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View Poll Results: Should navigational aids be discontinued?
Yes! We have GPS and chartplotters now. They just get in the way now! 6 7.50%
No, they are a useful backup to the GPS/Plotter/Microwave/Vibrator thing that blinks at me as I drive the boat. 74 92.50%
Voters: 80. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 14-06-2011, 18:02   #61
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Re: Navigational aids are a waste of money!

"If you need markers to navigate around reefs, you better stay close to home."

Nick,

If I had to guess, I would say you havn't done much sailing in the SanJuan and Canadian Gulf Islands. The tide exchange is 9 to 10 ft. average, up to 12 sometimes resulting in swift and tricky currents running through sometimes narrow channels riddled with rocks and reefs. Even open areas can be effected by tide/current making navigation much more complex. If you are traveling at night you had better have at least radar to aid in navigation as some dangerous areas have lighted markers but not all. If your radar failed and you were forced to paper chart only, you would be very glad to have the markers because the land topography can be very confusing even during the day if your not familiar with the area.
Even though it was on the chart and had a lighted marker and everyone knew it was there, Ripple Rock claimed many boats and commercial ships. So umpteen tons of TNT and a count down later, no more Ripple Rock. My point is there are many areas of the world where if your electronics failed at night you would be very glad the nav aids were still working.

The Washington State and British Columbia coast is littered with ship wrecks from before light houses were commissioned.
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Old 14-06-2011, 18:04   #62
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Re: Navigational aids are a waste of money!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Johnson View Post
Whenever I use my computer's Capn program, as it switches from one chart to another, I use the first solid object, preferably a navigation aid, to confirm that the chart is correct. They can be miles off!

I came into Isla Mujeres at night once (on the south end) and although I could hear the surf of the reef 100' to starboard, my computer naviguesser still had my position 2 miles at sea! The GPS was correct, but the computer and paper chart was based on ancient cartography.

There was a light at the top of the cliff to starboard, IF ONLY THE BATTERY HADN'T BEEN DEAD!

Only gut instinct, soundings, visual cues, sound, and being willing to call LIAR to my GPS/chart... got us in safely.

We need to consider GPS as a useful tool among all of the others, including paper charts, binoculars, AND navigational aids!!! For clearing through a pass in the reef, or an inlet, they're essential!

Mark

erg-farkin-zactly folks.
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Old 14-06-2011, 18:29   #63
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Re: Navigational aids are a waste of money!

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Originally Posted by ActiveCaptain View Post
Actually, I think the next step will be the appearance of AIS transponders in ATON's which will make the buoys even more valuable. That'll allow a new layer on chartplotters providing the exact location of the buoys and other aids. THEN, the buoys will disappear but the transponder position will remain electronically using over-the-air positioning.

I'm sure someone will come up with a pair of virtual reality sunglasses that'll project the image of where the buoy are located into your field of view for those who really need to see the aid out on the horizon.
Then can I make the whole world ALA B standard? I want my red lights returning, get tired of those green lights returning (and there is no alliteration there to help me remember...)

Michael

Note: "How do you think the great European explorers made the first charts?" Obviously followed the Chinese (good old Admiral Zheng He) and the Vikings - maybe the Irish too (being chased by the Vikings?)...
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Old 14-06-2011, 19:51   #64
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Re: Navigational aids are a waste of money!

Quote:
In the PNW, those areas frequented by cruisers have far fewer aids to navigation than those where you find commercial traffic and cruise ships.
commercial navigation is about making money and collection of duties and taxes. If recreational boating comes up short it is important to note recreational boating really isn't much older than 200 years. Prior to that boating a was a commercial enterprise with military enforcement only.
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Old 14-06-2011, 20:34   #65
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Re: Navigational aids are a waste of money!

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Originally Posted by svcambria View Post
Then can I make the whole world ALA B standard? I want my red lights returning, get tired of those green lights returning (and there is no alliteration there to help me remember...)

Michael
Region B: Red Right Returning
Region A: Red Right Departing

There is your memoric/alliteration.

As far as using AIS on every little floating thing, beacon & day mark; Along with all of the fishing boats, yachts, weekend warriors and the ships. Your screen would be so cluttered that you would have a hard time separating the wheat from the chafe.
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Old 14-06-2011, 20:46   #66
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Re: Navigational aids are a waste of money!

Okay, I am sorry this is going to sound harsh, but what sort of idiot would even consider replacing a tried and true marking system for a completely digital one that if a boat has an emergency, won't even be able to use and will be in even more trouble? Really!!!
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Old 14-06-2011, 20:55   #67
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Re: Navigational aids are a waste of money!

A money grubing bureaucrat of a politican who shut down the Loran system.
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Old 14-06-2011, 21:15   #68
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Re: Navigational aids are a waste of money!

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...what sort of idiot would even consider replacing a tried and true marking system for a completely digital one that if a boat has an emergency, won't even be able to use and will be in even more trouble? Really!!!
It's more a money thing than an intelligence one. Maintaining all those aids to navigation is the most expensive budget item for the Coast Guard. It just seems like a prime place for money to be cut from governments.

Of course, if it's all free for all of us, sure, keep all the buoys. I like the symbolism of them and love being able to visually see my upcoming waypoint. But if they decided to tax me and charge me for being able to see the buoys? I'd rather create and pay for a better solution from the commercial sector.

Buoys won't go away because newer technology is better. They'll go away as a cost reduction program. That's why the lighthouses were sold off like the one in my home town in Maine.
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Old 14-06-2011, 21:15   #69
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Re: Navigational aids are a waste of money!

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Originally Posted by Marksman View Post
The tide exchange is 9 to 10 ft. average, up to 12 sometimes resulting in swift and tricky currents running through sometimes narrow channels riddled with rocks and reefs.
Quote:
If you are traveling at night
There be the problem right there.
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Old 14-06-2011, 21:23   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ActiveCaptain
The poll asks the wrong question. "Now" they are needed. Will they be needed in future generations? Definitely not.
Try the entrance to the Alligator River (NC) virtually. Quite a number of boats use electronic charts only to go aground
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Old 14-06-2011, 21:35   #71
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Re: Navigational aids are a waste of money!

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Originally Posted by rowingdude View Post
Okay, I am sorry this is going to sound harsh, but what sort of idiot would even consider replacing a tried and true marking system for a completely digital one that if a boat has an emergency, won't even be able to use and will be in even more trouble? Really!!!
You are right--it sounds harsh.
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Old 14-06-2011, 21:36   #72
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Re: Navigational aids are a waste of money!

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Try the entrance to the Alligator River (NC) virtually. Quite a number of boats use electronic charts only to go aground
Actually, that's a bad example. It's the paper charts that are wrong. If you use ActiveCaptain electronically, it gives precise directions for that particular area and warns that the current paper and electronics are wrong. I get an email a week thanking us for those directions at that spot.

I can give a variety of spots on the ICW that if you draw 6.5' and stay directly between a red and green marker you'll go aground. There are spots where you need to be on one side or the other and can't stay in the middle.

Depending on wind conditions, that'll put many boats aground. There are a lot of spots like that now (unfortunately). The pilings are in the wrong place. Only the electronics like AC provide the guidance based on crowd-sourcing.
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Old 14-06-2011, 21:45   #73
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Re: Navigational aids are a waste of money!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marksman View Post
If I had to guess, I would say you havn't done much sailing in the SanJuan and Canadian Gulf Islands. The tide exchange is 9 to 10 ft. average, up to 12 sometimes resulting in swift and tricky currents running through sometimes narrow channels riddled with rocks and reefs. Even open areas can be effected by tide/current making navigation much more complex. If you are traveling at night you had better have at least radar to aid in navigation as some dangerous areas have lighted markers but not all.
You are correct, I have never even been there. However, being Dutch, I grew up at the North Sea, English Channel etc. with tides up to 30 ft and all the other bad stuff that comes with that (fast shifting sandbanks etc.)

I know that currents can be nasty and difficult to deal with. But if you think about it, a physical buoy will not counter the current for you (a good autopilot can). A physical buoy is playing with your mind: you think it shows you where the shallow is and it gives you a warm, cozy feeling to see it and believe in it... but it's just a hollow piece of steel with a chain and anchor floating around and it might, or might not, be at the spot it is supposed to be, and the shallow might, or might not, be at the same spot that it was when the chart was made. It is up to the navigator to make that determination without blind trust in some rusty floats and charts.

ciao!
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Old 14-06-2011, 21:51   #74
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Re: Navigational aids are a waste of money!

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I know that currents can be nasty and difficult to deal with. But if you think about it, a physical buoy will not counter the current for you (a good autopilot can). A physical buoy is playing with your mind: you think it shows you where the shallow is and it gives you a warm, cozy feeling to see it and believe in it... but it's just a hollow piece of steel with a chain and anchor floating around and it might, or might not, be at the spot it is supposed to be, and the shallow might, or might not, be at the same spot that it was when the chart was made. It is up to the navigator to make that determination without blind trust in some rusty floats and charts.

ciao!
Nick.
Do you monitor Notices to Shipping? That information is available.
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Old 14-06-2011, 22:00   #75
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Re: Navigational aids are a waste of money!

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Do you monitor Notices to Shipping? That information is available.
That information is historic; it tells me nothing about the state of the marker in front of me now (did the storm yesterday move it?). Also, in 90% of the world, there are no notices to mariners and a big part of that doesn't even have any navmarkers to give notice about.

ciao!
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