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Old 20-09-2013, 00:50   #16
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Re: Minimal System?

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
People are inherently lazy.

Speak for yourself. Do you have any electronics on your boat? Any? Can we then assume that you are lazy?

Lazy people don't stick with sailing for 3 weeks. Try teaching sail school some time. Lazy people don't buy electronics for their sailboats. They buy power boats.
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Old 20-09-2013, 07:02   #17
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pirate Re: Minimal System?

Thanks folks. This is exactly what I needed: a few leads rather than thousands. Much obliged.

In spite of my posts, I have some skills. That said, my Island Time super wifi gizmo is sitting on the counter, and I'm sitting outside a coffee shop. (I did buy coffee, unlike those dogs over in Oriental.) I sorta dread making any changes to the elec systems but I'm a procrastinator to boot.

I've always used charts but I am afraid of the changing buoys situation with my several years old chartbooks purchased from CF classified. I'll be heading down on the ICW on this "maiden" voyage, trying to keep things manageable.

Thanks again, and excuse me while I go look up "dongle".

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Old 20-09-2013, 07:35   #18
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Re: Minimal System?

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To answer your first question I would think that most cruisers these days punch in the waypoints from their cruising guide then follow the arrows.
That's true, but if people either don't have or don't know how to use paper charts, and their battery goes dead, they sometimes lose their boats and catch a ride on a tanker.

Don't lose your boat and ride on a tanker. Have paper charts and know how to use them.

That said, a handheld Garmin does what you need and isn't expensive, but has a small screen.

The laptop option is probably the least expensive way to do what you want.
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Old 20-09-2013, 08:02   #19
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Re: Minimal System?

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Speak for yourself. Do you have any electronics on your boat? Any? Can we then assume that you are lazy?

Lazy people don't stick with sailing for 3 weeks. Try teaching sail school some time. Lazy people don't buy electronics for their sailboats. They buy power boats.
I do have electronics.

- Handheld GPS wired to the 12v.
- Depth sounder (just reads out the feet).
- Fixed mount VHF with AIS receiver.
- Comnav AIS transponder, Vespar Marine splitter.
- Furuno radar
- Icom M700 Pro SSB / HAM

The guy asked what the "minimal" systems needed are. I don't believe any of the systems I have above are required to go from one place to another.

But in general much of the sailing world is catered towards expending the least amount of energy and brain cells possible. People usually defend it as "safety", but generally the advances in sailing are aimed at getting out of shape retirees out on the water who look at a sailboat like a floating RV.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, there's not a lot of people shooting noon sites (even just for practice) that are losing their boats. It happens, but seamanship is seamanship and if you're short in one area you're probably short in another. Thinking that seamanship is some lost art and it doesn't apply to modern "cruising" might be the culprit; I really have no idea.
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Old 20-09-2013, 08:09   #20
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Re: Minimal System?

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Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
That's true, but if people either don't have or don't know how to use paper charts, and their battery goes dead, they sometimes lose their boats and catch a ride on a tanker.

Don't lose your boat and ride on a tanker. Have paper charts and know how to use them.

That said, a handheld Garmin does what you need and isn't expensive, but has a small screen.

The laptop option is probably the least expensive way to do what you want.
Thins the heard I guess. I've worked on and pleasure-boated on chart plotter equipped boats, but I've never felt as comfortable as when I'm using a big ass paper chart, hand tools, and I know where I am.

Something I've noticed on land is that the people with the turn-by-turn GPS pilots in their cars tend to have no sense of direction. Their spatial awareness is hosed and basic things like the sun, mountains, and prominent landmarks that could be easily used to help you determine your position are totally ignored.

Shooting targets, playing pool, and navigating: unless you do it frequently you're probably pretty bad at it.
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Old 20-09-2013, 08:26   #21
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Re: Minimal System?

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What's simpler than keeping a DR plot? or more reliable?
A GPS for one over the long run.
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Old 20-09-2013, 09:02   #22
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pirate Re: Minimal System?

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Speak for yourself. Do you have any electronics on your boat? Any? Can we then assume that you are lazy?

Lazy people don't stick with sailing for 3 weeks. Try teaching sail school some time. Lazy people don't buy electronics for their sailboats. They buy power boats.
Until I bought the Nimble program last year for my laptop, for 15yrs all my nav was done with compass and a twice a day switch on of an old Magellan GPS that just gave basic info.. no pretty pictures.. and paper charts.. done a ton of miles like that and made my own way points rather than follow the Jimmy Cornell herd... coastal work just needs depth and paper charts to 'read' the shore...
When the 'Newbie Sailor Experts of Technology' can hit a spot within 15 miles 1000+ miles away using DR only I'll listen... until then your just someone in a car who cannot read a road atlas.. is incapable of planning a route and should not sail out of sight of land... or VHF range..
Folk don't get much lazier than me..
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Old 20-09-2013, 10:11   #23
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Re: Minimal System?

Blue Crab, You made a series of statements regarding simplicity and the desire for accurate information. All of the electronic aids to navigation suggested here fail to provide for, as you requested, the latest information of what buoys to follow, what local hazards might affect your trip. Rebel Heart has come the closest to meeting your needs of an inexpensive and accurate technique. You can augment his recommendations by getting online to Local Notice to Mariners, selecting the districts you will be traversing, and download the latest Local Notices to Mariners from the Coast Guard. You will then be doing what the pros (should) do. Accurate info about light changes, bridge closings, misplaced buoys, dredging operations and wrecks, along with lots of other good stuff, can be e-mailed to you WEEKLY, FOR FREE. It's hard to get a better value than that. Simply looking at a display screen gives you minimal info, that is often out of date or simply wrong. Is this what you are requesting?
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Old 20-09-2013, 18:19   #24
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pirate Re: Minimal System?

Thanks Roy. I've been thinking about this all day. I think what would help me most is just knowing exactly where I am. Never had a GPS but it sure seems valuable. GPS in a handheld VHF, gives me more than I ever had, and I'm still here.

As Raku mentioned, I will be looking for markers, wherever they are.

Just got a buddy sorta committed to go along South to Sebastian Inlet. That would allow me to run 24-7, changing everything. Gotta consider the possibilities.

I get that I don't need electronics. Suits me.

THX
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Old 21-09-2013, 03:43   #25
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Re: Minimal System?

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If you can get hold of CM93 charts off the net then download OpenCPN... that way you only need the tracker..
Sorry to ask a stupid question displaying my ignorance of sailing in North America but...Aren't NOAA ENC charts available free, with all the latest updates? In which case why would you need to steal out of date charts when you can legally download accurate and up to date ones, presumably covering a NC to TX trip? This is a genuine question not a rhetorical one: It would be nice to be told there was a catch and my envy of US sailors in the chart availability department has been misplaced. I also thought that paper charts could be printed off from NOAA sources pretty cheaply so no reason to risk using out of date ones but interested to know the story on that.

If the NOAA charts are free is perhaps the minimal electronic system the existing laptop, OpenCPN (free), NOAA ENC charts (free), the cheap gps as suggested by RicknSue (BU 353 or similar: $40 new on ebay) and for added bonus points if cash and inclination allow, a $20 usb to RS422 converter and a few metres of tinned wire ( un-tinned if budget doesn't stretch to tinned, and feet if metres aren't available in NC :-) to hook the laptop up to the AP.
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Old 21-09-2013, 04:42   #26
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pirate Re: Minimal System?

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Originally Posted by muttnik View Post
Sorry to ask a stupid question displaying my ignorance of sailing in North America but...Aren't NOAA ENC charts available free, with all the latest updates? In which case why would you need to steal out of date charts when you can legally download accurate and up to date ones, presumably covering a NC to TX trip? This is a genuine question not a rhetorical one: It would be nice to be told there was a catch and my envy of US sailors in the chart availability department has been misplaced. I also thought that paper charts could be printed off from NOAA sources pretty cheaply so no reason to risk using out of date ones but interested to know the story on that.

If the NOAA charts are free is perhaps the minimal electronic system the existing laptop, OpenCPN (free), NOAA ENC charts (free), the cheap gps as suggested by RicknSue (BU 353 or similar: $40 new on ebay) and for added bonus points if cash and inclination allow, a $20 usb to RS422 converter and a few metres of tinned wire ( un-tinned if budget doesn't stretch to tinned, and feet if metres aren't available in NC :-) to hook the laptop up to the AP.
Blue Crab asked for a minimal system... he did not state for which part of the world so I suggested he buy the Nimble system which I adopted last year for a delivery as the charts for the S Pacific to W Australia would have cost a bomb... so $100 saved the owners (me as it turned out in the end) quite a few bucks.
It worked great and saw me safely from St Martin all the way to Perth.
Also I have 2012 CM93 (Gifted) on a memory stick and OpenCPN as a back-up... if the laptop dies then I pull out my 85euro 7" android...
However had I known he only wanted the ICW I would have also suggested NOAA... having travelled parts of the ICW back in '04/05..
pre Nimble days when I just used a basic HH GPS...
Forgive me for being dumb enough to suggest a World Wide laptop CP system for just $100 and the cost of a puck...

Edit: Oh... and he also said he had no need (I read desire) to integrate them
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Old 21-09-2013, 04:52   #27
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Re: Minimal System?

opn capn with free charts and a gps dongle does the trick (all the heavily repeated caviots about paying attention to the real world, power outages, etc...)

If you are doing the ICW, we haven't found autopilot to be very useful for much of it anyway.
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Old 21-09-2013, 04:57   #28
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Re: Minimal System?

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Blue Crab asked for a minimal system... he did not state for which part of the world
[...]

Forgive me for being dumb enough to suggest a World Wide laptop CP system for just $100 and the cost of a puck...
[...]
Edit: Oh... and he also said he had no need (I read desire) to integrate them
I was trying to emphasise that I wasn't being critical: I genuinely have no experience of sailing in north america or what the deal is with NOAA charts which is why I was asking. I think you'll find my post suggested that "for added bonus points" one might consider hooking up the laptop to the AP, not that this was essential.

I believe Blue Crab actually did state his/her intended cruising ground:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Crab View Post
I'm not going anywhere. I'm in NC, heading for TX, maybe, then turn around and return. Or not. Maybe I'll just keep going. I have all the charts but they're dated. I'm reluctantly considering a chart plotter as I assume they come with the latest charts.
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Old 21-09-2013, 05:10   #29
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pirate Re: Minimal System?

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I was trying to emphasise that I wasn't being critical: I genuinely have no experience of sailing in north america or what the deal is with NOAA charts which is why I was asking. I think you'll find my post suggested that "for added bonus points" one might consider hooking up the laptop to the AP, not that this was essential.

I believe Blue Crab actually did state his/her intended cruising ground:
The 'Maybe I'll just keep going' bit was what I went on.. as its what I tend to do...
In which case he'd be back looking for new data... sorry if the 'tongue in cheek' came over as being offended... I wasn't.
And I still think 'Nimble' is a great program... know the guy who knocked it up... met in St Martin and he's a live aboard cruiser who does the N Atlantic loop most years.. nice bloke and a member here.
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Old 21-09-2013, 06:38   #30
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Re: Minimal System?

A MINIMAL NAV SYSTEM :

http://www.waypoints.com/images/navtools.jpg

A small gps with basic plotter functions would be an optional extra luxury item :

http://www.activagps.com/fotos/1573/GPS-72H.jpg

Cheers,
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