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Old 25-12-2012, 22:32   #61
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Re: Distinct Activities: Shackled by a Common Name?

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Rather than seeking to separate "electronic" from " traditional" (and I use this term broadly to mean everything from using a HB compass and dividers, to celestial navigation) I would encourage the opposite.

I think many cruising sailors would benefit from integrating these forms of navigation / pilotage.

Many "traditionalists" won't use the GPS and chartplotters in situations when it clearly the best tool for the job. Even worse they deem "electronic" navigation too easy and don't realise there are many skills and tricks to using using equipment.

On the other hand many tech savvy navigators will blindly trust their chart plotter presentation, without employing a few simple techniques, such as clearance bearings, that would keep them out of trouble, even with some charting errors.

IMHO both groups often neglect simple visual cues which would show there is a problem such as an uncharted shallow patch. The "traditionalists" neglect these cues because they so busy down below at the chart table working out their DR position, or plotting a three bearing fix. The electronic camp neglect the visual cues because they blindly trust their chart plotter.

Unfortunately, and sadly, the two camps seem to be diverging more.

Lets keep them shackled together and aim to cultivate a well rounded cruising sailor that can integrate the best from both worlds.
"they so busy down below at the chart table working out their DR position, or plotting a three bearing fix"

Exactl why I like a nav station with course visability as is available on some catamarans these days
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Old 26-12-2012, 00:03   #62
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Re: Distinct Activities: Shackled by a Common Name?

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post

When we use an option B piece of technology, we are not navigating.
A point on a chart is not navigating, no matter how that point is derived.
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Old 26-12-2012, 00:16   #63
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Re: Distinct Activities: Shackled by a Common Name?

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"they so busy down below at the chart table working out their DR position, or plotting a three bearing fix"

Exactl why I like a nav station with course visability as is available on some catamarans these days
Monohulls too.
But not even my multitasking wife can look at the chart and out of the window at the same time
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Old 26-12-2012, 05:30   #64
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Re: Distinct Activities: Shackled by a Common Name?

I'm lost here!

Can someone tell us where we are in this discussion?
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Old 26-12-2012, 05:32   #65
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Re: Distinct Activities: Shackled by a Common Name?

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post

Option A: do it yourself
Option B: get others to do it, and tell you the answer
Whilst I vaguely get your point, I don't think it merits another subforum of it's own - simply a(nother) rehash of many similar threads.

FWIW, I think most folks use a combination of A and B - the difference being how much of B we use and when.
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Old 26-12-2012, 07:12   #66
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Re: Distinct Activities: Shackled by a Common Name?

Quote:
.
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup

Option A: do it yourself
Option B: get others to do it, and tell you the answer
Hi Andrew,

I think you are just loading a gun, not trying to discuss anything valid.

Its illegal for any commercial ship, or ship over 300 tons to play silly buggers with only paper charts. All must have AIS. AIS requires ECN.

So your method of doing what you think is navigating in my opinion is not navigating its just plain unsafe. Illegal and unsafe for the big boats and should be illegal on our size boat too.

If a container ship flattens a sailing boat killing five people and the ships captain says he removed all the electronics so he could properly "navigate" what do you think a court would do?

Same with a small boat on passages.

Its fine if your boat just hangs around your home bay, i couldnt care what happens in enclosed waters in your our country, but please understand when you go outside on a propper passage you must do it like the big boys.


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Old 26-12-2012, 07:23   #67
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pirate Re: Distinct Activities: Shackled by a Common Name?

Well the Royal Navy had Hi-Tech available way back in the 16th century....
They just came to Portugal and kidnapped a Navigator....
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Old 26-12-2012, 08:24   #68
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Re: Distinct Activities: Shackled by a Common Name?

AndrewT, I think you have underestimated some posters on this thread 'cause several have got what the subject of your OP is about (even if it took you a couple of pages ).

And you have overestimated the rest as to being remotely interested in discussing it. The evidence for this claim lies in the hostility you have received for just posting what you are interested in.

Now back to topic

Taking your premise:

It strikes me that there are now two practicable approaches to position-finding for a cruising vessel.

Option A: do it yourself
Option B: get others to do it, and tell you the answer


I agree completely and I think that in the past it was always often thus but the distinction was easily observed; that is, until one goes far enough back that Option B didn't exist.

I don't see that evolving technology has been the cause of a fundamental shift to option B but it has blurred the line so much that those who consider option B as the only option aren't even aware why they feel that way.

I see the cause for the shift lies in the realm of human nature in the same way as, let's say, there is a fundamental shift in eating (as an analogy).

Once, in order to eat, one grew / hunted / raised one's food, then processed it (harvested / killed / cooked etc) and then ate it. Now one choses a menu item and eats (option A & option B).

While it is still possible for one to get to point B (using all and any tools available) by being a navigator (one who practices the art of navigation), for many it is simply a case of finding a pre-made system that will get one to the same point B by the simplest / cheapest / safest method.

The navigator might argue (superficially) the pros and cons of various methods and tools of the trade and argue (more deeply) the concepts and philosophy of the art while an option B person might take umbrage at being asked to discuss an art that they know nothing off yet believe they have mastered.

MarkJ is right in that this will soon end as the on-board navigators die off and naviagtors will only be found having a quiet cuppa with a mathematician and the software writer in smoko room in the research lab.

By the way, it your shout AT, this is a dry argument, make mine a Laphroaig

Now that is out of the way, how do you see when / why cruisers have transitioned from option A to option B and why aren't some even aware of it.
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Old 26-12-2012, 09:16   #69
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Quote:
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I think you are just loading a gun, not trying to discuss anything valid.
+1. It's been raining here for almost two weeks. There's only been one night out of the past twelve where it was possible to see a few stars, let alone take a celestial fix. Anyone who wants a noon sight today would be well advised to try for one tomorrow, when it will at least be possible. Otherwise, the next opportunity for a noon sight will be Saturday.

Complaining that our dead-reckoning skills have deteriorated since the advent of electronic navigation aids is like complaining that our groping-in-the-dark skills have deteriorated since the invention of the electric light, or that our weather-forecasting skills have deteriorated since the invention of radio.

At least the retro-tech crowd is considering the wisdom of moving beyond the Mayan calendar at this point.
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Old 26-12-2012, 09:39   #70
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Re: Distinct Activities: Shackled by a Common Name?

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+1. It's been raining here for almost two weeks. There's only been one night out of the past twelve where it was possible to see a few stars, let alone take a celestial fix.Anyone who wants a noon sight today would be well advised to try for one tomorrow, when it will at least be possible. Otherwise, the next opportunity for a noon sight will be Saturday.

Complaining that our dead-reckoning skills have deteriorated since the advent of electronic navigation aids is like complaining that our groping-in-the-dark skills have deteriorated since the invention of the electric light, or that our weather-forecasting skills have deteriorated since the invention of radio.

At least the retro-tech crowd is considering the wisdom of moving beyond the Mayan calendar at this point.
I note you weather forecasting skills seem to be above average but I will have to wait until Saturday to make a judgement on your accuracy.
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Old 26-12-2012, 09:43   #71
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Re: Distinct Activities: Shackled by a Common Name?

Oh dear, nobody understands me...
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Old 26-12-2012, 10:30   #72
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Re: Distinct Activities: Shackled by a Common Name?

The ships of old, being Option A navigators, would sometimes lay offshore of a hazard for months waiting for the right conditions to navigate thru. Likewise slowing down or stopping for weeks until a proper fix could be obtained. Send the small boats ahead for a several days for a recon. That's real navigating.

Personally, being light on oarsmen and provisions, I simply flip on the chart plotter.
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Old 26-12-2012, 10:37   #73
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Re: Distinct Activities: Shackled by a Common Name?

"Many "traditionalists" won't use the GPS and chartplotters in situations when it clearly the best tool for the job. Even worse they deem "electronic" navigation too easy and don't realise there are many skills and tricks to using using equipment.

On the other hand many tech savvy navigators will blindly trust their chart plotter presentation, without employing a few simple techniques, such as clearance bearings, that would keep them out of trouble, even with some charting errors.

IMHO both groups often neglect simple visual cues which would show there is a problem such as an uncharted shallow patch. The "traditionalists" neglect these cues because they so busy down below at the chart table working out their DR position, or plotting a three bearing fix. The electronic camp neglect the visual cues because they blindly trust their chart plotter.

Unfortunately, and sadly, the two camps seem to be diverging more."


Actually, I think these "two camps" are mythical. It's been at least 10 years since I've encountered a sailor (other than lake sailors) who didn't use a GPS. And even before then, I think I never met anyone who didn't use GPS except in cases where the sailor couldn't afford it, never of course since they were widely available.

Good seamanship means using the best tools at your disposal. So not using GPS and indeed a chart plotter, if these are reasonably available to you, would be poor seamanship. GPS gives an entirely new dimension of precision in positions, and also in the speed at which these positions can be determined -- a great leap forward in safety. Chart plotters increase the speed by 100x or more in working out where you are in relation to obstacles. Another great leap forward.

Good seamanship also means making your method of navigation as robust and failsafe as reasonably possible, and I suppose we should say, to the extent which is appropriate for where you are sailing. Most sailors just sail around over and over again in familiar and more or less easy waters and could find their way with their eyes and depth plotter if the electronics went tits-up -- so I think it can be argued that it is not poor seamanship for such sailors to throw away their paper charts and forget traditional techniques of navigation. Others of us sail in more difficult waters and constantly go to new places, and the requirements of good seamanship are different. These are not diverging camps -- just different circumstances.

For those others of us, it's good to know how to do a three-point fix and how to do DR, and we need paper charts in addition to all of our electronic gear. We need to be able to use radar to double check the plotter, and we need to understand enough not to be overly dependent on any one means of determining where we are and how close we may be to hazards. That's good seamanship appropriate to where we sail.


Whether or not celestial navigation is completely obsolete or not is debatable. Understanding how to do chartwork, take fixes, and so forth are definitely skills which heighten awareness and improve seamanship. I think these skills might be optional for short-range coastal sailors but in my opinion, not for anyone else. I think that on the other hand, celestial navigation is not a skill which either heightens awareness or improves seamanship -- it's merely a poor substitute for GPS, laborious, slow and relatively imprecise. Its only use, I think, is as a backup in case the GPS system goes down, which is something I think is pretty unlikely, although opinions vary.
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Old 26-12-2012, 11:24   #74
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Re: Distinct Activities: Shackled by a Common Name?

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Oh dear, nobody understands me...
DeepFrz, as to your meaning ,sure. Pilotage is a good word and let's see if I am making your argument?

I hope I get AndrewTroups point a little better ....I just don't agree.

"My point is this: a turnkey technology which offers sailors Option B is not just another tool to help find positions with. It's a tool which finds the position, and tells us the answer.

And I think because it's a conceptual shift, a disruptive step-change of major proportions, it's misleading to plot it on a smooth continuum with previous technological innovations like the chronometer."
So, your point is that: if the Chronometer breaks, the Navigator has the Sextant, the Chart, the shoreline sketches, some math and a sounding lead, and carries on...they were all in constant practise and therefore at hand.... insert the moon and sun and carry on. THIS, as opposed to your Class B GPS/Plotter which spits out a position on a chart. Unplug it you have nothing?
is THAT it?
But
Most here say if the gps dies, so what? they pull out a panoply of brass and paper or a spare GPS and carry on. (MarkJ forgets that when the Iphone comes unstapled, in 2050, there will be those that have an old Garmin that can still receive a shaky old constellation of 1990's satellites! )

The pertinent point might be: Are they using them NOW in concert with the gps/plotter?

If I understand the argument, I consider (DeepFrz's) Pilotage is about the only thing a body CAN do,nowadays, as AndrewTroups "Class A". Using the Class A eyeball and sketching shorelines+ maps,making notes, casting a lead, remembering steering-stars in their season, etc. (I don't know when I'll get to the Antipodes at this rate...)
BUT, as soon as I hand these out to them that wants to follow the same routes, they could be Class B for them. My homemade map gets wet and they are lost. They can't fix it. A bad piece of the puzzle never fits and could kill them....
What if the Chronometer runs fast? You need check it with Lunars or whatever. It's Class B unless you do , as far as my argument is concerned.
So, to me,Class B really includes Official Charts, Clocks, Tables, Sextants, Electronic Depth Sounders,Compasses,Magazine articles, etc. Unless I consider myself competent to repair or test them. Any one of these awry could kill me as quick as a fried plotter.
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Old 26-12-2012, 11:40   #75
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Re: Distinct Activities: Shackled by a Common Name?

"Class B" might see you in your dinghy with only your memory and a canopy of stars. If you're familiar with fogeynav you've got an advantage over the igeneration. But then, they had epirb and plb and nanny came to save them from boogeyman sea....
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