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Old 24-03-2009, 23:08   #1
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Navigation Without Electronics

Has anybody an interest in the older way, sextant, log, the Days Work
sun, moon , stars
All of my first offshore work was done like this, but I never was proficiant
I used moon with sun, 10 days a month
like to hear from experts please
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Old 24-03-2009, 23:23   #2
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Every navigator has an interest in that... but many will use an electronic calculator....

Why would you want that for everyday navigation? I mean, you can probably sail legal without any electrics aboard too but why?

The only time I did that was to prove I could do it. This was in the 70's and from that time on the log was already electronic.

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Old 24-03-2009, 23:59   #3
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WHY?
well because its a challenge, and a great sense of achievement to make accurate landfalls this way
It also gives a great understanding of the way the earth moves, the way the moon moves
I did not really start the thread to enter into why. just wanted amyone who had an interest to start a debate whereby I could advance my skills and knowledge base too
In the early 80,2 before sat nav, there was one of our cruising fleet totally lost tryng find Ouvea Lagoon off New CALIDONIA, bY RADIO WE HAD TO GO OVER HIS SIGHTS WITH HIM, whoop[s scuse caps
try it some time!!!
cheers
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Old 25-03-2009, 00:52   #4
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Stuarth: I did try and I liked it, I was only 2 nm off. But as you sail a couple of years, living aboard full time, I can't imagine doing it for everyday navigation.

There's another thread going on about sextants, check it out!

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 25-03-2009, 03:37   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Stuarth: I did try and I liked it, I was only 2 nm off. But as you sail a couple of years, living aboard full time, I can't imagine doing it for everyday navigation.

There's another thread going on about sextants, check it out!

cheers,
Nick.
it is a very complex subject indeed, grab a copy Monroes Nvigation
You take Maersk, they take officer cadets from British schools,
the syllabus is all (nav) the old way, yet they are the most progressive shipping line (cargo) on the planet
Take Cunards QM2 Each and every deck officer will know how to take that ship by nav without electronics
Without that knowledge we blindly follow our VIRTUAL COARSE Not really understanding much at all
BY the way , my lack of math trig esp, does not allow me to become so proficient
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Old 26-03-2009, 03:49   #6
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Has anybody an interest in the older way, sextant, log, the Days Work sun, moon , stars
There will always be those intellectually interested in manual methods of navigation, but electronic navigation is rapidly becoming more reliable, and the efficiencies are unbelievable. Couple of years ago I played with parallel manual navigation on a long blue water coastal trip, but the amount of work to maintain a DR plot and fixes was just huge compared to plotting periodic GPS fixes on a paper chart as backup and using a chartplotter as primary. There are so many duties for a small crew to share on such a trip that it would be hard to spare one for manual navigation, offloading other watchkeeping and housekeeping duties to the others.

It's one thing to know manual navigation procedures, but quite another thing to put them into real-life practice in the absence of any electronic aid except a sounder. As a culture, pleasurecraft cruisers have already lost the DR-plot-tending skills and knowledge that were second nature until GPS came along, methinks. If a pleasurecraft crew had to resort to manual navigation, there would be quite the learning curve and adjustment for the first few days.
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Old 26-03-2009, 06:40   #7
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A worth while skill to acquire, you never know when a catostrphic event such as a lightening strike may fry all electronics on board. And yes there will be the handheld as backup, and hopefully you have enough batteries to power it for the long trip ashore. In a situation such as this, having practiced celestial navigation will ease a lot of worries while depending on the handheld. That being said, the old way sucks, solar or lunar emphemerise, slide rule, yuk yuk yuk. Handheld calculators are cheap, batteries last about a year, easily programmable, and there are a few programs available for free for celestial nav for the calculator (check out hpcalc.org). So with the math being taken care of by a calculator, it all comes down to practiseing taking the observations, and with practise comes speed and accuracy and it should not become a loborious task but rather a quick 15 minute routine.
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Old 26-03-2009, 14:14   #8
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Exocet and Clearsea et al
it never seizes to amaze me that only a few years ago there were OFFICERS AND CAPTAINS, that had to learn so much that really only those with excellent math skills could understand navigation
When people talk of celestial nav, they generally mean, to find a position from the sun, once or twice a day with the aid of the sextant and the almanac
I have a book called Munros Navigation, it is a thick tomb, full of diagrams
It has test papers and you know I can anwer 1% I feel completely humbled and thick as two short planks
It is nothing to take a slow yacht on a long passage, but to take a warship or freighter across the world and into coastal waters, these men had to know all this they had to know all the time exactly where they were, and in days of NO SIGHT, sun obscured they still had to know where they were
it is a very complex science
My lack of math, shuts me out, it is not from lack of trying, I have a deep interest, but you are either a mathmeticien or not
it is the same with navel arch. I can only get so far
many of these gurus have said to me "I wish I had your skills" but I wish I had their skills
May suprise you to know that for the British merchant navy, they also require these things even today
if you pass through their maritime schools you are one lucky guy, or gal.
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Old 26-03-2009, 15:38   #9
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https://www.alibris.com/search/books...l%20Navigation
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Old 26-03-2009, 16:07   #10
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Why go at all?? The boat will go without you-just fine.

What is the point of all of this?? I must agree with those are talking about challenge, experience, etc. People ask why I work on my own boat?? I see them in the window at the "Gym" in their tights and thongs - sniffing each others sweat as they work out, watching TV on their tread mill or wall. No thanks, rather work MY ass off on my classic Sparkman Stephenes sloop. On-board electronics??? Sure - I have em' BUT I sail conventionally, paper charts, dividers, parallel rules, sextant, etc. Yeah, I have the electronics too - I use them for fun and play. I want a sailboat with full capabilty with ALL systems down INCUDING the watermaker and still make safe passage. My Dad, now 94 years old said of his Grand Banks Classic 36' (his 3rd) that he's "got so many gizmos on the boat, he doesn't even have to go at all. The boat will go do a trip and come back on it's own" He said this laughing of course. He is one only two men in their (the cups) 130 year history to win the ALASKA LOG 1000 and PRINCE RUPERT CUP - predicted log races, back-to-back, together in the same season/year. I always thought I was a good navigator - but I do not hold a candle to my Dad (who taught me) I would be lucky to get "one leg right" as opposed several hundred. The Seattle Times interviewed him and asked how he did it?? He replied; "I guessed" (but we all know differently) The fact of the matter is, navigation by hand is an endless journey unto itself and FUN, and ENJOYABLE and most off all REWARDING - to say the least. Now, who can say that about NAV software. maybe these guys that are such big proponents of NAV electronics have never learned the "old way" and just don't know what they are missing?? Me? I'll take the sextant and charts with reference books any day (or night) Safe Sail all JANDY clear _/)_

PS: The babes love the sextant and WANT TO LEARN - ever see that with a GPS Screen??
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Old 26-03-2009, 16:10   #11
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how do I give pts for that last excellent post, say hello to your dad for me
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Old 26-03-2009, 16:21   #12
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Thanks for points - I need all I can get

. . . . . and on another note - In the yard (hauled-out) I always say to people/neighbors working on their boat, when they are at wits end - I say; "Oh well, just think, we all asked for this". . . . . . JANDY clear
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Old 26-03-2009, 16:25   #13
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I did a lot of sextant and dead rekoning sailing through the Bahamas in the 70's an enjoyed it. RDF was our backup then. I was most impressed at the time by a news report of a group that left Seattle for Hawaii on a sailboat. They had pleanty of wine and cheese, but no navigation experience. They made their landfall without any problems. When asked for an explanation of their success without any skills. They said," We just followed the con trails of the jets". 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 26-03-2009, 19:00   #14
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Up until a couple of years ago I always sailed with a compass and by dead reckoning.
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Old 26-03-2009, 20:21   #15
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GPS vs Sextant = Rifle vs Bow. Yes, I hunt deer with a bow.

No, I'm just not that inclined to use a sextant. But, I have one. Don't know how to use it, but I have one...
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