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Old 13-10-2008, 13:19   #61
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I see a lot more boats with electronic doo-dads ending up on the rocks than I do "old fashioned" skippers who can do a double bearing DR and aren't using their hand bearing compasses for paper weights (for those who even know what a hand bearing compass is).
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Old 13-10-2008, 13:50   #62
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As a matter of practice, we maintain a deck-log which we up-date hourly—or whenever we make a course change-as to position, course,
We only do that at the end of each watch - up to 6 hours.
We met another boat that did it hourly on the 3,000 mile Galapagos to Marquesas run and it seemed a very tedious, rule abundant boat. And it didnt help them when their auto pilot broke down. Their other rule was for the on watch person to be awake on deck the whole time(except for the 5 minutes every 60 to write the log) on a leg that we only saw 1 ship per week. We sleep for 20 mins at a time.

Don's point is a good one about still using electronic charts without GPS

We have 3 systems totally independant:
Chartplotter with world map at the wheel - Now has an Australian chart chip in it but the world map was fine navigating the Pacific;
Garmin Handheld with world map that can have waypoints / routs inputted to it, or downloaded from the software on the computer;
On the laptop: Google earth PLUS (so it takes GPS real time) and a couple of chart programs given to me.

It is saying that the backup electronic charts are not the 1980's Magellin but modern ones.

As new hand held GPS/plotters are costing less than 10 paper charts and can operate the chart without the GPS actually receiving, its a safety bargain.

And then for those that think GPS could be turned off by the Americans at some whim - that would stop World Trade and that just ain't American!

Evene so, those that want to learn the sextant can input their result into an electronic chart.


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Old 13-10-2008, 13:54   #63
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and pay $20 for Google Earth Plus. This lets you have real time positioning on Google Earth.



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How do you get G E way out there?
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Old 13-10-2008, 13:57   #64
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I see a lot more boats with electronic doo-dads ending up on the rocks than I do "old fashioned" skippers who can do a double bearing DR and aren't using their hand bearing compasses for paper weights (for those who even know what a hand bearing compass is).
Hand bearing compass - are yes another electronic device with 9 memories and a small fluxgate compass, - I remember them, though I havent seen one for a decade or two.
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Old 13-10-2008, 14:38   #65
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Have to say that I very rarely use or find need to use a hand bearing compass myself (we can do near enuff bearings over the steering compass for collision avoidance tho') . We have one of those neat electronictricky ones that Talbot refers to too - great fun to play with but unfortunately is not heavy enuff to be a paperweight .

Regarding reliability of electronics it is worthwhile comparing the risk to that of engine failure in single engined power boats. In a single engined power boat loss of the engine takes away the ability to navigate at all (at the mercy of the wind and currents) and engine failure is more probable than electronics failure in a well built boat.

Yet having a single engine in a power boat (and single engined power boats are much more common than multiple engined ones) is not regarded as a big navigation risk in the same way that those with fears of electronic failure have of electronic nav failure.

So, it would seem to me, that the fear of unreliabilty of electronic nav by some is mostly driven by psychological barriers rather than rational ones.

That comment in no way applies to those who prefer to navigate by "traditional" means purely for the fun of it but I suspect they will have their styles cramped quite a bit in the not too far distant future when paper chart production becomes a cottage industry (somewhat like cross staff manufacture is now ).

Comment along the lines that more boats end up on the rocks using electronic nav than those that don't use it, represents an ill founded contrarian belief that is definitely not shared by professional mariners nor by those responsible for safety at sea.
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Old 13-10-2008, 14:44   #66
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How do you get G E way out there?
When in port you go over the area you are sailing in on Google Earth. This puts those photos in the computers Cache. Then when you start Google Earth without the internet it asks if there is a problem, you click NO and it uses the cached photos.
Its far more accurate than electronic charts in some areas of bad charting, like the Pacific. As a demonstration to another cruiser when we were on a mooring in a Tongan anchorage I started Google Earth and you could see the actual mooring we were on as there was a boat on it in the photo. Then starting the GPS the position pointer put our boat exactly on the mooring. The other chart plotters all had peoples boats on the dry land!!!

Try Google Earth Plus - its the best $20 you will ever spend.


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Old 13-10-2008, 14:50   #67
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engine failure in single engined power boats.
Yes, great point! Our hand held GPS plotter has batteries and we can use rechargable, but we always have a supply of alkaline batteries in case of engine breakdown / alternator breakdown / ships battery loss.
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Old 13-10-2008, 14:54   #68
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That comment in no way applies to those who prefer to navigate by "traditional" means purely for the fun of it but I suspect they will have their styles cramped quite a bit in the not too far distant future when paper chart production becomes a cottage industry
Why should they. Most celestial navigation is carried out on plotting sheets anyway and then transferred to the chart as a position. Most electronic charting systems enable you to print out a chart. and I am sure that the planning charts will continue to be produced as they are much easier to do long distance planning on than a puter inless you have a very large screen with high resolution.
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Old 13-10-2008, 15:07   #69
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As a demonstration to another cruiser when we were on a mooring in a Tongan anchorage I started Google Earth and you could see the actual mooring we were on as there was a boat on it in the photo. Then starting the GPS the position pointer put our boat exactly on the mooring. The other chart plotters all had peoples boats on the dry land!!!
Mark - Tonga is in the new Zealand Charting Area, if you submit a Hydrographic Note regarding your observations (which you can do on line at Reporting a Hazard to Navigation - H Note ) you will certainly get a response as to the status of any error in the official charts.

However, if non official charts were being used (quite likely as you refer to chart plotters) then users are completely on their own and in my experience the suppliers of non official electronic charts will regard one as being so too .
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Old 13-10-2008, 15:24   #70
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Why should they. Most celestial navigation is carried out on plotting sheets anyway and then transferred to the chart as a position. Most electronic charting systems enable you to print out a chart. and I am sure that the planning charts will continue to be produced as they are much easier to do long distance planning on than a puter inless you have a very large screen with high resolution.
Was meant with a little bit of tongue in cheek, hence my comparison to cross staffs and the smiley.

Yes, planning charts will be around for a long time (and the likes of pilot charts too).

Not too sure about the ability to print out charts as I have not tested any ECS's to check the extent of the chart printed. While I have not tried it on my own ECS (which is targetted at commercial users, not pleasure, and uses only official charts) as I haven't had a need to nor a printer big enuff , my understanding is that it only prints the portion of the chart visible on the display - this would seem a sensible interpretation for, at least, vector ENC's. In this application's case it prints the copyright details on the printout, I assume that within the licencing/permit/key permissions of the particular official chart producer.

It may be that if one displays the whole of a raster chart on the screen and have a printer big enough that it will print a chart at original scale but need a big printer to test that. (maybe someone has some experience of this with official charts ?)

As I have said, I have never had the need to try any of the above.

In the end, why if one has an ECS would one want to print out charts (tongue in cheek smiley here )?
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Old 13-10-2008, 16:24   #71
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When in port you go over the area you are sailing in on Google Earth. This puts those photos in the computers Cache. Then when you start Google Earth without the internet it asks if there is a problem, you click NO and it uses the cached photos.
Its far more accurate than electronic charts in some areas of bad charting, like the Pacific. As a demonstration to another cruiser when we were on a mooring in a Tongan anchorage I started Google Earth and you could see the actual mooring we were on as there was a boat on it in the photo. Then starting the GPS the position pointer put our boat exactly on the mooring. The other chart plotters all had peoples boats on the dry land!!!

Try Google Earth Plus - its the best $20 you will ever spend.


Mark
OK thanks.
I assume one can copy the cached to another file to keep. Can then G E be directed to them, like a while down the road, so one can look at them again without connection. 20.00 = subscription?
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Old 13-10-2008, 16:39   #72
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OK thanks.
I assume one can copy the cached to another file to keep. Can then G E be directed to them, like a while down the road, so one can look at them again without connection. 20.00 = subscription?
The cache is set at 2 GB and I havent worked out how to extend it or copy it to another folder.

The $20 subscription allows a GPS to be connected and real time positions to be charted
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Old 14-10-2008, 09:55   #73
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Looked at a Garmin ad for 76CSx.

It said this.

...........That's why Garmin included an electronic compass in this versatile unit. Completely independent of GPS signals, the electronic compass can help you orient and navigate until GPS tracking returns.....

Do they know stuff we don't??
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Old 14-10-2008, 10:04   #74
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The US Space Shuttle is the most reliable space launcher available. The exceptionally low failure rate of the Space Shuttle is achieved with a combination of determined engineering, and lots of money.
The Space Shuttle Endeavour, the orbiter built to replace the Space Shuttle Challenger, cost approximately $1.7 billion.
Each Shuttle mission costs over $0.5 billion to launch.
Me: "Man, I wish I had enough money to buy a space shuttle!"

Them: "What the hell are you going to do with a space shuttle, Rick?"

Me: "I'm not going to buy one, I just wish I had enough money to buy one!"
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Old 14-10-2008, 11:59   #75
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For truly free GPS enabled USA aerial photos, try USAPhotoMaps. It interactively downloads the free maps from Terraserver and stores them on your hard drive. Then, TerraFetcher will allow you to batch download areas. These maps cover USA only.

3 types of maps, 2 resolutions for each type.
  • Topo maps - 4 & 64 meters/pixel - covers Almost the entire US and it's territories.
  • B&W Photo - 1 & 8 meter/pixel - Covers a little less area. (almost none of Hawaii or Alaska)
  • Color Photo - .25 & 4 meter/pixel - Just major urban areas.

When downloading large batches, watch your disk space...

Free software, free maps. Windows.

USAPhotoMaps
TerraFetcher

Disclaimer: I have never actually used this with a GPS. But the documentation and options on the menu are there.

If anyone uses this and has questions, I have used both USAPhotoMaps and TerraFetcher quite a bit.

-dan
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