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Old 04-05-2012, 05:00   #106
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

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As others have said, no it is not done but it could be done easily. The computing power is readily available and the data is available but it wouldn't be cheap and that is probably the main reason it isn't done. The other reason is that there isn't much need for it.

Aircraft do it all the time, it is called EGPWS or TAWS; enhanced ground proximity warning system or terrain awareness warning system. The boxes are small, the terrain databases exist, the GPS is of course available. A marine system would only require a simple two dimensional solution rather than a 3D aviation solution unless one wanted to factor in depth of water and tidal conditions.
And there is a pretty fair cost to that database and functionality as well.

Also, while I am quick to bring up the "aero" side of the aero/nautical divide in this venue, there are important differences between an aircraft descending into Cali at several hundred knots and hitting a mountain...And a yacht traveling at 6.5 knots running into a large island.

But there is an essential commonality as well:

Gain a full and complete understanding of the electronic nav equipment you use, and make sure you connect it back to the basics...

Or you can find trouble before you know it.

I for one do not need the extra added cost of a plotter that some programmer way off somewhere has attempted to do my thinking for me.

But if you want to buy that kind of thing, both Garmin and Geonav will sell it to you.

Not sure how they are wording their fine print reconciling the fact that ALL recreational chartplotters are only supplemental aids to navigation though.
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:23   #107
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

Although no personal experiance of the flying side (at least not at the front end!) I do find it interesting that even though the pilots are far more extensively trained (as well as licensed) than most folks on a boat - they do share the same basic flaw of..........being human, and therefore cursed / blessed by very often "knowing" what they are doing (however that knowing is acquired - paper or electronics). up to and including the point they hit something (planes and boats).....and that experiance alone is not a cure, and sometimes is simply the cause of a bigger hole (in boat or the ground!).

FWIW, one of the interesting comments I saw about pilots and crashes (a TV programme - long since forgotten) is that in the early days of mass commercial aviation - post WWII - that the cause (or at least a contributory factor) was when a pilot was an ex-Bomber pilot. Not because of any lack of skills, but simply because was trained to make own decisions and quickly (and once made to carry them through pretty much regardless) which resulted in "input" from other crew members not being welcomed, let alone having his decisions challenged.....the result being that (potentially) valuable input was ignored / bad decisions not corrected. Obviously in an emergency don't always have time for a full commitee meeting!, but unless an aircraft is actually being shot at then often do have time to at least accept as much info as can get, even if then discounted.

Humans are funny beggars!
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:27   #108
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New chartplotters will create turning routes based on depths and the data you put in about your vessels draft. Checkout garmins. I am not saying trust it but the technology is there.
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:36   #109
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

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Not because of any lack of skills, but simply because was trained to make own decisions and quickly (and once made to carry them through pretty much regardless) which resulted in "input" from other crew members not being welcomed, let alone having his decisions challenged.....the result being that (potentially) valuable input was ignored / bad decisions not corrected. Obviously in an emergency don't always have time for a full commitee meeting!, but unless an aircraft is actually being shot at then often do have time to at least accept as much info as can get, even if then discounted.

Humans are funny beggars!
Thats called "Crew Resource Management"

Really came to the fore after several crashes in the 80's

I practice it on the boat..."If you see something you don't like...Speak up!"
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:39   #110
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

Funny how we don't want a nanny state, but want to trust our life to a electronic device.

We Humans are a wierd group.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:47   #111
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

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If I draw a leg of a course between waypoints on a paper chart and find that it passes through land, then not surprisingly a little strobe alert fires up in my head and I rethink my course.

So are you saying there is not, or ought not to be, or cannot be, a function on electronic charts that sets off a similar alert in similar circumstances?
My Garmin 5208 will do that very thing if asked to "Guide to" a waypoint.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:54   #112
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

for many years including this one, folks have found gps not exact. why count on something not exact to make your decisions for you. eyes and ears and watching is best way to avoid any problems. i make each waypoint individually and have to be in cockpit for htis. there is no substitute for your own vigilance.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:04   #113
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

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My Garmin 5208 will do that very thing if asked to "Guide to" a waypoint.
Our 5208 works great even on a narrow river but that is dependant on the charts you buy for the chartplotter. Our chartplotter charts from San Diago to Mexico are totally separate from the west coast of the USA charts. If they didn't buy the Mexico charts they were blind at night without a full moon and clear skys and several very alert crew.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:06   #114
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

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I'm keeping my pencils till they get it right...
Now that's dangerous. Could poke your eye right out, something that will never happen with a chart plotter.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:10   #115
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

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Our 5208 works great even on a narrow river but that is dependant on the charts you buy for the chartplotter. Our chartplotter charts from San Diago to Mexico are totally separate from the west coast of the USA charts. If they didn't buy the Mexico charts they were blind at night without a full moon and clear skys and several very alert crew.
my map ran out at salsipuedes. but i have sailed the stretch sans gps a few times--isnt difficult to keep watch for 18 hours, i have done it.
the coastline is such you do NOT want to sleep until safety is achieved.
the gps maps are not exact aqnyway, but dependent on what gummingkt gives us from THEIR satellites anyway--so is best to augment with paper charts and a preplanned course.
KNOW where you are going and respect that coast -- remember is a lee shore and rocky and wants your boat.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:11   #116
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

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Now that's dangerous. Could poke your eye right out, something that will never happen with a chart plotter.
Some folks apparently found out that something else can do more than put your eye out...



Condolences to the families...
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:13   #117
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
for many years including this one, folks have found gps not exact. why count on something not exact to make your decisions for you. eyes and ears and watching is best way to avoid any problems. i make each waypoint individually and have to be in cockpit for htis. there is no substitute for your own vigilance.
You and I are from a time when there were no computers, when we made our own decisions and took reasponsibiliy for the results.

The Gen R folks have dumbed down to computer worship.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:20   #118
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

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...Most take the inside between the islands and the mainland of Mexico as I recall but you won't know until you are just north of North Coronado whether it is worth the risk to head outside for stronger winds...
I raced in this event once, years ago. The big strategic decision (actually, only decision) was "do we go inside or outside". In our case we chose to go inside of the islands, and lost all wind for hours. Remember watching the lights of those that went to the outside slowly passing us by. By about 4:00 AM we knew our race was lost. That was a very long night.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:40   #119
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

The point I was trying to make, however imperfectly, Dennis, was that there is a decision point at the top end of North Coronado Island to go inside or outside. If you leave it too late trying to get more data and scoping what the competition is doing, you might be concentrating on the prospective wind on either route and left it too late to make your move to keep out of the surf and foul ground.
We'll never know, I suspect... Capt Phil
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Old 04-05-2012, 19:33   #120
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

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Fascinating theory. And a clear possibility...
Thanks Bash; it's a thought which comes easily to mind when solo sailing.

Reading about Kay Cottee's harrowing moment when she realised that she hadn't, after all, been tethered and had come within a nano of being left in her boat's wake has always stayed with me.

It'd be a less than pleasant end and it happens. Off here, a few years back, a skipper took a couple of inexperienced mates for a night trip across the gulf. The boat was on auto-pilot, the skipper went overboard and was last heard yelling instructions for disabling the pilot before disappearing into the night.

The crew eventually turned the boat around (no islands to hit out there) but the skipper was never found - likely shark dinner. Best always to tether.
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