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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 17-06-2011, 18:03   #106
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Re: Navigational Aids are a Waste of Money !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pblais View Post
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.
Spot on!!

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
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!
Nick.
See my post above (and the one by Pblais). Commercial interests won't let this happen... not now in this day, nor are the current crop of professionals leaning towards it. "Cruisers" have little influence on this - except for on a very, VERY localized scale in areas that probably see little commercial traffic anyways (and then we're probably talking about private aids).
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Old 17-06-2011, 19:51   #107
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Re: Navigational Aids are a Waste of Money !

Although they have access to plotters, I doubt any bar pilot would be for eliminating nav aids, especially in a place like San Francisco Bay with all the potential of running a ship aground. Nothing gives you a better perspective on your situation than actually looking at something, seeing a rate of change, etc.

It would also be selfish to tell people in small boats that navaids will be eliminated. Are 14 foot lasers or 10 foot dinghys going to have to start carrying a chart plotter?

If one looks outside the box of what cruisers need then you can see why nav aids are so important.
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Old 18-06-2011, 06:47   #108
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Re: Navigational Aids are a Waste of Money !

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Originally Posted by Watermann View Post
Commercial interests won't let this happen...
Why do you ignore the fact that in most of the world where cruisers go, there are no markers today... obviously commercial interests have not been enough to put them in to start with!

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Originally Posted by David M View Post
Although they have access to plotters, I doubt any bar pilot would be for eliminating nav aids, especially in a place like San Francisco Bay with all the potential of running a ship aground.
[...]
It would also be selfish to tell people in small boats that navaids will be eliminated. Are 14 foot lasers or 10 foot dinghys going to have to start carrying a chart plotter?
Pilots are famous to be able to bring in ships blindfolded. These guys don't need more than their eyeballs. Add radar/chartplotter and any decent navigator can enter San Francisco Bay without being shipwrecked.

I have sailed Laser for many years and have never felt the need for a navmarker... race markers are what we were looking for

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 18-06-2011, 08:34   #109
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Re: Navigational Aids are a Waste of Money !

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Why do you ignore the fact that in most of the world where cruisers go, there are no markers today... obviously commercial interests have not been enough to put them in to start with!



Pilots are famous to be able to bring in ships blindfolded. These guys don't need more than their eyeballs. Add radar/chartplotter and any decent navigator can enter San Francisco Bay without being shipwrecked.

I have sailed Laser for many years and have never felt the need for a navmarker... race markers are what we were looking for

ciao!
Nick.
Because although this is a cruisers forum, not all vessels out on the water are cruisers. The vast majority are not in fact.

I will ask my bar pilot friend, (and mention the debate in this forum) then if he would feel comfortable crossing the Oakland Bar Channel, navigating through San Pablo Bay, getting around Harding Rock or going through the South Hamptopn shoal channel if all the navigation aids were removed. My guess is he will laugh and say something like "why would you want to to do that?...it sounds like a bad idea".

Personally I think it is a really bad idea as well considering they are occasionally bringing in and out very deep draft oil tankers. The Cosco Busan spill was bad enough. Why increase the chance of having another oil spill?

Come on Nick...you can't think that removing all nav aids is a good idea...do you?


Not all small boats are racing. In fact, most are not on any given day.
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Old 18-06-2011, 08:42   #110
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Re: Navigational Aids are a Waste of Money !

there are still markers in all the places i have cruised--- so i see that they are rapidly disappearing. even in biloxi there are markers--mebbe not lit anymore, but they are there marking the channel nicely.....many places even have lighthouses to keep folks off rocky places..... so i dont see these are disappearing so fast...
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Old 18-06-2011, 09:07   #111
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Re: Navigational Aids are a Waste of Money !

Also, waterways are kept open for commerce by the Army as described by the US Constitution. As an added benefit, this keeps the waterways open for cruisers and other types of recreational users.
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Old 18-06-2011, 09:16   #112
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Re: Navigational Aids are a Waste of Money !

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Baines;
[FONT=Verdana
Again, this is not dreaming, it is reality. If we mere mortals can think about it today, you can bet your butt that someone out there is already on the verge of launching it and hoping to make a few bucks…James[/FONT]
Right... this is why there are so many perpetual motion machines out here today.

Do any of you remember all those Popular Science /Mechanics stories back in the 50's that assured us that we would soon all be commuting in autogyros?

The advance of science and technology is real and it is faster in many fields than seems possible. Yet, to predict the demise of physical ATNs (in a period of MONTHS) based on the possibility of virtual ATNs seems a bit OTT.

Most of my gunkholling (sp?) in recent years has been done outside of the USA. And it is true that in some places (Vanuatu and the Solomons come to mind) there are few markers outside of the few commercial harbours, and they are poorly maintained. But in Australia there are hundreds of buoys and beacons in areas with absolutely no commercial traffic... areas where the depths IN the channels are too shallow for even yachts like ours. The primary users of these markers are folks in tinnies, and they sure as hell are not going to have fancy electronics to see the virtual thingies.

And then lets take the South channel entering Gladstone, Qld. This is a major coal and bauxite loading/unloading port with frequent passage of VLBC vessels. The channel is some 17 miles long from the fairway buoy, and in places is too narrow for large vessels to pass one another. It is extensively marked with beacons and ranges. I can't imagine the pilots being willing to exchange those physical markers for any virtual system that requires 100 % reliability to avoid stuffing the ship onto the surrounding shoals.

I'm no Luddite, but sometimes the unrestrained imagination displayed here goes beyond reality. I am personally sure that physical ATNs will be with us for a while yet... I am am also reasonably sure that there will be advances into the virtual ATN scheme in some specific areas where their advantages to commercial shipping are realizable. I doubt if the entrance to Tin Can bay or Snapper Creek will have that distinction, or if their beacons and buoys will all disappear.

Cheers,
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Old 18-06-2011, 09:38   #113
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Re: Navigational Aids are a Waste of Money !

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post


I am personally sure that physical ATNs will be with us for a while yet...
Hi Jiim

I agree that not all markers are heading to the marker grave yard.

But some marks are closer together than what modern sailing and shipping probably needs.

I know you know Cairns well, so as an exapmle - without checking the chart! - if you were installing a new set of Leads for Carins Harbour how far would you space them apart?

I also checked on Chesepeak Bay the other day for another thread and theres an interesting set of marks there too.

Interesting because they both have about the same spacing.

Cairns (which doesnt get fog) are .70nms apart. chesepeak bay where I was looking (up the top bit somewhere) and I dont know if it gets fog, are at .75NMs apart. So basically the same.

Cairns theres a straight line of 9 in 4.6 miles. Obviously we need the first and last. If they were spaced 1nm apart instead of .7nm we would save 3 markers (each side). Which doesn't sound a lot, but those things must be expensive(?)

So if we think boats are advancing in nav ability 1nm between sounds reasonable?

I am not saying pull out 7 and replace, but in the future as new ones are laid in other areas, or old ones need replacing they could be done so there's less and less.

But, obviously important ones remain.

(With cairns, you may remember the dredged channel is about 50 meters INSIDE the markers. So if you go close to a pylon you are in shallow water!)

hope you're both well


Mark
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Old 18-06-2011, 10:28   #114
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Re: Navigational Aids are a Waste of Money !

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
Come on Nick...you can't think that removing all nav aids is a good idea...do you?
[...]Not all small boats are racing. In fact, most are not on any given day.
Yes, it'll depend on how you ask that. When you tell him he can use AIS, chartplotter and radar, I'm sure he will agree with me that it is no problem to do without markers.

Dinghies: sure, but I never needed navmarkers when I was just sailing (not racing) my Laser.

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Also, waterways are kept open for commerce by the Army as described by the US Constitution. As an added benefit, this keeps the waterways open for cruisers and other types of recreational users.
Anyone who has cruised the Florida Keys or the ICW knows this isn't happening. I've seen plants growing out of the water mid-channel which was marked as 7' deep on the charts in the FL keys.

ciao!
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Old 18-06-2011, 10:44   #115
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Re: Navigational Aids are a Waste of Money !

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Why do you ignore the fact that in most of the world where cruisers go, there are no markers today... obviously commercial interests have not been enough to put them in to start with!
Well... yeah, that was my point. Cruisers have little influence on these decisions. Equipping yourself with the latest gee-whiz gadgetry (which is your choice) won't change that. And it's not about to happen on the commercial side either.


Quote:
Pilots are famous to be able to bring in ships blindfolded. These guys don't need more than their eyeballs. Add radar/chartplotter and any decent navigator can enter San Francisco Bay without being shipwrecked.
They already have those tools. But, like I said, most pilots don't have their heads buried in the radar or plotter unless necessary. This is partly because they have to have some reasonable skepticism over equipment they are not familiar with, but mostly because what really matters is what's going on outside. They are relying on the ATONS heavily and yes, of course, their overall local knowledge (which consists of such ATONs). I wonder how the pilots would feel about crossing the bar without those buoys, or transiting Pinole Shoal (San Pablo) Channel or any of the other places that David mentioned. There isn't much room for error in those waterways.

Local pilot groups have a lot of sway with the USCG over ATONs in their waters. Generally, if they want something and it's within reason, they'll get it.

Quote:
I have sailed Laser for many years and have never felt the need for a navmarker... race markers are what we were looking for

ciao!
Nick.
That's great if you're racing... plenty of sailors go out there and don't (even in dinghies).
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Old 18-06-2011, 13:04   #116
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Re: Navigational aids are a waste of money!

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The same debate once waged about lighthouses. The only lighthouses I see now are museums. Too bad since they could be automated now.
To be fair in my part of the world the coasts are still covered in light houses, which even though they are automated they still do their job to great affect.

If we didnt have Navigational Aids then night time passage making would be a disaster, GPS can be a complete waste of time, as only last year i believe i read about a yacht that hit a rock off Cherbourg and at the Marine Accident Board the couple stated that they´re chart plotter showed the rock as being 5 miles to their south, 5 MILES! if they had actually been navigating and not staring at a computer screen they would have noticed the rock with their eyes as it was awash at low water!

If anything the MCA and IMO and worldwide counterparts should be forcing those who go to sea to learn things the old way and maybe ban electronic navigation for your first few years!! Then you can get a chartplotter and maybe people will read the bit at the start before you press ´ok´ that states that your Raymarine GPS is only an ´Aid to Navigation´....
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Old 18-06-2011, 14:22   #117
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Re: Navigational aids are a waste of money!

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maybe ban electronic navigation for your first few years!!
Ban it entirely, I say!
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Old 18-06-2011, 14:56   #118
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Re: Navigational Aids are a Waste of Money !

Quote:
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Hi Jiim

I agree that not all markers are heading to the marker grave yard.

But some marks are closer together than what modern sailing and shipping probably needs.

I know you know Cairns well, so as an exapmle - without checking the chart! - if you were installing a new set of Leads for Carins Harbour how far would you space them apart?

I also checked on Chesepeak Bay the other day for another thread and theres an interesting set of marks there too.

Interesting because they both have about the same spacing.

Cairns (which doesnt get fog) are .70nms apart. chesepeak bay where I was looking (up the top bit somewhere) and I dont know if it gets fog, are at .75NMs apart. So basically the same.

Cairns theres a straight line of 9 in 4.6 miles. Obviously we need the first and last. If they were spaced 1nm apart instead of .7nm we would save 3 markers (each side). Which doesn't sound a lot, but those things must be expensive(?)

So if we think boats are advancing in nav ability 1nm between sounds reasonable?

I am not saying pull out 7 and replace, but in the future as new ones are laid in other areas, or old ones need replacing they could be done so there's less and less.

But, obviously important ones remain.

(With cairns, you may remember the dredged channel is about 50 meters INSIDE the markers. So if you go close to a pylon you are in shallow water!)

hope you're both well


Mark
I'd agree that the channel at Cairns is less challenging than some, and that it wouldn't cause much difficulty if they backed off on the number of beacons. There is also a fairly useful set of leading lights (range lights to some folks) that I think the pilots use to stay in the center of that channel.

At Gladstone there are several bends in the outer channel and these add some complexity to the issue. Turning those 800 foot 100K tonne monsters within those narrow limits must be a bitch. Too, there is a system of leads for each leg of that channel. One often hears the pilots requesting harbour control to turn the lights on for one or another portion, even in daylight hours, so they must be using them as well as the beacons. Note that these are big modern merchant vessels. I think that we can reasonably assume that they have all the latest electronic gadgetry on board for the pilots to use if they wished, yet these highly trained professionals are using the old fashioned stuff to navigate here... by choice!

Oh, and we are well... Ann is recovering from having both knees replaced 5 weeks ago (the reason for our extended absence from Insatiable II, and my spending so much time here on CF!). She's doing well, but there is lots of physio to go through before whe will be seaworthy again. Thanks for asking!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 18-06-2011, 15:06   #119
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Re: Navigational Aids are a Waste of Money !

This is fun.

Obviously, nav markers will be with us for a long time under any circumstances but in the same way that RDF, Loran and manned lighthouses are gone from the scene, I think it's just a matter of time for most buoys.

Nothing in the US Constitution or Supreme Court decisions requires the government to set buoys, dredge, or otherwise improve the waterways. They don't even have to print charts. It does say that you can't put a chain across a harbor entrance or (hopefully) tell someone they can't anchor off a Florida condo.

Dinghy sailors, and I've been one for 40 years, don't need or use nav markers (or generally charts or compass). You pull up the centerboard. Nav markers do make nifty race turning marks but that's really not the tax payer's responsibility.

Modern ship bridge systems provide much safer navigation than even the most experienced pilot looking out the bridge window. The human eye is very bad at judging distance, angle, and rate of closure with an object more than a half mile away. Current set is even harder to discern by eye. Have you seen a modern integrated bridge system? I doubt most harbors will use pilots 20 years from now. Instead, a landside port control center will act like an airport control tower.

When dealing with technology (and buoys are technology) never bet against change.

Carl
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Old 18-06-2011, 15:11   #120
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Re: Navigational Aids are a Waste of Money !

Attached is a screen capture of part of Singapore Straits - we were talking about it in another thread.

Have a look at this traffic seperation zone.

Note my 5nm scale line.

See how FEW nav aids there are? Notice NONE are channel markers! Including where seperated traffic lanes close together again.

Pull it up on your charts and have a look. Its fun


Mark
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