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Old 31-07-2014, 18:01   #31
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Re: Putting Faith in Electronics

There maybe honest poles, there are honest Poles, but polls tend to be untrustworthy.

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Old 31-07-2014, 18:24   #32
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Re: Putting Faith in Electronics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer Six View Post
So if I agree with you, I agree with you, and if I don't, I'm cherry picking.

We are amused.
No, that is not it at all. You cherry-pick when you choose a single example that supports your belief, call that in the general as being true and wise, while ignoring a greater number of examples that do not support your belief.

Do you discount travellerw's opinion in this thread?

It has nothing to do with whether you agree with another person or not.

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Old 31-07-2014, 23:33   #33
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Re: Putting Faith in Electronics

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
It has nothing to do with whether you agree with another person or not.
Yes, it does. All I have to do is agree with you, and you'll stop taking issue with me.
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:33   #34
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Re: Putting Faith in Electronics

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Originally Posted by scuba0_1 View Post
This would make a great anonymous pole. Do you know how to navigate using anything other than electronics

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
The problem with that pole is there is an imagination that to not be able to do so is bad.

To agree with your answer I have to agree with your premise.

Multiple redundant electronics are fine. My premise.

I am a pilot and have flown IFR with 100% reliance on electronics. Not at 6 knots but at 160knots.

I trust electronics completely. With my life.

And situational awareness - the skirted topic of this thread is much easier acquired via gps and a plotter or even gps and a chart.

I'll have my fix in 30 seconds and will be tacking while you are still waiting for a break in the clouds while chuffing along towards the rocks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
If you don't trust your life in electronics, for God's sake never fly, shooting an approach without electronics would be a little tough
Yeah - I think in many ways pilots make great transitions to sailing. Especially the weather and navigation parts.
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:06   #35
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Re: Putting Faith in Electronics

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Originally Posted by Neptune's Gear View Post
.................
Electronics does not take away from a Navigators situational awareness. It is THE key element in safe navigation. IMO good electronics, with redundancy, ADD to your situational awareness, not detract from it. Someone without this awareness is a danger to themselves and others, with or without electronics. .......................
I have great faith in my electronics. The plotter is verified by radar, added to by AIS and Fwd scanning sonar, and by the person on watch. It is surprising how often the electronics detect something before the on watch person, myself included! There are several spare PC's aboard etc... Oh yeah, and paper charts, a sextant and tables. Never needed them yet!
I know "Neptune" is not the first to make this point, but it seems absurd that everyone does not recognize the accumulative nature of our tools for awareness. No one is making the choice, "hmm...., will I rely on my GPS, my radar, or look about with my binoculars today?" As for "putting faith" one of these devices, -sure! They are not crystal balls or divining rods! They are all valid tools of observation that we need to interpret; however, like many, when my dead reckoning and electronic data disagree; my experience causes me to credit the electronics as being more accurate.
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:19   #36
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Re: Putting Faith in Electronics

We have a chartplotter, two laptops with GPS, software and charts, a GPS, an auto-pilot with built in GPS, two iPhones with GPS. Therefore, we have multiple fallbacks in case one fails (or boat power). When anchoring, if there is any wind, I set two anchor alarms. We also note the location of lights on shore (if any) and if we wake, check them through the cabin windows.

Do I trust electronics? To a certain extent, but I still use my brain to confirm that what I am told matches what I see.
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:44   #37
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Re: Putting Faith in Electronics

I trust the electronics as I have back-ups, way more than I do that single engine.
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:46   #38
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Re: Putting Faith in Electronics

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Originally Posted by clownfishsydney View Post
............ I still use my brain to confirm that what I am told matches what I see.
The absolute best interface to link peripheral devices!
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:47   #39
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Re: Putting Faith in Electronics

I wonder how many people on this forum run without ANY electronics.

None I'd wager.

And I think that sums this thread up. We ALL put our faith in Electronics. If you want to do a bit of old fashioned stuff go ahead but I bet your still trust that point on the plotter way more than anything else.
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:58   #40
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Re: Putting Faith in Electronics

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Originally Posted by simonpickard View Post
I wonder how many people on this forum run without ANY electronics.

None I'd wager.

And I think that sums this thread up. We ALL put our faith in Electronics. If you want to do a bit of old fashioned stuff go ahead but I bet your still trust that point on the plotter way more than anything else.
Nope, I trust my eyeballs (and depth sounder) before my plotter. I've seen plotter charts that are up to 800 metres out. I've seen a plotter tell me I am on dry land too many times to trust them close to shore without cross references.

I've also seen reef edges move by a couple of hundred metres at least as I zoom in and out on a plotter.
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:12   #41
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Re: Putting Faith in Electronics

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Nope, I trust my eyeballs (and depth sounder) before my plotter. I've seen plotter charts that are up to 800 metres out. I've seen a plotter tell me I am on dry land too many times to trust them close to shore without cross references.

I've also seen reef edges move by a couple of hundred metres at least as I zoom in and out on a plotter.
I was always told, "If you're gonna drop on shoe you gotta drop the other."

I knew someone would bring this up.

So - I would not trust all electronics unequivocally. I would not trust your electronics for example because there are no certification standards for boats like there are for aircraft.

If mountains moved by 800 meters aircraft could not fly GPS approaches.

You also state that you trust your depth sounder. Probably because it is pretty simple. But depth sounders can be wrong and they can fail as well.

Also there is a difference to me in en-route navigation vs. port navigation. En-route I may even leave the gps off except when I turn it on the get a fix.

When getting close the eyeballs are as much a part of the equation as the plotter is. But I wouldn't be shooting star sights either.

Your error is a well discussed situation when mating gps signals to electronic charts. But it is a moot point when comparing to CN because I would challenge anyone to get circular error of 800m with a sextant.
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:39   #42
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Re: Putting Faith in Electronics

It seems that there's a lot of us pilots on this thread and of course we're all very accustomed to relying on electronics. But modern airliners electronics have built in redundancy and constantly compare themselves with the other inputs so you get an alarm if there's significant disagreement. Pretty easy to feel safe with such an arrangement. But, even with redundancy that's automatically being monitored for disagreement, it's important to always be asking yourself "does that make sense?" On most of our boats, there is redundancy available, but it's up to us to monitor and detect when when there's disagreement rather than having a comparator system doing it for us.

As has been aptly pointed out in an earlier post, it's situational awareness that we all need to have and electronics can be a tremendous aid to achieving that at a high level, and this can free up our brains and bodies to be available for other tasks. But if misused, electronics can become our worst enemy. The extreme example is the automobile driver driving off the end of an unfinished overpass or the wrong way up a one way street because his dashboard GPS told him to. But most of us hopefully have a little more common sense than that.

The doctor that was previously mentioned has developed a habit of over reliance on electronics so was blindly following what his plotter told him without that most important step of constantly asking himself if it made sense. To those of us who navigate for a living, it seems absurd to do that, but I've seen it many times before, where a very intelligent person misuses something that's meant to be an aid to his situational awareness and instead it becomes something else so he becomes helpless without it. Dr. killer airplanes come to mind. Unfortunately, that moniker has been applied to almost any airplane that doctors buy and attempt to fly themselves and usually has almost nothing to do with the actual airplane. The reason is that, while they are certainly very intelligent people, they also have big egos and tend to not fly enough to stay truly proficient and develop the right habit patterns of automatically crosschecking all the info that's available to them. Because of the ego issue, they tend to go beyond their actual ability and as long as things go well, they do fine, but like the doctor who doesn't even have enough SA to go back into the channel with the bridge that he just came out of, when their "normal" electronics fail them, they have no other source of info so are out of luck and ideas all at the same time and we read about them in the newspaper the next day and the airplane they were flying gets the "Dr. killer" tag attached to it. This phenomenon isn't restricted to doctors, as other successful executives and wealthy professional athletes are prone to the same sort of mindset.

About 25 years ago, when I was arranging to buy insurance for my first ocean going sailboat, I was answering all the insurance agents endless list of questions and being very honest about how I answered. I truthfully told him that my prior sailing experience was 99% aboard a Sunfish on a lake and the only boat I'd had on the ocean before was a 24' speedboat for about 2 years. I expected that, due to my inexperience, I'd have to pay high insurance rates for a couple of years until I could get some experience and mentioned this to the agent in the form of a question. He basically ignored my question and kept asking me questions and came to the part about asking what I did for a living so I told him I was a commercial airline pilot and until recently had been a single seat fighter pilot in the USAF. When he finally quoted me a price to insure my new to me Hinckley Pilot 35, the premium was much lower than I expected and was lower than what I had heard some of my friends with similar boats were paying. I told him I was surprised at the low rate and asked him why. He replied that it was all about what I did for a living. He said that their statistics showed that before professional pilots stick their nose in somewhere, they have already figured out how to get it back out in case things aren't as they seem and they don't even realize they are doing it. It's just a habit they don't even realize they have. Folks in most other professions are used to having someone else catch/fix their mistakes, whether that be a secretary or assistant, or a nurse. Of course pilots usually have co-pilots to back us up, but I think that most of us do develop a strong habit of constantly asking ourselves if the info we are getting makes sense, and automatically having a backup plan in mind just in case conditions change of something important stops working.

Other successful boaters/cruisers, no matter what their professional background may be, have developed this same mindset of constantly questioning and comparing ALL the info available to them, whether it originate from a paper chart, a chart plotter, a GPS fix, a celestial fix, what they see visually, what they hear or even smell, and that is what keeps them safe and able to cross oceans or enter unfamiliar harbors in heavy fog or just daysail safely.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:41   #43
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Re: Putting Faith in Electronics

In the last 10 years as I've relied more and more on the electronic package on my boats but als have had them fail due to one reason or another..

In a single handed Farlons race, I'm about 15 miles our of Sanfrancisco bay when both the chartplotter and hand held started beeping, with a little box on the screen stating, " signal lost".. fog to the point that I couldnt see SF or the Islands just 25 miles off shore.
Stayed on a compas heading and they came back on in a few minutes..

Comming down the coast from Alaska, single handing, at night., all electronics went out.. 14 hours doing a DR to get. to port, found dampness in the conections after getting in....

Down the coast of Ca, rounded point conception , auto helm took a direct right turn and a jibe.. seems the milatary base radar had something to do with it..

navigating the sacramento river comming up from SF.. chart plotter shows I crossing land.. GPS has failed and plotter is showing odd figures..

New chart plotter and gps.. turned it on one day.. hit "FIND SHIP" and it shows I'm off the coast of South Africa when I'm in a port of Coos Bay Oergon. plotter decided to do an offset, BY ITSELF.

I use my electronics daily, and rely on them often but when conditions deteriorate, and your personal life is on the line as well as the safety of the boat.. I count more on my own abilities than I do the electronics.. like getting up throughout the night to make sure our anchor is holding and our boat isnt heading for shore ..
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:55   #44
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Re: Putting Faith in Electronics

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Originally Posted by jtsailjt View Post
Other successful boaters/cruisers, no matter what their professional background may be, have developed this same mindset of constantly questioning and comparing ALL the info available to them, whether it originate from a paper chart, a chart plotter, a GPS fix, a celestial fix, what they see visually, what they hear or even smell, and that is what keeps them safe and able to cross oceans or enter unfamiliar harbors in heavy fog or just daysail safely.
Very well put.
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:01   #45
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Re: Putting Faith in Electronics

The thing about your plotter putting your position off SA - that probably isn't the plotter applying an offset, it is more likely your position was 0/0, which is the default position on most plotters when they do not have a GPS signal yet or the GPS has not been selected as a data source. Yours was a new setup when this happened? I don't think that was a failure, per se.

It does sound like you are used to poor electrical installations and poor electronics. They are not all that way.

Again, waking yourself up every 15min to check your anchor not only gets old quickly, it increases your chances of misinterpreting a situation or making mistakes rectifying a problem due to exhaustion. Among those that anchor a lot in varying situations and have good anchor gear they have used in varying situations, I know of no one who does this.

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