Paper Charts?

st599

Well-known member
Joined
9 Jan 2006
Messages
7,226
Visit site
Ocharts says this.
British Isles 2024 - o-charts shop
"We receive S-57 data directly from Hydrographical Offices, encrypt them in the oeSENC format and deliver chart sets for their individual use in OpenCPN.."

But anyway, it's irrelevant imho from a cruising perspective anyway. The little bays & anchorages are unlikely to have been surveyed for donkeys years. Don't trust anything! But almost trust satellite images & sort of trust any charts that match. So the cruisers I know pretty much all use electronic & the more enlightened & proactive use sasplanet mbtiles. Navionics must be the most popular. Only exception which Springs to mind is Nick on (& designer of) Wylo 11 who liked a sextant.
Not through any entrenched opinions but because, again from a cruising perspective, day to day in the real world it's just light years ahead of just paper. If you can even find any paper, used to be the big towns would have a copy shop with piles of already copied paper charts to use. Might not be so common now, haven't had to look for over a decade.
Either way with navionics / opencpn on a laptop/phone & tablet, which must be a very common setup, the doom & gloom "you're all going to die" just never happens. Ever. Walk around the bar at happy hour most cruisers will have the worlds charts on their phone with backups on the boat.
Just the way it is these days out and about the planet away from the Solent. 😊
The issue is with sailing schools, charities and the like who do run coded vessels. At the moment, they need paper charts, in future they need a small, approved ECDIS-lite plotter. The only way to make that financially viable is to make all small plotters match the new spec. That RIN, RYA Cruising Association and others are working on.
 

GHA

Well-known member
Joined
26 Jun 2013
Messages
12,155
Location
Hopefully somewhere warm
Visit site
The issue is with sailing schools, charities and the like who do run coded vessels. At the moment, they need paper charts, in future they need a small, approved ECDIS-lite plotter. The only way to make that financially viable is to make all small plotters match the new spec. That RIN, RYA Cruising Association and others are working on.
Not really relevant to the thread though...? 💐

"Which raises the question, in 2024, for those who are liveaboards, do you still buy paper charts for the places that you are planning on going to?"

Someone might, must be pretty uncommon though.
 

Roberto

Well-known member
Joined
20 Jul 2001
Messages
5,045
Location
Lorient/Paris
sybrancaleone.blogspot.com
Thanks all for your responses and opinions on this topic. I definitely got what I needed from it :)

I'm not personally going to bother picking up paper charts. Between the amount of electronic backups I have on boards, a constant ability to be connected to the internet (12v starlink + cell boosters) and as a final resort almanacs, I don't really see the value in paper charts.
Try and avoid areas with lightning, or put a tablet/charts in your oven, together wih some faith :)
 

Roberto

Well-known member
Joined
20 Jul 2001
Messages
5,045
Location
Lorient/Paris
sybrancaleone.blogspot.com
the physical size of the image.
I only have an A4 printer so print a chart from a digital source in A4 then laminate it for whatever area I sail, scales are very different from half an ocean to a local cruising area. I add all sorts of details (buoys, weather areas, traffic, sea mountains etc).
Video 12yo daughter using a printed chart from the NGA for her first attemps at weather routing, small crosses are daily noon positions. Those chartlets remain as souvenirs no digital screen would ever be able to match :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: jdc

Mudisox

Well-known member
Joined
4 Jan 2004
Messages
1,716
Location
Dartmouth
Visit site
I use large laminated paper charts for passages [mid English Channel for instance ] on the chart table kept up to date hourly, and I can get by with guides \ Almanacs closer to land, ports. I find that it is only when there is less than 10m under my keels, I can see where i want to go. I can always slow down/stop.
 

jdc

Well-known member
Joined
1 Dec 2007
Messages
1,957
Location
Falmouth
Visit site
..."Which raises the question, in 2024, for those who are liveaboards, do you still buy paper charts for the places that you are planning on going to?"

Someone might, must be pretty uncommon though.

It's more nuanced: the vast majority of the time sailing I use electronic charts on the plotter. But I do obtain (sometimes buy, sometimes make) paper charts at a fairly course scale, 1:1.5M perhaps for an ocean passage, 1:200,000 ish for an area I'm visiting.

My reasons are:
- that just a few paper charts is a comfort and a planning aid
- they make discussion of "where shall we go next" a much more sociable and sharing time with crew (and, I argue, that is a safety plus; an independent check is good)
- The charts can be drawn on and kept for nostalgia or practical things, or just plotting daily positions
- more esoteric, but I also like paper when navigating 'on the white', ie where there are no charts! I'm not too sure of my logic here...

In the overall scheme of things they give me a pleasure which I can afford, so why not? No need for anyone to follow my example. I also waste my money on good cook-ware and kitchen knives, others perhaps 'waste' theirs on movies or musical instruments or eating out; the elephant in the room is that we all have wasted thousands on this blasted sailing hobby in the first place...
 

Daydream believer

Well-known member
Joined
6 Oct 2012
Messages
19,169
Location
Southminster, essex
Visit site
I like paper charts, but for sailing round Britain would be impractical so wouldn't.
The first time I went round UK via the Cally canal I did not have a chart plotter but I did have a yeoman & a set of imray C charts. For the west part of Scotland I had a folio of charts which I found useful for the more detailed work.
I had no trouble apart from asking someone where newlyn was- Not shown on my C chart. A kind yachstman who I helped tie up in Newlyn gave me a very old chart of Lands end which I used to do the inner passage at that part.
I had a chart plotter for the repeat journey 2 years later but all my passage plans were done on the yeoman & the waypoints tyransferred to the plotter from that.
I used the plotter for its AIS function & the Yeoman to see where I was . I much preferred the paper charts. I did have a couple of detailed charts for the channel islands( well out of date) as I went round them on the way but as I have been there lots of times I did not need them.
I would like to go again & if i did I would still use the same 2012 set, except for the Humber & i would go online to plot wind farms on them. I would also update the Wells to Harwich one as the sands have moved round the area NE of Yarmouth
I buy a new Reeds every year
 

GHA

Well-known member
Joined
26 Jun 2013
Messages
12,155
Location
Hopefully somewhere warm
Visit site
It's more nuanced: the vast majority of the time sailing I use electronic charts on the plotter. But I do obtain (sometimes buy, sometimes make) paper charts at a fairly course scale, 1:1.5M perhaps for an ocean passage, 1:200,000 ish for an area I'm visiting.

My reasons are:
- that just a few paper charts is a comfort and a planning aid
- they make discussion of "where shall we go next" a much more sociable and sharing time with crew (and, I argue, that is a safety plus; an independent check is good)
- The charts can be drawn on and kept for nostalgia or practical things, or just plotting daily positions
- more esoteric, but I also like paper when navigating 'on the white', ie where there are no charts! I'm not too sure of my logic here...

In the overall scheme of things they give me a pleasure which I can afford, so why not? No need for anyone to follow my example. I also waste my money on good cook-ware and kitchen knives, others perhaps 'waste' theirs on movies or musical instruments or eating out; the elephant in the room is that we all have wasted thousands on this blasted sailing hobby in the first place...
All perfectly valid of course 👍
Though I approach it differently, not even touched paper for a very long time. Planning I reckon I'd struggle & swear a lot if having to go back to paper to plan. 😊 Routes & notes all go into opencpn which could be saved but I don't bother, what I really do like though is uploading the track to noforeignland so down happy hour it's simple to call up a passage & chat about it, but no tall stories possible 🤣 Stick photos & stories to the route as well, love it as record of where you've been.

Similar with opencpn on the phone/tablet you can put waypoints in with notes from your new friends favourite hidden away anchorages on the other side of the planet then if you go there all the info is in one place available. Opencpn makes it easy to sync up data between devices so laptop/Pi/Tablet/phone always have the same data.
Nav on the white? Bit too scary without satellite images as charts for me now 🤣 Older & definitely not bolder!
Not like its written down somewhere in the universe "it must be like this!" . Need web forums to hear that 😉
Funny thing about forums as well is that you're apparently not allowed to do 2 ways at the same time! All or nothing on the web, not anything & everything at the same time like in the real world 😁
Each to their own. Not like there's ultimate right or wrong in the universe 👍

Only paper that does get looked at these days is chart 5011 though. Every time something new to learn in there! Though pretty much identical to US chart 1 which is a free download so always just a click away on phone/tablet/laptop >
U.S. Office of Coast Survey
 

Daydream believer

Well-known member
Joined
6 Oct 2012
Messages
19,169
Location
Southminster, essex
Visit site
Going to sea is the easy bit, coming back to land is when you really need them .. 😊
I think that one does not have to be near land to find things to bump in to.
There are shallow bits 30 miles offshore round the UK that one cannot always see. There are a few out of sight of land in the Thames estuary. I should know, I have hit most of them in the past 56 years.
One of the round the world yachts (was it a clipper?) hit a reef & the navigator claimed that he had zoomed out the chart plotter so it did not show. When asked why he did not see it on the chart it seems it was right on a fold.
I think they sacked him :rolleyes: :(
 

GHA

Well-known member
Joined
26 Jun 2013
Messages
12,155
Location
Hopefully somewhere warm
Visit site
I think that one does not have to be near land to find things to bump in to.
There are shallow bits 30 miles offshore round the UK that one cannot always see. There are a few out of sight of land in the Thames estuary. I should know, I have hit most of them in the past 56 years.
One of the round the world yachts (was it a clipper?) hit a reef & the navigator claimed that he had zoomed out the chart plotter so it did not show. When asked why he did not see it on the chart it seems it was right on a fold.
I think they sacked him :rolleyes: :(
It was a joke!! Sort of....
"One of the round the world yachts (was it a clipper?) hit a reef & the navigator claimed that he had zoomed out the chart plotter so it did not show. "
If that was team Vestas then that's not actually what happened. There were various checks & measures in their procedures to keep everything safe which were ignored, it's in the report.
 

dunedin

Well-known member
Joined
3 Feb 2004
Messages
12,576
Location
Boat (over winters in) the Clyde
Visit site
It was a joke!! Sort of....
"One of the round the world yachts (was it a clipper?) hit a reef & the navigator claimed that he had zoomed out the chart plotter so it did not show. "
If that was team Vestas then that's not actually what happened. There were various checks & measures in their procedures to keep everything safe which were ignored, it's in the report.
Yes ….. and as far as I can tell Vestas was using specialist race software, and not a yacht “chart plotter” of the type cruisers might be able to purchase. The Vestas example is perhaps the most wrongly quoted “case example”, other than Bavaria keels :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: GHA

GHA

Well-known member
Joined
26 Jun 2013
Messages
12,155
Location
Hopefully somewhere warm
Visit site
Yes ….. and as far as I can tell Vestas was using specialist race software, and not a yacht “chart plotter” of the type cruisers might be able to purchase. The Vestas example is perhaps the most wrongly quoted “case example”, other than Bavaria keels :)
Just skimmed through the report again. I'm sure somewhere I read somewhere part of their SOP was to go through the route on google earth to check & download all the sat imagery to check along the way. Report says "normally.." but pretty sure it was written down as part of the process. Race route changed the night before so simple steps which would have flagged up the reef were not done.
Personally on ocean passages seamounts scare me so keep clear, cmap seafloor charts (download from sasplanet) are nice as an overview but anything / everything gets looked at. Last longish passage getting ready to change course a bit to miss one there was a delightful windshift & the aries steered round one all on it's own 😎

If all there was onboard was a plotter & no opencpn laptop then I'd probably be joining in with the must have paper posse..🤔

1706605253554.png
 

Attachments

  • 1706605209477.png
    1706605209477.png
    1,008.5 KB · Views: 1

capnsensible

Well-known member
Joined
15 Mar 2007
Messages
43,114
Location
Atlantic
www.herculessailing.com
Try and avoid areas with lightning, or put a tablet/charts in your oven, together wih some faith :)
Good point. I sailed a lot around the Straits of Gibraltar. Regular thunderstorms spread out over the year. I had a very close call once at the Eastern end just entering Gib Bay. Lightning hit the sea not more than 2 metres away. Interesting moment.

On another occasion, entering Straits west of Tarifa, a yacht about half a mile in front of us got hit. Minor damage but a very shaken crew.

Another area is the western Carribean around Colombia and Panama. Got chatting to a chap in Shelter Bay marina whilst waiting for a canal transit. His yacht had been struck badly. Everything electronic and lots of wiring fried. The only upside for him was that he was an electrical engineer and electronics installer. His insurance company agreed to pay for all the new stuff....and an hourly rate for him to install it!! Main problem though was delivery of the kit. Those with Panama experience will get this!
 

requiem

Active member
Joined
20 Mar 2019
Messages
197
Visit site
Yes ….. and as far as I can tell Vestas was using specialist race software, and not a yacht “chart plotter” of the type cruisers might be able to purchase. The Vestas example is perhaps the most wrongly quoted “case example”, other than Bavaria keels :)

Vestas is a good example of what happens when you have a complete lack of standardisation. Yes, there was a chart error on one of the 3rd party charts they had used. A more systemic problem is the mess of dongles and copy-prevention strictures in play that led to a mishmash of inconsistent data. Official charts showed the reef, as did the basic worldmap on their B&G plotter (which would have given almost an hour of warning had anyone looked). As for what else they had aboard...

- "The weather/routing laptop ... had only the C-Map default World Map Coverage of the entire world at a small scale and highly generalized with little detail" and "License codes for the detailed C-Map map data were not acquired for the second Deckman C-Map USB dongle, or for the Adrena USB dongle that were used in the weather/routing computer."
- "The performance and navigation laptop ... had the Deckman/C-Map dongle that was licensed to enable the use of the detailed C-Map charts worldwide."
- "The 6.4 inch Zeus touch screen multi-functional display (MFD) ... was not used for navigation and only contained the standard world coverage chart fitted to the off-the-shelf product." (side note: "The chartplotter default world-coverage map does include a depiction of the Cargados Carajos Shoals.")

This doesn't mean you can fully trust official charts, or paper charts. The Nova Cura grounding in 2016 in the Mytilini Strait is an example of the official Greek paper chart and corresponding ENC being wrong, whilst the Admiralty chart was correct. But, had the skpper checked the chart CATZOC info on the ENC (or the source diagram on the paper) and allowed an appropriate buffer, they likely would have avoided the grounding.
 

GHA

Well-known member
Joined
26 Jun 2013
Messages
12,155
Location
Hopefully somewhere warm
Visit site
Vestas is a good example of what happens when you have a complete lack of standardisation.
They did their homework, knew the possible dangers of the set up & had systems in place like having downloaded & checked with google earth data which would have kept them safe. Then ignored the check sheet & hit a reef. Bottom line, should not have happened. It's human error, not the tech.
Any one of us navigating with a cheap mobile phone & healthy bit of fear would have spotted the route going over a reef days away.
 

Daydream believer

Well-known member
Joined
6 Oct 2012
Messages
19,169
Location
Southminster, essex
Visit site
Any one of us navigating with a cheap mobile phone & healthy bit of fear would have spotted the route going over a reef days away.
I have run aground 3 times because I was using a chart plotter, which I would not have done if I had stuck to my echo sounder & compass. It is a is a reason I tend not to use a chart plotter other than for AIS & in fog.
 

GHA

Well-known member
Joined
26 Jun 2013
Messages
12,155
Location
Hopefully somewhere warm
Visit site
I have run aground 3 times because I was using a chart plotter, which I would not have done if I had stuck to my echo sounder & compass. It is a is a reason I tend not to use a chart plotter other than for AIS & in fog.
Don't really like plotters much either, too limited & hard to check the data / datum. Anywhere tricky it's a written / printed passage plan created in opencpn using various charts sources checked against various satellite images. Bit fiddly on a phone but doable & very accurate.

You're allowed to use a plotter AND sounder/compass at the same time.
 

dunedin

Well-known member
Joined
3 Feb 2004
Messages
12,576
Location
Boat (over winters in) the Clyde
Visit site
I have run aground 3 times because I was using a chart plotter, which I would not have done if I had stuck to my echo sounder & compass. It is a is a reason I tend not to use a chart plotter other than for AIS & in fog.
In rocky waters the echo sounder alone won’t keep you safe - only an accurate chart will. Can go from 10+ metres depth to zero in less than a boat’s length.
 
Top