Back in October, Jeff over at Active Captain published a well-reasoned article arguing that paper charts are no longer required as a backup to electronic navigation on a cruising boat. I read that article with interest and, after cogitating on the issue since, my thinking is that Jeff is right for his kind of cruising: inshore waterways with occasional one to two day coastal hops in ideal weather.
But what about us offshore sailors? Can we dispense with paper charts? And if so, what primary electronic navigation systems and what backups do we need so that we can cross oceans and approach shores in less than ideal weather in a safe and seamanlike way with only electronic charts?