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Old 30-04-2012, 15:59   #1
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Need Some Navigation Help, I'm New...

It has been about 20 years since I stepped foot on a sailboat, in my teens, and really miss the yearning of the open ocean. I have been planning a trip to the Philippines for about 5 years now. I have finalized it to be in Nov and spend about 2 months there. A lot has changed since I have sailed and was wondering , navigation wise, would a GPS be the route I should go? Someone mentioned this to me in passing but a web search gave me no good info. So I am here asking more experienced people for advice on what direction I should go to prepare myself to map my route. Thanks.
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Old 30-04-2012, 17:12   #2
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Re: Need Some Navigation Help, I'm New...

Err... yes a GPS would be the primary nav tool - many use nothing else.

Personally having learnt the art of navigation in the pre GPS era, I use a fixed mount GPS for lat and lon with paper charts and compass and log as well as the usual sounder and binoculars and cruising guides and the such like. I have hung up the sextant and haven't bought an almanac for decades. I have a spare handheld GPS and another GPS engine that provides data for the VHF DCS.

Many prefer a chartplotter and there is nothing wrong with using them.

You haven't mentioned where you are from so is this Philippines venture a few miles away or thousands of miles.

For planning purposes, I would use some pilot charts but others just use google earth!

Welcome aboard and hope you find what you are looking for here.
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Old 30-04-2012, 17:17   #3
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Re: Need Some Navigation Help, I'm New...

Absolutely a GPS is a good idea, but do not limit your ability to obtain your position, SOG and COG to your GPS. The more methods you have, the better off you will be given stuff happens.
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Old 30-04-2012, 18:56   #4
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Re: Need Some Navigation Help, I'm New...

Greetings and welcome aboards the CF, Mikestewart.

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Old 30-04-2012, 18:56   #5
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Re: Need Some Navigation Help, I'm New...

GPS is the universal tool nearly all use today, HOWEVER, you didn't mention what method you may have used in your past. If you know cellestial and can use a Sextant, by all means take it and use it as your back-up. You can load OPEN CPN or SEACLEAR open souce software onto a laptop and add a BU-353 GPAS antenna as an inexpensive and very useful GPS plotter and planner. BTW, the NOAA raster charts needed for these open source systems is a free download for all US charts. We also have a traditional GPS plotter on board and a small hand-held. Many apps are also now available for Droid and Ipad and other devices. Some of these will let you download the charts and store before you leave the connectivity of shore.

Also, please consider putting an EPIRB on board and an AIS with class B transponder. THe EPIRB calls the cavalry and the AIS warns you and others of impending collision long before too late.
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Old 30-04-2012, 21:32   #6
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GPS is a distant second to the eyes when navigating around the Philippines.
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Old 30-04-2012, 22:53   #7
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Re: Need Some Navigation Help, I'm New...

very good charts of the philipines can be bought from the philipines hydrographic offices,located in most of the main ports on the bigger islands.
not expensive.

due to numerous un marked fish traps,and floating fish/prawn farms , unlit fishing canoes, a good look out is essential.

there are also strong currents between islands and large areas of shallows so a gps is a great help,but the charts are sometimes out by 1/2 mile so a hand bearing compass is also usefull for running fixes.

a great cruising ground otherwise.
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:33   #8
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Re: Need Some Navigation Help, I'm New...

Quote:
Originally Posted by daddle View Post
GPS is a distant second to the eyes when navigating around the Philippines.
2nd that opinion.

It seems to me that those who sail in countries with accurate and WGS84 charts fall out of the habit of using pilotage close to shore and favour GPS as a means of establishing their position.

That situation is usually reversed soon after arriving in the Philippines.
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Old 01-05-2012, 20:31   #9
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Re: Need Some Navigation Help, I'm New...

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Originally Posted by bewitched View Post
2nd that opinion.

It seems to me that those who sail in countries with accurate and WGS84 charts fall out of the habit of using pilotage close to shore and favour GPS as a means of establishing their position.

That situation is usually reversed soon after arriving in the Philippines.
So true, We sailed Lake Michigan for two years without a depth transponder. The place is a big bowl of sand and the charts are dead on using the handheld GPS.

THere are places where your GPS will show you sailing 1/4 mile inland. Many of the background charts used in some of these places were made 200 years ago by British seamen using a Sextant. The GPS is dead on but the background (chart) is not.
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