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Easy question. Can you navigate from a paper chart to a spot?

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View Poll Results: Do you know how to use paper charts to navigate?
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Easy question. Can you navigate from a paper chart to a spot?

Old 07-17-2018, 11:50 PM
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Default Easy question. Can you navigate from a paper chart to a spot?

A local store had paper charts on clearance and I was wondering how many of us can navigate with paper charts.
I bought one to learn on I guess my summer project.

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07-18-2018, 12:51 AM
mshugg
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Essential skill as far as I’m concerned. Paper charts are far better for planning than a screen. You can see the big picture.
Old 07-18-2018, 12:51 AM
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Essential skill as far as I’m concerned. Paper charts are far better for planning than a screen. You can see the big picture.
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Old 07-18-2018, 01:08 AM
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Hello, im old and old fashioned, where possible I will always use a paper chart first, even just to give me an overview of whats what, learnt to navigate when we still had Decca and Loran, GPS was in its infancy and very expensive.
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Old 07-18-2018, 01:19 AM
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I agree with MSHUGG, it's an essential skill. If you don't know how to use a paper chart, you don't need to be on any body of water bigger than the pond on your neighborhood golf course. Can't get your captain's license without being able to use one.
Old 07-18-2018, 01:24 AM
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Yes. That's how I learned. Paper charts and old fashioned GPS that only provided lat/long. Take the numbers off the GPS and plot them on the chart, then look outside to see if your resolution made sense. They degraded the GPS signal back then so you were always trying to just get close enough.
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Old 07-18-2018, 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Bugsbunnyboater View Post
A local store had paper charts on clearance and I was wondering how many of us can navigate with paper charts.
I bought one to learn on I guess my summer project.
A UK site and more aimed at sailing boats, but this is a useful stage by stage guide: Sailtrain: Navigation and Chart work, if you can understand how to allow for tides when traveling at 5 or 5 knots, it makes it easy at 20 knots plus (the faster you go the closer your course to steer is to the course of your ground track), and you'll understand when it's not really worth bothering with the calculations for the tide.

It's quite fun and interesting when you turn on the chart plotter how close you get.
Old 07-18-2018, 03:45 AM
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Paper charts are great but only as good as your compass.
Old 07-18-2018, 03:50 AM
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I'll be one of the few honest ones here lol. I can muscle my way through it, but using the clock, and speed along with compass to accurately plot every hour...no, I don't.

I do look at the map all the time however just to keep a fresh picture in my head of the bay I boat in...I know how to read them. It helps with knowing where structure is....better than the plotter to me.


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Old 07-18-2018, 04:08 AM
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My HDS12 stopped working while I was 31 miles offshore last week. I have paper charts along with a good compass. I always pay attention to the outbound compass course. It was no big deal to run home, we hit the inlet on the nose.

It turns out the fuse holder was defective.
Old 07-18-2018, 04:15 AM
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If your talking about going port to port, sure. If your talking about hitting a spot 80 miles offshore. Not so much. I know the principles and have used them. Just not in probably 15+ years.
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Old 07-18-2018, 04:24 AM
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Admittedly I don’t do anything offshore, but “paper” and a compass are all that are on my boat.
Old 07-18-2018, 04:32 AM
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Yeah, I can look at them, get course, etc, but I'll be damned if I'll be able to get on some lump in the middle of nowhere using one without electronics.
Old 07-18-2018, 05:37 AM
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As a lic. captain for 10 years...sure. At least i used to be able to because I used to fish 70 miles offshore with paper chart and compass. Yes...that includes wreck fishing. But why the hell would you nowadays?
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Old 07-18-2018, 05:53 AM
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With a sextant and a perfect clock (plus some time to refresh old dead skills that were already old and dead when my Dad thought it would be fun--for him--to teach me), I could even check if I were in the right place, give or take 30 miles.

With that said, I like rolling out a paper chart to overview things, but I would rather a backup GPS and a backup to the backup GPS to the paper chart as an actual backup navigational tool. If the Russians blow up our GPS sattelites while I am on the boat, I'll just pop a beer and aim to the West at a slower speed. There comes a point where you are asking people who can't ride a horse what they'll do if their car breaks down.
Old 07-18-2018, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Esuomm1 View Post
Yeah, I can look at them, get course, etc, but I'll be damned if I'll be able to get on some lump in the middle of nowhere using one without electronics.
This.
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Old 07-18-2018, 06:25 AM
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Sure, I remember going bottom fishing on a compass heading and time with the paper/ink depth recorders before loran. I also remember carrying all those charts/maps when navigating in the boat/car. But what scenario are we trying to be prepared for here? Our GPS map goes down and we need to get home or continue on our trip? Are we to pull out our trusty handheld GPS w/ numbers only and our paper charts? Everyone should be familiar enough with their surroundings to know a basic heading to proceed to safety if they lose their electronics. That's way more important than knowing how to read a paper vs electronic chart.
Old 07-18-2018, 06:28 AM
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Paper is great. Only issue is most boats don't have room to actually use them. Pay attention to compass out as mentioned just in case the GPS goes out.
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Old 07-18-2018, 06:32 AM
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Admission here: even when I carried paper on the Albie, I left my dividers and rule at home safely stored away in the desk. Yea, I can navigate. No, not likely to do it until the satellites start crashing.
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Old 07-18-2018, 06:39 AM
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What would you guys do without batteries ??? Compass, Chart, Paralell rule, Dividers, and a Trip Log.
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Old 07-18-2018, 06:41 AM
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I wonder how many that voted that they can actually can do it? Long ago I forgot the mnemonics I used to figure courses. But (on the boat) I do have a copy of Chapman’s piloting, a binder with a file including my “cheat sheets”, and the necessary tools and paper charts. I feel pretty confident that within ten minutes I could be up and running. Provided I have a known position to start with. If the satellites went down while offshore somewhere I guess I’d be starting wthe an educated guess because I almost never record positions. Oh well.

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