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Old 10-01-2014, 15:30   #16
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Re: Relative Bearing - informal poll

What are we going to with the "young folks" of today who use digital watches?

Of course, they will also have problems with the lights on cardinal buoys.

I like points, but I tend to use the clock face.
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Old 10-01-2014, 15:31   #17
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Re: Relative Bearing - informal poll

Degrees with Port Or Starboard,
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Old 10-01-2014, 15:43   #18
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Re: Relative Bearing - informal poll

Relative bearings using degrees or points? Too fine a distinction for a sailboat in my view...

"Over yonder" and pointing a little too coarse...

I prefer the general directions of...

"On the" bow/beam/quarter/stern with the "port" or "starboard" clarifiers...or "just off" the bow/beam/quarter/stern (port or starboard again)...and "broad on" when applicable.

But as long as your method keeps the boat and everyone in it safe I guess it's a good method for you.
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Old 10-01-2014, 15:45   #19
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Re: Relative Bearing - informal poll

In the Navy we did relative as Red or Green and degrees 0-180. Angle of elevation in degrees, added if necessary. Makes it easier for the OOW to convert a report in relative from a lookout to true, whether it needed to be passed to Ops or checked against radar.
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Old 10-01-2014, 15:47   #20
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Re: Relative Bearing - informal poll

Perhaps I'm getting too vague, but calling out relative bearings from a small boat bobbing about in a seaway in quarter points or degrees or any such high resolution nomenclature seems a bit silly to me. Ann and I tend to use degrees port or starboard, but in around 30 degree increments! IE, dead ahead, 30, 60, 90 degrees to port/starboard... that sort of thing. This seems to agree with the normal human's ability to discern angular separation factored into the constant yawing of a small boat at sea. The clock face method is equally good if that is easier to work out for crew.

From the bridge of a big merchant vessel with a mounted pelorus more specific bearings make some sense, especially if torpedoes are involved!

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Old 10-01-2014, 15:56   #21
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Re: Relative Bearing - informal poll

It's just to the right of the pointy end. No no, your other right.
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Old 10-01-2014, 15:58   #22
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Re: Relative Bearing - informal poll

When using points it's 1, 2, 3, or 4. not 1/4 points. That was used for steering in sailing vessel days. So using points it's roughly 10 degree gradations but generally 2 points were used. If fine on the bow that's what was said, fine on the starboard bow. A bit further a point or two on the starboard , halfway to the beam, 4 points. After 4 points you work back from the beam, couple of points fwd of the beam. Very simple.
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Old 10-01-2014, 15:59   #23
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The clock system is far more intuitive for most people especially when sailing with a broad spectrum of nautical awareness.

We use a variation of military targeting which goes something like helm, 200 feet, 2 o'clock, powerboat crossing our bow. This follows the group, range, indication, target nomenclature.

We find this method works well with newbies and old salts alike. Being consistent is probably more important than which method you use IMHO.
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Old 10-01-2014, 16:08   #24
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Re: Relative Bearing - informal poll

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrid View Post
Nor watched any old classic movies. Each point of the compass had a name:

North
North by East
North North East
North East by North,
North East
North East by East
East North East
East by North
East, etc.
Of course the original question was about relative bearings (relative to the bow or stern).
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Old 10-01-2014, 16:18   #25
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Re: Relative Bearing - informal poll

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Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
When using points it's 1, 2, 3, or 4. not 1/4 points. That was used for steering in sailing vessel days.
Still is on most sailing vessels such as mine... not quarter points but half points. When did you last see a compass on a yacht marked to anything finer than 5 degrees?
OK so we don't call them 'half points' but that is the degree of accuracy that is used by most if not all of us.
Them as tries to steer to the nearest degree on a yacht are probably also them as gives position reports tto the third decimal place.... ie 24 degrees 37.235 minutes South.... an accuracy of about 1.852 metres or better... I'm always tempted to ask them which end of the boat they are talking about....
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Old 10-01-2014, 17:36   #26
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Re: Relative Bearing - informal poll

I have a crewmember who likes to give me headings/bearings in tenth's of a degree. I love him like a brother, but really???
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Old 10-01-2014, 17:49   #27
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Re: Relative Bearing - informal poll

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Originally Posted by leftbrainstuff View Post
The clock system is far more intuitive for most people especially when sailing with a broad spectrum of nautical awareness.

We use a variation of military targeting which goes something like helm, 200 feet, 2 o'clock, powerboat crossing our bow. This follows the group, range, indication, target nomenclature.

We find this method works well with newbies and old salts alike. Being consistent is probably more important than which method you use IMHO.

Very good description. That's what I use, since I sail with a lot of different crew. Sometimes the distance can be left out.
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Old 10-01-2014, 17:58   #28
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Re: Relative Bearing - informal poll

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This is a great question. I hadn't even thought about it for quite a time but it depends on who I'm sailing with. Some young sailors don't know instinctively where the hands of a clock are. They certainly wouldn't know relative degrees.
Because I'm old I studied boxing the compass but really used relative bearings much more and so if I know someone will understand me that's what I use.
What works for me best is dead ahead, off the starboard bow, stbd beam, stbd quarter, dead aft, port quarter, port beam, port bow in a clockwise rotation.
I'll put that on my list of something that should be discussed with your crew when you get ready to get underway.
Yep. I'll do relative bearings if I'm writing in a log book. The only time I did hands of the clock is tactical stuff.
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Old 10-01-2014, 18:04   #29
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Re: Relative Bearing - informal poll

The other reason relative bearings are handy is because if you know the heading of the boat, and the relative bearing, you can do quick math and find out the compass (and/or true) bearing.

You're traveling south at 180.
You see a lighthouse at 35 degrees (starboard quarter).
Lighthouse bears 215 true (ship's heading + object bearing).

Subtract 360 if the answer is over 360.
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Old 10-01-2014, 18:15   #30
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Re: Relative Bearing - informal poll

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I have a crewmember who likes to give me headings/bearings in tenth's of a degree. I love him like a brother, but really???
Yup. Come out on a Snowbird race and tell someone north-northeast by east, half east, and let me know how that works out for you.

I'm with you, Paul. Except I don't love anyone like a brother.
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