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Charts or Plotters? Will Paper Survive the Digital Age...

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by CaptNeil, Mar 10, 2009.

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  1. ychtcptn

    ychtcptn Senior Member

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    Like Ken, I too use the Chart plotter while coastal cruising, with the proper paper chart next to me to follow along with. I enjoy letting my first officers take the helm while cruising and watch to see how they use both tools, most of the time they are concentrating solely on the plotter, this is when I turn it off and ask them where we are and what is coming up next. The look of confusion is priceless! I think the younger generation is relying on these plotters too much and not working on the core navigation skills.
    In 4 years of Maritime School we had 1 semester of electronic nav., granted that was 20 years ago, when all this stuff was just coming out.
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I once brought a boat down from Boston to the C.C. Canal. We'd plotted the normal route, but were encountering 7' seas on the quarter. So I told the owner (who was at the helm) to ignore the course line and steer on a course that runs him more into the waves and later we'll run with them into the canal. He turned the boat upwind, but as soon as he looked back at the screen he returned to the plotted course like Pavlov's dog. We repeated this a few more times until I finally just put a waypoint out in the direction I needed him to follow. Behind us was about a 90' Broward which stayed on that original courseline. They almost got pushed to the wrong side of a llighthouse and several buoys and for as long as I could see them I felt sorry for the passengers as she rolled and rolled. I'm convinced that computers stifle independent thought.
  3. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    That must explain some of what gets posted here from time to time then. :D
  4. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    Thus you win the "Laugh of the Day" award. :)
  5. Loren Schweizer

    Loren Schweizer YF Associate Writer

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    ....+1
  6. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Last night at 2230 YF apparently suffered a hard drive failure that put them down until just a minute ago 0805. Imagine cruising up the coast from say Charleston to Norfolk in the fog and have that happen to your chart plotter and not have paper charts on board :eek:
  7. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    i dont know... I haven't seen too many plotters using hard drives! :)
  8. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    But have you seen them fail.;)
  9. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    Equipment such as HDD failure whilst relatively rare is why there needs to be Dual ECDIS Units in order to comply with the regs.
  10. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    All of those Northstar 961's and 962's used a PC, a lot of the black box Furuno Navnet systems use a PC, A lot of these yachts running Nobletec, and other software are using a PC. I've seen a lot of chartplotters fail while underway. I've lost AC power due to the generator shutting down and have lost the PC because of that. I even had a day down in Belize in 2005 where the US blocked GPS signal and were doing some kind of tests and the GPS was doing all kinds of weird stuff, including showing the vessel bouncing around all different places all over the screen and then losing GPS connection on 3 different independant GPS's.

    On deliveries I plot where I am on paper charts every hour (at faster speeds)plot where I am on the paper chart and keep my compass heading in my mind. At slower speeds 9knots or less, I plot every 2 hrs.
  11. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    relying on AC power for nav equipment is not very wise to say the least. If the boat doens't have any inverters to take over if the genny goes down, there shoudl at least be a power supply to provide power to the computer for a little while.

    At the helm, I always run my laptop with a USB GPS and also have a handheld battery powered GPS ready to be turned on, just in case.
  12. PropBet

    PropBet Senior Member

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    An ideal scenario would be a dedicated ship nav. computer with mirrored or redundant drives, attached to a 30 minute UPS should you lose power. Fail over to that would be a laptop with your ENC's and a GPS connected to give you a bare minimum. Radar would be helpful to the laptop, but not required as a backup.

    And if you're really in the thick of it, there are and always should be paper charts.

    Our Captain has always make it his standard practice to bring up the ENC, as well pull the respective paper chart and have it on the table for the particular local we are in.
  13. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    Regs call for one ECDIS to be fed by Emergency Genset,or Batteries if no Genset this also applies to Radar and some other NAV Equipment.

    Signal Horn also has to have two sources of power or two units on bigger boats.
  14. PropBet

    PropBet Senior Member

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    Yes, having them on back up power, but not necessarily plumbed to one another. (i.e.; in the case of the laptop)

    Thanks for the clarification.
  15. motorbåd

    motorbåd New Member

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    Hi all
    I have just read this entire thread and would like to make a comment. I think we should realize that GPS and chartplotters are two different things. GPS is a positioning system that will supply your current pos. to either a paperchart or a chartplotting system. If GPS fails you will still be able to access all the charts and plotting features in your electronic plotting system. Thus I find it not correct to equal no GPS pos. to use of papercharts only.
    I have no doubt that in the future paper will be phased out, with installation of proper ECDIS systems.
    Regarding the electronic charts compared to paper ones, it so that at least in Scandinavia, all the paper charts are developed from the electronic database. The ENC´s are now the originals and the paper ones the copies.
    This is also the reason for my own use of the original ECDIS approved ENC´s and not the commersially copied versions like C-map or Navionics.

    Kind regards Michael
  16. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    This is not really the case in Sweden. The electronic charts are developed from the old paper charts. But the electronic charts are updated more often. When new paper charts are printed they are getting the updated information from the digital charts, but both are still based on the same old charts with many flaws. This will of course be better over the years, but it is a slow process and we should not trust electronic charts as 100 percent correct.
  17. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Welcome to YF Michael. I would think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone in these forums that doesn't know that GPS & Chartplotters are two different things. It just gets so darn tiring to keep saying "GPS/Chartplotter". You never know though. It may just be us old guys who had early GPS and later saw Chartplotters come about. We tend to forget about the new boaters who look at these forums for education and don't know even the basics. Thanks for contributing.
  18. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    You are right NYCAP, if you were used to the Loran C, the Decca and the old satnavs like Furuno FSN70 without maps, you think of it differently. The new boaters sometimes think a GPS-plotter replaces a radar and just stare at the screen...
  19. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    "Sometimes"?:rolleyes: I'd dare say that 80% of boaters with less than 5 years experience don't use their plotters except to watch the icon move magically across the "map", and for that they'll buy the most expensive unit they can find (for bragging rights).
  20. walkinginshadow

    walkinginshadow Member

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    Here in Sweden the waterways that have heavy traffic on is mapped digital to digital.
    There is an ongoing project to remap the coastal zones.

    And map is only a suggestion what will show up next corner......
    Best machine to solve the path is the head and use it.