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Old 10-11-2009, 06:31   #16
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Must be good reading

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Originally Posted by roger.waite View Post
the Annapolis Book of Seamanship on basic pilotage, etc. These basic skills work for you even when the chart plotter is running. Better still, they allows you to turn the darned thing off!
I just read the reviews of that book on amazon, seem to be pretty highly regarded. I might just follow your advice and buy a copy.
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:33   #17
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KC,
Take a local Power Squadron course on navigation and learn how to read and use paper charts first. Then practice using them. The skills you learn will be invaluable when your horizons expand.

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Old 10-11-2009, 06:36   #18
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A hand-held GPS can be had for under $200. I wouldn't bother with an expensive plotter for your use.
I already own a handheld GPS, I bought it for biking and hiking, but could never get the mapping software provided by Magellan to work properly on my PC. But if I remember right it had a nice lat&long screen that might work well in conjunction with the paper charts.
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:43   #19
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Paper charts can get blown out of the cockpit, or get obscured by coffee/hot chocolate stains. They're okay for playing Sinbad the Sailor, but it's proper to have a good reliable GPS as a backup, and to know how to use it.
We plotted our course coming out of Bandaras Bay in Mexico heading south one day using the GPS coordinates. We were right where we wanted to be well offshore using DR and plotting the bearings from the points on the chart. We were "sailing" well onshore using the GPS coordinates. This persisted all the way around the point and then the two merged later going down the coast.

This confirmed our suspicions that GPS can be a great thing when it confirms where you think you are but relying on it as the sole method of navigation might be a mistake. This was 14 years ago but it is my impression that in some charts have still not been updated using more advanced technology.

Having said that we bought a new boat a few years ago that had a computer and charts for the east coast and we brought it up the ICW in Florida and then on to Virginia offshore and it was really sweet to just "point and click" to tell you where to go. I was not able to trust it completely though after our Mexico experience. But then what else do you have to do when out sailing except worry about where you are.

Jim
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Old 10-11-2009, 08:16   #20
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"for a little daysailer/sail dinghy", don't bother loading your boat up with a bunch of electronics. Just go out and enjoy the sailing. If one day you decide you do want to get fancy, a hand held waterproof GPS is all you would ever need.
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Old 10-11-2009, 09:02   #21
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I already own a handheld GPS ... if I remember right it had a nice lat & long screen that might work well in conjunction with the paper charts.
Exactly!
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Old 10-11-2009, 09:05   #22
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Originally Posted by anotherT34C View Post
A hand-held GPS can be had for under $200. I wouldn't bother with an expensive plotter for your use.

Paper charts can get blown out of the cockpit, or get obscured by coffee/hot chocolate stains. They're okay for playing Sinbad the Sailor, but it's proper to have a good reliable GPS as a backup, and to know how to use it.

I really couldn't disagree more with this statement. Beyond the incorrect notion that paper charts are somehow made of tissue paper and "blow away", they are generally water and stain resistant.

I would also strongly second the notion of picking up The Annapolis Book of Seamanship. I have a copy here in the forward berth with me that I read almost every night, just to keep the information in my head. Incredibly valuable text.
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Old 10-11-2009, 12:14   #23
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Hi, Sinbad here. I have had a GPS go bad at least once a season. Am I the only one or am I just allergic to electronics? Chartplotters are easy and expensive. Traditional methods are more work, but more reliable in my book. Why do you want to sail? I love the ability to safely go over the ocean based upon my ability. If you want easy buy a ticket to the Love boat...
And now I promise not to interject my opinion one more time on this thread (yeah right!)....
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Old 10-11-2009, 12:26   #24
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Go with the paper charts, parallel ruler, dividers, compass, chart 1… learn the how to’s. Don’t forget a handheld GPS will give you lat and long but if your day sailing you wouldn’t be in dire need of it. Practice before you go out.
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Old 10-11-2009, 14:23   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmarcet View Post
DR's=dead reckonings?
shooting bearings?
U are a joker
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Old 10-11-2009, 14:55   #26
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The answer is not "either/or" but "both/and". Electronics are nifty, convenient and accurate- but you're screwed if they fry and you have no idea how to navigate without them.
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Old 11-11-2009, 00:18   #27
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The three tools that mariners have traditionally used for coastal navigation are the compass, chart, and depth sounder (lead-line). The depth sounder allows you to follow depth contours, and to get a rough fix using a bearing and a depth reading.

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Old 11-11-2009, 04:50   #28
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Sounds about right

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Originally Posted by David M View Post
"for a little daysailer/sail dinghy", don't bother loading your boat up with a bunch of electronics..
I suspect that you are correct with that statement. The way I am looking at it is like this, if I keep the overall cost of ownership on this boat down for a year or two and at the same time save for a larger bluewater boat I will have a good basic experience for sailing a larger boat.
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Old 11-11-2009, 06:09   #29
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I suspect that you are correct with that statement. The way I am looking at it is like this, if I keep the overall cost of ownership on this boat down for a year or two and at the same time save for a larger bluewater boat I will have a good basic experience for sailing a larger boat.
Excellent plan. As an added benefit, you'll be building your navigation and sailing fundamentals which are harder to learn in a big, expensive boat with lots of equipment. (Both because you *can* use the equipment as a crutch, and you're usually afraid to take chances with a bigger, more expensive boat.) In fact, you might end up saving money on the bluewater cruiser, too, if you decide you don't need all that fancy equipment (lots of debates about what's necessary equipment on a bluewater cruiser, so I won't even touch that one right now... )
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Old 11-11-2009, 06:37   #30
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I just bought my first chart of the local area today, so what are the pros and cons of using charts, compass and landmarks vs gps/chartplotter for coastal sailing. I don't know if I want to invest the money in a chartplotter for a little daysailer/sail dinghy.
Lots of good advice already. The best way to really understand how to navigate is to practice the basics in real life - one of the most important things you will learn is a degree of caution as you become aware that navigation is not an exact science no matter what your chartplotter will suggest (eventually, this boat or next, you will likely get a chartplotter - nothing wrong with that at all, indeed very useful......but by then you will be using it as a navigation tool and not following it blindly because you have no choice....and will understand yourself the pros (lots!) and cons of a CP).

A hand held GPS is nonetheless a very useful addition to a chart. And can move to the next boat, if no longer primary GPS then as backup.

On the paper navigation front, I would suggest looking at a Breton / Portland Plotter instead of Parallel Rules for ease of use aboard.
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