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Old 23-06-2015, 13:03   #16
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Re: Night Sailing in SF

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
If they even have spares... Many of the posts here on CF talk about backup, backup and backup for backups. Most of us do so.

But on other "more recreational" boating forums, skippers are getting all the newer bells & whistles, forsaking gold ole handhelds for newer generation Garmin 7-hundred series chartplotters on 26 foot boats!

I truly think if their gadgets do go down they'd be screwed. Lack of situational awareness, which most of us learned from pre-Loran days, just isn't there anymore.

And books? Geez, who reads books anymore? You just ask the question on the internet, right?

They're even putting chartplotters on bareboats in the BVIs. Why?
Our boat has a 700 series plotter/radar package, with an AIS receiver wired into the plotter. That being said, a handheld is also aboard for redundancy. Chaulk it up to our extra foot of boat length lol.

Binoculars are a given..
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Old 26-06-2015, 08:55   #17
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Re: Night Sailing in SF

Just did a similar trip in the day. Much easier. Figured out the two big blips I saw on the radar were ships moored up to the docks near Red Rock.

Good idea on the binocs. So little light I don't know if I would be able to see anything.
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Old 26-06-2015, 10:57   #18
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Re: Night Sailing in SF

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
If they even have spares... Many of the posts here on CF talk about backup, backup and backup for backups. Most of us do so.

But on other "more recreational" boating forums, skippers are getting all the newer bells & whistles, forsaking gold ole handhelds for newer generation Garmin 7-hundred series chartplotters on 26 foot boats!

I truly think if their gadgets do go down they'd be screwed. Lack of situational awareness, which most of us learned from pre-Loran days, just isn't there anymore.

And books? Geez, who reads books anymore? You just ask the question on the internet, right?

They're even putting chartplotters on bareboats in the BVIs. Why?
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Old 26-06-2015, 11:44   #19
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Re: Night Sailing in SF

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Originally Posted by Charlie View Post
Just did a similar trip in the day. Much easier. Figured out the two big blips I saw on the radar were ships moored up to the docks near Red Rock.

Good idea on the binocs. So little light I don't know if I would be able to see anything.
It's remarkable how little light is needed for a good pair of 7X50's, due to the size of the lens that captures the light. In the early 90's, when the first Russian made Generation 1 night vision scopes became available (nothing like the later generation NATO ones or night imaging), I remember comparing my binocs with my brand new toy, one of those scopes. Unless it was totally dark (like in a closet), and I was using the infra red illuminator, the binocs were very nearly as good. The test was a disappointment as I had spent $500, but it made me realize the value of those Fujinons. I still have both, by the way, but guess which gets used?
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Old 26-06-2015, 12:22   #20
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Re: Night Sailing in SF

I have some West Marine 7x50 they are pretty good but not as good as the Japanese or German brands. I will try them at night next time to see how they work.
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Old 26-06-2015, 15:08   #21
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Re: Night Sailing in SF

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I have some West Marine 7x50 they are pretty good but not as good as the Japanese or German brands. I will try them at night next time to see how they work.
Charlie, see if you can borrow some Fujinons and try a comparison at night. I was amazed how much light gathering properties ours have. A huge improvement over our old Jasons. I know they're expensive, but ours have proved great. I have no connection with the company, just a pleased user. Their only downside is that they are heavy.

Ann
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Old 27-06-2015, 12:33   #22
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Re: Night Sailing in SF

Ann
Too many other expensive projects on the board right now. I would like to get some nice ones but it will have to wait.
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Old 27-06-2015, 19:58   #23
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Re: Night Sailing in SF

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I had a similar feeling the first time I used a chart plotter to enter the bay of quinte, here on lake ontario. In the past, I would x off each buoy as it passed, and I would check the numbers too. But with the chart plotter, wow, just set the course line down the channel. I felt like I was cheating, especially if the CP failed and I hadn't kept track of my position like I used to. On the other hand, for the first time I could relax a bit, and really enjoy the trip, instead of obsessing over seeing the next buoy.

After that, I very quickly gave up my old navigation practices, and just relied on the CP. Then one morning, when heading from Kingston to Main Duck Island, well out of sight of land or navigational markers, the CP would not get a fix. I wasted a lot of valuable time rebooting and such, with no success before getting out the paper charts and handheld garmin etrex backup. Although I had done this trip many time without CP before, I was uneasy, since I had begun to rely on the CP. I even cut my trip short, so that I could go home and repair the CP, rather than carry on through other tricky nav areas without the CP.

In the end, it simply required a reboot while holding down CLEAR, to restore the CP to factory setttings. Software problem.

While this was a hassle for me, at least I knew the old methods to fall back on. I wonder what will happen to the new generation who ONLY know CP and IPAD nav. Carrying spare devices will only get you so far.
It is a matter of habit and expectations...

Back when we navigated with celestial, if we got a morn and evening star fix, telling us where we were within a few miles, we felt pretty good. If it wasn't possible to get the sights for a couple of days, we were uncomfortable and had nothing but DR to tell us our location. Then we got a Sat nav, and got fixes every few hours that were good to a half mile or so, and it was good. But if we missed a couple of fixes (and that happened often enough) again we were a bit concerned about whee we might really be. Now we have GPS and we get a very accurate fix every couple of seconds, along with a lot of other data. If it goes down, as in the quoted story, even for a few minutes, then consternation sets in. Keeping up one's DR, even when the GPS is normal is a good practice. I think most of us older sailors do it subconsciously, but it is something that newer navigators should be doing as they sail along watching the video game display. Costs little, might have a big benefit someday!

Jim
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Old 30-06-2015, 10:08   #24
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Re: Night Sailing in SF

If this is a route you cruise frequently, I would also recommend recording it using your GPS (even a low end modern smart phone is capable of recording one these days).

If you every have to sail at night, another option would be to 'Follow' on of your recorded routes. A lot of modern navigation software include this follow functionality, which automatically keeps track of the cross track error for the path that you are taking versus the route you wish to follow. This is another easier, more automated cautious step one can take in such situations.



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The other day I went and had dinner in San Francisco. We took the boat across from Richmond to Pier 39. After some excellent Chinese food and a trip to Ghiradelli Square for Ice Cream it was time to head back to Richmond. Now I have done this trip dozens of time. Raced thru the area at night and just know the area pretty well. I felt confident. What little moon there was went down about 15 minutes into the trip.

I made sure that anyone in the cockpit had a life jacket on. Decided on just using the jib to sail because of better visability. Turned on the radar. Put on the chart plotter. I had a crew member steer so I could watch what was going on. We stayed in the shipping channel with the understanding that if we saw any ships we would get out of it. Saw a tug on the radar and we passed port to port. Chartplotter lead us home.I didn't really have a problem but something was nagging me. What if my chartplotter stopped working?

As I got to the approach buoys in Richmond the wind died. I dropped sail and was motoring in. I changed from the tri color to the steaming and navigation lights. I had my paper charts on the chart table but I did all of my navigation by radar and chartplotter. Cursor over the channel marker for detail "Red #6 4s" Got close enough to confirm went in the channel kept a sharp look out for boats then turned into my marina and slowed down even more to manuver thru the lights.

I had three (or four) different methods of checking myself. 1) Local Knowledge, 2) Chartplotter, 3) Radar, and 4)depth sounder. Everything lined up. In the old days -- before GPS -- I would have had a compass course to follow and I would have gotten close to the channel markers and identified each of them with a spotlight. Has an old SeaDawg learned new tricks or was I not being cautious enough? I can't decide.
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Old 31-08-2015, 19:48   #25
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Re: Night Sailing in SF

Been night sailing out of Richmond for years, the best sailing i do on the bay. The more you do it the better you get at reading things. I keep the compass headings written down in case of power failure or something quits on me then its the old compass trick.
Sail on!
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Old 31-08-2015, 20:28   #26
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Re: Night Sailing in SF

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Been night sailing out of Richmond for years, the best sailing i do on the bay. The more you do it the better you get at reading things. I keep the compass headings written down in case of power failure or something quits on me then its the old compass trick.
Sail on!
Paper charts, parallels and dividers are a must along with a decent compass. And if the compass card jumps to much a star to steer by, and if that star goes behind the waves pick a higher star. I like the electronics but also like getting home, if they quit.
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Old 31-08-2015, 22:28   #27
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Re: Night Sailing in SF

Amazing how we are still alive after navigating the East Coast, the Bay, Socal, the coast in between and Eastern Pacific with only charts, hand bearing compass, and sextant. Yeah it's nice to have all the electronic aids but a few of us managed to sail at night before all the electronic aids that became available just 2 to 3 decades ago.

Might loosen up a bit and look around you as you sail rather than have your eyes stuck on the electrons. Amazing what you might learn about navigating the old way. Might come in handy should the electrons have a brain fart.

Yeah I know I'm raining on your parade but getting around is sooooo easy when you only have the magenta line.
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