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Old 31-05-2014, 07:05   #121
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

It seems that being flexible is required. Dockhead started this thread out annoyance with the work load of using a plotter in rock infested waters which he has begun to explore. If your cruising grounds don't mix well with one size fits all software, you will want that paper as relief from button pushing. I get it. You may also want it if you have a history of electronic failures. Still, I doubt any of us will choose to dead reckon in the fog if we have radar and plotter available.
Regarding depth and anchoring. In the PNW we have large tides and plenty of current as well as rocks. At least once a year I need a lead line and pad and paper to calculate just how long I can remain in a particular spot without being dropped on the rocks below my keel as the tide ebbs. Those who are not mindful of this get to spend time in the yard instead of cruising.
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Old 31-05-2014, 19:10   #122
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

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Originally Posted by wellin View Post
I like the xenarc box!! Is it really sunlight readable? Been running a pc's in my cars for years but with the cheap lilliput 8" touch screens.
Thanks for the seaclear tip. What about seaclear keeps you using it over opencpn? If i may ask.

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SeaClear Raster is easier on the computer, but I use both.

Yes, sunlight readable. There are other possibilities since We bought so call & talk to a geek to pick the best option for you. They were very helpful.

Another thing; The unit we bought is direct DC powered and it doesn't care if your house is 12 or 24 VDC so no converter required.
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Old 31-05-2014, 21:06   #123
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

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Your ability as a seaman isn't defined by the equipment or resources you use. Do you agree with that point or dispute it?
I agree.
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:49   #124
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

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. . . I just happen to be of a mind in which learning and understanding the basics of traditional navigation provides a firmer foundation in electronic navigation .. . .


Totally agree with that point.
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Old 04-06-2014, 13:06   #125
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

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. . .
However, our chartplotter allows those bearing lines to be made. Also, I don't see the difference between making them on (electronic) raster charts vs. vector charts.

Our chartplotter also projects the boat's heading and COG onto the charts. I don't see how stepping out of the cockpit, putting a hand bearing compass up to your eye and sighting onto a specific point is preserving your situational awareness, while taking a 1/2 second glance moving your eyes 30* over to the chartplotter (with an actual graphic representation of reality) is not preserving situational awareness.

Frankly, I think you have it completely backwards there and I would put the chartplotter in much more favor of retaining situational awareness.

With the boat's heading and COG projected, I don't see the reason for plotting "danger bearings" - that is instantaneously and easily determined with a simple glance. Situational awareness encompasses everything on the boat, including the course, boat heading and COG. I think transitioning modalities between interpreting lines on paper, using a hand bearing compass, and visualizing the real situation is much more error prone and dangerous than simply keeping your eyes on the real situation and glancing once in a while to a plotter that is showing you easily understood composite data dynamically interacting with the boat.

To be clear, I straddle the technology curve - personal computers were not even invented and available until I was in college. I'm neither a luddite, nor a young-un laughing at geezers. My boating experience also spans these generations - I am fully competent with analog and digital methods (actually, less competent with digital). I also had a career that involved flexibility and evolution with technology as a prerequisite for survival.

Mark
I think you meant heading OR COG projected on the electronic chart -- not both. Projected heading is utterly useless (my B&G Zeuses give you that useless choice). Projected COG is supremely useful, one of the most powerful things about electronic navigation, giving you potentially life saving information which is almost impossible to produce quickly with traditional navigation techniques.

It is possible that project COG on my plotters actually saved my life a few weeks ago. I was in Borkum, in the East Frisian islands, where I had to go on passage towards Helgoland because I stupidly lost all my water.

I put in water and spent the night and prepared to head out into what was forecast to be a SW F7. The locals were amazed and tried to dissuade me from going out. I thought -- ha, I have a tough boat and I'm tough -- I sail in the English Channel. SW means no fetch in the Riffgat -- can't be so bad. I just need to get up the Riffgat and across Borkum Riff and it will be a downwind cruise, where the more wind the better, in my boat. That was my logic. So out I go. And encounter horrendous conditions at the harbor entrance in wind over tide, even without any fetch. 3500 RPM and I'm hardly making any headway against the wind and brutal, vertical seas, which are crashing tons of green water over my decks. If I had not had projected COG on my plotter, I would not have been able to see whether I was going forwards or backwards, and I am not sure I would have gotten past the shoals in the narrow entrance.

As it was, I fought my way out, making sometimes 1 knot over ground. A little better once I had a bit of searoom and could get some sail up. Meanwhile the forecast F7 became a F8. Clawing my way 10 miles up to Borkum Riff was a torture which took hours. With what relief did I finally get across and start flying downwind towards Helgoland.

Man, I would not have wanted to be without a plotter. With all due respect to Jackdale, I agree with Coleman that electronic navigation in these situations gives some crucial information which is nearly impossible to generate with non-electronic means. I am all in favor of hand bearing compasses and clearing bearings (what Jackdale calls "danger bearings", I think). I always have the HBC in the cockpit with me. But they are hardly any substitute for a projected COG line, which is one of the killer apps of electronic navigation.

On the other hand, there are things which electronic navigation simply can't do, about which I am all the more convinced after getting through the incredibly rocky and intricate Finnish waters to where I am now. I'll never sail again here without paper.
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Old 04-06-2014, 13:09   #126
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

I just got a copy of the 1940 edition of American Practical Navigator. By golly I will be putting up all kinds of equations and parallel ruler deviations and variations, sun sights and bearing calculations. I'm gonna make a regular pest of myself. This book is too cool. Can't do all this stuff without paper charts!
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Old 04-06-2014, 13:24   #127
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

I'll use any tool available to me. Electronic and just visual and observation. Two days ago one of the best tools was the charter fishing captains where we were. They knew exactly what we'd face that day, far better explained than weather reports or marine forecasts. They had gone out of the inlet hundreds of times in the same conditions.

When we're in close quarters or entering a new area, we'll both be alert, eyes open, looking and taking in everything. I learned long ago before I had or needed instruments on the lake, the value of a second pair of eyes.

I think the mistake one can make is to dismiss the electronic tools. However, the mistake in the other direction is to think they're going to do it all for you. It's no different than any computer program. It only knows what we were able to reduce to mathematics. Ultimately you're going to have to think, analyze, process from all sources, make decisions. It's those complex decisions considering all factors that can't be programmed. The chart doesn't know that the boater you see looks like they're not paying any attention. It doesn't know what to do when it's showing one thing and you're seeing something different. It may not have what was reported yesterday to cruisersnet regarding a marker out of place and the shoal it was supposed to mark.

To me, it's never one or the other. It's all or whatever combination it takes. Oh, and not only local knowledge from the docks, but I'm never too proud when entering a new area or one that sometimes has issues, to call a tow captain and ask how things are. They are an incredible resource in the US. Many dockmasters also know what those just in encountered.
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Old 04-06-2014, 13:25   #128
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

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Mark
<snip> learning and understanding the basics of traditional navigation provides a firmer foundation in electronic navigation.
And that is the take-away message in the entire thread!
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Old 04-06-2014, 14:06   #129
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

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I think you meant heading OR COG projected on the electronic chart -- not both.
No, I meant both. Both are activated and projected on our Furuno by default. It is often disheartening to see both of those lines when in cross currents or trying to point very high…

On the other hand, a difference between the two gives you a constant reminder that what you are looking at over the bow is not actually what your boat is going toward. That is one case where the electronics make your senses sharper.

Are you sure yours won't do the same? I've never been enthralled with this Furuno and have wished for the Zeus, but this is the second or third time now that I'm describing a basic Furuno functionality that doesn't seem to exist on the Zeus.

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Old 04-06-2014, 14:11   #130
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
No, I meant both. Both are activated and projected on our Furuno by default. It is often disheartening to see both of those lines when in cross currents or trying to point very high…

On the other hand, a difference between the two gives you a constant reminder that what you are looking at over the bow is not actually what your boat is going toward. That is one case where the electronics make your senses sharper.

Are you sure yours won't do the same? I've never been enthralled with this Furuno and have wished for the Zeus, but this is the second or third time now that I'm describing a basic Furuno functionality that doesn't seem to exist on the Zeus.

Mark
I'll check again, but I think it's either/or.

Heading and COG are always different sailing in strongly tidal waters as I do, and you always want to know the difference between them. In my recent musings about what I would improve about my instruments, I was just thinking that COG and heading should be shown everywhere in one window, so you instantly see. It's relevant not only when you're sailing in a strong tide, but also when you're sailing hard on the wind, and you're trying to decide whether you can really head up a little more, or not -- keeping an eye on leeway.

I still think a projected heading line is fairly worthless. A glance over the forestay gives you that, and why do you even care?
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Old 04-06-2014, 14:41   #131
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

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I'll check again, but I think it's either/or.

Heading and COG are always different sailing in strongly tidal waters as I do, and you always want to know the difference between them. In my recent musings about what I would improve about my instruments, I was just thinking that COG and heading should be shown everywhere in one window, so you instantly see. It's relevant not only when you're sailing in a strong tide, but also when you're sailing hard on the wind, and you're trying to decide whether you can really head up a little more, or not -- keeping an eye on leeway.

I still think a projected heading line is fairly worthless. A glance over the forestay gives you that, and why do you even care?
I don't understand - you state you always want to know the difference between the two, and that the two should be shown everywhere in one window so you can instantly see, and describe how relevant this is, but then you state that a glance over the forestay is enough, so why even care?

I keep a Triton page set up specifically with heading, COG, STW and SOG.

But a 1/2 second glance at those two lines on the chartplotter really tell me everything I need to know in a synthesized way.

I disagree with you about glancing over the forestay. When land or other mark is a long way off and you have 10* of leeway, it isn't always obvious that you won't make the mark on your present heading.

BTW, Coastal Explorer on our computer also projects both lines. I think OCPN does also, but I don't use that much for active navigation so don't remember.

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Old 04-06-2014, 15:17   #132
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I don't understand - you state you always want to know the difference between the two, and that the two should be shown everywhere in one window so you can instantly see, and describe how relevant this is, but then you state that a glance over the forestay is enough, so why even care?

I keep a Triton page set up specifically with heading, COG, STW and SOG.

But a 1/2 second glance at those two lines on the chartplotter really tell me everything I need to know in a synthesized way.

I disagree with you about glancing over the forestay. When land or other mark is a long way off and you have 10* of leeway, it isn't always obvious that you won't make the mark on your present heading.

BTW, Coastal Explorer on our computer also projects both lines. I think OCPN does also, but I don't use that much for active navigation so don't remember.

Mark
Reading comprehension . . . Not that what I wrote was all that important, but if you're going to be commenting on it . . . There would be much less confusion . . .

What I said was that the projected heading line is trivial and for my purposes not needed. That's the information the glance over the forestay gives you. Not indeed that heading is trivial or not needed -- quite the contrary. Heading is of course extremely important, and my regular magnetic compass is still the most looked-at instrument on my boat. Heading in relation to your surroundings can be gotten from the glance over the forestay -- which was my only point.

No one cares about heading when you're trying to figure out whether you can lay that mark or that headland. That is the entire purpose of COG, and where projected COG lines are infinitely valuable, much more usable, providing much better situational awareness, than work with clearing bearings and so forth, which was your earlier point, which I was agreeing with.


I also, by the way, have a Triton page set up with COG, SOG, BTW, DTW, Heading (right next to COG), Boat Speed, VMG (oddly the only place you can seem to get this on a B&G system), zulu time, ETA. I like it a lot. Although I also really like the regular GPS page, which is just like my first handheld GPS display and therefore SO instinctively useful.
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Old 04-06-2014, 15:28   #133
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

Using electronics to determine the effect of current and leeway while underway is one thing, passage planning is another.

How many folks use current data (set and drift) when planning a passage?

As an example if you are leaving Vancouver and wish to transit Porlier Pass on the turn, you will need to calculate, in advance, the SMG so that you can determine your time of departure. If you miss the turn at Porlier there are no anchorages or marinas in the vicinity. You are now stuck in Georgia Strait waiting for the next turn. The Strait only has about 1 knot of current, but that is 15-20% of your boat speed.
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Old 04-06-2014, 15:31   #134
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

OK, I understand - I was conflating heading with the heading line. I still find the heading line useful for two reasons:

1. With a very quick glance at the chartplotter, my brain instantly synthesizes the relative angle between the two into useful information. In fact, where we have been sailing lately, there are variable cross-currents that we sail in and out of (they actually change directions relative to the boat as the boat goes in and out of eddies). The changing heading/COG graphics tell me when and by how much the current is changing before the numerical data and plotting does.

2. Again, when a mark or land is a long way off and leeway is not large, it often looks like you are laying that mark when you actually will not. On our plotter, the COG prediction line is only a maximum of 30min long, so it does not project across the entire chart like the heading line does. The heading line reinforces your senses here.

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Old 04-06-2014, 16:16   #135
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

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I live in a country that requires paper charts and publications unless I have an ECDIS.

well… yes and no

"(2) The master and owner of a ship of less than 100 tons are not required to have on board the charts, documents and publications referred to in subsection (1) if the person in charge of navigation has sufficient knowledge of the following information, such that safe and efficient navigation in the area where the ship is to be navigated is not compromised:"


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