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Old 03-06-2015, 10:32   #31
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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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Same here, except my VHF is also on when reasonably near my destination. My bulkhead mounted compass gets more use than the GPS and tablet running OpenCPN in a linux chroot environment put together...
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:33   #32
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Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

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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.
Yes, yes, and yes. Well, Rule 5 is about maintaining watchkeeping by all available and practicable means. It is clear a singlehander can't maintain constant visual watch, but the Ouzo example shows that the rules are also interpreted to mean electronic watch.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:47   #33
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Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

For Navigation the chart, a compass, DR and a daily GPS fix.

Watchkeeping with binoculars and old fashioned eyeballing. If I get a radar might set on alarm during naps.

As questioned, open sea, neither much navigation to do nor much to watch except the tip of the fishing rod and coffee pot on the stowe..
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Old 03-06-2015, 11:24   #34
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Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

Lots of other good replies in here, but I'd like to chime in with a request to keep your VHF on! During our Atlantic crossing we crossed paths with another sailboat twice within 24 hours and tried to hail them repeatedly. Never got a reply the first day so we adjusted course to give ourselves more room. The second day they didn't respond to our hails but they finally hailed us when they spotted us.

They had absolutely no idea we had crossed within a couple of miles the previous day. Both boats had AIS but even with five people on their boat, not one of them spotted us or noticed us on AIS. If they'd had their VHF on, it would have made things much easier for us to determine how to handle the situation.
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:17   #35
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Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
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
.
I used to the depth alarm on my B&G Triton for just that reason. Unfortunately, when off soundings, that unit will suddenly register 4.5 meters for a brief time, setting off the alarms and causing panic aboard and much soiling of shorts. After a few of these I had to stop using the alarm. I contacted tech support and B&G's response was "yeah, it'll do that sometimes". Sigh.
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:38   #36
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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.
I keep all electronics up, all the time. Not something to save power on, in my opinion. Only question is what screen to leave the MFD's on. Off soundings, no need for the plotter screen, so radar is it. And/or the nifty B&G Sailsteer screen, depending on the point of sail.

YMMV depending on your power situation. We have a heavy duty diesel genset which we are not too shy to use as necessary.
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Old 03-06-2015, 13:00   #37
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Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

Delorme In-Reach with the cruising package and an iPad. Let's you know 24/7 where you are, allows communication with home base for weather forecasts etc.
Allows your tracking to be followed by your friends. You should stock up on batteries or get the new rechargeable unit.
I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread.
Cheers, Catman
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Old 03-06-2015, 13:15   #38
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Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

Only thing comes on at night is my kerosene navigation lights and reading lights. As far as radar, that's the on watches eyes. Handheld backup GPS for my sextant. Handheld vhs radio for emergency only not for policing the ocean.
I'm a cruiser , not a consumer.

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Old 03-06-2015, 13:19   #39
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Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

In our case, the VHF and the AIS will be on at all times.

Because others may need us.

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Old 03-06-2015, 13:43   #40
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Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

Wow, wide variation here and I don't think there's a right and wrong. A lot of it has to do with where you sail. There is nothing but floating objects between here and Hawaii, so I would tend to discount my depth sounder. But in the north sea it would be a different story.
I can spare the electrons for radar and AIS during naps and nights.
BTW, I sonared a sub once. Never saw homeland security come over so fast.
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Old 03-06-2015, 14:07   #41
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Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

s/v Beth,
1) For open ocean, offshore, ocean passages, etc...

a) For Navigation:
--- GPS fixes logged (and/or plotted on chart) every 2 - 4 hours...
(no chartplotter needed when offshore....and unless I'm looking for or looking to avoid T-storms, radar is also not needed for my areas, crossing the N. Atl, Caribbean, etc.)


b) For communication / collision avoidance (aside from watchstanding):
--- VHF-DSC radio on 24/7 (ch. 16 and many times ch. 13 on a dual-watch)
--- AIS

--- HF radio as needed, WeFax as needed,



c) For comfort, etc.
--- Autopilot...(have a back-up as well)
--- Depth, Wind, Speedlog (to allow for sailing to wind angle, measuring current and set/drift, and keep an eye on depth alarms)
--- Frig / freezer, etc...




2) As for running things 24/7...
s/v Beth, please take note that both VHF-DSC radio and the AIS transponder require GPS position data (of course, the AIS transponder has its own GPS receiver built-in), so anyone that practices proper procedures, such as maintaining a radio watch 24/7, or has an AIS transponder running 24/7, hence also has at least one GPS running 24/7...
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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
I am amazed that most of you keep your GPS up all the time. ..... Vhf and AIS I can see.





Not sure if my thoughts add much that others haven't already written....but there 'ya go...


Fair winds...

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Old 03-06-2015, 15:30   #42
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Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

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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.
Where are they? I only have experience of the Atlantic, and can't remember seeing fishing vessel in deep water. Like off the shelf 4k deep water. Sometimes on the edge of the shelf I've seen long liners, with 5 mile lines out. Well offshore my radar has only picked up one vessel way off Senegal not transmitting AIS otherwise in the deep ocean everyone was transmitting.
This is ocean though, not coastal within 50 or 100 miles of land.

Biscay the big trawlers nearly all seem to be transmitting now. Nice
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Old 03-06-2015, 15:43   #43
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Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

For sailing at night, even on a large lake, the GPS is necessary, with either
the next waypoint programmed into the device OR with the breakwater
of the harbor (marina) programmed so you can make a safe approach
to the harbor. Naturally with your boat lighted as required by regulations
and common sense.
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Old 03-06-2015, 16:26   #44
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Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

Its probably more about what we turn off - very little. The radar is usually off except when there is significant shipping around or the weather is doing its thing and the SSB is normally off as well.
VHF is always on, 24 hours a day, as is the refrigeration.
AIS, depth, log, chart plotter, autopilot, are always on when we are moving as are the nav lights after dark. The music system is used perhaps 25% of the time. Internal lights are rarely on when sailing and we prefer also to switch off the pressure water at sea.
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Old 03-06-2015, 16:43   #45
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Re: Open sea, what do you use for Navigation?

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... No wonder so many commercial deck officers refer to sailors as WAFIs. ...
And I call then DAFIs. They usually don't care whether or nor not you under sail. It's like the school bully: "Im bigger and now get out of my way you little WAFI"
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