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Pilothouse Charts

Introduction to Electronic Chart Navigation

Introduction to Electronic Chart Navigation

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By David Burch

There are two types of electronic charts: raster navigational charts (RNC) and electronic navigational charts (ENC). RNCs are exact copies of paper charts and their use underway comes naturally to navigators accustomed to paper charts.

ENCs (also called vector charts), on the other hand, include much more information than an RNC; they allow user-selected display options that enhance safety and efficiency; and they are easier to keep up to date. But they do not look like traditional charts, and they do not behave like traditional charts. Navigation with ENCs is fundamentally different from navigation with paper charts or RNCs.

This book is intended to explain the content and use of ENCs so that these important charts of the future become as familiar to navigators as their paper chart forerunners.Chapter 1 is an overview of electronic charting; Chapter 2 covers the distinctions between RNC and ENC; Chapter 3 reviews basic navigation practice adapted to electronic charts; and Chapter 4 presents a complete library of all electronic chart symbols, which differ in many respects from their paper chart counterparts.

Electronic charting benefits all mariners, professional and recreational, large vessels and small, power and sail, racing and cruising. The unique information in this book should help mariners in any of these categories master the use of ENCs to enhance their safety and performance underway. There are many virtues of vector charts, but to take advantage of these, a new approach to "reading charts" is called for. This book explains and illustrates the process.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Burch is the Director of the Starpath School of Navigation. He is the author of fifteen books on marine navigation, including Radar for Mariners; Emergency Navigation; Modern Marine Weatherr; Fundamentals of Kayak Navigation: The Barometer Handbook; and How to Use Plastic Sectants. His textbooks and workbooks on Inland and Coastal Navigationand on Celestial Navigation are used by numerous schools nationwide.

His work has been recognized with the Institute of Navigation's Superior Achievement Award for outstanding performance as a practicing navigator, and by a USCG citation for his successful weather and vessel performance analysis used in a search and rescue operation. In 2011 he was made Fellow in the Institute of Navigatio and was named a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Naavigation in London.

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