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Old 08-18-2011, 08:51 AM   #15
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Thanks Richard,

Just I seem to be defending my statement more than doing constructive stuff on these pages. Here's a link for ENC's CHARTWORLD

Now last time I looked you can buy a chart say a couple of dollars for " Approaches to Gisborne" which is completely up to date on purchase. This purchase gives a license period say for example 3 months after which the chart is still able to be used. Any updates are posted to the licensee via email. When the license expires the chart (electronic) is not updated until licensed again. These work beautifully in Polar navy. These are the best charts available as far as I know. New Zealand is not quite finished but soon will be, the major harbours and populated areas are available in small scale. I believe authorities are getting the whole planet charted electronically. Check out the above site.

So in a nutshell... laptop + Polarnavy or other platform that uses ENC's....buy the charts over the net as you need and have them updated as needed. If you don't have the money for paper charts get a printer. Gps mapping with relatively up to date charts for the cockpit... gives instrumentation on a budget plus charts if you can see really well.....Cheap second hand non mapping gps as a backup needed because a laptop is a temporary thing indeed. Now of course the skills to use this equipement is an absolute requirement as is the ability to dead reckon somewhat. (though I think dead reckoning is not actually used much these days ( except maybe by crazy Vikings like Uwe ) because of gps) These are issues I really don't want to get into as I like to get to the bottom of the question asked before moving along. So Uwe, you can have the latest and greatest fairly cheap.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:23 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by danblu View Post

Thanks Richard,

Just I seem to be defending my statement more than doing constructive stuff on these pages. Here's a link for ENC's...http://www.chartworld.com/cw.pl

Now last time I looked you can buy a chart say a couple of dollars for " Approaches to Gisborne" which is completely up to date on purchase. This purchase gives a license period say for example 3 months after which the chart is still able to be used. Any updates are posted to the licensee via email. When the license expires the chart (electronic) is not updated until licensed again. These work beautifully in Polar navy. These are the best charts available as far as I know. New Zealand is not quite finished but soon will be, the major harbours and populated areas are available in small scale. I believe authorities are getting the whole planet charted electronically. Check out the above site.

So in a nutshell... laptop + Polarnavy or other platform that uses ENC's....buy the charts over the net as you need and have them updated as needed. If you don't have the money for paper charts get a printer. Gps mapping with relatively up to date charts for the cockpit... gives instrumentation on a budget plus charts if you can see really well.....Cheap second hand non mapping gps as a backup needed because a laptop is a temporary thing indeed. Now of course the skills to use this equipement is an absolute requirement as is the ability to dead reckon somewhat. (though I think dead reckoning is not actually used much these days ( except maybe by crazy Vikings like Uwe ) because of gps) These are issues I really don't want to get into as I like to get to the bottom of the question asked before moving along. So Uwe, you can have the latest and greatest fairly cheap.
Pete, the link http://www.chartworld.com/cw.pl

did not work.

I am not sure that Uwe is a viking. We will have to ask him.

Dead reckoning (deduced reckoning) is certainly used, especially on long passages and when a need arises to check data from other sources. For some 12 years I was the controller for a mobile maritime net. There were many occasions when I was called open to assist in determining positions of boats, estimating dates and times of arrival at specific places, relaying rescue requirements etc. A common example :- Sailboat leaves Cocos Keeling bound for Rodrigues Island (SW Indian Ocean) they lay a course that will take them too far south, into the strong westerlies of the Southern Ocean. Using DR and latest WX projections - they are brought back onto a 270 degrees track to a point and time when they can turn directly and safely SW to Rodrigues.

Returning to our topic, I have 2 Garmin 45s, They served me well, I got the first one around 1990 or thereabouts, I liked it so much I bought another one a little later. One still functions. Garmin called the 45 a "Personal Navigator" They were simple instruments without bells and whistles. At the time I was in Hong Kong, they were a 'God Send' For those who know Hong Kong will understand that during the North East Monsoon seldom does one see the sun, plus the pollution (Coal Smoke) from mainland China ensured that Celestial navigation with a sextant was difficult if not impossible. I had no computing equipment on board, but I did have Charts, these were absolutely necessary especially on visits to the Philippines and Indonesia. However, Indonesia after Canada has the longest coastline on this planet (over 50,000km) much of it uncharted, and where charts were available (major ports)only some were updated with hazard information, which limited many of the places I wanted to visit. The Philippines on the other hand had charts for 95% of the country,

Here's just one example, Chart dated a little over a century ago: Mindanao.Tubalan-Davao.jpg

Without the GPS or without that paper chart, I would not have been able to plot a safe course into Tubalan Harbour - and that goes for most of the Philippines +/- 7,000 islands.

Because CruiserLog is an International forum for cruising sailors, we try and ensure that information is not restricted to cruising activities in the first world.

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Old 08-18-2011, 01:31 PM   #17
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Tried that link Richard and both mine and yours worked for me. I think ENC's are the immediate future for charts. I used a Garmin Geko for years, great but eats batteries, and paper charts. I also have a set of Pentax binoculars with compass and a simple hand bearing compass like the scouts use. The Geko can be used for bearings as well. When I say dead reckoning is not used as much now with onboard plotters, i mean its just too easy to see where you are pretty well exactly. I've noticed that most of the skippers I've crewed for don't really bother with bearings much. Every ones different though, I enjoy the practice but not to the point of distraction. I took a trip with an expert navigator in the car, we drove all day to check out a yacht and this guy had his nose in the map and the gps the whole day. Only time he looked up was to have tea! And we got lost for a short while! It was a beautiful day but all he saw was a map. Here's a link to an article about ENC's on wikipaedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electro...gational_chart Hope this works.
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Old 08-18-2011, 02:26 PM   #18
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(...). *When I say dead reckoning is not used as much now with onboard plotters, i mean its just too easy to see where you *are pretty well exactly. *I've noticed that most of *the skippers I've crewed for don't really bother with bearings much. *Every ones different though, I enjoy the practice but not to the point of distraction. (...)
Well said! That is navigation today, but *with knowing about the skills of plotting, eyeballing and chartwork and doing it on an off, just for fun and* to keep in shape.

** *... not me. They lived north of us and once in a while maroded and burnt down the region I live in today.* But I love sailing in their waters!

Uwe

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Old 08-18-2011, 04:09 PM   #19
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Hi, Danblu,

Sorry if you mistook my opine to be too personal--that wasn't the intent. You are welcome to post your thoughts for CL members here.

Also, sorry to have derailed the discussion of what was affordable in GPS to include the question of using other navigation tools. My strong opinions are that newbie sailors have a tendency to grab the GPS and go without thinking about what could be wrong with that idea. Thus, in threads like this one, I do usually throw in some information about other methods of navigating to bring up that question. Not intended to personalize the comments towards you.

So, though I, like others, have my opinions about navigation, I repeat, you are very welcome to your own opinions and to post them here. In my first post--and in my last--I agreed with you (in case you didn't notice) that the combination of Polar Navy/netbook/gps would work for the stated goals of newbie sailor.

The laughing,that wasn't laughing at you but rather what you said--I just couldn't help but laugh at the nuance of whether the reason I was sailing on the levy was the chart or the GPS. Let's see... Doesn't matter which--I'd hate to have my eyes glued to the chart plotter and miss looking out around noting that land was awfully near! Just think of the error if had I been reliant upon that GPS/Chart combo in reality. Or, like some new cruisers--using my GPS to direct my autopilot in such areas. Hard grounding. However, like your driving trip discussion of not focusing upon the tools but rather the trip, good mariners do indeed keep a lookout and use their senses, in addition to available technology tools.

It still makes me chuckle (as I have laughed when I find a situation in which GPS chart placement has show our boat to be traveling on land or GPS map placement to show I am hiking off the edge of a cliff) ...perhaps re-read what I said. Because there remain many places in the world which have very out-of-date actual charting without the best of ENC available, sole use of the GPS/Chart combination will likely remain, in those places, both dicey and funny for years to come.
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:47 PM   #20
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As much as I like our current system of navigating, which entails using my computer and free NOAA charts for the US, I mistrust reliance on a computer for navigation. I don't have the same issue with a GPS, particularly since one can have an extra GPS as a backup for very little money, and chartplotters seem to be very reliable. We've cruised with boats that relied exclusively on their chartplotter and electronic charts and they did very well. However.

For the kind of coastal navigation we now do we don't need the immediacy and accuracy of a chartplotter, though it is nice to have because our cruising speed of 12 to 16 knots. I've had computer crashes several times over the past four or five years, and once I spent a month nursing a failing hard drive down the coast. It isn't a problem for us because we have paper charts, and I have returned to compulsive recording of lat/long on an hourly basis when offshore, but for long distance cruising I would argue against total reliance on ENCs and either a computer or chartplotter.

Because s**t happens. Let's see. The US suffers another terrorist attack similar to the September 11, 2001 suicide plane attacks on New York and Washington, DC - and the US military immediately shuts down the GPS system to attempt to prevent the planes' arrival at their destination. Even though the US has promised it wouldn't do so, would you bet your life on it? Perhaps you should, but I don't know, s**t happens. In that case, would you know how to navigate using DR or Celestial to keep you out of harm's way?

You're dismasted, you lose all power. You have a wristwatch, a battery-operated GPS but few, if any, spare batteries. What would you do? What could you do?

You're hit by lightning. Now just about everything is fried, and you're offshore. Have you been maintaining a DR plot on your paper charts? If not, what do you do, when all your radios are also not functioning? Can you get into a safe port? Can you find a safe port?

What are the odds that something like this would happen to you? Does it matter what the odds are, if it happens to you? Let's see, we've been through 3 hurricanes, 3 cyclones, (all in port, but still - we shouldn't have been there); we've been hit by lightning and everything except our GPS was out. Our alternator failed and we were just lucky that we had a spare. We once gave our spare alternator to a boat because theirs had failed and they were in a place where they couldn't get another one. We were the only boat with an alternator to spare - what were the odds of that?

Don't play the odds when you're sailing offshore, with a destination that was completely unfamiliar to you.

And yes, the Bumfuzzles did circumnavigate with reliance exclusively on their chartplotter and their stated ignorance of any other means of navigation. So? Murphy's your enemy, and he's out there, just waiting for the opportunity to ruin your day.

On the other hand, with adequate preparation, cruising is a wonderful life and the risks are manageable.

Fair winds,

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Old 08-19-2011, 02:22 PM   #21
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hello all, i'm new to this board and new to cruising....

we bought our first boat, 37 feet .... and off soon.

now i would like some advise from other sailors. as we are on a budget ... we need some setup for navigation. i have 500 $ to spend, have a laptop already.
You might find my answer strange. If I had $500 and only $500 I would purchase an AIS transceiver. IMHO the two biggest dangers in sailing are running aground and being run over (once for me, and one close call.) I presume you have some form of depth sounder. Why an AIS? An AIS transceiver will provide both a safety advantage (the big guys can see you) and also contains an GPS so you know where you are.

I have found that charts of any type (e.g. ENC, paper) are quite expensive. ENC coverage is free and exceptional in the USA - in the rest of the world not so much. Some passages (e.g. the St. Lawrence Seaway) require you to carry paper charts. The Seaway set costs several hundred dollars - that is why there are at least one if not more "hand me down" sets available most of the time on this site. Add to the mix "cruising guides." In the USA these are frequently marina and restaurant listings. In other places they are literally necessary. An example would be navigating the Yucatan Straight from the Gulf to Guatemala. The charts are terrible, the hazards numerous. Remember too that electronic charts, like paper charts, are no better than the underlying data. Many areas have not been surveyed in decades, in some cases more than a century. It looks all neat and clean on an electronic chart plotter until you anchor and find out that the chart has you 3 miles inland. A cruising guide provides waypoints and instructions from people who typically have navigated the area, in some cases multiple times. An area cruising guide might go $50. For an extended trip you might need several guides.

One last thought. You say that you are new to cruising and this is a new boat. I would spend some time in known and protected waters sorting out what you absolutely need to have and what is optional or not necessary. I distance raced Reboot for five seasons before retiring and cruising full time. I assumed that there was nothing new I needed to purchase. Wow was I wrong.

Best wishes on your new boat, and may you have a joyful cruising life.

Fair winds and following seas.
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Old 08-20-2011, 01:06 AM   #22
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Hi Redbopeep, hey no worries , that storms gone by. Thanks for being so sweet in response to my angst.

I read you were sailing around the Danish coast Uwe so just thought. I'm born in Hjorring so maybe my ancestors were the rascals that raided.
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:05 PM   #23
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Hi Redbopeep, hey no worries , that storms gone by. Thanks for being so sweet in response to my angst.

I read you were sailing around the Danish coast Uwe so just thought. I'm born in Hjorring so maybe my ancestors were the rascals that raided.
Hjørring in Northwest Denmark, close to the North Sea shore with the harbour of Hirtshals just north! Rough sailing out there in the Skagerrak . And the Vikings sailed not just the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, but also the North Atlantic to Iceland, Greenland and even Newfoundland. Without charts and GPS.Great navigators!!!

Guess, for them it was just an "afternoon sail" down the North Sea shore, up the Elbe estuary, tying up in front of the Hammaburg fortification and running over it . At least the Bishop was able to escape to Bremen... and never came back, if I remember my history lessons right.

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Old 08-24-2011, 06:52 AM   #24
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Yes Uwe, some Vikings are still using very similar technology. Me.
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:33 AM   #25
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FYI - I found a 52gb file on the internet with all sorts of charts from the world...just happened to be perusing the web and lo !

I'm not recommending anyone download anything illegal - just that it was there

Kiloran in La Paz at the moment
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