Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 01-10-2016, 16:16   #181
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK/Portugal
Posts: 18,570
Images: 2
Send a message via Skype™ to boatman61
pirate Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
But can you communicate with someone in the distance using smoke signals?
.
Some fire lighters and green wood and a fire blanket.. no problem..
If its good enuf for Redford..
__________________

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Click on de Pic 4 de Site^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2016, 16:48   #182
Senior Cruiser
 
StuM's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Port Moresby,Papua New Guinea
Boat: FP Belize Maestro 43
Posts: 4,571
Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sammyo View Post

Are multi-frequency "GPS" receivers for the other systems (Galileo, Beidou, GLONASS) available yet?
Even my old Samsug Galaxy SII received GLONASS as well.

There are now lots of "quad system" chips on the market, but I don't know which, if any, production receivers use them.
__________________

__________________
StuM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2016, 16:52   #183
Senior Cruiser
 
StuM's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Port Moresby,Papua New Guinea
Boat: FP Belize Maestro 43
Posts: 4,571
Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post

Let's say all electronics are down. No idea why you think you need to know your position to adjust your compass. At night find the north star. Point the boat at it and mark what your compass says. Then point the boat away from it and read the compass. Do the same thing with it on each beam and you can now set a heading based on the cardinal directions.

Can't see the north star where I sail
__________________
StuM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2016, 16:59   #184
Senior Cruiser
 
StuM's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Port Moresby,Papua New Guinea
Boat: FP Belize Maestro 43
Posts: 4,571
Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
If you want to do it during the day, watch where the sun rises and sets and make a rough estimate based on your starting location Ie: if close to the equator at an equinox, sun rises in east and sets in west. If north, guestimate that it's a bit south of east/west.
If you've got an analog watch or clock, point the hour hand at the sun. The N/S line lies half way between the hour hand and 12 o'clock. (if it's a digital watch, try to remember where the numbers were when you last had an analog watch and aim in the general direction )
__________________
StuM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2016, 17:35   #185
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,874
Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuM View Post
If you've got an analog watch or clock, point the hour hand at the sun. The N/S line lies half way between the hour hand and 12 o'clock. (if it's a digital watch, try to remember where the numbers were when you last had an analog watch and aim in the general direction )
Good trick (and there are many more) but for someone with minimal astronomical knowledge, most people are familiar with where the sun rises and sets and can make a good rough estimate to set a compass heading (north star is even better if not too far south)

Reality is for the vanishingly rare situation where all electronics fail, there are simple options that will get you pointed in the right direction.
__________________
valhalla360 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2016, 18:15   #186
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 15,364
Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

Most cruisers do not navigate anyways. They simply go from one place to another.

And I am fine with this. The ocean is a huge playfield, let everyone sail their own way.

b.
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2016, 21:46   #187
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 5,516
Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ur2slo View Post
I couldn't help but add to a simply complex situation here.........

I learned this long ago.....it can cross over to sailing easily. Just substitute nautical terms..


Cat & Duck Method of Instrument Flight

The basic rules for the Cat and Duck method of instrument flight are fairly well known and are extremely simple. Here's how it's done:

1. Place a live cat on the cockpit floor; because a cat always remains upright, he or she can be used in lieu of a needle and ball. Merely watch to see which way the cat leans to determine is a wing is low, and if so, which one.

2. The duck is used for the instrument approach and landing. Because of the fact that any sensible duck will refuse to fly under instrument conditions, it is only necessary to hurl your duck out of the plane and follow her to the ground.

There are some limitations to the Cat and Duck Method, but by rigidly adhering to the following checklist, a degree of success will be achieved which will surely startle you, your passengers, and even an occasional tower operator:

1. Get a wide-awake cat. Most cats do not want to stand up at all. It may be necessary to carry a large dog in the cockpit to keep the cat at attention.

2. Make sure your cat is clean. Dirty cats will spend all their time washing. Trying to follow a washing cat usually results in a tight snap roll followed by an inverted spin (flat).

3. Use old cats only. Young cats have nine lives, but old, used-up cats with only one life left have just as much to lose as you do and will be more dependable.

4. Beware of cowardly ducks. If the duck discovers that you are using the cat to stay upright, she will refuse to leave without the cat. Ducks are no better in IFR conditions than you are.

5. Be sure that the duck has good eyesight. Nearsighted ducks sometimes fail to realize that they are on the gauges and go flogging off into the nearest hill. Very nearsighted ducks will not realize they have been thrown out and will descend to the ground in a sitting position. This maneuver is very difficult to follow in an airplane.

6. Use land-loving ducks. It is very discouraging to break out and find yourself on final for a rice paddy, particularly if there are duck hunters around. Duck hunters suffer from temporary insanity while sitting in freezing weather in the blinds and will shoot at anything that flies.

7. Choose your duck carefully. It is easy to confuse ducks with geese because many water birds look alike. While they are very competent instrument fliers, geese seldom want to go in the same direction as you. If your duck heads off for Canada or Mexico, you may be sure that you have been given the goose. From Instrument Flying by Richard Taylor
This has my vote as: Navigational Post of the Year

We all talk about backups...
but the simplest backup is maintaining and hourly written log with:
COG/SMG/MAG COMPASS HEADING/ LAT-LONG/WIND DATA/SPD LOG

Old Chart (if you prefer) remains stored ready to plot your DR position following the historical guidance from your hourly logged plots so that you can continue with a reasonable level of confidence until you get some kind of fix based on your abilities or luck.

No big deal and just common sense.
__________________
Pelagic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2016, 01:53   #188
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,874
Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Most cruisers do not navigate anyways. They simply go from one place to another.

And I am fine with this. The ocean is a huge playfield, let everyone sail their own way.

b.
I've yet to meet a cruiser (even the most idiotic) that doesn't navigate every time they leave the dock.

Intentionally getting from one place to another is by definition navigating.

Correction: There is the stray cruiser that gets lost but even then they are typically navigating...just not navigating well.
__________________
valhalla360 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2016, 02:36   #189
Senior Cruiser
 
StuM's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Port Moresby,Papua New Guinea
Boat: FP Belize Maestro 43
Posts: 4,571
Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
I've yet to meet a cruiser (even the most idiotic) that doesn't navigate every time they leave the dock.

Intentionally getting from one place to another is by definition navigating.

Correction: There is the stray cruiser that gets lost but even then they are typically navigating...just not navigating well.
+1

Navigate:
The term stems from 1530s, from Latin navigationem (nom. navigatio), from navigatus, pp. of navigare "to sail, sail over, go by sea, steer a ship," from navis "ship" and the root of agere "to drive".

If you steer your vessel to a destination, you are navigating, even if your only instrument is a Mk 1 eyeball.
__________________
StuM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2016, 03:51   #190
Senior Cruiser
 
Ann T. Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 7,354
Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

Well, it seems to me that Dockhead's right. If you are a long distance cruiser, you should have already fixed in your mind, the general course to your destination. Then, ultimately, it comes down to piloting skills. All we really need is to arrive at a legal entry port. However, there are the odd miscellaneous rocks, atolls, reefs in the way, and that's where your paper charts will really help if the chartplotters are down. If you know how to run a DR, that is.

Your choice.

Ann
__________________
Ann & Jim, U.S. s/v Insatiable II, free at last, will check in when in internet range
Ann T. Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2016, 05:28   #191
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cruising Indian Ocean / Red Sea - home is Zimbabwe
Boat: V45
Posts: 1,198
Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

Really? You think that would work? This is trawled from some light reading point of view and not practical. Of course people keep batteries - anyone that has cruised does this - just as they shall be aware that they degrade over time and that its a schlepp to keep them 'fresh'. The batteries shall rapidly be consumed on a passage. If this is your back up plan then good luck.
I dont use a tablet for navigation, and I stand happy to be corrected, but I thought you needed an external input to get it to operate as a gps off-shore? If I am correct then your theory falls over. Again, though, how are you going to recharge the tablet? It shall run flat rapidly. The lack of comprehension of navigation is self evident. Switch on the hand held unit to know where you are? What about little items enroute like the shoal that took out Team Vespas? That area is nearly 200 km sq.
Your next point: you are coming around to accepting the view that knowledge of traditional navigation is a sensible precaution as you are now requiring the use of heavenly bodies. I also note that not necessarily the most practical ones either. Pointing your boat at the north star for setting your compass? If you are close to the equator then Polaris shall be on the horizon. I doubt many even are aware of that. You'll also find the closest you'll get is around 10 degree's accuracy on a flat sea, on a moving vessel you can double that. Not withstanding, you need some basic celestial knowledge. From mid-ocean you shall end up in a completely different place to that intended with just 10 degree's out; if sailing towards the Marqueses from Galapagos you'll not even see them. In reality I suspect the accuracy shall be vastly worse. How many people even know how to find Polaris? Of course you need an idea of your position to know where to start from. Your little book of how to navigate is of zero use unless you have a starting point. It needn't be pin point but you need a decent approximation. This where having a paper chart becomes critical. Are you aware of variation and its impact on your compass? You are going to swing your compass reliant on Polaris? I believe you are going to have far greater problems than me without your 12volts, should you venture mid ocean and a lightning strike takes out your systems. I have yet to meet a cruiser that really keeps backups in a Farday cage type arrangement despite knowing they could be better off doing so.
You have not even considered other navigation issues - including prevailing currents or understanding of leeway etc. How shall you overcome that?
If I took it a step further than how many are reliant on their refrigeration?

At the end of the day, I also use technology for instant navigation (and for my refrigeration) but if I lost all power tomorrow we have the means to continue safely albeit in less comfort.

I accept that this is perhaps not so pertinent to coastal sailors.





Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
We have a bag full of misc batteries. If you have battery operated devices, why wouldn't you have replacements?

I have a 6yr old tablet that only goes for about 2hrs (battery is getting old). If I turn it on twice a day for 5 minutes to get a position, that's good for about 12 days. When it was new, it was good for about 6hrs or around 36 days. We actually have 2 tablets, 2 smartphones, 2 laptops with USB-GPS, plus a dedicated handheld, so if batteries go on one, we can use another (and this is fairly typical of modern cruising boats). That's going to generally be good enough to get you to land.

I can also use them to get a compass heading if the stars aren't out and then compare that to the analog compass so I can hold a heading.

Let's say all electronics are down. No idea why you think you need to know your position to adjust your compass. At night find the north star. Point the boat at it and mark what your compass says. Then point the boat away from it and read the compass. Do the same thing with it on each beam and you can now set a heading based on the cardinal directions.

If you want to do it during the day, watch where the sun rises and sets and make a rough estimate based on your starting location Ie: if close to the equator at an equinox, sun rises in east and sets in west. If north, guestimate that it's a bit south of east/west.

If you are that far from land, you have plenty of time to think thru solutions.
__________________
Bulawayo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2016, 05:40   #192
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cruising Indian Ocean / Red Sea - home is Zimbabwe
Boat: V45
Posts: 1,198
Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

Agreed Ann, but the people dependent upon their chart plotters likely cannot use DR and on an ocean passage most anyone shall end up many, many degrees off course. The other factors already mentioned including currents, leeway, variation also play a significant factor to arriving. Having a small scale chart is a huge plus factor in the survivability stakes. Being able to run DR calcs then is also an enormous leap ahead but completing the circle and knowing how to use a sextant (etc) is very satisfying and the cost in monetary terms can be very low. I just dont understand the resistance to learning when it could save your life.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Well, it seems to me that Dockhead's right. If you are a long distance cruiser, you should have already fixed in your mind, the general course to your destination. Then, ultimately, it comes down to piloting skills. All we really need is to arrive at a legal entry port. However, there are the odd miscellaneous rocks, atolls, reefs in the way, and that's where your paper charts will really help if the chartplotters are down. If you know how to run a DR, that is.

Your choice.

Ann
__________________
Bulawayo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2016, 06:22   #193
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,874
Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulawayo View Post
Really? You think that would work? This is trawled from some light reading point of view and not practical. Of course people keep batteries - anyone that has cruised does this - just as they shall be aware that they degrade over time and that its a schlepp to keep them 'fresh'. The batteries shall rapidly be consumed on a passage. If this is your back up plan then good luck.

I'm confused, so you don't keep fresh batteries on board for your electronics that use disposable batteries. If that's your assumption, certainly is dumb and will cause problems.

I dont use a tablet for navigation, and I stand happy to be corrected, but I thought you needed an external input to get it to operate as a gps off-shore? If I am correct then your theory falls over.

While I don't use it as a primary navigation, you might want to catch up with the modern world. Pretty much every tablet and smartphone made in the last 5yrs has built in GPS that functions just fine away from the cell network. Lots of free apps that can be used for mapping those coordinates.

Again, though, how are you going to recharge the tablet? It shall run flat rapidly.

Worst case scenario with an old tablet with poor battery life, I have 2 weeks of twice a day fixes. With multiple devices, I demonstrated over a months worth of twice a day fixes.

The lack of comprehension of navigation is self evident. Switch on the hand held unit to know where you are? What about little items enroute like the shoal that took out Team Vespas?

Maybe use those fixes to steer a course well clear. If it's 200km sq, keep clear by 300km. Yeah it's longer but worth the trouble in a tough situation.

That area is nearly 200 km sq.
Your next point: you are coming around to accepting the view that knowledge of traditional navigation is a sensible precaution as you are now requiring the use of heavenly bodies.

The issue I have with the premise is the implication that only sextant based navigation is acceptable. Dead reckoning and other basic navigation skills are still I widespread use by the vast majority of cruises.

I also note that not necessarily the most practical ones either. Pointing your boat at the north star for setting your compass? If you are close to the equator then Polaris shall be on the horizon. Perfect, you get a better fix compared to northern latitudes.I doubt many even are aware of that. You'll also find the closest you'll get is around 10 degree's accuracy on a flat sea, on a moving vessel you can double that. Better than nothing and realistically, hand steering 24/7 for days, 10 deg is abut the best you could do anyway.

Not withstanding, you need some basic celestial knowledge. From mid-ocean you shall end up in a completely different place to that intended with just 10 degree's out; if sailing towards the Marqueses from Galapagos you'll not even see them. In reality I suspect the accuracy shall be vastly worse.
This isn't about accuracy. It's about pointing in a reasonable direction. If you can head reliably in the same direction, you have an idea of what you will find. Even if you are a couple hundred miles off, at least you aren't wandering in circles.

How many people even know how to find Polaris?Most.

Of course you need an idea of your position to know where to start from. Yeah, you last charted position, but that has nothing to do with working out your compass headingYour little book of how to navigate is of zero use unless you have a starting point. It needn't be pin point but you need a decent approximation. This where having a paper chart becomes critical. I doubt even the most foolish open ocean navigators have no idea where they are.Are you aware of variation and its impact on your compass? You are going to swing your compass reliant on Polaris? No need to mess with compass. Just jot down the heading that the compass reads at different headings relative to north.I believe you are going to have far greater problems than me without your 12volts, should you venture mid ocean and a lightning strike takes out your systems. I have yet to meet a cruiser that really keeps backups in a Farday cage type arrangement despite knowing they could be better off doing so.
You have not even considered other navigation issues - including prevailing currents or understanding of leeway etc. How shall you overcome that? Again at that point, it's getting you in the right general area. but odds of all electronics going bad are vanishing low.
If I took it a step further than how many are reliant on their refrigeration? Most people have plenty of dry goods. It may not be a luxurious diet but plenty good enough to get by for a couple weeks.

At the end of the day, I also use technology for instant navigation (and for my refrigeration) but if I lost all power tomorrow we have the means to continue safely albeit in less comfort. As do most every other cruiser out there including those who don't own a sextant.

I accept that this is perhaps not so pertinent to coastal sailors.and even less so to blue water sailors.
Enjoy your hobby playing with a sextant but the modern world has left it behind.
__________________
valhalla360 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2016, 06:49   #194
Registered User
 
Sandero's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Southern Westchester/Northport LI
Boat: Shiva - Contest 36s
Posts: 4,012
Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

I think for all practical purposes... probably 99.9% of boating is recreational within 10 miles from the coast line... and most *navigation* can be done with... and is being done with electronic stuff from designated marine gear to mobile devices. And people can and do have multiple devices which they use (redundancy). This has probably made recreational boating MORE safe...

BUT....

If you are going to leave the well worn, beaten path... you likely need to have more reliability and back up and some old world navigation skills and charts. You may not need them... but if your electronics go belly up... you'd be SOL out there. And that would be not a prudent approach to the mission.
__________________
Sandero is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2016, 07:40   #195
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: [S]Hamble (Spring and Fall)[/S], Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 16,746
Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulawayo View Post
. . . Of course people keep batteries - anyone that has cruised does this - just as they shall be aware that they degrade over time and that its a schlepp to keep them 'fresh'. The batteries shall rapidly be consumed on a passage. If this is your back up plan then good luck.
Why does there have to be a traditional nav vs. electronics dichotomy? I personally think you need to be strong in both. They are very much complementary to one another.

As to batteries: Duracells are good for 10 years. https://www.duracell.com/en-us/produ...ertop-battery/

I keep a significant supply (maybe 80 of them) vacuum packed with desiccation and oxygen absorbers in the grab bag. That is on top of the normal ship's supply (used for flashlights and all kinds of other stuff).

No kind of schlepp at all.

Besides that, a solar charger for anything which has a rechargeable battery.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulawayo View Post
I dont use a tablet for navigation, and I stand happy to be corrected, but I thought you needed an external input to get it to operate as a gps off-shore? If I am correct then your theory falls over.
No, the GPS on modern tablets, the GPS works like any other. Actually better, since they all now receive GLONASS as well as GPS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulawayo View Post
Again, though, how are you going to recharge the tablet? It shall run flat rapidly. The lack of comprehension of navigation is self evident. Switch on the hand held unit to know where you are? What about little items enroute like the shoal that took out Team Vespas? That area is nearly 200 km sq. . . .
I keep an old Android tablet with GPS/GLONASS, OpenCPN, and the whole world on CM93 charts, in a cookie tin. Recharge it with the solar charger.

But in an emergency situation, you probably wouldn't even need to recharge it. Switch it on once or twice a day and use DR in between.


I think we're all grossly overthinking this. If you have a bit of common sense and normal seamanship, and a minimal level of preparation, then none of these things is a matter of life and death.

My Dad's boat was hit directly by lightning some years ago, which obliterated everything electronic and electric on board except the engine starting system. Unlike me, he had no backups to anything.

Did he freak out? My Dad is not the greatest navigator in the world, but he didn't freak out. In fact he continued his cruise using a HBC and paper charts, windex, etc., and basic pilotage, without any electronic navigation aids of any kind, no sextant, and no way to know his position except three point fixes, and if I know him, he didn't even bother to do those. When in doubt, he just stood off. No big deal. The worst thing was he couldn't make ice for his martinis, and I bet he would have stayed out another week if it hadn't been for that.
__________________

__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Europe's inland waterways - how to navigate Orchidius Navigation 8 30-12-2014 02:21
Need some perspective to navigate this cat purchase from Moorings in St Maarten Zindar Multihull Sailboats 12 12-03-2014 07:33
Really? Does Nobody Here Know What The Damned Thing is Supposed To Do? charliehows Propellers & Drive Systems 3 29-11-2012 20:10
Nobody Said it Was Going to Be Easy . . . Declemy OpenCPN 7 29-12-2010 12:52
I Live in Kansas and Nobody Knows Anything About Sailing. Buying Advice? [pics] Kansas Dollars & Cents 12 19-01-2010 16:40


Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:29.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.