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, Australians 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 ?


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.


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So, should we continue to carry around hundreds and hundreds of paper charts, most of which are inevitably out of date and not corrected ?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



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 ?
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.


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=107955

8:31 PM Sat 30 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!
29 Mar 2013  Paper charts essential for the prudent sailor - or are they?
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
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

2015 Hobie 16 North American Championships September 20 to 25 at Pensacola Yacht Club. ... [more]  

Hobie Mid-Winter East - Ocean Springs Yacht Club April 10-12 2015. The regatta is open to all Hobie Cat classes ... [more]  

Choosing the northern route turned out to be a brilliant tactical decision. But not all decisions went so well. Because of one wrong gybe and changed weather patterns, Team Brunel lost its lead in less than a day. With only the Volvo Ocean Race tracker as a guide, it’s difficult for fans to understand how the Dutch team lost more than 80 nautical miles. Skipper Bouwe Bekking looks explains ... [more]  

RORC Caribbean 600 – Arguably the best fleet of offshore racing yachts that has ever gathered in the Caribbean, took part in the seventh edition of the event. 66 yachts started the 600 mile race around 11 Caribbean islands, with numerous world champions, America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race sailors taking part with passionate Corinthian amateurs, many of whom are members of the Royal Ocean Racing Cl ... [more]  

This summer’s ‘must have’ tickets for The America’s Cup World Series, Portsmouth (ACWSUK) are officially available from Monday 2nd March. Fans and spectators are encouraged to book their place now to avoid disappointment with event organisers already receiving a large number of ticket and hospitality enquires. ... [more]  

SCYA's E.E. Manning Regatta 2015 – They had never sailed together until six months earlier when they stepped onto a boat that neither had ever sailed, but skipper Joseph Hou, 15, and crew Skylar Jacobsen, 14, squeezed out a remarkable victory Sunday in the Southern California Youth Yacht Racing Association's Shadden Series ... [more]  

Shawn Bennett of Tiburon, Calif. won the Long Beach Stop of the 2015 California Dreamin’ Series Sunday in this International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Grade three match racing regatta hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club and raced on the Long Beach Sailing Foundation’s fleet of Catalina 37s. ... [more]  

Sitting here in Antigua airport waiting for my flight back to London, life is good having just blasted across the Atlantic in just under nine and a half days on board the new Phaedo3 MOD 70, one of the fastest sailing boats 'in the world'... ... [more]  

In November of 1994 Yachting Magazine consultant Gary Jobson asked Peter Craig, 'how hard can it be? Just raise some flags and blow off some guns.' And so began Craig's involvement in what was then a 112 boat - single division regatta that would soon evolve into an iconic annual international keelboat event. Yachting Magazine founded Key West Race Week in 1987. ... [more]  

Serious Fun! That's what participants, sponsors and onlookers are expected to have during the 35th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta which will be held in St. Maarten during March 05 - 08, 2015. The Regatta is considered to be the biggest in the Caribbean and offers a great combination of challenging races and fantastic gatherings under the banner of 'Serious Fun'! ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race – After the limits of the southern oceans imposed by the combination of the weather systems and the safety barrier of the Antarctic Exclusion Zone, the Atlantic is opening up for the top trio. ... [more]  

Images from Auckland of the media conference on Sunday and prizegivings for Leg 4 ... [more]  

At the media conference held the morning after the finish of leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Mapfre skipper Xabi Fernandez announced that regular skipper Iker Martinez will be back on board for the next leg and most of the remainder of the race. Fernandez had taken over the role, skippering Mapfre to a 4th place on Leg 3 and a win on Leg 4. ... [more]  

Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG Bank will kick off with 173 boats traveling to Coconut Grove to compete in the 88th Bacardi Cup ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 4 finishes at night after a tense day *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZL
The finish was more like that of a short 100nm race around the Hauraki Gulf. Instead, the first three boats to cross the finish line at the end of Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race arrived mid-evening. ... [more]  

Farr 40 International Circuit - Alex Roepers doesn't like to dwell in the past. However, when prompted, the New York businessman will talk about the magical run he and the crew aboard Plenty enjoyed during the 2014 Farr 40 International Circuit. To the contrary, the thrill of victory only made Roepers and the Plenty team hungry for more. ... [more]  

Coast Guard crews continue the search Monday for Richard Byhre, the 76-year-old sailor who did not return from his sailing trip as expected. ... [more]  

The International Sonar Class is pleased to announce that Shumway Marine, with the cooperation of designer Bruce Kirby has made arrangements to have the Sonar built by Rondar Race Boats in the U.K., with plans eventually to have the boat built on both sides of the ocean. The American Rondar facility is in Peabody, MA. Rondar, expects to launch its first Sonar in April. ... [more]  

Rio de Janeiro's state environmental agency says it is investigating a fish die-off that has left thousands of carcasses floating in waters where sailing events are to be held when Brazil hosts next year's Olympics. ... [more]  

This year's 35th edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is nothing less than an island-wide effort. Besides the sponsors, countless volunteers and the numerous local organizations that offer their excellent services, the Regatta Organizers would like to say special thanks to the hotels which are so generous to donate complimentary hotel rooms for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Images ashore after Leg 4 by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZL
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water and ashore for the finish of Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, and provided this gallery of images after the first three boats had docked. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Images from the finish of Leg 4 by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZL
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water for the finish of Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean race, and captured these images from the final few miles of the race, and on the dock. ... [more]  

O MAPFRE conquistou de maneira emocionante a quarta etapa da Volvo Ocean Race, disputada entre a China e a Nova Zelândia. Na manhã deste sábado (28), o barco espanhol cruzou a linha de chegada em primeiro após quase 21 dias de navegação. ... [more]  

RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show - a British tradition by Rob Kothe and Jedda Murphy
Our favourite boat show in the whole world is the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show. It is like no other, with a large percentage of eight to 15-year olds, with many young siblings often dragging their parents down the aisles. Its a dull overcast day in Lonon with rain showers, but inside the heated halls of the Alexandra Palace, the fabled 'Ally Pally' , around 5,000 visitors will gaze at touch and feel ... [more]  

MAPFRE (Xabi Fernández/ESP) emerged victorious despite a pair of major setbacks in Leg 4 following one of the tightest-fought finishes in Volvo Ocean Race history on Saturday night. The victory gives the 2014-15 edition its fourth winner in four legs following successes for Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR), Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED), and Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA). ... [more]  

Mapfre took the gun, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing was second and Dongfeng third. Photographer Ainhoa Sanchez was in the air over Auckland for 2014 – 2015 Volvo Ocean Race, and provided these images. ... [more]  

Photographer Ainhoa Sanchez was in the air as the fleet approached Auckland for the end of leg 4 for the 2014 – 2015 Volvo Ocean Race, and provided this gallery of images. ... [more]  

The wind has switched half turn and boats are now beating upwind to the finish, MAPFRE has held their lead and with the change in direction look quite safe. Team Alvimedica who was catching up at speed has slowed right up, caught in light winds behind Tiritiri Matangi island. With less than 10nm to go to finish and a fair 10kt wind holding, the slow patch looks to have been removed from equation ... [more]  

2015 RORC Caribbean 600 - Hap Fauth's American JV72, Bella Mente has been declared the overall winner. Whilst several yachts are still racing, by the morning of Friday 27th February none of the remaining teams had the ability to better Bella Mente's corrected time under IRC. It was third time lucky for Bella Mente as the Maxi 72 has finished second overall for the past two years. ... [more]  

Catch the live coverage of the Leg 4 Finish in Auckland. Check the video timer for a countdown to the start of coverage and the expected race finish time. Sail-World is updating the on the water action and weather - which has compressed the lead four boats ... [more]  

Racing in second place in the Barcelona World Race, the Barcelona sailor Guillermo Altadill and Chilean José Muñoz passed Cape Horn (67° 17' 35 W) this morning at 2h12 UTC (3h12 am in Barcelona, 11h12 pm of the 27th of February in Chile), after 58 days, 14 hours and 12 minutes of racing since their start from the Catalan capital on 31 December 2014. ... [more]  

On Sunday March 8th 2015, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta will close out the final night of music with one of the most distinctive performances to date. DJ Natty Rico will be the final act to grace the regatta stage during the 'Legendary Party' following Kool and the Gang. His unique blend of saxophone playing and DJ skills will have your jaw dropping in amazement. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - Cape Horn beckons for second and third placed Neutrogena and GAES Centros Auditivos. While the two IMOCA 60s are expected to pass at speed with around six hours of separation, in what might be considered favourable conditions for one of the most inhospitable and complicated corners of the Barcelona World Race, amidst the long hours of stress and fatigue ... [more]  

Big winds for SCYA Manning Regatta at ABY Club
Hutchinson and Roble honored at US Sailing’s Rolex Awards ceremony
Finn World Masters Championships 2015 - Pre registration open
Registration for the 2015 Finn European Championship is live!
RORC Caribbean 600, day 4 – Classic Focus and Four Figaro II teams
Hutchinson, Roble honored in New York as Best of 2014
Barcelona World Race - Pedestrian Pacific, Atlantic highway to home
America's Cup: Artemis Racing lines up against Oracle Team USA - Video
High Performance Yacht Design conference during Volvo OR stopover
Volvo Ocean Race: Ryan Houston - How Alvimedica's chemistry works *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race: Dave Swete - Alvimedica's race so far *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race 2015 – No sleep until Auckland
Etchells NA Midwinter East Series - Schoonmaker Cup preview
RORC Caribbean 600 day 4 – Close competition – 43 yachts still racing
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica hopes to use Coastal Classic tricks *Feature
AC45 Turbo Training - Oracle Team USA images by pressure-drop + Video
America's Cup: Emirates Team New Zealand gears up on less money *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race – The race tightens as New Zealand looms
AWT Goya Pro Cabo Verde kicks off in style!
Barcelona World Race - Two different worlds separated by Cape Horn
America's Cup: Barker offered non-sailing role by Emirates team NZ   
2015 CYC Midwinters Race – Pictures by pressure-drop.us   
CYC Midwinters Racing – Bring On The Breeze! – Overall   
Laser World Championship – Over 2000 sailors to race in Kingston   
Volvo Ocean Race: Barkow and Lush - from the Olympics to the Volvo *Feature   
Volvo Ocean Race 2015 – Its anyone's race - Leg 4 to Auckland   
Barcelona World Race - A time for extra care and caution   
2015 RORC Caribbean 600 - Phaedo3 breaks record   
Barcelona World Race - Cheminées Poujoulat pass Cape Horn   
2015 RORC Caribbean 600 - Records predicted to tumble + Video   
2015 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship - NOR released   
Asher Otto and Itchy Feet to open up the Caribbean Jam night   
RS Sailing and BIC Sport North America team up for sailing programs   
RORC Caribbean 600 – Record pace on Day 2   
Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup - About to begin   
10 tips from BoatUS for owners and renters   
Aquece Rio International Sailing Regatta – Notice of Race online   
2015 CYC Mid Winters images by h20shots   
Adventures of a Sailor Girl: News and interviews from February 23 show   
Volvo Ocean Race: Ryan Houston looking forward to his Kiwi home   


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