ship's location). Of course, our position is also written in our log at least on every shift change (generally every couple of hours).

We have a paper log, BTW - anything else is just dangerous and irresponsible! :)

Mark
 
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Jul 13, 2004
54
-Manta Catamaran -Manta 40 Mystic, CT
Silly discussion. We have a cockpit full of toys. We also have a tube full of paper. It's not about one being better than the other, it's about backup. Prepared. Understanding that there's a backup system if the primary one fails. Not like anything electronic ever fails. Leave your iPad in the sun for a while and watch what happens.
I agree. However, paper is not the only valid means of backup.

Mark
 
Aug 1, 2011
3,553
Catalina 270 Wabamun - on the orange ball
I agree. However, paper is not the only valid means of backup.
Mark
I never said it was. Your boat, your choice.
There is a fairly large contingent of people who have been in the hi tech industry for a long time, who love their toys and in somewhat of a dichotomy, seriously enjoy the pleasure that things like a good book in hand, or a chart on the table bring. Framing a discussion around trying to change that viewpoint for these people, myself included, is very likely a waste of time.
 
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Feb 11, 2017
4
Let's not forget how old actual the Hydrographic Surveys shown on the charts, paper or electronic are. In my area some date back before WW II.
 
Jul 13, 2004
54
-Manta Catamaran -Manta 40 Mystic, CT
I never said it was. Your boat, your choice.
There is a fairly large contingent of people who have been in the hi tech industry for a long time, who love their toys and in somewhat of a dichotomy, seriously enjoy the pleasure that things like a good book in hand, or a chart on the table bring. Framing a discussion around trying to change that viewpoint for these people, myself included, is very likely a waste of time.
Hmm, go back and read your post I responded too. You did say it was, you did not mention the pleasure of a paper chart on the table as being your reason for having them, and it was you and a couple of others who have framed the discussion on absolute terms to change viewpoints.

I've mentioned specifically that I see no issues with people using paper charts. I've never even argued that point. The opposite has been true for you and some others regarding people using electronic.

I have mostly responded to inaccurate information, poor logic, and to present my experiences with the current state of cruising choices I see.

Mark
 
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Jul 13, 2004
54
-Manta Catamaran -Manta 40 Mystic, CT
FYI, the reason the Navy is once again training on celestial navigation skills is because of the increased risk to that pacifier we call GPS. At least know how to dead reckon and have tools to do so.
This may be fine for the navy, but if you think carefully about the consequences of the gps system failing or being taken down, you will discover you have far more important worries and much larger problems than navigation. This isn't the 1980's anymore.

It is a red herring argument because civilization as we know it will end with any prolonged outage. Food won't be delivered, supplies will be unavailable, airlines, trains, and trucking will be dead in the water, communications will be gone (not even land lines), and likely power will be out.

For a short blip in service, most of us will likely find our way just fine. :)

Mark
 
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Jul 13, 2004
54
-Manta Catamaran -Manta 40 Mystic, CT
Let's not forget how old actual the Hydrographic Surveys shown on the charts, paper or electronic are. In my area some date back before WW II.
Yes, the data themselves make the chart - not the format in which they are presented.

I'm a proponent of crowd sourcing for this. Even by ourselves, I often take the dingy around with my iPad and a HH depth sounder and "make" accurate electronic charts of poorly charted areas we are interested in exploring or entering with the main boat.

We have a friend who has a fixed sounder in his dingy and a navionics app that wirelessly takes data from the sounder. He just drives his dinghy around like mowing a lawn and the app creates an amazing detailed electronic chart for him. He can upload the data to navionics, but I don't know their procedure for vetting it for further distribution.

For sure, the future is not paper in this regard.

Mark
 
Aug 1, 2011
3,553
Catalina 270 Wabamun - on the orange ball
you did not mention the pleasure of a paper chart on the table as being your reason for having them, and it was you and a couple of others who have framed the discussion on absolute terms to change viewpoints.
What you use, or don't use on your boat is entirely up to you. Your boat, your choice.
Button time.
 
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May 25, 2012
2,273
john alden caravelle 42 sturgeon bay, wis
Situational awareness is a strange argument. Here is a very common situation: entering a coastal area with busy commercial and recreational traffic winding through and around islands and channels with reefs and ledges. Of course, there is a decent tidal current that continually acts on the boat in various directions as one winds about. Also, of course, there are many recreational power boats that have no concern for colregs or even appear to have marginal control of the boats.

I'm in my cockpit with a chart plotter containing AIS and radar overlays. The plotter is positioned in my line of sight such that my eyes only need move a couple of degrees between horizon and screen. At no time is either out of my vision. The plotter follows my ship and shows all other ships in relation to mine. AIS and radar targets turn red and flash when on a collision course. There are COG, Heading and drift vectors for my ship shown.

You are in your cockpit with a paper chart on your lap.

Who has the most situational awareness here?

Mark
at night, under sail, 'NEITHER' i think is the correct answer.
 
Mar 16, 2010
5,943
Beneteau 411 Oceanis Annapolis
I read that recently as well Gunni, but thought if they are having issues with paper charts, celestial navigation was way to esoteric.
A chart laying on your table can't be hacked, or a sextant...or the sun, and stars.
 
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Jun 14, 2010
1,080
Quorning Dragonfly 1200 home
Been cruising more than day-hopping since 1984 - full time cruising for the past 9 years. Currently in Bermuda and heading for Nova Scotia in a month. Not a paper chart on board, nor has been for the past 6 years. We have bearing binocs somewhere on board, but never use them because we prefer the stabilized ones.

The number of people we meet out cruising full-time that still have and use paper charts is becoming equal to the number of boats still using CQR anchors. Even the ones that do have paper charts stowed away admit that they haven't used them in years.

Mark
:) don't get rid of those bearing binos Mark, the I-S ones might have flat batteries one day. I agree with you on the paper charts, but still have chart books that haven't been opened since 2000 stowed under my salon seats. The reason I don't recycle the paper is that GPS might fall victim to an act or war or terror. It's easy to jam or knock out by hostiles, or manipulate by the government.
I remember they played around with GPS position accuracy in the NYC area after 9/11/2001. We were sitting at anchor and I noticed our CP started reading as if we were moving at high speed to the east. It "moved" us about 5 miles east of actual, then "moved" us back. This looked like a shift might have been "dialed in" to the system as a test or as part of a strategy.

Edit: After writing the above, I read your later post about the end of civilization as we know it if GPS is knocked out long term. Unfortunately I think that risk has become much higher recently.
 
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Jul 13, 2004
54
-Manta Catamaran -Manta 40 Mystic, CT
:) don't get rid of those bearing binos Mark, the I-S ones might have flat batteries one day.
You can still see through them without batteries...

I agree with you on the paper charts, but still have chart books that haven't been opened since 2000 stowed under my salon seats.
Helps keep the condensation down. :)

Edit: After writing the above, I read your later post about the end of civilization as we know it if GPS is knocked out long term. Unfortunately I think that risk has become much higher recently.
The risk of GPS being knocked out long term, or the risk of the end of civilization as we know it? Right now, they aren't necessarily related… :(

Mark
 
Oct 1, 2007
1,413
Hunter 44DS Pt. Judith
The day that GPS is no longer available, all of us will have much bigger and more important concerns than how we will find our way into Roque Island......
 
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TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
1,981
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
On the original post, I read the article on Panbo.

It doesn't sound like paper charts are going away, very quickly. For those who use paper charts regularly for navigation - or as back-up - it sounds like print chart data will be harder to keep up to date.

Updating never mattered much to the average navigator anyway, and as back up, it's not that important.
 
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May 4, 2005
4,060
Macgregor 26d Ft Lauderdale, Fl
I ran a 2 day race with a dead battery. those paper charts helped a lot! especially at night.
Everyone should have a backup paper chart aboard, for when your battery is dead.
 
Dec 30, 2010
188
Pacific Seacraft Orion27 HP: San Diego, M: Anacortes
While NOAA doesn't actually supply paper charts anymore, the press release seems to indicate a higher level of disregard, in the statement "plans to cease support..."

Does this mean that NOAA will not actually continue to update the electronic databases that are used by commercial sources for chartplotters and the printing of paper charts?

I have to admit that I have not used an actual NOAA chart in years, but I still rely on the NOAA data in commercial charts from Maptech, for instance.

And I do download the NOAA charts from https://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/staff/chartspubs.html for use on my computer and smartphone (running openCPN).