Oh NOoooooo!! As a navigation officer, I have used both paper charts and a few different kinds of electronic charts. I MUCH prefer paper!
There are so many things I can think of where paper charts would be better. Especially for small boat operations. Especially for sailboats. First of all, they are very limited in the available power on board. What happens when the power goes out? At least with paper charts, you could still make your way safely to a port of your choosing. With only electronic charts, you would be lost (literally). 🙁
Lots of people do like the electronic charts, they’re easy to use (sometimes), but I personally think they can be dangerous (not ONLY when the power goes out). For one thing, its not as easy to get a good overview, to see the big picture, as on a paper chart. For another thing, its harder to make sure what you set it up for is still what you wanted when you are using it. For another thing, it’s very easy to become complacent using them.
Yeah, it’s supposed to be so much easier to use electronic and especially to keep them all updated. I don’t think so. AND, we are still required to keep paper charts on-board if we don’t have a backup to an electronic chart.
I don’t even want to get into the whole thing of all the required ‘training’ that’s being forced on us because of the new electronic chart requirements (but I will since its such a big deal). 😉
We didn’t need to spend many thousands of dollars to get trained to use a paper chart. Or re-take that expensive training for every ship we might sail on that had a chart from another country. I could use American charts, or I could use BA charts and I would NOT have to take another expensive class to learn how to use the different style of chart.
That’s NOT how things work with electronic charts. The IMO in its ultimate wisdom has decided that we will have to be trained in a ‘ship specific’ ECDIS course! OK, call me a Luddite, but paper still has an important place IMHO and I still want some! SO, now what?
Will we have to go get BA charts from the UK now? 🙁