The paper chart, still the best?

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

8 Responses

  1. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Come to think of it, it was also Peter Swanson who put together this enjoyable and relevant debate on the value of actual paper charts:
    I stand by the notion that there are many ways to navigate safely, but also the notion that a shade of paranoia is a good thing ūüėČ

  2. Sparky says:

    I’m with you Ben. Got tired of navaids in Nantucket Sound dissappearing with zoom level and vector charts. Raster NOAA is my preference.

  3. Argus Brown says:

    One of the things that I’ve noticed in the difference between mariners that where trained on paper charts vs electronic is that those trained on paper charts tended to have a better idea where they are than those using electronic charts.
    The same issue is found with those that use GPS navigation in their cars. Using the electronics shorts circuits the brain a bit and impedes the brain to make a mental map of the area. (ref: )
    Personally, I like having a small scale paper chart of the area I am cruising with electronics for the detailed areas.

  4. ‚ÄčAs desired by the article, the Fugawi Aboard includes the stacks at smaller scales. See the screenshots below using the Fugawi Aboard
    Navico version on a compatible Simrad plotter‚Äč:‚Äč
    ‚ÄčAlso unlike what is mentioned in the article about Furuno ‚Äčjumping‚Äč from 1:80,000 to 1:20,000 and skip‚Äčping the‚Äč intermediate‚Äč 1:40,000 scale when displaying ‚Äčthe NOAA raster charts, the Fugawi Aboard chart ‚Äčshows the stacks at all three scales.

  5. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Thanks, Fugawi. I didn’t emphasize it enough but in fact I often use Fugawi Aboard U.S. raster charts on the Simrad system as well Raymarine Lighthouse rasters (which I believe Fugawi helped with). They are both very useful, though the Raymarine display seems a little sharper.
    As for the 1:40,000 scale, this is a special case. It’s unusual but there is no regular 1:40 rectangular North up chart at that scale for this area. But there is a small craft chart at 1:40,000. In most cases it’s OK to omit small craft charts from a raster portfolio because they’re redundant and they were also confusing when older charting progams zoomed into their often odd orientation (done by NOAA to fit their booklet format).
    But now I see that Fugawi has included the small craft raster charts (maybe just the non redundant scales?) but adjusted their orientation so they act normal no matter if the Simrad is in North Up or Heading Up mode. Well done!

  6. Jean-Francois du Coudray says:

    Hello Ben,
    thanks for your reviews and are much appreciated from the East Coat of South Africa.
    Please could you or the group help us on HDS9 GEN3 which is GEO BLOCKED from 30degWest to 180deg West, and getting it unlocked.
    My nephew visiting the US, purchased the instrument, only to find out that it does not work outside of the US regions.
    How does Lowrance release that unblock on the HDS unit. I believe that if you sail to Australia and west, that unit goes in limp mode?
    Your feedback is appreciated in this instance.
    Many thanks

  7. Don says:

    to quote Andy Grove, former chairman of Intel, “only the paranoid survive”

  8. Don Joyce says:

    So Ben,
    You’ve gone to and from NC with a boat load of stuff. This report barely touches the surface. How about an update on all those MFDs and Radars…….

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