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Old 17-07-2014, 08:07   #1
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[OT] Boat & Navigation

Foreword
Just a foreword before I go into detail. I'm writing a short story and I'm looking for solid advice to help make the story plausible. If I've posted this in the wrong forum, my apologies. If you want me to remove it, that's fine.

The Background

One of the turning points in the story is the protagonist has to get from the east coast of the US to the UK by boat but the protagonist, like me, has no navigation experience nor does he know how to captain/pilot/drive/sail? a boat. It's important to point out that in the story there is a young Naval Engineer with him. This character has basic experience and will have any experience a Naval Engineer would have. I've no idea how much this would be though. For the purposes of the story I would imagine it'd be enough to explain to an amateur how to navigate a ship that distance. I do recognise it'd be extremely dangerous but that's something I hope would help the story rather than hinder it.

The Request - Part 1

I'm looking for to advice on a commercial or US Naval boat in which which a man with basic instruction could get from the East coast of the US to the UK

The Request - Part 2 - The return of the request

I'm looking for advice on a simple bit of modern equipment that would be installed on a boat that would allow for a beginner to navigate the boat successfully. It's 2014 so something tells me this exists but, I admit I'm pretty much entirely ignorant in this area.

Final thoughts

As I said, I'm pretty much entirely ignorant in this area. However if you could be patient with me and/or have a crack at answering these questions, that'd be really useful.

Here is the story so far. If interested.

Working title: Decline to a beginning
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Old 18-07-2014, 05:01   #2
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Re: [OT] Boat & Navigation

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Originally Posted by Stri View Post
<snip>


The Request - Part 1

I'm looking for to advice on a commercial or US Naval boat in which which a man with basic instruction could get from the East coast of the US to the UK

The Request - Part 2 - The return of the request

I'm looking for advice on a simple bit of modern equipment that would be installed on a boat that would allow for a beginner to navigate the boat successfully. It's 2014 so something tells me this exists but, I admit I'm pretty much entirely ignorant in this area.

Final thoughts

As I said, I'm pretty much entirely ignorant in this area. However if you could be patient with me and/or have a crack at answering these questions, that'd be really useful.

Here is the story so far. If interested.

Working title: Decline to a beginning
If it is a commercial or naval boat it would likely have GPS navigation with ocean charts - pretty much just like your car except probably linked to the autopilot.

Theoretically, if one can search for "Southampton" and hit "Goto" one could go downstairs and watch tv and /or sleep for a few of days.

Not a very exciting plot twist I'm afraid although when getting close he would have to avoid rocks and such (by using the moving map) as the goto button would point "straight" at Southampton even if it was behind a mountain...

But basically if you aren't an idiot and can use a Nuvi, finding England shouldn't be a problem.

Not to be nosy but the reality would be around how big is the boat and does it have enough fuel capacity to get to Southampton?

An interesting plot twist could be a storm and gps failure, whereby the young naval guy has to resort to Celestial navigation to save the day.

Not sure if Celestial navigation is required any more to get out of the academy.

There are some academy and navy guys here that may have better info on navy vessels.

The reality if the Boat GPS failed is I'd whip out my iPhone and use Google maps to get to England.

Navigation is no longer the drama it once was. Now Atlantic weather? that can still kick yer backside...
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Old 18-07-2014, 05:35   #3
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Re: [OT] Boat & Navigation

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
If it is a commercial or naval boat it would likely have GPS navigation with ocean charts - pretty much just like your car except probably linked to the autopilot.

Theoretically, if one can search for "Southampton" and hit "Goto" one could go downstairs and watch tv and /or sleep for a few of days.

Not a very exciting plot twist I'm afraid although when getting close he would have to avoid rocks and such (by using the moving map) as the goto button would point "straight" at Southampton even if it was behind a mountain...

But basically if you aren't an idiot and can use a Nuvi, finding England shouldn't be a problem.

Not to be nosy but the reality would be around how big is the boat and does it have enough fuel capacity to get to Southampton?

An interesting plot twist could be a storm and gps failure, whereby the young naval guy has to resort to Celestial navigation to save the day.

Not sure if Celestial navigation is required any more to get out of the academy.

There are some academy and navy guys here that may have better info on navy vessels.

The reality if the Boat GPS failed is I'd whip out my iPhone and use Google maps to get to England.

Navigation is no longer the drama it once was. Now Atlantic weather? that can still kick yer backside...
Wow, that's extremely helpful, thank you!

I was more inclined to use the weather as a plot twist than failed GPS. I like to try and be a little unpredictable to my reader, if I can. Throw them a few sucker punches. I love the bad weather idea (had thought of that myself, I know the Atlantic can be 'a bit choppy') but hadn't thought about navigating rocks. I think that's certainly going in.

Again, thankyou!
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Old 18-07-2014, 08:19   #4
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Re: [OT] Boat & Navigation

I neglected to mention. Could you give me an example of such a boat. Something small but able to cross the Atlantic?
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