Any electronics charts legal?

While renewing my radar recently my instructor (ex USCG) said that he thought that Nobeltec was the only one legal to use without paper backup. Any truth to this ? As far as I know none of them are. Working on a more less gypsy tug I am constantly hearing when I order charts: but you’ve got the computer! What’s the truth here.

The last I heard on this was that, for now and the immediately foreseeable future, paper charts are still required because the long-awaited standards for ENC’s (Electronic Navigation Charts) to work with ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display Systems) are still being worked on by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Computers, laptop or otherwise, and most of the chartplotters in use today onboard tugs don’t qualify as an approved ECDIS in any case, so when the standards are finally settled upon you would still need to have an approved ECDIS system installed onboard to get out of the paper chart requirement.

[quote=captjoe;12379]While renewing my radar recently my instructor (ex USCG) said that he thought that Nobeltec was the only one legal to use without paper backup. Any truth to this ? As far as I know none of them are. Working on a more less gypsy tug I am constantly hearing when I order charts: but you’ve got the computer! What’s the truth here.

Not true. Nobletec makes electronic navigation software (ECS), which is quite good, but they do not make a full blown ECDIS system. My opinion is that you’ll never see an ECDIS system aboard US tugs. They are incredibly expensive to purchase and maintain. ECS systems are much cheaper, do 90% of what an ECDIS will do, but, like all electronic navigation systems they are only as reliable as the operator.

Who cares if you’ve got a computer? The vessel is still required by law to carry the relevant charts, and they must be corrected. I hate that pushback I get from the office about having to buy charts. Sheesh!!

Nobletec is a great resource for the professional mariner, and it is much easier to use than some of the big boys (Transas, Furuno, JRC, etc). I’d recommend it to anyone who is seeking a quality ECS for their use.

Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with ECS systems. I’ll take a paper chart over a computer screen any day. My paper charts never crash. Plus, I just am not comfortable with the “drive the video game” mentality that a lot of ECS users develop.

For further reference:

[B]From the IMO performance standard for ECDIS:[/B] Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) means a navigation information system which with adequate back-up arrangements can be accepted as complying with the up-to-date chart required by regulation V/20 of the 1974 SOLAS Convention, by displaying selected information from a system electronic navigational chart (SENC) with positional information from navigation sensors to assist the mariner in route
planning and route monitoring, and if required display additional navigation-related information.

See here for the IMO ECDIS performance standards.

Kelvin Hughes has a system that allows ships to run paperless. The last tanker I was on (danish flagged) had this system - while we still had our entire portfolio of charts, once the ship is deemed “paperless”, it is only required to carry something like 62 charts that cover the world - which means if both ECDIS’ go down, you’re screwed.

While NOBELTEC is great system, it should never be used in replacement of paper charts. I know of 4 grounding incidents in the past 2 years in SE Alaska that could of been prevented if the mariner had been plotting on a paper chart and not using NOBELTEC solely.

Well I am on a
US tug and we have ecdis with all the needed items ais imput radar etc… But we have and are required to have paper charts I am with capt A I like the ecdis but always have a paper chart in front of me there is a delay in all GPS units and weather can block out satalites and if you look at your ecdis unput the gps has an allowable error and gives you an alarm, but most people turn the alarm down because you can get alarms every minute or two some times, when its not right well any way
I own my own version of nobeltec and use that out playing on the sound when living in the pnw but if you are on a boat that only has paper it might be worth it to buy one for your laptop go to best buy and buy a roads and maps in the gps section cheeper comes with the gps unit and it is cheeper than buying it when you get nobeltec and its made for autos has a faster read time and I think you can download a demo of nobeltec free there are others and some free and some that you can make a copy for a freind
Have a good one

To run a true fully approved by IMO ECDIS is amazingly expensive. As far I know this requires every component, cable, software, display etc etc to be approved as a system and completly duplicated, but I could be wrong. As soon as anything is changed in that config ( i.e a different display) the system is then not approved. I don’t think IMO will approve any ole computer with a heap of other bits of software on it making the system unstable, and to get the system approved is expensive. Far cheaper to have a non approved system with a backup with the full complement of paper. I can use Transas, but like Nobeltec myself for what and where I sail. I think of the paper charts as the liferaft for the nav software.

While the USCG may have their own requirements, the international requirements for carrying only electronic charts are not that hard to meet and plenty of ships do carry electronics charts only. The requirements are essentially:

  • 2 type approved ECDIS display systems
  • Both systems connected to emergency power
  • Both systems have a full set of updated ENCs
  • all related licenses are updated in excess of the expected worst case voyage duration

With these requirements met, the vessel must get approval from the Flag State.

why would any one want to go “paperless”??we are not “playing” video games here!!

while I am a proponent of e-nav, i believe in redundancy foremost…last ATB I sailed we had 2 computers in the W/H both had Nobletec one dedicated to e-nav only…for IMS compliance we had a documented cms comprising of a “barebones” POD chart inventory and card system that corresponded with our voyage plans…also the office sent new POD’s out as new editions became available…pertinent charts in the cms inventory were kept corrected and all cards “charged”…“special charts” were kept in a “special drawer” and updated as “needed”…never encountered a problem with a auditor using this system.

In addition I personally carry a “fresh” version DIGINAV or Cruising Services software that contains Seaclear and “fresh” ENC’s.
keep in mind ENC’s require updates as well

Going “paperless” may or may not be more cost effective, but it is often done for efficiency. Charts are updated more easily. This means fewer deficiencies for non-updated charts for safety inspections and ISM purposes. It also frees up much of the 2nd mate’s time for cargo, safety, fire fighting, and security tasks.

Looking out the window and using the fathometer helps too.

only if they are not too too busy w/ cellphone, texting, twitting, e-mail, dvd, video games, mp3, ect…Its a real tech orgy out there!!!

6 years or so ago at Crowley the 2M had a 90 chart inventory to maintain and voyage plans to construct…the CM did the remaining balance of ISM…I would of rather just corrected charts.