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Old 04-05-2012, 05:57   #61
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

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Pretty much it...Exceot they they would deliberately offset north or south and turn in at a DR longitude and intercept a radio beacon.

And its the way they used to fly out in the Pacific into the '50s
Intentional error is an old trick that one used (I still use to some extent) so that one knows what direction to turn when one is finally in sight of land. It accounts for set and drift (aka cross track error) that one might not be certain of. For example, following the old clipper ship route north from Cabo to San Diego, one would/did sail north until a few miles or more (depending upon how far off-shore one is) north of San Diego's latitude and then turns east. Having come within sight of the coast, one knew to turn south. (North of San Diego as one did not want to pile up on Los Coronados in the dark).

FWIW...
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:14   #62
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

I do not find many sailors who are relaxed without a paper backup for their electronics, and equally as few who reject electronic navigation. I think the most useful discussion would address the detail of how to blend the two in a practical way.

How often should our electronic position be marked on the chart? How much credence given to tidal information? Should we be calculating currents and wind effects regularly or just bang along? What role for the paper chart in route planning? Should we be noting bearings as they occur? This obviously brings us back to log-keeping which I suspect few coastal sailors do but off-shore is basic. As in most points of discussion, the devil is in the detail.
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:43   #63
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

As long as you can navigate WITHOUT the plotter, they can be a great source of comfort. The big issue arises when they stop working and you're without any other method..
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:51   #64
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

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USS San Francisco... Royal Majesty...

USS Port Royal... Pride of Canterbury (more)...

USS LaMoure County...

USS Arleigh Burke...

Take a look at the groundings cited above noelex. Each happened in conditions that would not have overwhelmed non GPS navigation practices. Indeed the majority happened in outright benign conditions, when one would expect the use of the latest nav equipment should have made it all a total "no brainer"

Why?

Also...Except for the overhype that some vendors are doing these days, let me make it clear -again- that I am not damning the electronics.

But ships -and pleasure boats- that rely on the latest generation of nav equipment are finding themselves aground in baffling circumstances...

Why?

Tsk-tsking it all off as a, "Idiots will always be Idiots" reason is ignoring a systemic human factors problem.

One that that appears to have turned downright deadly south west of San Diego....
Yes idiots will be idiots and humans are good at making dumb mistakes, but they made these same silly mistakes in the days before electronics.
I know I made a fair share myself
Boats running up reefs in good weather is not a post electronics phenomenon.

If you are going to make a navigational error, or series of errors, are you more likely to to notice a pencil cross in the wrong position on a paper chart down below, or a screen in front of the helm which is coninually updated and shows the boat heading for the rocks that are just under the water?
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:03   #65
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

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Yes idiots will be idiots and humans are good at making dumb mistakes, but they made these same silly mistakes in the days before electronics.
I know I made a fair share myself
Boats running up reefs in good weather is not a post electronics phenomenon.

If you are going to make a navigational error, or series of errors, are you more likely to to notice a pencil cross in the wrong position on a paper chart down below, or a screen in front of the helm which is coninually updated and shows the boat heading for the rocks that are just under the water?
Without the proper training...

(Which the slogan: "Now you can plot your course without enrolling in one", suggests could be dispensed with)

Then the odds -and the evidence in each of the grounding accident reports above strongly demonstrates ...IF... you take the time to read them- are that those electronic devices can snooker you right on in.

Its a human factors problem that will continue until addressed as it has been in professional aviation and maritime circles.

And folks will wonder:

How could this happen?!?!?!?!
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:23   #66
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

Does anyone on this thread feel like they are talking to themselves?

The OP "Cavalo" asked a question 65 posts (5 pages) ago and then left the room and never came back once.

Maybe she fell asleep from all the interesting posts?
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:34   #67
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pirate Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

Thanks everyone, I had a feeling this would be a controversial subject and I appreciate you all taking the time to share your opinions. Let me just be clear by stating that paper charts are intended to be the number one method of nav. the chart plotter being an extra source of information. I do believe you can never have too much information, but best believe I am not going out to sea to stare at a computer screen, I should stay on land if that were the case. I was curious about specific models on the lower end as we have no budget for electronics. I think I've extracted my answer from all the threads, the iPad program sounds like it could be a good back-up to paper charts for the time being.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:38   #68
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

Lol, I apologize for the lack of presence online, working and refitting the boat occupying most of my free time does not allow for unlimited internet access. I check in when I can and appreciate all of your responses.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:47   #69
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

Thanks Pauls, well said and I agree 100% It would be amazing to know how to do it all
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:48   #70
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

Humans are tool users. Navigation aids, ALL of them, are tools. A tool is only as useful as the hands that it lies in.

Learn to use ALL of the tools in the toolbox.

And be prepared to deal if they ALL fail.

Because electronics fail, GPS can be off, charts can be outdated, watches can be slow (which boluxes up your sextant) no matter how much we need them.

I figure the only sure fire aid is the north star and on a cloudy night when you most need it you won't be able to see the damn thing.

And consider redundancy.

Redundancy is your friend.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:27   #71
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

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Humans are tool users. Navigation aids, ALL of them, are tools. A tool is only as useful as the hands that it lies in.

Learn to use ALL of the tools in the toolbox.

And be prepared to deal if they ALL fail.

Because electronics fail, GPS can be off, charts can be outdated, watches can be slow (which boluxes up your sextant) no matter how much we need them.

I figure the only sure fire aid is the north star and on a cloudy night when you most need it you won't be able to see the damn thing.

And consider redundancy.

Redundancy is your friend.
I always liked the quote from Treasure Island:

"We're all forecastle hands, you mean," snapped Silver. "We can steer a course, but who's to set one."
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Old 04-05-2012, 13:12   #72
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

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Lol, I apologize for the lack of presence online, working and refitting the boat occupying most of my free time does not allow for unlimited internet access. I check in when I can and appreciate all of your responses.
Wow, you mean you have a real life? and therefore aren't on the internet 24/7 .

What's that like?
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Old 04-05-2012, 17:06   #73
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

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I always liked the quote from Treasure Island:

"We're all forecastle hands, you mean," snapped Silver. "We can steer a course, but who's to set one."
From the book "Oceam Voyaging" by David Parker some where it says something along the lines of "Every system on the boat will at sometime fail and you should have the knowledge, equipment, parts and tools to be able to repair it without any aid from the outside world.", to add to this you should have back up systems for any automated, techie gadgets and gizmos and/or know how you could jury rig something to serve it's purpose until it is repaired. Coastal cruising within a phone call of a techniian is one thing, but once you get out in the real world you have to realize you are on your own. Though the function theses gadgets serve may be nessesary, they should never be relied on completely. I am a strong believer in the KISS principle.
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Old 04-05-2012, 20:17   #74
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

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and/or know how you could jury rig something to serve it's purpose until it is repaired.
This is so true.

We were talking today about a guy we know who went out for opening day with 3 or 4 others, mostly inexperienced. They managed to get in trouble, over powered, not reefed. The tiller split off in his hand. Did he take a length of rope and lash it in place? No he did not... which made getting from the slot back to Alameda tricky...

Talk about no common sense...
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Old 05-05-2012, 05:49   #75
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Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

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Thats pretty much how I remember him explaining it...

But rereading I should have said they would fix their latitude with sun sights, and DR their longitude. My bad.

They would offset north or south and turn in at the DR'd longitude.

BTW, back to modern times, here are some guys preparing to aviate across the Pacific...Lots of paper in evidence:

Thanks for clarifying ; I suspected as much but I have learnt over the years not to assume too much if I don't understand something even if the answer seems obvious.
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