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Let’s discuss some of the pros and cons of paperless navigation. Availability: One of the great advantages of ECDIS over paper charts is the availability of electronic charts – especially when voyage orders are received at the last minute.Gone are the days when Second Mates huddled over the good old NP 131 (chart catalogue) to determine what charts they require for the voyage.The Temporary and Preliminary (T&P) Notices were especially tedious since these came without tracings and required a thick file to be maintained.Keeping the world folio updated was a matter of pride which came with a lot of bragging rights. The Navigating Officer now receives weekly updates to the Electronic Charts via Email which he has to download onto a zip drive and upload them to the ECDIS.
Although, a bit biased towards the old school paper chart navigation, I cannot deny the fact that ECDIS does have an edge over paper charts.
Finally, one can also use the Radar Range and Bearings to plot positions on the ECDIS display, just like on paper charts.