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Old 30-10-2012, 16:53   #886
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

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One important feature of a chronograph/watch (aside from accuracy) is to have a stop watch that can be reached while holding a sextant....this allows you to subtract the elapsed time at your leisure once you get below out of the weather and in the light. I have also seen digital stopwatches taped to the sextant handle, good in function but makes the sextant harder to hold on to.
I have cut narrow strips of cling-film to 'tape' my digital stopwatch to the handle. I agree it makes it harder to hang onto though-- The cling-film makes it easy to remove when this is a problem, and keeps it dry when it's not. (And still fairly legible)
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Old 30-10-2012, 17:02   #887
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

I'm lucky enough to be left handed. My watch is on my right wrist which is the same hand holding the sextant. Get the sight, look at my watch. Less than a second difference.
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Old 30-10-2012, 17:31   #888
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

Maybe our culture is trying to make skill and knowledge a bad thing (at least the marketing part that controls the whims of the consumer is).......I consider skill and knowledge something to be proud of. I have done alot of woodwork on my boat's refit......someone said "Well your lucky, you have the skills..." I didn't have the skills until I taught them to myself. I started out buying a bunch of power tools to compensate for my inexperience....I am now using them for trading fodder to get people to teach me to use hand tools.
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Old 30-10-2012, 17:38   #889
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

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Originally Posted by wolfenzee View Post
Maybe our culture is trying to make skill and knowledge a bad thing (at least the marketing part that controls the whims of the consumer is).......I consider skill and knowledge something to be proud of. I have done alot of woodwork on my boat's refit......someone said "Well your lucky, you have the skills..." I didn't have the skills until I taught them to myself. I started out buying a bunch of power tools to compensate for my inexperience....I am now using them for trading fodder to get people to teach me to use hand tools.
No doubt celestial navigation is a skill. But likewise properly using a gps and or chartplotter is also a skill.

Driving into rocks and other boats while using a chartplotter is rarely a failure of technology and almost always a failure of skill.

I started using gps flying in the 90s. I have seen lots of "old timers" absolutely fearful of the things. They discount them with great hubris when in fact many of them are completely clueless.

I have seen guys completely unfamiliar with the terminology, the operation and the limitations of the gps - they like to follow the magenta line without the first clue about navigating.

I would say that if you do know celestial and you don't learn the intricacies of gps nav, you probably should turn the gps off.
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Old 30-10-2012, 17:45   #890
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

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I have a first edition copy of "The Complete Cruiser" the first section is devoted souly to celestial navigation, and the first sentence reads "Anyone who can add, subtract and read a railroad timetable can learn celestial navigation". I...
BZZZTTT

Sorry I totally lost interest after the first sentence.
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Old 30-10-2012, 17:49   #891
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

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Originally Posted by wolfenzee View Post
One important feature of a chronograph/watch (aside from accuracy) is to have a stop watch that can be reached while holding a sextant....this allows you to subtract the elapsed time at your leisure once you get below out of the weather and in the light. I have also seen digital stopwatches taped to the sextant handle, good in function but makes the sextant harder to hold on to.
A sextant with a digital watch taped to it with plastic tape...

Now that really is old school, and so much more elegant than a silly old electronic GPS.
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Old 30-10-2012, 17:52   #892
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

There is a certain amount of skill required to use electronic nav, but people coming from a push button culture, don't realize that some degree of thought is still required after the machine has finished all it's thinking. Which is harder for the people that are not trained in the "obsolete" forms of navigation....this shows the value of knowing the old school form of navigation.
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Old 30-10-2012, 18:16   #893
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

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yeah its a fun thread.Anyone remember david lewis? He spent half a life studying polynesian traditions of navigation - those guys didnt need paper charts. Cautionary tale: been fiddling about with open cpn, got it up and running and thinking "wow, this is pretty cool once i plug my gps in"...then the whole computer just locked up and conked, had to spend half the afternoon doing a recovery - too bad if i happened to be trying to thread my way through some reefs or something. Think i'll keep me paper charts...
We have a soft spot for polynesian nav traditions but we dont know how many set out and didnt make it. So it is hard to measure how good these methods were.
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Old 30-10-2012, 18:28   #894
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

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We have a soft spot for polynesian nav traditions but we dont know how many set out and didnt make it. So it is hard to measure how good these methods were.
Just because it can be done with less sophisticated instruments and calculations can be figured out.....i'll stick to my modern (1974) sextant.
There is a celestial navigation calculator that figures sight reductions for the next 250 years.....problem is it's on line and if I have an internet connection I probably know where I am. My "smart phone" had an app on it that did all the calculations, but it got wet.....I have all of Bowditch's sight reduction tables.....on a disc and on my laptop (which could suffer the same fate as the cell).
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Old 30-10-2012, 18:31   #895
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

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I'm lucky enough to be left handed. My watch is on my right wrist which is the same hand holding the sextant. Get the sight, look at my watch. Less than a second difference.
The thing I like about a digital stopwatch (if it's the right sort) is that it has a memory which allows you to reliably capture the time for each a series of sights, taken opportunistically at the top of the largest swells.

When there's no-one there, or no-one spare, to scribble down the altitudes AND the times, I might (at a pinch, and after long enough at sea) remember one set of three altitudes, but no possibility of also remembering the corresponding times.

A magic slate of a suitable size, for writing figures quickly with a fingertip between sighting ops, is a handy prop, under such circumstances.

I wonder if they're still made?
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Old 30-10-2012, 19:54   #896
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

They are.
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Old 31-10-2012, 00:00   #897
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

Now we can all get along!

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/cele...392560235?mt=8
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Old 31-10-2012, 02:54   #898
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

Andrew,

In keeping with your Vigor Black Box Theory, I would imagine that every time you practice using a sextant, you are adding a couple of credits to the box.

I once saw a yacht come into port with the mast tied on the deck, huge scratches in the deck, wires hanging etc. Obviously the thing dismasted in a blow. Owner told me that one of the splitters had worked loose and while sailing, the bolt came out and mast came down. Fortunately, no one was hurt, even thought the mast came flying like a spear, just missing his wife who was at the helm.

I have always considered myself to be cognizant of the need to constantly patrol the boat and see if everything is OK. After that, I always inspect every splitter before I go sailing. Maybe it will add a couple of credit ot my "Black Box"

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Old 31-10-2012, 09:39   #899
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

The pocket watch is making a come back.....not because of an appreciation of the style and elegance of a finely crafted piece of machinery. But because the new pocket watches have too many gadgets and gizmos (which marketing has convinced us we can't function without) to fit on a wristwatch. 21st century pocket watches go under the name of iphone or smart phone....when you check the time you can get a dose of internet propaganda and/or check your face book status. I still prefer a 60 year old 18 jewel pocket watch, it's more work (you have to wind it) and because it is mechanical I have to check the time occasionally (having it spot on for months on end is always satisfying). If I want to get on line I prefer to wait until I am seated in front of a screen I can see and have keys that fit my fingers. My "ships clock" is a wind up clock....I grew up with my father almost ceremoniously winding the bulkhead clock he got when he retired from the USN.
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Old 31-10-2012, 09:48   #900
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Re: Paper Charts Now Unnecessary

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Originally Posted by wolfenzee View Post
The pocket watch is making a come back.....not because of an appreciation of the style and elegance of a finely crafted piece of machinery. But because the new pocket watches have too many gadgets and gizmos (which marketing has convinced us we can't function without) to fit on a wristwatch. 21st century pocket watches go under the name of iphone or smart phone....when you check the time you can get a dose of internet propaganda and/or check your face book status. I still prefer a 60 year old 18 jewel pocket watch, it's more work (you have to wind it) and because it is mechanical I have to check the time occasionally (having it spot on for months on end is always satisfying). If I want to get on line I prefer to wait until I am seated in front of a screen I can see and have keys that fit my fingers. My "ships clock" is a wind up clock....I grew up with my father almost ceremoniously winding the bulkhead clock he got when he retired from the USN.
There's something about jumping off the dinghy into deeper water than expected only to realise the phone is in those deep pockets!!!!

My waterproof mechanical yacht start watch still works after 40 years but it's only a start timer not a time teller.

Have you got a wind up barograph????
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