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Old 24-09-2016, 15:50   #106
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

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The "simplified way" meaning just sail in the right general direction until you see land, then stand off and sail along the coast until you see a harbor. Follow other vessels in; avoid hazards by visual watchkeeping and follow the buoyage when you reach it.
In many places, harbours and other vessels are few and far between.

It's often necessary to combine navigation with pilotage/map reading skills and "sail along the coast until you identify shore features".
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Old 24-09-2016, 16:17   #107
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

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In many places, harbours and other vessels are few and far between.

It's often necessary to combine navigation with pilotage/map reading skills and "sail along the coast until you identify shore features".
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Old 24-09-2016, 16:19   #108
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

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Most people have smartphones, iPads, hand held GPSs that will all get you home in an emergency. As an aside I have been using screenshots from Google Earth to plan entry into obscure anchorages in the Greek Islands. Can plan where to drop your anchor right down to a specific patch of sand. A lot of the islands don't have much detail on the charts (Paper or Electronic)
And I have them too. As well as paper charts, compass, and a sextant on board as well. I also plot my course and oh my god, I even mark up my charts updating them with information as I travel.. However, I never get lost while out in it. To each their own, but I personally believe understanding basic navigation is a must for blue water cruisers. JUST MY OPINION..
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Old 24-09-2016, 16:26   #109
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

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Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

I mean, everyone will always have GPS...
An easy 50-60% of cruisers don't know how to keep a DR location on a chart...or even know what DR stands for besides Dark Rum. So they are 100% GPS Dependent.

But....they also don't know how do a lot of other things on their boats, but their they are living the dream without ever realizing they shouldn't "be there". In the early says when I was more arrogant about sailing skills I would look down on these folks, but the longer I'm in this game and the more people I see that are all talk and no cattle (as they say in Texas since I'm in the booth at the Texas show as I type this) I'm actually glad they made it.
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Old 24-09-2016, 18:38   #110
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

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Fed up with frigates being parked on rocks..
Not according to CF. Here they say our govts are getting ready for WW3 " ... for only a global war can wipe out the gps ..."

Well. Opinions. Mine is that a strong solar storm is way higher up the same list.

Frigates ending up un the rocks are paid for with taxpayers' money and insured with taxpayers' money. Govts will not care. ;-)

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Old 24-09-2016, 20:10   #111
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

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Not according to CF. Here they say our govts are getting ready for WW3 " ... for only a global war can wipe out the gps ..."

Well. Opinions. Mine is that a strong solar storm is way higher up the same list.

Frigates ending up un the rocks are paid for with taxpayers' money and insured with taxpayers' money. Govts will not care. ;-)

b.
This might be reasonable... Except that in the strongest storm in centuries (2003) GPS did just fine. The signal was degraded by 100m or so. And modern (i.e. Since 2003) sattelites have been further hardened to survive even stronger storms.

Currently those people in charge of the various systems are saying that GPS signals will degrade by an order of magnitude less than the 2003 storm. On even the worst solar storm on the scale accuracy of the EU system is supposed to degrade from 1cm to 10m.

If I can't figure out where to go with a positional accuracy of 10m, then celestial isn't going to help.
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Old 24-09-2016, 22:46   #112
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

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This might be reasonable... Except that in the strongest storm in centuries (2003) GPS did just fine. The signal was degraded by 100m or so. And modern (i.e. Since 2003) sattelites have been further hardened to survive even stronger storms. . . .
The 2003 Halloween Storms were not the strongest storms in centuries, they were the strongest storm in 144yr. Look up Solar Storm of 1859, aka Carrington Event.

Arguably there were other recent solar storms that were stronger, certainly they did more damage. Quebec, 1989 for instance, though I will admit that was terrestrial rather than satellite damage.

But then terrestrial damage can impact satellite operations even if the satellites aren't damaged. The satellite constellations are managed from ground stations that provide references to determine the exact position of the satellites in orbit so they can rebroadcast for the GPS receivers. They also provide timing references. For a period, days, a week, several weeks, the satellites can continue on (dead-reckoning as it were) but accuracy will degrade overtime.

Impediments to the ground stations could be as prosaic as power grid failure which would be back-stopped by generators until fuel supplies dried up.

Power surges may also disable the electronics and/or drive motors for the dishes.
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Old 24-09-2016, 23:08   #113
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

Back in the 80's I sailed at night with nothing more than a spot light which could only be used sparingly. Being in the Bay, I triangulated using blinking buoy lights and other visible line of sight objects. A sextant would not have provided enough accuracy to keep me from hitting anything. My fears are still the same today, hitting unlit markers, crab and fish traps and other boats. Probably at the top of my list for navigating at night would be a good radar. Don't have one yet, but from what I hear, the new 4G units can spot crab trap markers out in front of the boat. Now that is useful. Until then my GPS and AIS are my best friends. And I'm not going to worry in paranoid fear waiting for lightning strikes, solar events and WW3.
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Old 24-09-2016, 23:26   #114
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
In many places, harbours and other vessels are few and far between.

It's often necessary to combine navigation with pilotage/map reading skills and "sail along the coast until you identify shore features".
Yes, of course. If you have any kind of charts of the area, then you're way ahead of the game. If besides that, you have a working HBC, and know how to do basic chartwork, you're golden. But we were talking about the worst case scenario -- no charts, all electronics fried -- and why we shouldn't be afraid even of that.
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Old 24-09-2016, 23:32   #115
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

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. . . Probably at the top of my list for navigating at night would be a good radar. Don't have one yet, but from what I hear, the new 4G units can spot crab trap markers out in front of the boat. Now that is useful. . .
I have three years and thousands of miles of experience with the 4G radar. It has extremely good target discrimination and you can sometimes see crab pot buoys in calm weather, but you can't rely on it for that.

It does not have good bearing discrimination, so it is actually not as good for navigation as a pulse radar with a larger antenna, especially an open array.
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Old 25-09-2016, 00:58   #116
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

...
Quote:
but the longer I'm in this game and the more people I see that are all talk and no cattle (as they say in Texas since I'm in the booth at the Texas show as I type this) I'm actually glad they made it.
As a Texan, I believe that's "all HAT and no cattle."

But I agree, nobody gets into any activity knowing everything they need to know from the start. The key is in understanding that you don't know everything, and never will. Willingness to learn is something we should never lose.

Sailing on Lake Travis, I don't need celestial navigation. Because I plan to retire to salt water, I'm learning it now.

As my former boss once put it:

"Ignorance can be cured, stupidity is forever."
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Old 25-09-2016, 02:26   #117
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

I dont always agree with Ron but in this case his analogies do work. I do believe that not to have an alternative to GPS failure is not good practice. We were at sea when the system was turned off during the first Gulf War and the panic on the HF was considerable - we were OK as we had not entered the digital age at that time. Many folks then had sextants on board but no tables and no knowledge of how to take a sight, let alone reduce it.
That has not recurred since but we were struck by lightning in Durban harbour a few years later and that toasted our instruments. I'll be keeping paper charts (basics) for all new area's and also my tables. Murphys law dictates that it shall happen again otherwise.




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Of course they work. Unless you just want to argue.
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Old 25-09-2016, 02:53   #118
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

Hi Dockhead .....I would love to hear more of your 4G experience, from what model you elected to buy, the installation, and its pro's and con's. Many thanks.


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I have three years and thousands of miles of experience with the 4G radar. It has extremely good target discrimination and you can sometimes see crab pot buoys in calm weather, but you can't rely on it for that.

It does not have good bearing discrimination, so it is actually not as good for navigation as a pulse radar with a larger antenna, especially an open array.
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Old 25-09-2016, 03:29   #119
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

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Hi Dockhead .....I would love to hear more of your 4G experience, from what model you elected to buy, the installation, and its pro's and con's. Many thanks.
Why don't you start a new thread in the Electronics section? I'll post there, and you'll get a lot of feedback from others as well.

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Old 25-09-2016, 03:32   #120
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

Zboss, we carry the British Admiralty chart catalogue with us, its not an expensive catalogue to buy and details every chart globally in graphic format as well as numerically. It is surprising how many crusiers dont know of its existance. For our cruising area we have every likely BA or South African chart we could need for the entire Indian Ocean/Red Sea/Eastern Med.
We shall be looking westwards for our next exploration and Im beginning to collect charts at a scale I am happy with - massively useful for route planning as well as keeping upto date with position notation twice a day. Dont overlook at what happened to the Team Vestas boat ran it ran aground on the Cargados Carajos shoals. Had they kept a paper chart updated they would have been aware its existance - instead the chart plotter was scaled out and the shoal was not displayed. I am concerned that even the BA paper charts are now being phased out.......the total reliance on digital is getting scarier.


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We got hit last year. Took most of our electronics but only one of our 11 GPS and chart plotting instruments on board. Did you know that your compass can go off by 90 degrees after getting struck by lightning? Yeah, those pesky ferrous metals on your boat become magnetized. Like our 7 feet of backup steering pipe that is stored under the compass to be used when we snap a steering cable.

I'm more worried about our autopilot being taken out. Wish we could add a wind vane, instead we will add several backups.

I'm in the "not likely to lose all our GPS or chartplotters" category but also - "it would be nice to at least KNOW celestial navigation and keep a plot of your relative position". We do not carry full charts on board but we do keep guides and books that we can reference which have at least the basic charts needed for the areas we sail.
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