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Old 03-07-2017, 17:57   #61
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Re: Are Speed Logs and Wind Speed Instruments Obsolete?

FWIW the only time we use "steer to wind angle" feature is when hard on the wind. Works fairly well on our boat, but can get confused at times, possibly due to operator error in setting the parameters. The rest of the time we will steer a compass course and pay some attention to wind shifts, retrimming as required. In a boat that accelerates quickly, the apparent wind angle shifts around a lot with changes in boat speed, even when the wind direction is pretty steady. Especially when close reaching in light to moderate conditions, this will drive a wind angle pilot bonkers.

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Old 03-07-2017, 20:04   #62
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Re: Are Speed Logs and Wind Speed Instruments Obsolete?

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Originally Posted by catsketcher View Post
Jedi along the coast of Australia there have been a few boats that have come to grief when the wind shifts and their vane takes them onto a reef. Francis Chichester's Gypsy Moth was lost in a BOC race at Gabo this way. Then we lost a really nice cat called Bagatelle when the owners went tacking downwind under assymetric and ran into a coral reef.

So for me I would rather the boat do a safe compass or GPS based course and I will vet any changes. I am regularly in the cockpit anyway and quite often push the course up and down if it is safe and necessary. I get that offshore it might be nice to have the boat wander around but as I need to be in the cockpit to look for ships and floats etc I can push the buttons on the autopilot as well. As we are offshore the wind doesn't seem to shift too quickly for me to respond when I am in the cockpit - any changes force me to get out and check them which is a good guard against slothfulness on my part.

cheers

Phil
That's why most autopilots have both an off track alarm that alerts you if the boat points more than a few degrees from the original magnetic heading when it was turned on, and a track distance alarm that tells you when you move too far from the rhumb line.

These problems were solved on autopilots a time least back in 1990 or so when I first started using a chart plotter.
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Old 03-07-2017, 20:28   #63
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Re: Are Speed Logs and Wind Speed Instruments Obsolete?

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
FWIW the only time we use "steer to wind angle" feature is when hard on the wind. Works fairly well on our boat, but can get confused at times, possibly due to operator error in setting the parameters. The rest of the time we will steer a compass course and pay some attention to wind shifts, retrimming as required. In a boat that accelerates quickly, the apparent wind angle shifts around a lot with changes in boat speed, even when the wind direction is pretty steady. Especially when close reaching in light to moderate conditions, this will drive a wind angle pilot bonkers.

Jim
No, it actually works pretty well, and can improve your passage speed quite a bit.

You set an AWA, trim the sails to suit, and whenever the boatspeed drops due to a lull or a wave, instead of being stuck at the lower speed due to the sails being overtrimmed, the boat turns to suit the sail trim, and accelerates, which brings the AWA forward again, so you're back on course.

Even better is using " wind nav", where the pilot sets the AWA required to sail you're route....
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Old 03-07-2017, 21:45   #64
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Re: Are Speed Logs and Wind Speed Instruments Obsolete?

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No, it actually works pretty well, and can improve your passage speed quite a bit.

You set an AWA, trim the sails to suit, and whenever the boatspeed drops due to a lull or a wave, instead of being stuck at the lower speed due to the sails being overtrimmed, the boat turns to suit the sail trim, and accelerates, which brings the AWA forward again, so you're back on course.

Even better is using " wind nav", where the pilot sets the AWA required to sail you're route....
sounds good when you say it fast, 44! Not sure our pilot (Navman 3100G) will be that good, but I'll give it a try soon.

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Old 03-07-2017, 22:22   #65
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Re: Are Speed Logs and Wind Speed Instruments Obsolete?

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So for me I would rather the boat do a safe compass or GPS based course and I will vet any changes. I am regularly in the cockpit anyway and quite often push the course up and down if it is safe and necessary. I get that offshore it might be nice to have the boat wander around but as I need to be in the cockpit to look for ships and floats etc I can push the buttons on the autopilot as well. As we are offshore the wind doesn't seem to shift too quickly for me to respond when I am in the cockpit - any changes force me to get out and check them which is a good guard against slothfulness on my part.

cheers

Phil
EXACTLY.

I get the impression from the general direction of this thread that most don't come from a racing background so don't have an understanding of how to get from point "A" to "B" in the shortest time.

Its all about the BIG picture. Positioning the boat for the next wind shift, the next tide change or the next frontal system. Not micro managing for the present moment. Not sailing straight lines between way points, but using weather forecasts, tidal stream data, and experience to get the boat quickly and safely to its destination.

Wondering all over the ocean under wind vane is going to end in tears for the short handed sailors once fatigue kicks in as shown by Catsketchers examples. A short nap, and crunch, its all over with a small windshift.

The reality is , most cruisers sail "shorthanded".
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Old 03-07-2017, 22:46   #66
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Re: Are Speed Logs and Wind Speed Instruments Obsolete?

Aren't you the guy who has accidentally flown a hull several times, and only through sheer luck avoided capsizing?

And constantly refuses to say exactly what that boat is?

Not sure I'd be suggesting anyone take your advice....
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Old 03-07-2017, 22:48   #67
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Re: Are Speed Logs and Wind Speed Instruments Obsolete?

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sounds good when you say it fast, 44! Not sure our pilot (Navman 3100G) will be that good, but I'll give it a try soon.

Jim
Sailing DDW, I'd suggest using TWA though.
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Old 03-07-2017, 23:10   #68
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Re: Are Speed Logs and Wind Speed Instruments Obsolete?

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Aren't you the guy who has accidentally flown a hull several times, and only through sheer luck avoided capsizing?

And constantly refuses to say exactly what that boat is?

Not sure I'd be suggesting anyone take your advice....
Nice to know you read my posts 44C.

I see you are still struggling with comprehension though.
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Old 04-07-2017, 02:31   #69
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Re: Are Speed Logs and Wind Speed Instruments Obsolete?

Seaslug Caravan,

We sailed tens of thousands of miles with a wind vane, and it was wonderful, silent, no current draw, perhaps not as efficient as your needs, and ours, was a mono, but it served us well. It could save someones' bacon if their power source got stuffed. I do not think windvanes have much place on catamarans (how is it to get good signal from the wind?), but I do think they are quite useful for monos with clear air flow.

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Old 04-07-2017, 03:27   #70
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Re: Are Speed Logs and Wind Speed Instruments Obsolete?

I probably sail my boat differently from many others. I actually don't want the boat to sail to apparent a fair bit of the time. The main problem I have is on a broad reach in about 15-25 knots. Then the apparent can swing forward hugely when my boat surfs down a wave. The apparent can get quite variable. In this case I run reacher instead of a kite. I deal with the apparent changes by changing the rig - I never use the kite in these conditions.

So for others the apparent may be fine, but if you sail with me you will find the autopilot being adjusted along with the sails. As an ex racer I find I can get the sail trimming and helm changes to about once every 10 minutes on a coastal sail.

Each to their own
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Old 04-07-2017, 03:43   #71
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Re: Are Speed Logs and Wind Speed Instruments Obsolete?

I wonder if the guys who race round the world, set RTW records, the Sydney to Hobart racers, the fastnet racers, the transat, transpac...... you name it, wonder if any of them has wind and speed instruments?
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Old 04-07-2017, 03:52   #72
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Re: Are Speed Logs and Wind Speed Instruments Obsolete?

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I probably sail my boat differently from many others. I actually don't want the boat to sail to apparent a fair bit of the time. The main problem I have is on a broad reach in about 15-25 knots. Then the apparent can swing forward hugely when my boat surfs down a wave.

Each to their own
And that's when sailing to apparent works best. Instead of accelerating down the wave with flogging sails, then slowing down, and ending up overtrimmed, your boat would bear away, maintain it's proper sail trim, and keep going fast. The surfs would last longer. And at the end of the surf, when the boat slows, instead of being overtrimmed, the boat turns upwind slightly and gets going again.
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Old 04-07-2017, 10:33   #73
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Re: Are Speed Logs and Wind Speed Instruments Obsolete?

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Originally Posted by catsketcher View Post
I probably sail my boat differently from many others. I actually don't want the boat to sail to apparent a fair bit of the time. The main problem I have is on a broad reach in about 15-25 knots. Then the apparent can swing forward hugely when my boat surfs down a wave. The apparent can get quite variable. In this case I run reacher instead of a kite. I deal with the apparent changes by changing the rig - I never use the kite in these conditions.

So for others the apparent may be fine, but if you sail with me you will find the autopilot being adjusted along with the sails. As an ex racer I find I can get the sail trimming and helm changes to about once every 10 minutes on a coastal sail.

Each to their own
As 44 mentioned this is exactly when aparent wind mode makes the most sense. Once you start trusting the autopilot to adjust heading and drive you can spend all your time trimming the sails (or not). With modern autopilots they are actually better drivers than almost all humans and telling them to just drive a magnetic course is leaving a massive amount of their skill turned off.

The boat sails better, the sail trim is better, and the work load goes down. If you aren't familure with it I really recommend playing with it for a couple of days. Once you get the boat balanced well it also drops the power consumption of the autopilot a lot since it isn't making substantial changes to the heading to fight waves as much.
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Old 04-07-2017, 10:37   #74
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Re: Are Speed Logs and Wind Speed Instruments Obsolete?

"ts all about the BIG picture. Positioning the boat for the next wind shift, the next tide change or the next frontal system. Not micro managing for the present moment. Not sailing straight lines between way points, but using weather forecasts, tidal stream data, and experience to get the boat quickly and safely to its destination.

Wondering all over the ocean under wind vane is going to end in tears for the short handed sailors once fatigue kicks in as shown by Catsketchers examples. A short nap, and crunch, its all over with a small windshift."

Seaslug Caravan


Exactly. And, this is the point I believe some are either ignoring or fail to understand in this discussion. There is no argument whether SL or WS instruments are an added electrical aid to the mariner, but are they really necessary? And, what Seaslug and others have stated is absolutely correct: it's the Big Picture, not micro-management. There is another point that has not been discussed and that is "What is your reason for going to sea?" For me, it has always been an escape from shoreside life where I can go into an environment that is devoid of the mundane, petty trivialities of forced human contact, rules and regulations imposed from without and experience a oneness with the natural environment--the sea that is forever fluid, changing and challenging one's resourcefulness, skills and abilities while providing an inner peace and confidence that is difficult, for me, to find elsewhere. I prefer a minimalist approach and have honed my boat's inventory/systems to include only those things I believe are necessary to complete a successful and safe sail. And, this simplicity allows me more real time on the water as there are fewer things that can break and I, ultimately, have to fix. Recently, I watched a few races of the American's Cup in those futuristic water machines they call "sailboats." They are technologically impressive works of Art that detail Man's incredible creativity, inventiveness and serious advances in Physics as they record impressive speeds on the water. They possess every instrument/computer program possible to achieve micro-speed advances(along with strategy) that should ultimately ensure success for the top boat that spends the most money(equipment and crew). However, if that were my only option to go to sea, I can assure you, I would have no desire to go. Sailing is many things for many people and there are some on this Forum who I believe are good sailors that feel the more technologically complex a vessel . . . the better. Potentially, will it make your vessel perform better? Perhaps, but there are also those on this Forum who embrace technology, as needed, while attempting to retain that special feeling they first had when they began to sail with billowing sails and tight sheets that moved their first simple boat through the water. Good luck and safe sailing.
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Old 04-07-2017, 15:03   #75
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Re: Are Speed Logs and Wind Speed Instruments Obsolete?

So you're opposed to using a windvane self steering system?
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