YouTube Sailing: Where’s the paper chart?

Published on September 16th, 2019

by John K. Fulweiler, WindCheck Magazine
You can’t recreate your youth watching YouTube, but it’s fun to watch the adventures of some of the younger sailing couples. You have two groups. You’ve got the couple representing the kind of genetic fortitude and talent that settled the mighty West, and then you have everyone else. You see, Riley & Elayna of Sailing La Vagabonde can sail and dive and spearfish and make new friends at each port of call and re-anchor with ease in squalls and quote poetry and Christ, do just about anything better than I could at their age. Yes, maddening, but fun to watch. Yachtsmen, they are leaving the rest of the lot on the other side of the horizon.

Still, there’s a nagging nit that hangs around them all whether it’s Riley & Elayna or Tulu’s Endless Summer with Bill & Sierra or Wes & Kate on Wicked Salty. They all bang around the globe with Instagram smiles, making you wonder – if you didn’t know better – what the heck was so special about Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s little jaunt. I mean, these couples film a video or two about provisioning and maybe a video or three on their new sails or some new piece of equipment and then, Bazinga, they’re in the middle of some grand ocean eating hummus with carrot sticks!

But they all seem to share the same fatal flaw. I never see any dead reckoning. No course plot. No paper charts. They all seem to have a singular allegiance to the electronic chart uploaded on a tablet and maybe synched over to a laptop. Not once, in the embarrassingly extensive amount of time I’ve spent as a voyaging voyeur, have I seen any of them refer to (much less demonstrate) a traditional form of navigation.

I wanted to know more. What of these electronic charts? Is there no requirement that you carry a paper chart? – Full story

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