Sail-World.com  Sunday 31 August 2014

Home Graphical | News Text | Powerboat-World | Cruising Oz | Cruising USA | Cruising Canada | BoatsPlus | MarineBusiness | Newsletters | Cruising Int | SW Aus | Newsletter Subscription Here | Search Sail-World


sail-world.com -- Paper charts - vital for the prudent cruising sailor

Paper charts - vital for the prudent cruising sailor    
Sun, 7 Apr 2013

Recently we published in informative article by Neil Langford, tech-savvy cruising sailors, about whether in today's high-tech world paper charts are really necessary, and about how he changed his mind. Here, Daria Blackwell, veteran cruising sailor and sailing author (Happy Hooking, the Art of Anchoring), replies with a contrary argument:

Although I really appreciated Neil Langford's article about digital vs paper charts, I also have reason to present a different opinion. We have been in the unfortunate circumstances where GPS/electronic systems failed and paper charts saved us.

1) We were struck by lightning on a previous vessel and everything electronic was fried, whether or not it was connected to the electrical system at the time. That included dedicated chartplotter, laptop running navigation software, and handheld GPS.

Unless an electronic gadget is kept in a Faraday cage (eg, the oven), the risk in any area of the world that has electrical storms is real. Paper charts, even older ones, provide reasonably reliable back up, as long as you know how to correct for the datum.

2) Our chartplotters (we run two) and our laptop navigation system show us crossing land on our way into our inlet in Ireland when we clearly can see the channel and our depth corroborates our position.

Of course the paper charts of our inlet date back to the 1800s, which by the way, are reproduced with less detail each year.

The liability of reproducing charts without current soundings must be relatively high. We have heard that rather than conducting expensive soundings, governments are simply deleting data.

3) We have experienced several areas where the GPS systems experienced anomalies. One was in Maine, when the systems all suddenly jumped GPS coordinates which moved us from mid-channel to the middle of an island on the chartplotter.

When this type of anomaly happens, particularly under challenging circumstances such as fog, having paper back up can save you. As it did in this case.

I too love the art of cartography and appreciate the convenience of new technology. But we won't be giving away those lovely paper charts just yet.

by Daria Blackwell, Ocean Cruising Club/Sail-World



Our advertisers are committed to our sport, please support them! (Graphics)
Contact us , ph: +61 2 8006 1873, , fax: +61 2 8076 0459 or complete our feedback form. View our Privacy Policy. Photographs are copyright by law, if you wish to use a photograph from www.sail-world.com, please Contact us. [Go Home(Graphics)]
Make sail-world.com Australia my default page.    Make sail-world.com Cruising International my default page.  Make sail-world.com Cruising Australia my default page.  Make sail-world.com Asia my default page.   Make sail-world.com New Zealand my default page.   Make sail-world.com UK my default page.   Make sail-world.com USA my default page.  


Visit another region : Sail-World Australia    Sail-World Cruising International   Sail-World Cruising Australia   Sail-World Asia   Sail-World New Zealand   Sail-World UK   Sail-World USA  

Onesails.com - Workforce
OneSails is the culmination of over 35 years of experience accumulated by our team in design and technology applied to sail-making.
[More info]
http://www.onesails.com

Guy Nowell Photography
Location shoots, studio photography, 4x5" large format, 6x6cm medium format, 35mm film, 11mp digital...
[More info]
http://www.guynowell.com/flash.cfm