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Old 09-08-2013, 13:15   #61
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Re: GPS as the Sole Means of Navigation.

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Originally Posted by RaymondR View Post
Only crazy folk reactionaries would want to go back to the pre GPS days re navigation.

It was not the GPS system which was in error, it was the charts, correct the charts.

Assuming you bother to have one.
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Old 09-08-2013, 16:34   #62
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For my backup I have a decent sextant and a small sight reduction and plotting program on my laptop, iPad, and iPhone. Last but not least is a program on my HP calculator. I think I could do it without any of these devices, but it's much quicker with the HP for example.
But in saying that, what is the likelihood of the GPS system e Eric going down? Not likely in my opinion.
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:45   #63
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Re: GPS as the Sole Means of Navigation.

Rebel, I think your example points out that some rent a boat skippers should not be out there. I back you up after having my boat in rental for 4 years. I finally quit after some yahoo blew the engine. But I do not think they represent most of the skippers out there...but maybe they do.
If so the electric apocalypse will sort them all out. (Coming soon to a Solar Flare near you! )
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:56   #64
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Re: GPS as the sole means of navigation.

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I've been thinking about this a bit lately - the last couple of trips up the coast i did, i was a little lazy - i didnt do ANY navigating - i was even embarrassed when i had to do a sched update and could only give my position as 'off the 3rd big headland down from barrenjoey' cos i couldnt be bothered getting the gps out. As a matter of habit i had the chart out and had a look at it now and then. Thing is - even at night i 'navigate' by knowing where i am, knowing where i'm going and using my eyes and occasionally my binoculars (which i inherited from my dad and were used by him sailing all around the pacific in the 60,70s). I wonder how many of you who are, like me, of the vintage that didnt habitually use electronics, really rely on all the aids that much? Even getting off the coast i tend to be a bit relaxed because - well if you cant see the coast here you know its somewhere to the west, and the only things you're going to bump into are lord howe or middleton...or nz if you really fell asleep.
It's easy to get lulled into watching the screen and IMO one does so at one's own risk. In my local waters I pretty much know the area but, still keep a chart or chart book in the cockpit with me. I find it much easier to get the big picture of the area rather than fiddle around with the joystick of the GPS to look at some feature up ahead. This routine came in handy when my chart plotter's coverage area unexpectedly ended about a mile before I was to enter a new cove for me. Because I had my chart book nearby I just switched to that to navigate the channel into the cove.
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:59   #65
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Re: GPS as the sole means of navigation.

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Every chartplotter I have ever used displays an initial splash screen that states it is not to be used as a sole source of navigation.

Mark

Worn out topic.

Paper charts can be wrong too.

Anyone who doesn't double-check with the locals is saying "Hey -- Neptune -- just see if you can hurt THIS boat!!!"
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:59   #66
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Re: GPS as the Sole Means of Navigation.

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Originally Posted by bazzer View Post
For my backup I have a decent sextant and a small sight reduction and plotting program on my laptop, iPad, and iPhone. Last but not least is a program on my HP calculator. I think I could do it without any of these devices, but it's much quicker with the HP for example.
But in saying that, what is the likelihood of the GPS system e Eric going down? Not likely in my opinion.

Since the charts on the chartplotter are so often identical to what is on paper, how would a sextant save you from a reef misplaced by 8 miles on the chart?
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:01   #67
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pirate Re: GPS as the Sole Means of Navigation.

Maybe a new fangled sextant thingy is possible now that can see thru clouds and average out the ups and downs.
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:26   #68
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Re: GPS as the Sole Means of Navigation.

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Since the charts on the chartplotter are so often identical to what is on paper, how would a sextant save you from a reef misplaced by 8 miles on the chart?
The reef that the US Navy encountered had a lightstation.

Reminds of an old joke about naval vessels, lightstations and giving way.
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:30   #69
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Re: GPS as the Sole Means of Navigation.

eLoran stations to be rolled out across UK - E & T Magazine

I suspect eLoran will restart in the US at some point in the future ( remember Churchill's quote)

its also inevitable with carrier phase systems , providing ,millimetre accuracy that future carriers will have anti-spoofing and encryption systems as well.

dave
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:03   #70
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Re: GPS as the sole means of navigation.

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Worn out topic.

Paper charts can be wrong too.

Anyone who doesn't double-check with the locals is saying "Hey -- Neptune -- just see if you can hurt THIS boat!!!"
Raku, while this sounds good if you say it fast, "double-checking with the locals" is not always an option for those who cruise to distant destinations. Why? Well, there often are no locals, or they may not speak your language, or they may not really like yotties and decline to divulge local knowledge or you may arrive while they are busy casting virgins into the volcano... lots of reasons!

Thus, cruisers must be able to cope on their own by whatever means are available to them... charts, e-charts, mud maps garnered from other yotties, depth sounders, cruising guides, eyeballs, experience, and if available, local knowledge.

And in fact, local knowledge often comes from a grinning local paddling a dugout canoe which draws less than a foot. We've learned to NEVER trust locals for depth advice...

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:07   #71
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Re: GPS as the Sole Means of Navigation.

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The reef that the US Navy encountered had a lightstation.

Reminds of an old joke about naval vessels, lightstations and giving way.
This one?

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Old 10-08-2013, 11:32   #72
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That is the one
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:40   #73
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pirate Re: GPS as the Sole Means of Navigation.

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The reef that the US Navy encountered had a lightstation.

Reminds of an old joke about naval vessels, lightstations and giving way.

If only it were a joke! I want my professionals professional.
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:49   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld
Not sure what everyone means...

While I agree in today's world.....with even the most basic handheld gps or radar...entering a major seaport should NOT exceed the typical boater's abilities.

A also agree that just entering with the average eyeball using lights can be a handful with a fair tide and some steerageway.

If I remember correctly from my flight safety days...an average adult's night vision decreases by some like 50% each decade between 30-60 yoa.

I'm lucky, partially because of my training and the rest good eyes...but many people I boat with in their 50's and 60's are really hurting for night vision....It certainly is much harder for them to navigate by eye than people with much superior night vision or night navigation training/experience.
Entering strange harbors at night is a very big challenge. How many of you have done it recently? Of course, there is a great range of difficulty - there are very easy ones like Weymouth or Cherbourg, then there are hellishly complicated ones like Plymouth or Portsmouth. Most of the ports of Florida are extremely complicated, too, with shallow water and mazes of channels going in all different directions. I have no idea what San Diego is like,

I do not agree that entering a strange harbor at night with nothing but handheld GPS and paper is simple, at least, not single handed. With a plotter at the helm you have instant and continuous orientation. With simple GPS and paper you need to study hard and set up twaypoints and clearing bearings; and better have a navigator below plotting your progress (it's not practical to hem and watch lights and look at a paper chart at the same time). This is a real challenge and only for the most skilled pilots, and probably not a reasonable risk for most skippers and most ports. Helm-mounted chart plotters are game-changing for this; a decent pilot can manage most ports at night with the help of one of these - provided your electronic charts are reliable! (A big if in many places).

Without GPS or even a chart (did I correctly understand this), I think it's recklessness per se to attempt to enter a strange port at night. If I would fault the skipper for anything, it was even attempting such a thing (and for not having a chart!). Kudos to him for stubbornly keeping at it all night and not giving in to the temptation to just charge through, as much as he surely wanted to. Kudos to him for using a commercial tow and not burdening the rescue services. Any landing you walk away from is a good landing, in my book. He kept the vessel and himself safe, didn't damage anything, and didn't even consume rescue services resources. A good outcome which is the result of several good decisions, even if he did something dumb at one point or another, but who of us has never done something dumb at sea?

I go in and out of ports at night quite often. I sail all year and the days are very short up here in the winter, so you couldnt avoid night sailing even if you wanted to (and I love night sailing, actually, and even night pilotage). Also, I learned to sail before GPS so spent quite a bit of time learning to read lights and other visual navigation aids. My night vision isn't too bad, plus I have a pair of Russian military surplus night vision glasses which are a Godsend in some situations like this (have to switch to tricolor, however, as the deck-level nav lights blind them). Despite all of that, I never enter strange harbors at night if I can possibly avoid it - it might be a fun challenge sometimes, but it is inherently dangerous and, in my opinion, unseamanlike to do it unless it is absolutely unavoidable. The more experience I get, the more I understand how dangerous it is, and I now shudder to think of some of the things I did when I was a cocky recently ex-beginner. I have found that the sea has a way of beating that cockiness out of you.
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:53   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakuflames

Worn out topic.

Paper charts can be wrong too.

Anyone who doesn't double-check with the locals is saying "Hey -- Neptune -- just see if you can hurt THIS boat!!!"
Correct. And what is really dangerous about night pilotage in harbors is you suddenly have many fewer cross-checks on that data which could be a matter of life and death for your crew. Even with a plotter. No matter how good your eyes are, you can't read the water at night, and you have far less visual data to orient yourself with.
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