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Old 03-06-2015, 09:02   #16
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Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

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Originally Posted by Benz View Post
VHF only if other shipping is in sight. GPS gets switched on whenever a quick position fix is required.
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I usually leave gps on so that for each days run you can compare distance through the water against distance over the ground and see what the current is doing. Best ever was 70 free miles a day
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:08   #17
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Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

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Radar with guard zones on, 24/7 - invaluable aid to watchkeeping offshore. Depth alarm set at 100 meters or whatever. AIS with alarms. You can switch off the plotter PROVIDED you're absolutey sure there are no hazards anywhere near - keep in mind the race boat which smashed into an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean this year.

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100 percent agree. Colregs Rule 5.

Contrary to popular belief, ships do not always stick to shipping lanes, and there are plenty of fishing vessels out there, many (overwhelming majority) with no AIS and poor watchkeeping.

I also have/value an active radar reflector, in the deep oceans I flick the audible indicator on. If it starts to pip, I know I am being scanned.
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:10   #18
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Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

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Solo the radar gets a lot of use, but assuming open sea is well off the shelf, there's hardly anything there and anything that is will almost certainly be transmitting AIS. Radar is great for picking up squalls though, so you can get the shampoo out
If "open sea" means not too far from the coast then maybe different.

I forgot to add twice daily weatherfaxes to the previous post, IMHO invaluable. And free
Almost no deep ocean fishing vessels transmit AIS. And there are shoals of them out there from time to time, in the remotest places. Also very few interisland ferries and transport ships in non first world jurisdictions transmit AIS. In the SoPac these can be far out in the Bundu for sure.
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:13   #19
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Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

PC for OpenCPN and AIS, VHF, MFD with 3G radar on standby, turn it on and have a look every 15 minutes, AP, running lights at night, refer, SSB for weather charts, satphone for GRIBS once a day.

The AP and refrigerator are the only power hogs but 400w of solar keeps up with it unless in the fog and rain at high latitudes. We will be adding another 200w of solar and now have a Honda 2000 generator for the really dark days.
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:19   #20
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Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

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Hmm, are not folks supposed to maintain a radio watch on 16 when under way? We do... wouldn't want to miss a mayday from a nearby mariner.

So for us, VHF, AIS, wind instrument, gps, autopilot. Occasional HF, computer (OPCN).

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Indeed. It is a corollary of Rule 5. Despite this I have been passed or passed within a hundred meters on a good number of occasions by sailing vessels with:

1. No one visible on deck at any time despite being closely observed for up to 1.5 hours.
2. Zero response from attempted radio contact over many minutes.
3. Zero response from heliograph, hailer or other signals.

This is despite having active radar reflection and AIS on at all times. On at least 2 occasions I had to alter course to avoid collision. Had I been a large ship… No wonder so many commercial deck officers refer to sailors as WAFIs.

I would add radar to your list. More important than AIS. As Dockhead says, with guards set.
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:44   #21
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Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

I leave everything on unless there is something going on with the battery/power system.
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:57   #22
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Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

Radar on standby, turn on if things get busy or need to check something out. Also on if thunderstorms etc are likely.
GPS always on.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:03   #23
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Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

Mmmm . . . Navigation in the open ocean is about weather . . . . . So gribs once or twice a day, and a routing package run if there is a complicated situation (95% of the time you can eyeball the best route thru the gribs but 5% a routing algorithm gives you some insight).
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:11   #24
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Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

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Originally Posted by Muckle Flugga View Post
100 percent agree. Colregs Rule 5.

Contrary to popular belief, ships do not always stick to shipping lanes, and there are plenty of fishing vessels out there, many (overwhelming majority) with no AIS and poor watchkeeping.

I also have/value an active radar reflector, in the deep oceans I flick the audible indicator on. If it starts to pip, I know I am being scanned.
Although COLREGS require a continual visual watch, I don't think it's possible on a lightly manned recreational boat in the open ocean. There are too many things to do to keep one person staring out forward without interruption, when you may go for days without seeing anything.

So in my opinion, although it might not be completely kosher under the COLREGS, the right approach is watchkeeping which is realistic and practical and thus likely to be done.

I interpret this as regular horizon scans and all possible electronic enhancements to watchkeeping. Constant, uninterrupted staring out forward I do do, however, wherever there is a likelihood of traffic, near shore, etc.

Radar guard zones are incredibly valuable, at least if you have a radar set with good enough target discrimination not to be giving false alarms all the time. The Simrad 4G is superb for this. It's almost immune to false alarms unless the sea is very high, and you don't even really need to tune it.

An underrated enhancement to watchkeeping is the depth alarm. If you are not supposed to be on soundings for a couple of days, then why not set an alarm to tell you if you unexpectedly come onto them. This would have prevented the awful Team Vestas crash earlier this year (failing better chart work, which would have been the primary thing to do). I almost always keep some or another depth alarm on, and the last time I forgot to set it, I ran aground

AIS alarms need no explanation.

Your pilot should also be set to give alarms in case it stops steering or you go off course.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:11   #25
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Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

A/P, chartplotter, VHF, AIS and instruments on all the time. I would have loved to have the radar transmitting 24/7, but the power use is too high for us to keep-up. It only got turned on when we needed to figure-out what we were seeing.

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Old 03-06-2015, 10:15   #26
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Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

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An underrated enhancement to watchkeeping is the depth alarm. If you are not supposed to be on soundings for a couple of days, then why not set an alarm to tell you if you unexpectedly come onto them. This would have prevented the awful Team Vestas crash earlier this year (failing better chart work, which would have been the primary thing to do). I almost always keep some or another depth alarm on, and the last time I forgot to set it, I ran aground
Our Raymarine ST60 often would show a shallow reading for a few minutes anytime we are in 1000' + water. Not sure what causes this, but freaked us out the first time it happened in the windward passage.

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Old 03-06-2015, 10:16   #27
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pirate Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

W-E Transat I use Air France..
Sail due E till a plane goes over on a NE heading

then you turn left.. that's the SMX-Paris flight...
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:16   #28
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Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

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Turned off everything including nav lights for about three or four days when had some engine problems. Got boarded and soaked the ignition. Eventually got it sorted. Didn't really miss any of it at the time.
This is what I suspected. I am amazed that most of you keep your GPS up all the time. Afraid of a wormhole? It's not like you are moving someplace really quickly. Vhf and AIS I can see. How about a fix once or twice a day, cause you don't do DR...
And radar on standby? Ok. Mine boots up pretty quickly.
Now the frig...that's another matter. Wouldn't want to be uncivilized.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:26   #29
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Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

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This is what I suspected. I am amazed that most of you keep your GPS up all the time. Afraid of a wormhole? It's not like you are moving someplace really quickly. Vhf and AIS I can see. How about a fix once or twice a day, cause you don't do DR...
And radar on standby? Ok. Mine boots up pretty quickly.
Now the frig...that's another matter. Wouldn't want to be uncivilized.
Yes, I just reread the OP's post . I thought he said "out in the shipping lanes" but he said "out of the shipping lanes". GPS is most often my knot meter so like to have it on and it draws nothing. but nothing is set in concrete.
I have often used Radar to track thundercells even 10-50 miles away. You can see where they are going etc. and adjust course if you want.
Turning the radar on now and then is comforting to me. There's always that huge concrete dock with no lights from Japan floating out there.... like the one that landed on The Oregon beach last year.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:30   #30
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Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

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Our Raymarine ST60 often would show a shallow reading for a few minutes anytime we are in 1000' + water. Not sure what causes this, but freaked us out the first time it happened in the windward passage.

Matt
It makes for good stories as you can tell people you sailed over a whale, shark or best of all A SUB.

On our last passage we kept everything (wind, depth, plotter, pc, radar) on when the motors were running and put the radar to sleep when the motors shutdown.
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