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Old 07-11-2010, 00:21   #196
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Would that be similar to one week of unbroken haze and cloud cover wiping out celestial navigation?

A good point. Practically speaking, in 40,000 sea miles, I am trying to remember if I have seen that. I'll checked the my logs. Weather tends to move pretty quickly, with a cycle of clouds to clear sky's and back as often as during once per watch--that is what surprised me the most about ocean sailing. Of course I avoid hurricanes, bad weather, and sailing near Iceland.
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Old 07-11-2010, 03:58   #197
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A good point. Practically speaking, in 40,000 sea miles, I am trying to remember if I have seen that.
As I have never seen the GPS blanked out in time of war... (or at amy other time)

But I have seen the USA go to war to defend free trade - Panama Canal - and GPS is now intregal to free trade.

So I doubt you'll ever see it go down. And if sun spots are the problem Uncle Sam will prolly shoot the damn thing down.


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Old 07-11-2010, 06:10   #198
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Likewise, I find it extremely unlikely that any political event will shut down the GPS system - but - Mother Nature may do it by solar or some other geophysical or astrophysical event. But it is not a great concern as old Chris Columbus and a lot of others made it back and forth across the oceans basically on Dead Reckoning and simple physics such the sun rises in the east and sets in the west and pretty much follows our Equator.
- - In the my early days of transAtlantic flying when we only had doppler radar for navigation we had a saying - if you smell scones turn right; if you smell garlic turn left. There are so many ancient kinds of navigational aids such as seabirds, sound, land images off cloud bases and hundreds of others that getting from here to there has always been possible without the fancy whizzbang electronics - but maybe not quite as convenient/easy.
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:37   #199
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can't remember if I mentioned it before

but lost the use of the GPS on me father's motorboat this year. cause? old fella forgot how to use it. and wiped 90% of the waypoints off ok, an old GPS set and I guess modern chartplotter doesn't allow a user to do the same - but with boats there is always something.........whether a geriatric skipper, a child with a crayon "fixing" the plotter or an Alien attack

A problem? not really. had a piece of paper already with the compass bearings on and good enough viz to line up the few bow and stern marks. and plenty of time until the tide went out But involved looking out of the window though Backup was a paper chart - from 1964 Rocks haven't moved since - even if locations not all exactly agreeing to a chart, of any date. but if you know not to navigate to the nearest inch then not a problem.

GPS great Chartplotter on my list but not a substitute for navigation.
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:39   #200
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... If Xerox made a larger format printer, like an 11x14, I'd be right on it. The normal page size can be a little small, so I find I print various magnifications for harbor approach and entrances ...
Everybody, including Xerox, makes an 11 x 17" (tabloid/ledger) printer/copier; but they cost like hell.
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Old 07-11-2010, 13:52   #201
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What if a major war occurs and the President makes the decision to interupt GPS service? A good navigator would not rely on it, yet everyone I know does.
If a major war breaks out, the last thing on your mind will be GPS status, the very last thing

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Old 07-11-2010, 15:07   #202
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If a major war breaks out, the last thing on your mind will be GPS status, the very last thing
Maybe so, but knowing where I am and which way to go to avoid the hostilities will be way up at the top of my priorities.

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Oh my god, Im becoming deeply suspicious of my microwave
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At last he starts to see the light and develope an appropriate sense of paranoia.
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Old 07-11-2010, 15:20   #203
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Seriously using or not using paper charts as a result of the possibility of no GPS constelation is just nonsense and fails to understand how GPS works.

The fact is that not witdstanding all the arguments, the reign of the paper chart is coming to an end, too expensive to produce and distribute too cumbersome to keep updated and too many to buy to cover a big cruising area.

I like paper charts and I use them for planning , but all my detail charts are on a chip.

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Old 07-11-2010, 16:05   #204
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I will probably buy an A3 printer to get "free" paper charts.
For backup and planning.
Just curious, what percentage of programmers use paper backup?
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Old 07-11-2010, 16:12   #205
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I will probably buy an A3 printer to get "free" paper charts.
For backup and planning.
Just curious, what percentage of programmers use paper backup?
Programmer here...

I don't use paper backup for my work.
  • I have on-disk backup on the network.
  • That is backed up to tape on a rolling schedule.
  • For disaster recovery we are woring on a solution that will transmit the backups to a site in another city.

Alas, I don't have all that backup on my boat, so I use paper chart backups.

-dan
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Old 07-11-2010, 16:40   #206
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Ah... you mean that the paper chart is bigger than the screen that is used for the electronic chart! I agree, the silly small screens on some plotters are not worth much for planning. Basically, you will have to roughly plot a route and then zoom in on each waypoint and move it to the correct position.

For passage planning, you can use a big LCD screen to compensate for that. Also, with vector charts, you can change the configuration to leave out some data that is not important for overview, like spot soundings.
For passage planning, I use a 24" LCD screen that doubles as part of our entertainment system.

ciao!
Nick.
I agree with Nick, a nice sized screen is wonderful. The bigger the better. I use a 24" display with a Mac Mini for navigation and watching movies. I wish my particular Mini would drive two displays as it is nice to have a digital display of course, speed, etc open without obstructing the Nav display.

Lots of good input in this forum. I always open to learning more about the deep subject of sailing. I've only been sailing 46 years. Maybe in another 30 I'll feel like I'm getting the hang of it.
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Old 07-11-2010, 17:42   #207
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There is a another good navigational trick for making a landfall. Follow the jetliners! When I lived in California, people leaving San Francisco would go out the Golden Gate, turn left until the better melted and then turned right, and followed the airplanes to Hawaii. I've made that trip and I know it would work. There are so many planes stopping in Hawaii that it is like a roadmap.
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Old 07-11-2010, 18:31   #208
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cause? old fella forgot how to use it. and wiped 90% of the waypoints off ok, an old GPS set and I guess modern chartplotter doesn't allow a user to do the same
.
Or you could just get the latest software update from the company, install it and have that mess up your data so it is unusable..................
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:55   #209
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Or you could just get the latest software update from the company, install it and have that mess up your data so it is unusable..................
Or the new software was an improvement
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:45   #210
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No! Do not carry paper charts. You will all DIE!!

If they get wet, they will turn into a rich goo that will clog bilge pumps. Also, if you carry paper charts, you will have to carry parallel rules, dividers, pencils, etc., which will all add unnecessary weight to the boat.

Remember: rely entirely on your Chinese-made Chartplotter. If it conks out, just toss the EPIRB overboard.

(apologies to Mark. I am having fun emulating his style of post).
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