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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, 22:02   #76
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Re: Navigational aids are a waste of money!

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Originally Posted by cat man do View Post
There be the problem right there.
I teach Advanced Cruising and Yachtmaster Offshore courses in the PNW. I often sail at night using everything available; radar (more for vessels), chartplotters, AIS, depth sounders and paper charts. Through the passage planning process we know the light characteristics of aids in advance.

I actually prefer the night passages as I can see and recognize lights from a much farther distance.


The tides actually exceed 18 feet and the currents for some of the passes I go through are in vicinity of 11 knots. (Obviously I go through on turns, usually)

In the areas with little commercial traffic reefs and rocks may be charted but not marked. I really appreciate the aids.
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Old 14-06-2011, 22:07   #77
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Re: Navigational aids are a waste of money!

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
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!
Nick.
Notices to Shipping is not Notices to Mariners. It is current information regarding issues with navigation aids, etc.. It is one of the reasons to listen to a VHF marine weather forecast.

At least in Canada.
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Old 14-06-2011, 22:10   #78
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Re: Navigational aids are a waste of money!

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Notices to Shipping is not Notices to Mariners. It is current information regarding issues with navigation aids, etc.. It is one of the reasons to listen to a VHF marine weather forecast.

At least in Canada.
Ah... yes, that is North America only. But even then I wonder how long it takes for a shifted buoy to be reported to me over VHF.

ciao!
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Old 15-06-2011, 17:54   #79
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Re: Navigational Aids are a Waste of Money !

Hey Nick,

I agree that every boater should have charts (I prefer paper but have electronic as well) and should be able read them, plot a coarse, correct for set and drift, use a hand bearing compass etc. and have the skill and knowlege to get from A to B with what infromation is available.

I also agree that floating nav aids are a ball park indication of hazard, should be taken with a grain of salt and given a wide berth. To be honest the main reason to watch for them in the bulk of Puget Sound during daylight hours is to avoid collision with them as there are many other better land marks to tell where you are.

As you move North and the land masses get more congested you see more fixed nav aids that don't drift, and the bottom is commonly rock so very few shifting sand bars in these locals.

I've never been to the Caribbean so I don't know, but I can imagine that the geography is such that nav aids are not as practical or frequent (or affordable), and can ruin and otherwise picture perfect visual experience. I guess my point is that any dissagreement we may have on the merrits of nav aids is probably bassed on the anatomy of our two very different cruising grounds. Up here, we really like haveing them around.

Best wishes!
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Old 15-06-2011, 19:36   #80
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Re: Navigational Aids are a Waste of Money !

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I guess my point is that any dissagreement we may have on the merrits of nav aids is probably bassed on the anatomy of our two very different cruising grounds. Up here, we really like haveing them around.
Yes, I can see that as I thought about it the same as you when we left Holland to go full time cruising. Now, so many years later, we realize we don't really miss the markers anymore, because we got used to do without them.
My view is that most cruisers will quickly adapt when navmarkers are gone, just like we and all cruisers here did.

ciao!
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Old 16-06-2011, 19:02   #81
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Re: Navigational Aids are a Waste of Money !

Well Nick, I guess we will always disagree on this one, each for our own reasons. Hope you get to visit this area someday. Challenging at times, beautiful always.
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Old 16-06-2011, 22:06   #82
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Re: Navigational Aids are a Waste of Money !

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Well Nick, I guess we will always disagree on this one, each for our own reasons. Hope you get to visit this area someday. Challenging at times, beautiful always.
Never say never.... cruise the 3rd world paradises for a year or 5 and bump this thread back to life :-)

ciao!
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Old 17-06-2011, 04:09   #83
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The issue of virtual AToNs has bee discussed several time by especially the UK lighthouse authorities. The ultimate decision will be cost based. Witness the reduction in lighthouse lamp efficiency and the replacement of lightships with cardinal marks. The has also been significant installations of ais beacons for major nav marks. These are not installed physically on the buoy of course.

Nav marks are paid out of light dues. As commercial shipping moves to all electronic nav, pressure will mount to remove certain nav aids.

Lighthouses are seen as the first and then out of the way nav marks. Sure it will be a very long time or maybe never before all will be gone. But a reduction of physical marks is already happening and will continue

Dave
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Old 17-06-2011, 04:35   #84
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Re: Navigational aids are a waste of money!

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I'm not thinking we will ever be able to do with out them, as long as there is a chance of equipment failure, they will be relevant.
Two points or questions: (pertaining to floating buoys only)

a) how do you account for the centuries that sailors DID go all over the world without floating navaids? The formal buoy system that we now know has only been around for about 100 years.

b) Don't go to the Bahamas, where there are practically no man-made navaids of any kind. Every cruiser who does sail those waters knows that the very few navaids that are there are so unreliable that one should practically ignore them. In this instance, the "equipment failures" are almost 100% the navaids themselves, not the GPS system of electronics on boats. From a purely statistical standpoint, in the Bahamas the GPS is by far the most reliable method of navigating, especially if you take equipment failure into account.
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Old 17-06-2011, 05:14   #85
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Re: Navigational aids are a waste of money!

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Originally Posted by doug86 View Post
b) Don't go to the Bahamas, where there are practically no man-made navaids of any kind. .

Don't go anywhere! Except the USA, UK and Australia!
The rest of the world has many fewer markers!

If you have a momnet have a look at this 001 08.549 N 103 45.288 E and 001 17.891 N 104 19.342 E

Look its a traffic seperation zone at the point where it convergest and changes direction by 90 degrees with a current of 3.5 knots. And theres precious few nav marks....
The second L&L 26NM between two marks!


And where is it? Singapore Straits!


So you guys have been coddled. Time to sail off to foreign shores



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Old 17-06-2011, 05:22   #86
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Re: Navigational aids are a waste of money!

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Originally Posted by doug86 View Post
Two points or questions: (pertaining to floating buoys only)

a) how do you account for the centuries that sailors DID go all over the world without floating navaids? The formal buoy system that we now know has only been around for about 100 years.

b) Don't go to the Bahamas, where there are practically no man-made navaids of any kind. Every cruiser who does sail those waters knows that the very few navaids that are there are so unreliable that one should practically ignore them. In this instance, the "equipment failures" are almost 100% the navaids themselves, not the GPS system of electronics on boats. From a purely statistical standpoint, in the Bahamas the GPS is by far the most reliable method of navigating, especially if you take equipment failure into account.
Once again, the argument slouches toward absurdum.

a) the attrition rate, as I recall learning in history class, was fairly high.

b) we will go where we go with what we've got. There are few marks in Thai waters, too. Hong Kong waters were well marked and maintained. Which do you think I felt better about sailing?
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Old 17-06-2011, 05:54   #87
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Re: Navigational Aids are a Waste of Money !

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a) how do you account for the centuries that sailors DID go all over the world without floating navaids? The formal buoy system that we now know has only been around for about 100 years.
Navaids grew out of the desire for commerce. Bottom line the world of centuries ago transported so few goods as to be a joke compared to the millions of tons transported today by a fleet vastly larger. Navaids were added to support port and tariff taxes needed by governments. Light the entrance and the ships go where it is easy to load and unload safely. That has not changed much. In the early days of the US it was the sole means of funding the government. Lighthouse construction was funded before we even had our Constitution - they needed the money. There is no romance in navaids and there never was and never will be. It's about making money.

While we have a heritage in a collection of markers they serve the concern of commercial shipping not recreational boating.

Navaids are a way to increase the efficiency of making money for both commercial and government interests. If you expect good navaids then you need to be where they make more money from shipping. Hong Kong vs. Thailand explains it quite well.

If commercial shipping no longer required aids then we would be rid of them. The vast volume of traffic however has made a bigger issue of the boats running into each other. Centuries ago it was almost impossible to find each other let alone accidentally collide. With communications sytems and new nav ystems and techn ology shipping has become far more efficent and reliable. To that end more of the same will happen. With the concentration of shipping in large multi mode shipping centers and lessor ports being abandoned it is not unlike train stations that served commercial interests more than passenger interests - many are abandoned.
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Old 17-06-2011, 06:12   #88
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Re: Navigational aids are a waste of money!

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. There are few marks in Thai waters, too. Hong Kong waters were well marked and maintained. Which do you think I felt better about sailing?
you will much prefer to cruise Thailand.
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Old 17-06-2011, 06:35   #89
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Re: Navigational aids are a waste of money!

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you will much prefer to cruise Thailand.
I have! Gulf of Thailand (Samui, Koh Panghan, Koh Chang, Pattaya) and Andaman Sea around Phuket.

My wife, whose Thai, is hot and cold about settling back there. I could definitely do it, but it would have to be in the south somewhere, which of course is more costly.

Most of may offshore experience is in and around Thailand in ... drumrolll ... cruising cats.
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Old 17-06-2011, 09:02   #90
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Re: Navigational Aids are a Waste of Money !

I cruised New England before electronics (well, I had an RDF but Maine had few beacons). This sometimes meant searching for buoys in 50ft visibility fog with only charts, a compass, a copy of Eldridge, and a hand lead line with tallow to check the bottom. It was really scary.

I'm quite ready to see nav markers go as long as the money is invested in other marine improvements.

The money (and it's considerable) spent on buoy maintenance could be put into more dredging, improved breakwaters, more frequent chart updates, and a raft of other things that would substantially increase safety for mariners and their vessels.

To sail in unknown waters without a chart plotter (and backup) is as foolish as not carrying jacklines and tethers offshore, having no VHF radio or equipping your boat with a single bilge pump. And the risk of a failure of the GPS system is vanishingly small compared to the daily risk of the buoy you seek being off station.

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