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Old 21 May 2009, 09:24   #11
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Google Earth can be a useful extra in helping you plan trips and show you what places look like in a way that charts can't. I sometimes use it if I'm going to an area I don't know very well. However, it won't show you the underwater hazards that you can find by studying a chart so it could lead you into danger if you used it as your main planning tool. It also has practical difficulties in running on a small boat in the wet and with no internet connection.

Charts must be your starting point, but there are lots of ways of getting additional information to add to what the chart tells you, and the more information you have (within reason) the safer you'll be. Tide tables and pilot books are common sources of information, Google Earth less so - but no reason why you shouldn't use it to see if it can help add anything to your knowledge once you've done your basic planning.

Good luck. I'm sure you'll enjoy this "new maritime world" that's opening up for you, and your course with Doug will set you up well for that.


Actually it can show you hazards that aren't on a chart - you can see the rocks below you in some cases.

Charts err too much on the side of caution. They will show a whole area as drying when in fact it's just a single outcrop of rock. They are designed for big ships who will stay well away - not small craft who will pick their way through.

Google Earth and OS maps show far more detail very close in.

For example Langland Bay in Swansea has some nasty outcrops of rock right in the middle - the charts just show it as a uniform drying area - the OS maps and Google Earth let you see a dirty great rock in the middle!!!
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Old 21 May 2009, 10:00   #12
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That looks like the one. What are they like to use? Is the 3D view usable?
In an Estuary with significant land rises either side it's quite impressive...also, as in the Fal Estuary, where the channel is very deep and very sheer sided, that also is impressive
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Old 21 May 2009, 10:03   #13
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I have the Garmin Mapsource software on my laptop and it is great for plotting routes, saving waypoints etc. You then just download them onto your Garmin plotter using an SD card or similar.

Unfortunately I now have a Lowrance so need to get their version.
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Old 21 May 2009, 12:05   #14
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- you can see the rocks below you in some cases.
In some cases, yes, but depth unknown. Rather dangerous to generalise, in any case - this thread is advice to a novice remember

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Charts err too much on the side of caution.
Sounds good to me!

Quote:
They will show a whole area as drying when in fact it's just a single outcrop of rock. They are designed for big ships who will stay well away - not small craft who will pick their way through.
That depends on the scale. A large scale chart is generally very accurate at chart datum

Quote:
Google Earth and OS maps show far more detail very close in.
Very dangerous advice to suggest using OS maps for marine navigation, and Google Earth doesn't have detailed coverage in all areas (and may be out of date in others with noting to show the date the imagery was correct)
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Old 21 May 2009, 14:24   #15
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Try earthnc.com. Their package( very cheap) allows you to use a paper chart and Google earth to plan a trip and/or create a chart on your PC. You can also download that chart to your GPS. You will find one that I created for the SOC that they show as a demo.
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Old 21 May 2009, 14:37   #16
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Very dangerous advice to suggest using OS maps for marine navigation, and Google Earth doesn't have detailed coverage in all areas (and may be out of date in others with noting to show the date the imagery was correct)
On a sailing boat with a 9' draft I agree but RIBs and SIBs are often used for close in work - in the Burry Estuary charts are useless anyway - the sandbanks move far too much - if you run aground you get off and push!!!

Google Earth images are always out of date but rocks tend not to move very much.
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Old 21 May 2009, 14:52   #17
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Try earthnc.com.
Like it
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Old 22 May 2009, 13:33   #18
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Try earthnc.com. Their package( very cheap) allows you to use a paper chart and Google earth to plan a trip and/or create a chart on your PC. You can also download that chart to your GPS. You will find one that I created for the SOC that they show as a demo.
I'll try that - thanks...
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Old 23 May 2009, 04:39   #19
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Try earthnc.com. Their package( very cheap) allows you to use a paper chart and Google earth to plan a trip and/or create a chart on your PC. You can also download that chart to your GPS. You will find one that I created for the SOC that they show as a demo.
Looks good
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