sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Paper charts essential for the prudent sailor - or are they?
Paper charts essential for the prudent sailor - or are they?


'Maddalena Island on Admiralty chart'    .

Ocean Cruising Club Award winners Neil & Ley Langford are longtime, tech-savvy cruising sailors who install and manage most of the systems and technology onboard their New Zealand-designed Crystal Blues. They are currently in South East Asia. Recently Neil set about reviewing their collection of paper charts and disposing of some. But what he discovered instead was surprising in more ways than one:

With The Admiral away in Singapore on a visa run, I was tasked with reviewing our huge collection of paper charts, and disposing of those we don't need to carry. However, as I sorted through the first of many chart packs, I had a real panic attack - how could we get rid of these ? They're a treasure trove of information.

For me, they're also an instant connection to the past, rightfully carrying the names of often famous cartographers and navigators. Many of these charts are beautiful works of art - the land mass is carefully drawn, shaded and defined, not just filled with a color wash as we see on our modern electronic systems.

Onboard Crystal Blues we keep a paper log and an electronic log, so we have a trail of position fixes available if needed. For years we've told ourselves that if the electronics died we'd transfer those position fixes to paper charts and work from there with conventional navigation tools. But would we really ?

madallena on ipad -  .. .   Click Here to view large photo

Look at the images immediately above and below this paragraph, then compare them with the old paper chart image at the top - its the same area - there is so much more information readily available in the modern electronic systems.

madallena on ipad zoomed -  .. .   Click Here to view large photo

Fact is that we have four fully functional electronic chart systems on board - two computers that run Transas Navigator and Open CPN, plus two iPads running Navionics HD and various other charting or mapping programs. How much redundancy do we need ? What could cause all four of those systems to fail at the same time ? Nothing short of a nuclear holocaust or perhaps a meteor strike I think.

So, should we continue to carry around hundreds and hundreds of paper charts, most of which are inevitably out of date and not corrected ?

How Do They Compare ?

To dig a little deeper, I selected one of our stored paper charts for the Fiji group, an early black & white original print with beautiful hand corrections running through to (gulp) 1988. We probably obtained this from a merchant ship that was clearing old charts - we have some that came from military vessels as well.

Of course the first deficiency is the updates - no cruising sailor I've ever met has carried properly updated paper charts for their entire collection. The second deficiency is accuracy. That Fiji chart that I selected was first published in 1878, with large corrections in 1915, 1939 and 1962.

Then we had small corrections published through to 1988, when my copy was originally purchased.

However when I compare it to the information available on Transas Navigator or Open CPN there is simply no way that I would want to work with those paper charts.

Astrolabe on Admiralty chart -  .. .   Click Here to view large photo

Astrolabe Transas -  .. .   Click Here to view large photo

I found the same issues with almost every chart I reviewed. They are beautiful works of art, but too much information is simply missing, unless you carry every detailed chart on issue.

Another Comparison:
Ascension Island -  .. .   Click Here to view large photo

Here above is Ascension Island, a tiny dot in the South Atlantic. In the North west corner is Clarence Bay, the subject of this comparison.

Ascension Island detailed Admiralty -  .. .   Click Here to view large photo

When I look at the detail of Clarence Bay on the paper chart there is a multitude of sounding right into shallow water, clearly intended to support small boat handling in the harbour. This chart was properly updated and notated through to 1985, but is clearly well out of date now, being based on a 1909 engraving. Lovely work though !

Ascension Island Transas detail -  .. .  

Here is the same area from our Transas Navigator charts. Very few soundings in the harbour, though it has enough detail to support prudent navigation. I think the Transas chart is showing its 'big ship' heritage here.

Ascension Island detail HD Navionics iPad -  .. .  

The real surprise is the data found in the Navionics HD package on iPad. Good detail on the harbour right into shallow water, mooring buoys shown. lead lines etc. Here is Navionics showing they understand the needs of small boat operators.

So some paper charts have more shore line detail and sounding density than any of our electronic versions, but that detail is usually beyond what we need.

Our Decision:
For years we've lived by the policy that we would always have detailed paper chart coverage, to backup the electronic systems onboard. That policy has now changed. We've decided to carry only large scale paper charts that provide oceanic coverage over perhaps several sheets, for use in passage planning and as emergency plotting aids. The result is that we've been able to remove a stack of charts almost eight inches high ! Most of course have gone to good homes on other boats.

No GPS - How About Glonass Then ?
Sensors -  .. .  
It is a frequent topic of conversation among cruising sailors, but I'm guessing 99% of us would be in serious trouble if the GPS satellite system failed (or was turned off) during an ocean passage. How good are your sextant skills ? Possibly better than mine I'd say.

However the latest electronic position sensors for the yachting market (from B&G / Simrad / Lowrance) will provide a position fix from the the GPS system, but also from the Russian Glonass system, and from the European Galileo system, providing a large degree of redundancy. Others will surely follow. I was also impressed to see that the latest iPad and iPad Mini also feature Glonass sensors to supplement the standard GPS positioning system.


BadElfGPS -  .. .   Click Here to view large photo
Bad Elf GPS for wifi-only iPad:
Finally, a word of caution for sailors who are contemplating an iPad purchase. Over the past few weeks I've run a number of iPad training sessions for cruising folk here at Yacht Haven Marina. Unfortunately more than one has purchased the wi-fi only version of the iPad, which has no GPS positioning system - it cannot work properly with any navigation system.

If you want to use the iPad for navigation, you must buy the model that has 3G/4G network capability. Only those models have the necessary position sensors. If you do unfortunately have the wi-fi only version, you can add GPS capability to the unit by using the excellent Bad Elf external GPS module. Two versions are available, one with a cable connection and the other using Bluetooth.

To follow the travels and experiences of Ley and Neil Langford on their cruising yacht Crystal Blues, go to their Blogspot where they first published this insightful article.


by Neil Langford, SV Crystal Blues/Sail-World

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=107909

11:00 PM Thu 28 Mar 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Practical

Related News Stories:

29 Mar 2013  Sail clear of these three dangerous wreck symbols!
16 Mar 2013  Getting your boat to shine in all weathers
12 Mar 2013  Secure attachment innovation iPad/iPhone for sailing boats
11 Mar 2013  T200 thermal camera - ideal for smaller sailing boats
10 Mar 2013  Use the Magic of S.T.O.P. for Safer Sailing Navigation
09 Mar 2013  Product of the Week: Shipstik - solving your berthing problems
08 Mar 2013  After Hurricane Sandy: How to get around the 'new' waterways
06 Mar 2013  Stop shouting and get headsets - that work!
24 Feb 2013  Product of the Week: Removable sailing pouches
24 Feb 2013  Product of the Week: Removable sailing pouches
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

Superb sailing conditions once again characterized the second day of racing at the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean 2015. The event, organized by longstanding partners Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Nautor's Swan and Rolex, is underway at the yacht club's Caribbean base in Virgin Gorda through Saturday 7th March and sees 21 Swan yachts participating. ... [more]  

Studio Borlenghi provide some of these stunning shots from Day 2 of 2015 Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean. ... [more]  

After a spell last night and today during which almost all of the Barcelona World Race fleet were in light or moderate winds, in the Atlantic and the Pacific, it looks more like Transition Time is ringing for many. ... [more]  

Stuart Alexander, one of the world's leading yachting correspondents has been in New Zealand for the past few months, and provided the following perspective on Emirates Team New Zealand's latest media flogging, ahead of the finish of Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race – Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam passed under 5,000 miles to the Barcelona World Race finish line and also crossed over their own outbound track. ... [more]  

Reflecting on his team’s performance on Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Team Alvimedica skipper Charlie Enright said the youngest crew in the race had sailed its best leg to date. 'It was our most complete leg so far. But like all these legs it had its ups and downs,' said the 30-year-old Enright. ... [more]  

It’s hot, hot, hot in Miami for the third day of Star racing in the 88th Bacardi Cup and it is the last day the Stars will be alone on the bay, as tomorrow the remaining classes, J/70, M32, Viper 640 and VX One, will begin racing in the sixth BACARDI Miami Sailing Week presented by EFG Bank. ... [more]  

Damian Foxall (IRL), one of the biggest names in offshore sailing, is joining Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA) for the forthcoming Leg 5. Caudrelier and Foxall were on the Groupama boat that won the 2011-12 edition. ... [more]  

Marine industry experts from around the world will convene next week in the Volvo Ocean Race Village at Auckland’s Viaduct Basin for the fifth High Performance Yacht Design conference. The three-day technical conference, 9-11 March, is still open for late registrations ... [more]  

If there was any takeaway for competitors in the regatta's first three races, it's that walking away with the title of Farr 40's Midwinters Champion is not going to be an easy feat. ... [more]  

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta – The Sint Maarten Yacht Club is buzzing today with race crews arriving to register for the Gill Commodore's Cup. Over 2000 sailors are expected to take part and many of them have sailed their yachts to St.Maarten from neighbouring islands. ... [more]  

The competition for the 2015 Delta Lloyd Regatta looks promising. Especially the registrations for Laser and Laser Radial are well under way. International top sailors like Marit Bouwmeester (Laser Radial) and Bundock & Curtis (Nacra17) are up to the challenge in Medemblik from 24 - 30 May 2015. Races will start from 26 May onwards. ... [more]  

The 21 Swan yachts competing in the second edition of the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean could not have asked for a more perfect start to the event's four scheduled days of racing in Virgin Gorda. After a rip-roaring race around the island accompanied by 20 to 22 knots of breeze and some serious waves, Swan 80 Selene was the victor in Class A (18.29m and above) while Swan 53 Music led yachts in Class B ... [more]  

Studio Borlenghi provide some of these stunning shots from Day 1 of 2015 Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean. ... [more]  

It can be the most frustrating stage of non-stop round the world racing. After completing the difficult, stressful four or five weeks in the big south, there is an almost inbuilt expectation that, by comparison, after rounding Cape Horn and passing the Falklands milestong, racing up the Atlantic life should be a bowl of cherries. ... [more]  

2015 EFG Winter Cup - Miami is known as the gateway to Latin America. For Viper sailors, it may also be the jumping off point for points east. If you hailed from an island in the Atlantic Ocean, you probably did well at the Winter Cup. ... [more]  

EFG Bank Pan American Championship 2015 - Things are about to get hot in the Viper 640 class, with two Miami regattas in Miami this week, culminating in the EFG Bank Viper 640 Pan-American Championship held during BACARDI Miami Sailing Week, one of the Class’s major championships. ... [more]  

2015 RYC Midwinters overall by Luis Kitchen, San Francisco Bay
For the third year in a row Jonathan Weston aka Hot Donutz wins the RYC Midwinters in a competitive four day series. ... [more]  

2015 Squirrel Bank Regatta - Overall report by Andy Kopetzky, Southern California
Short close chop, hobby-horsing to weather and donning layers of foul weather gear was the order of the day at Del Rey Yacht Club's annual Squirrel Bank Regatta. ... [more]  

Without cutting edge design and engineering, no one wins the America's Cup. In pursuit of their goal, the British team has developed their own sophisticated 3D sailing simulator, modelled on those used by the world of motorsport. ... [more]  

OTUSA AC45 Turbo workout images by pressure-drop.us ... [more]  

Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean – A fleet of 21 Swan yachts, comprising an array of different models from seven different countries and territories will contest an eagerly anticipated week of action in the Virgin Gorda archipelago, the British Virgin Islands tomorrow, Wednesday 4 March. ... [more]  

Photographer Tim Wright captured some of these stunning shots at the start of the RORC Caribbean 600 and along the course at St Barths, Barbuda and Redonda. ... [more]  

Gill Commodore's Cup - Entries on the increase by St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
The Gill Commodore's Cup consists of one day of racing as a stand alone event, immediately prior to the St.Maarten Heineken Regatta and is open to all boat categories taking part in the main event (excluding the Lottery Class). This year there is a record entry with over 70 yachts expected to be taking part. Several tight windward leeward races are planned for the fast performance yachts ... [more]  

After the Volvo Ocean Race finished on Saturday night, Sail-World.com's NZ editor, Richard Gladwell caught up with Ryan Houston from Team Alvimedica. He talks about wanting to sail on a Kiwi boat in the next race - how this race compares with the others in which he has sailed - how small gains seem to be paying well - the vexed issue of AIS on tactics, and more ... [more]  

After the Volvo Ocean Race finished on Saturday night, Sail-World.com's NZ editor, Richard Gladwell caught up with Dave Swete from Team Alvimedica. A product of the RNZYS Youth Program, Swete is on his second Volvo Ocean Race. He touches on the differences between the two programs, the impact that AIS is having on the racing and plenty more ... [more]  

Sail-World.com's New Zealand Editor caught up with Race Director, Jack Lloyd on the floor of the sail-loft in the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard. In this 15 minute interview, Lloyd gives his view of the progress made as a result of adopting the Volvo 65 One Design - with all boats having finished every leg (with one exception - Vestas Wind). ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Image gallery - Tour of the Boatyard by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com NZL
Yesterday Volvo Ocean Race threw open the barriers and let the media have an inside view of the Boatyard at the Viaduct Events Centre The area is open to the public (stay behind the safety barriers) where you can see the boats on the hard, and look inside the Events Centre which has been converted into a massive sail and rigging loft. ... [more]  

Artemis Racing took their development AC45 out on San Francisco Bay, yesterday. Videographer, John Navas was there to catch all the action on high resolution video. ... [more]  

The countdown to the 46th edition of the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar has begun in the bay of Palma from 28th March to 4th April. With less than a month to go until the start of the event, the regatta has already around 700 teams (667) from 59 nations representing the five continents. ... [more]  

2015 RC44 Championship Tour - With less than a month to go, eleven teams are eagerly anticipating the season-opener set to take place in Malta's renowned capital of Valletta, the historic 'City of Knights', from 25-29 March. ... [more]  

The 2015 US Grand Slam Series will take place within the month of August, beginning a couple weeks earlier and in a different order than previous editions. The Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, Bayview Yacht Club, Chicago Match Race Center, and Oakcliff Sailing organizers are pleased to announce that Requests for Invitation are being accepted now and all venues anticipate high demand. ... [more]  

A beautiful sunny Miami welcomed Star sailors to the first day of the 88th Bacardi Cup. One race is scheduled for each day of the 6-day event as part of the Bacardi Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG Bank. With winds around 10 knots from the East, the racing area was set about 1 ¾ miles south of Dinner Key Channel. The course is set at 95 degrees with two-mile legs, which will test sailors ... [more]  

Maintain the urgency - Reinstating paralympic sailing in Tokyo 2020
Volvo Ocean Race Village: Have a look around without leaving your seat
2015 WWA Malibu Pro Card Qualifier – Registration open
Doyle Sails and NZ Rigging supply package for new Sydney based Shaw 11
Barcelona World Race - Easier miles at the front
2015 North American Hobie 16 to be held at Pensacola Yacht Club
2015 Hobie Mid-Winter East North America
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Brunel faced big challenges – Recap Leg 4
2015 RORC Caribbean 600 – 66 best yachts and 600 mile thrilling race
ACWS Portsmouth ticket launch – Watch top sailors battling it out
E.E. Manning Regatta – NHYC kids hold it together in restless weather
2015 California Dreamin’ Series-Long Beach Stop – A close fight
Delivery of Phaedo3 MOD 70
Premiere Racing stepping aside after their 21st Key West Race Week
Sol having Serious Fun at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
Barcelona World Race – 60 Days at Sea– Atlantic opens up for the fleet
Volvo Ocean Race: Images from Auckland - Media Conference and more
Volvo Ocean Race: Iker Martinez returns to Mapfre as skipper
Miami Sailing Week – Bacardi Cup preview
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 4 finishes at night after a tense day *Feature
Farr 40 International Circuit - Plenty team hungry for more   
Coast Guard continues search for San Diego sailor   
Sonar Class has a new builder for Sonar   
Rio officials probe source of fish die-off in Olympic waters   
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - An island-wide effort   
Volvo Ocean Race: Images ashore after Leg 4   
Volvo Ocean Race: Images from the finish of Leg 4   
Volvo Ocean Race-Brasileiro ajuda barco espanhol a vencer quarta etapa   
RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show - a British tradition   
Eight minutes between Podium players as Spanish win VOR leg 4   
Volvo Ocean Race - Leg 4 - fleet arrives in Auckland and the winner is   
Volvo Ocean Race - Leg 4 - the fleet approaches Auckland   
Volvo Ocean Race - Less than 10 miles to Auckland finish   
2015 RORC Caribbean 600 - Third time lucky for happy Hap   
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 4 Finish - Auckland - Live Video and Updates   
Barcelona World Race - Neutrogena crosses Cape Horn with 40 knots wind   
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Natty Rico will close the final night   
Barcelona World Race - At Cape Horn memories are made. and recalled   
Big winds for SCYA Manning Regatta at ABY Club   
Hutchinson and Roble honored at US Sailing’s Rolex Awards ceremony   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT