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Old 17-06-2011, 05:49   #1
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Have you ever intentionally NOT used GPS on extended offshore passage?

This is riffing off Mark J's thread on would/could we make a passage with no intruments or charts.

How many have made a conscious decision to forego GPS on a longish passage, opting instead to do it the old-fashioned way, i.e., DR and celestial?
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Old 17-06-2011, 06:11   #2
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Re: Have you ever intentionally NOT used GPS on extended offshore passage?

only before gps was cheaply available,
since i acuired a gps i have stopped going grey and having stomach ulcers...........,
and purely on a cost basis,a current almanac,plotting sheets and reduction tables would cost more than a cheap gps...................
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Old 17-06-2011, 07:04   #3
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Re: Have you ever intentionally NOT used GPS on extended offshore passage?

My 1 3/4 RTW's were before GPS
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Old 17-06-2011, 07:28   #4
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Re: Have you ever intentionally NOT used GPS on extended offshore passage?

I like to do a few offshore DR runs every year. It take practice to steer only by compass and I don't want to completely lose that skill.
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Old 17-06-2011, 07:43   #5
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Re: Have you ever intentionally NOT used GPS on extended offshore passage?

When I started getting serious about sailing 10 years ago I made the decision not to buy a GPS until I was comfortable without one. My friends thought I was crazy. But after several one and two week cruises along the Maine coast I am confident of my coastal navigation skills - which I seldom use since I got the chartplotter.
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Old 17-06-2011, 07:50   #6
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I have to remind myself to turn the GPS on.

Seriously, most of the readers on this must have started sailing before GPS, or I seriously misunderstand the demographic.

The answer is "yes, frequently." To find an island, GPS. On coastal hops out of sight of land, don't generally need it.

I've had GPS fail twice over the years, both far out. Fortunatly I had recorded position within 30 minutes and simply DRed from there. GPS is is a "very nice to have", not a "must have" in most areas. I would be comfortable for a lifetime in the Chesapeake without.
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Old 17-06-2011, 07:55   #7
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Re: Have you ever intentionally NOT used GPS on extended offshore passage?

I've seen this discussion many times. The romance of taking a sight on an overcast day from the deck of a rolling boat or the accuracy of GPS. Kind of like riding a horse to work each day or driving a car.

GPS...accuracy is a few feet.
Celestial...accuracy is a few miles. I once got a fix that was within 2000 feet, but I cheated.

No one should set off without charts (paper or electronics) in an unfamiliar area. It causes the insurance premium to rise.
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Old 17-06-2011, 07:56   #8
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Re: Have you ever intentionally NOT used GPS on extended offshore passage?

Did Spain/canaries with sextant. But doesn't really count as crew was keeping an eye on the gps. AIS needs gps to work so can't turn the gps off, would really miss AIS offshore.
Quite liberating though, even with just the cover on. Let the boat head roughly in the right direction instead of getting fanatical about rhumb lines and waypoints. It really doesn't matter much where you are as long as you know where you aren't.
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Old 17-06-2011, 08:00   #9
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Re: Have you ever intentionally NOT used GPS on extended offshore passage?

I realize that many started sailing before GPS, hence the "intentionally" part of the OP ... perhaps I should have clarified.

Conachair -- that's what I would do, I think. Have the admiral checking me.
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Old 17-06-2011, 08:25   #10
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Re: Have you ever intentionally NOT used GPS on extended offshore passage?

I compete with the GPS using my sextant... And considering my EGO factor of I'm Right and the GPS is doubtfully in error...Which I've found to be true a few times. Like showing me to be two hundred or more yards on the beach when my mark One eye ball shows me to be in the center of the bayou.
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Old 17-06-2011, 09:22   #11
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Re: Have you ever intentionally NOT used GPS on extended offshore passage?

My answer is in Mark's thread. Of course it wasn't my decision to forego electronics, and it was the precursor to GPS, but the idea's the same.
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Old 17-06-2011, 10:24   #12
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Re: Have you ever intentionally NOT used GPS on extended offshore passage?

Nup.

But when I was racing offshore before GPS we had a navigator. So we just followed the boat ahead of us
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Old 17-06-2011, 11:02   #13
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Re: Have you ever intentionally NOT used GPS on extended offshore passage?

We turn the GPS on once a day or every two days.... a compass heading is surprisingly efficient and especially if it is a longer leg... looking at the gps ticking over at 5 knots with 3000 miles to go is really painful and demotivating. We turn it on once in a while just to get a firm fix of a position on the chart ... after that you don't really need it. saves power and sanity, also I have noticed a lot of people fixate on the gps...... speed.... distance etc... they sit there staring at the thing.. then tell me they don't feel well or after 8 hours of it their eyes are sore or they have a headache..... We do contests to see who guesses the distance travelled in 24 hours and how close to position we should be.... surprisingly everyone gets the hang of dead reckoning pretty quick and we get some very close guesses. WE have had it fail and done a few 500 mile trips without it around the CAribbean... but its pretty tough to get lost there.....
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Old 17-06-2011, 11:14   #14
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Re: Have you ever intentionally NOT used GPS on extended offshore passage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingaway221 View Post
... also I have noticed a lot of people fixate on the gps...... speed.... distance etc... they sit there staring at the thing.. then tell me they don't feel well or after 8 hours of it their eyes are sore or they have a headache.....
True enough, but be careful -- making this observation in another thread recently got me accused of being a Luddite.
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Old 17-06-2011, 11:28   #15
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Re: Have you ever intentionally NOT used GPS on extended offshore passage?

HAhahah... I had a guy on watch catch a lobster pot..... he said it wasn't on the GPS map....lol! You do kinna look a little like a Luddite.......I am sure a lot of people hit stuff while staring at the GPS...... I have caught myself often staring at the thing trying to work something out on it...... instead of looking at whats oin front of me...... FIXATION!!!!!!
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