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Old 27-06-2012, 19:44   #1
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Old school navigation

Any ideas from old school sailors on how to make an accurate chip log?
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Old 27-06-2012, 19:48   #2
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Re: Old school navigation

what for ? most old school sailors can look at the wake and accurately judge boat speed to within 1/2 a knot or less..........
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Old 27-06-2012, 20:00   #3
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Re: Old school navigation

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Originally Posted by ScottyT View Post
Any ideas from old school sailors on how to make an accurate chip log?
Have a look here.....

Navigation and Logbooks in the Age of Sail
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Old 27-06-2012, 20:17   #4
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Re: Old school navigation

Chip Log

If you are going that route you may also be interested in a traverse board to keep track of data.
Traverse board - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Navigation: The Traverse Board
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Old 28-06-2012, 08:11   #5
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Thanks for the references!! They are very helpful.
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Old 28-06-2012, 08:44   #6
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Re: Old school navigation

There is nothing wrong with learning old school navigation. Learning at least some of it is a good idea.
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Old 28-06-2012, 08:51   #7
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There is nothing wrong with learning old school navigation. Learning at least some of it is a good idea.
I agree... re-creating traditional equipment makes for interesting projects too.
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Old 28-06-2012, 09:12   #8
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Re: Old school navigation

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I agree... re-creating traditional equipment makes for interesting projects too.
why re-create traditional equipment when you can improve upon it?

1. set autopilot and retrieve a bottle of beer, a bottle opener, and a laser rangefinder from down below.
2. open bottle, being careful to save bottle cap.
3. drink beer.
4. replace cap on bottle.
5. while noting the position of second hand on watch, drop bottle over the side.
6. in exactly sixty seconds, note distance of bottle using laser rangefinder
7. compute speed
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Old 28-06-2012, 14:23   #9
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Re: Old school navigation

But what if we loose sight of the bottle in about 15 sec in the swells? Don't laugh! I have trouble with a life jacket by the time all hands are on deck for a mob drill...
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Old 28-06-2012, 16:48   #10
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Re: Old school navigation

Yep. Throw anything biodegradable overboard and count the time.

If you happen to know how long your boat is, then you know how fast you are going.

IMPORTANT: allow for any current running!!!

b.
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Old 28-06-2012, 17:01   #11
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Re: Old school navigation

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But what if we loose sight of the bottle in about 15 sec in the swells?
Open another beer! Tough job I know.

Doing old school stuff can be fun if that is all you are out to do. The idea that you pretend to do things the old ways instead of new ways is very un-sailor like. Sailors always have opted for the latest and greatest. It's just that up until quite modern times there were not such alternatives. The current modern magnetic compass is just over 100 years old.

To me the only seriously useful old school skills come with piloting.

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IMPORTANT: allow for any current running!!!
And you can measure that by?
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Old 28-06-2012, 17:27   #12
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Re: Old school navigation

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...
Doing old school stuff can be fun if that is all you are out to do. The idea that you pretend to do things the old ways instead of new ways is very un-sailor like. Sailors always have opted for the latest and greatest.....
I think this glosses over something else sailors have always done (the good ones...)

They've recognised the limitations of the latest and greatest, particularly with respect to reliability, and kept alternative options alive.

When chronometers became affordable, masters did not tear up their tables for lunar distances.

When engines made it feasible to sail with impunity into deep inlets with onshore winds, prudent mariners did not forget the skills of kedging, warping and towing.

I recall in the mid 80s having to drop everything to be flown to join a large sailing vessel as paid navigator in the South Pacific.
The boat's owner and skipper (and designer, who was also on board) had all embraced the 'latest and greatest', being satellite navigation, backed up with programmable calculator*, and had lost the skills to cope - even basic DR - when minor failures accumulated under adverse conditions. The resulting debacle left them unwilling to continue under their own resources.

Now that we're outsourcing most of our crucial safety-related functions, we make ourselves increasingly vulnerable to capricious circumstance.

My firm opinion is that a prudent mariner would keep alternative options alive, particularly in respect of the three L's, one of which is "Log"



-------

*the programmable calculator was all they had for sight reduction. They did still have a 'state of the art' old school sextant, so they weren't devoid of the sort of prudence I'm advocating, but its useability was contingent on being able to reduce the sights.

The calculator was the latest and greatest, cost more than the tables would have, and featured a wonderfully legible printout, meaning you didn't have to peer at the little screen and so you had an audit trail.
Trouble is, the (commercial) programmer never thought to provide the option to send the data to the screen in the case where the printer didn't run, ran out of paper or ink, or (as happened here) dried up in tropical heat. The calculator would still have known exactly where they were ... which was probably the source of some frustration to them.

When you outsource crucial decisions, you have to live with any limitations designed in, and unperceived by, someone who does not report to you, whom you will never meet, and who has no skin in the game.
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Old 28-06-2012, 18:27   #13
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Re: Old school navigation

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They've recognised the limitations of the latest and greatest, particularly with respect to reliability, and kept alternative options alive.
That really isn't true over the long history of sailing. No one knows the limits of the latest and greatest until well past it's demise by the newest. They took off for around the globe for exploration with a compass that didn't really work right given they had no concept of deviation and variation and they had the most crude concepts of navigation on ships that could not perform very well with charts that were a joke. The sextant readings were probably more accurate than the charts. They basically did it anyway! They did however use the best they could get.

Sailors died doing it and were considered expendable by those arrogant enough to say so. It's easy to be critical of any technology old or new but it makes the old technology no better even if no worse. What if GPS turned off? What if you lost your pencil? The possible problems are without limit in any technology.

Quote:
When you outsource crucial decisions, you have to live with any limitations designed in, and unperceived by, someone who does not report to you, whom you will never meet, and who has no skin in the game.
Failing to learn beyond the past has it's own problems too. When you think you are personally infallible and wholly responsible then you can believe the impossible and die trying to prove it. Arrogance is not the same as talent. Under extreme stress performance is diminished and prone to fatal error. Being tedious does not make the process less prone to error. I'm sure ships smashed into rocks as the navigator was being tedious with reduction tables to compute a wrong position in a hurry.

There is fundamental care and best practice with all technologies but I don't think older technologies were any less rigorous even if modern technologies may be encapsulated by a button.
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Old 28-06-2012, 19:04   #14
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Re: Old school navigation

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My firm opinion is that a prudent mariner would keep alternative options alive, particularly in respect of the three L's, one of which is "Log"
OK, I'll bite, what are the other 2 "L's"?
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Old 28-06-2012, 20:30   #15
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Re: Old school navigation

Paul

I'm not sure if yours is a straw man argument or a simple misunderstanding. You appear to be arguing against a proposition which AFAIK has not been put up in this thread, and certainly not by me.
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