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Old 17-08-2015, 20:25   #76
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

Had a near miss W-bound in northern Lake Huron heading from Detour to Mackinaw. Intermittent to heavy fog. We were motor sailing on AP while a power cruiser E-bound headed straight for us on plane. I picked him up on radar and tried hailing starting at about 5 miles. No response. There were a few other boats nearby in the fog so radical maneuvers were a last resort. I finally made contact at close quarters with our monster air horns - 5 blasts. Someone appeared on deck and frantically pulled to port. Had he not veered, it would have been less than 150 feet with a small bot on the other side. The meeting place was at a well marked reef with a light house. All boats were guided to within a few hundred feet of one another. Oddly, we were the only ones on the VHS making contact and arranging passing. One small OB powered fishing boat passed within 2 boat lengths, appearing out of the fog on our beam. I was using the air horns as fog signals. I think that may have saved us a hit. How can you travel at speed in fog without radar or alarms and no watch?
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Old 17-08-2015, 20:58   #77
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
Had a near miss W-bound in northern Lake Huron heading from Detour to Mackinaw. Intermittent to heavy fog. We were motor sailing on AP while a power cruiser E-bound headed straight for us on plane. I picked him up on radar and tried hailing starting at about 5 miles. No response. There were a few other boats nearby in the fog so radical maneuvers were a last resort. I finally made contact at close quarters with our monster air horns - 5 blasts. Someone appeared on deck and frantically pulled to port. Had he not veered, it would have been less than 150 feet with a small bot on the other side. The meeting place was at a well marked reef with a light house. All boats were guided to within a few hundred feet of one another. Oddly, we were the only ones on the VHS making contact and arranging passing. One small OB powered fishing boat passed within 2 boat lengths, appearing out of the fog on our beam. I was using the air horns as fog signals. I think that may have saved us a hit. How can you travel at speed in fog without radar or alarms and no watch?
It is important to remember while boating, and in everything else you do, that fully half of all people are of below average intelligence.
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Old 17-08-2015, 22:27   #78
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
If these are ranked in importance, then I would rank the above 4-2-1-3 in descending importance.

BTW, I just finished integrating our autopilot with our TV. Now when I tune to Fox News, it turns right; MSNBC it turns left; any program showing GOP debates or Israeli or Greek politics and it goes backwards.

Mark
LOL..... should've tried Discovery Channel.

BTW #1 is False....... I can manually steer much better than any Auto Pilot

Otherwise racers would be on AP
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Old 18-08-2015, 04:37   #79
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

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Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
BTW #1 is False....... I can manually steer much better than any Auto Pilot

Otherwise racers would be on AP
I don't think many local racing rules allow AP's, and racing fleets of boats around buoys in a bay is not the type of steering one would want an AP for.

However, the boats raced in the around-the-world and other ocean races are all driven by AP's. Those AP's certainly drive the boat better than the humans in those conditions.

Our AP steers the boat in rough conditions better than I can. It also steers better in currents and does a better VMG upwind than me (it has a mode specific for this).

Oh, I can best it for a few minutes - maybe an hour - but after that, it has my number. Particularly at night or in low visibility like fog or heavy rain, where it puts me to shame.

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Old 18-08-2015, 04:46   #80
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

"One might make the case that guided by compass presents enough error that it would INCREASE the probability of two boats colliding while steering toward random waypoints near a buoy.
Please explain how."


Sorry, I missed this. I meant that two boats heading for separate, but close, waypoints while using a GPS-guided AP will almost certainly miss each other at their destinations.

However, two boats heading to the same waypoints on a compass-driven AP will have sufficient XTE to increase the probability of being in the same place at the same time at their destinations.

The only time that situation reverses is if each boat choses the same final waypoint.

And of course, if the crew goes below the entire time of travel. I don't buy your argument that this same crew will suddenly become situationally aware of the boat if their AP is using compass mode.

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Old 18-08-2015, 05:06   #81
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post

However, the boats raced in the around-the-world and other ocean races are all driven by AP's. Those AP's certainly drive the boat better than the humans in those conditions.Mark
Perhaps others can confirm, but all the videos I have seen of a fully crewed ocean race (like Volvo) showed a guy at the helm, playing the wind gust and wave trains.
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Old 18-08-2015, 05:31   #82
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

It does make for good photo ops, but consider when do the single handers sleep? The crewed boats also have them, but do rotate helmsmen at the wheel for very short shifts to get the absolute best performance in certain conditions. The very short shifts are necessary to outperform an AP - otherwise, the human loses through lack of focus and stamina.

I guess if one has 8 professional crew to rotate at the helm 24/7, then one could outperform an autopilot on passage.

Here is a quote from one of the Vendee Globe boat syndicate: "IMOCA 60s may be a little faster or have specialist sails for certain conditions, but one reason why we have seen the monster 24 hour runs in this Vendee Globe is due to the marked improvement in the skill of the helmsman. By this we mean not the skipper, but the autopilot."

Here is a racing boat being driven by an NKE AP in this year's Barcelona World Race.

Mark
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Old 18-08-2015, 05:52   #83
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

I stand corrected. :thumbup:
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Old 18-08-2015, 06:27   #84
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

Mstrib. Not to argue with your reasions for holding course, but you state that you should have, I thought, I assumed, alot. You saw the convergence, took no action. Yes the other operator should have done other. Then respond when other's suggest a course change as, I'm the stand on! why try so hard to justify your error. I understand your point of color regs but it does state that all operators should take action to avoid colision regardless of rules.

I'll keep making clear and obvious course changes early and often.

Sorry for the rant.
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Old 18-08-2015, 09:33   #85
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

I may have missed it in scanning through the pages of this thread, but integration of the autopilot with the other electronics on board, presumably a GPS with a single waypoint to steer to, or to a route on a standalone GPS, or to a chartplotter with a single waypoint or a route. The real issue is having the AP set at all, regardless of whether it is set to GPS coordinate at all. You get the same problem by just setting an AP on a course heading and then not maintaining the proper watch. So saying that you avoid the issue by not integrating your AP does not solve the problem at all. It just means you have to determine manually when you need to change direction to get from A to C via B. Ditto with a wind pilot too. Same thing only it may be harder to "turn it off" to change course to avoid a collision.
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Old 18-08-2015, 10:46   #86
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post

However, the boats raced in the around-the-world and other ocean races are all driven by AP's. Those AP's certainly drive the boat better than the humans in those conditions.



Mark

No, not ALL boats in around the world races use AP. In the Volvo Ocean race, the crew steers and trims 100% of the time. To get the "best possible performance" out of their boats.
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Old 18-08-2015, 11:59   #87
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

There are popular nautical guides which list GPS waypoints for each destination, like Reeds. Combine that with integrated autopilots and you have a recipe for collisions. I never hook up the GPS integration on my autopilots, for just that reason. A crosstrack error of 0.1 miles in the middle of a 10 mile run means nothing as far as arrival time goes, but if the autopilot keeps the XTE at 0.001 mile, you will have to keep dodging the other boats.
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Old 18-08-2015, 12:02   #88
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

I do run track lines using my autopilot integrated to my electronic charts, but I also keep a lookout 100% of the time.

I have never found that I have to dodge other boats doing the same thing. What would be the big deal if I did have to go right for a few minutes? I have to do that regularly anyway.
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Old 18-08-2015, 12:36   #89
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
It does make for good photo ops, but consider when do the single handers sleep? The crewed boats also have them, but do rotate helmsmen at the wheel for very short shifts to get the absolute best performance in certain conditions. The very short shifts are necessary to outperform an AP - otherwise, the human loses through lack of focus and stamina.

I guess if one has 8 professional crew to rotate at the helm 24/7, then one could outperform an autopilot on passage.

Here is a quote from one of the Vendee Globe boat syndicate: "IMOCA 60s may be a little faster or have specialist sails for certain conditions, but one reason why we have seen the monster 24 hour runs in this Vendee Globe is due to the marked improvement in the skill of the helmsman. By this we mean not the skipper, but the autopilot."

Here is a racing boat being driven by an NKE AP in this year's Barcelona World Race.

Mark
I think you're misunderstanding the quote a little bit. At least a few years ago (last velux oceans solo race), skippers could get improved performance over an autopilot. As you say, though, you can only do that for so long. Some skippers were trying to spend as many hours as possible on the tiller to get better performance.

So in the context of a solo race like the Vendee where it isn't possible to have human skippers all the time, the improvement in the autopilots will make a big difference to overall boat performance in a given 24 hour run.

With a crewed boat, they always have human skippers because they do better and you can swap them out.
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Old 18-08-2015, 14:58   #90
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
There are popular nautical guides which list GPS waypoints for each destination, like Reeds. Combine that with integrated autopilots and you have a recipe for collisions. I never hook up the GPS integration on my autopilots, for just that reason. A crosstrack error of 0.1 miles in the middle of a 10 mile run means nothing as far as arrival time goes, but if the autopilot keeps the XTE at 0.001 mile, you will have to keep dodging the other boats.
You never integrated your autopilot because it would force you to set your waypoints only to those given in nautical guides? As well as make you close your eyes and not pay attention?

I don't understand your logic or reasoning on this point.

A tenth of a mile off a waypoint in some destinations could put you on the reef the authors were giving a waypoint to avoid. Likewise, running some reefs and cuts using proven routes while allowing a large XTE is a recipe for disaster.

I'll take my AP integrated for safety.

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