Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 05-05-2012, 07:27   #76
Registered User

Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 466
Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

While navigating the Houston ship channel at night , beeps erupted all over the boat!!!! what no GPS signal and we are doing 36kts in a sail boat !!! you talk about a scramble to find a paper chart an the binoculars to ID a mark!!!!!this only lasted moments but this put fear in my heart There is a message hear.
By the way the second word is not correct that should be blindly following electronics
__________________

__________________
sartorst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 09:42   #77
Moderator
 
noelex 77's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Living on dirt waiting for our new yacht to be built.
Boat: Half built Bestevaer.
Posts: 10,619
Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sartorst View Post
While navigating the Houston ship channel at night , beeps erupted all over the boat!!!! what no GPS signal and we are doing 36kts in a sail boat !!! you talk about a scramble to find a paper chart an the binoculars to ID a mark!!!!!this only lasted moments but this put fear in my heart There is a message hear.
By the way the second word is not correct that should be blindly following electronics
Welcome to the forum.
Make sure you investigate the cause of the GPS failure. There have been reports of more instances of jamming of gps signals by car car thieves, or the military, but I think wiring problems or failure of the gps internal battery are a much, much, more common cause and once they start these dropouts often get worse quickly.
I think most boats should have at least 2 independent fixed gps units and at least one hand held. A simple switch can transfer he input for the chartplotter from one gps unit to the other, giving an instant new fix if one unit develops a problem. ( try and wire them on separate circuits in case there is a blown fuse or CB. ). Now might be a good time to consider installing a redundant system like this.
The handheld is for totall electrical failure or lightening strike ( keep it in a metal box with lots of spare batteries)

Despite the reliability of well installed system having the binoculars out and locating the next mark by eye well before there is any problem should be second nature. I guess it will be now
__________________

__________________
noelex 77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 17:00   #78
Eternal Member
 
wolfenzee's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Port Ludlow, WA (NW corner of Puget Sound)
Boat: 30' William Atkin cutter
Posts: 1,496
Send a message via ICQ to wolfenzee
Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

I heard a story about someone who's radar went down so the abandoned ship.....thier boat was found sailing along happily more than a 1000 miles later.
Another person called a mayday because his GPS went down when asked what his last position fix was and where he was headed (SanFransisco.) he was instructed to just look up...the Golden Gate bridge was right in front of him.
My nieghbor navigated from Montauk NY to the the Chesapeake bay in the middle of a hurricane useing a gas station road map.
Bringing some boats back from the Anapolis boat show a little boat that had been hugging the shore linf came over to ask directions.....they were on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake bay headed north on thier way to Baltimore.....they thought they were on the western shore headed south.
I sailed a boat from Bermuda to Norfolk, electrical system was down (even if the electronics common on boats had been invented they would have been useless). Everyone else was retired USN, sextant and dead recking was spot on the whole way (three position fixes with passing frieghters proved this to be true).
I have electronic charts and GPS, but feel more comfortable looking at "hard copy" charts.
This particular thread (unlike some) everyone seems to agree....if anyone were to try and say that thier melectrical/electronics were 100% reliable and and they felt comfortable trusting thier life in such things with no back ups, they would be shot down immediately
__________________
"It is better to die living than live dieing" (Tolstoy para-phrased by Jimmy Buffet)
"Those who think they know everything piss off those of us who do"
wolfenzee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 20:08   #79
Senior Cruiser
 
rebel heart's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 6,190
Images: 3
I've never been on a boat with a chartplotter where someone was actually maintaining a dr plot properly or otherwise performing proper navigation. This whole "use all the tools" thing is a joke. People are lazy. The only exceptions to that are professional mariners who honestly are working their asses off keeping a gazillion plots and logbooks up to date constantly.

- paper / pencil / dr plot
- gps for electronic fixes
- take a sextant reading every day to keep the skills up

If you're approaching shore the last thing you should be looking at is the chart plotter.
__________________
rebel heart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 20:13   #80
Eternal Member
 
Chief Engineer's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: North of Baltimore
Boat: Ericson 27 & 18' Herrmann Catboat
Posts: 3,798
Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

I am on a lot of different boats and I am amazed at the number of chartplotters that show the vessels are a couple hundred yard off or a mile inland.
__________________
Chief Engineer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 00:03   #81
Moderator
 
noelex 77's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Living on dirt waiting for our new yacht to be built.
Boat: Half built Bestevaer.
Posts: 10,619
Re: To Plot, or not ? Is a Chart Plotter a luxury or a necessity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfenzee View Post
I heard a story about someone who's radar went down so the abandoned ship.....thier boat was found sailing along happily more than a 1000 miles later.
Another person called a mayday because his GPS went down when asked what his last position fix was and where he was headed (SanFransisco.) he was instructed to just look up...the Golden Gate bridge was right in front of him.
My nieghbor navigated from Montauk NY to the the Chesapeake bay in the middle of a hurricane useing a gas station road map.
Bringing some boats back from the Anapolis boat show a little boat that had been hugging the shore linf came over to ask directions.....they were on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake bay headed north on thier way to Baltimore.....they thought they were on the western shore headed south.
I sailed a boat from Bermuda to Norfolk, electrical system was down (even if the electronics common on boats had been invented they would have been useless). Everyone else was retired USN, sextant and dead recking was spot on the whole way (three position fixes with passing frieghters proved this to be true).
I have electronic charts and GPS, but feel more comfortable looking at "hard copy" charts.
This particular thread (unlike some) everyone seems to agree....if anyone were to try and say that thier melectrical/electronics were 100% reliable and and they felt comfortable trusting thier life in such things with no back ups, they would be shot down immediately
Nothing can ever be 100% reliable. A fire for example could destroy all electronics as well as paper charts, compasses and sextant, but I think we are reaching the stage where it is possible to have a system where a GPS unit will always be operational.
On my own boat I now have 8 GPS units, 4 with their own battery supply. I have 3 different means of generating 12v, 2 separate house banks an emergancy battery above the waterline and an extra 12v battery that is separate.
I have 9 electronic devices with detailed marine maps (3 chartplotters, 2 I pads and 4 computers). Two of the GPS units and two of the computers with electronic maps are in metal boxes ( down below in a metal boat)
The multitude of units are mostly due to to upgrades and replacements.

I do not feel there is any practical risk of not having a working GPS. The GPS system itself could be disrupted by solar flares or local jamming but I cannot see it degrading to a level where the fix will be worse than than that provided by celestial navigation.
Charts are often very wrong in the more deserted places I sail, so paper charts are essential for another perspective although the 3 different forms of electronic charts and paper charts often show the same wrong information. Pilot books often, but not always, provide better information.
A few years ago I think not having, and knowing how to use, a sextant was foolish if you were sailing offshore. I remberer in the early days of gps sailing with a skipper who had a single gps unit. He had a sextant, but could not use it. I tried to teach him, but with little success. I spent the last day with him writing detailed instructions and sealing them in a plastic bag.
I now meet a lot of offshore boats that do not carry a sextant and I think with abundance of back gps units many boats have this is a resonable decision.
I do not think we are at that stage yet with paper charts ( or the skills to use them) These are still nessessary, but many boats, including my own are carrying fewer.

BTW in the days I enjoyed your description of the navigational errors but before GPS this kind of mistake was a lot more frequent. It was common for another boat to ask you for a position. In coral waters boats whose estimated position was a 100nm off was scary and I wonder if all of them survived.
__________________
noelex 77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 07:34   #82
Registered User
 
bewitched's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 885
Images: 3
Re: To Plot, or Not ? Is a Chart Plotter a Luxury or a Necessity ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
If you're approaching shore the last thing you should be looking at is the chart plotter.
much better to be downstairs plotting a fix right?
__________________
bewitched is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 08:36   #83
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 474
Re: To Plot, or Not ? Is a Chart Plotter a Luxury or a Necessity ?

In 5-10 years do you think chartplotters will get better and better?

Yes, you need to have backups, but I personally would take a good chartplotter first.

I would also worry about the paper charts taking up too much space for all of the places I would want to go. I know how unorganized I am, and I don't think they would be a good match for me.
__________________
SunDevil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 09:16   #84
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,150
Re: To Plot, or Not ? Is a Chart Plotter a Luxury or a Necessity ?

The advantage of a chart plotter is that at a glance you can see where you are and your course over ground. This is very helpful in harbors and other areas where you are restricted in where you cannot go, such as into shallow waters. A plotter is still useful but not as useful in this respect in more open waters where you have the time to leave the helm and plot your position on paper.

A plotter is a supplement to paper but not a replacement for. The more navigation tools you have, the better off you are.

Too often the thought process is if I get this then I can eliminate this. It is very rarely the case where one navigation tool completely eliminates another navigation tool. A good navigator takes all the information into consideration and then weighs it's accuracy and relevance and makes a decision as to what is the best information based on experience. Knowing how to weigh the information through experience is the art side of navigation, which are qualitative decisions where numbers cannot be assigned.
__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 10:39   #85
Moderator
 
noelex 77's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Living on dirt waiting for our new yacht to be built.
Boat: Half built Bestevaer.
Posts: 10,619
Re: To Plot, or Not ? Is a Chart Plotter a Luxury or a Necessity ?

One big advantage of a chartplotter is that it makes navigation easy and quick. Some see this as a negative, reasoning anything easy cannot be good, but there are times such as crew sickness, or emergancy repairs, where it is a major bonus. Under these circumstances those boats with only traditional methods are often forced to neglect important tasks. Sail trim, engine and bilge checks and particularly a good lookout are still important when there are other problems. Tired skippers make bad decisions.
It should also be rembered that chartplotters and even GPS take skill, judjment and practice to operate correctly, some of thoe traditionalists that are not comfortable using modern technology need the most practice.
__________________
noelex 77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 17:45   #86
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
Re: To Plot, or Not ? Is a Chart Plotter a Luxury or a Necessity ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavalo View Post
(...) Is this an illusion?(...)
No, it is not an illusion. A plotter will make your navigation safer. The question is: safer than what?

If you have paper charts and if you know how to use them (and, sure, if you USE them), then adding a plotter will add to safety - you will have electronic copies of the charts, you will have your position displayed on the charts in real time and you can see AIS targets or radar targets displayed around you. All this adds to safety.

Then you may like to think about your safety (or lack of it) in the unwelcome event of your plotter's failure.

So, my two cents is: get paper charts and build the skills necessary to use them, then get the plotter too and learn to use it. You will be safer.

b.
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 17:53   #87
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
Re: To Plot, or Not ? Is a Chart Plotter a Luxury or a Necessity ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I've never been on a boat with a chartplotter where someone was actually maintaining a dr plot properly or otherwise performing proper navigation. This whole "use all the tools" thing is a joke. People are lazy. (...)
You are wrong. It is not a joke.

I use plotters and yet the position is transferred to paper charts. Also, lights and marks are observed and compared with the chart or pilot as applicable.

Position, speed and course are taken down and compass course is taken down too. I can tell where we are at any given time, plotter or no plotter.

The only exception is navigating in densely rock/coral strewn areas where I go by the eye and rely on the plotter to previsualize the next mark/turn. This is so because when eye balling I would not have enough time to annotate the chart, take bearings, etc.. Call it technology offset.

Cheers,
b.
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 18:05   #88
Senior Cruiser
 
IslandHopper's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Bundaberg Queensland/Lake Bolac Victoria, Australia
Boat: 45ft Ketch
Posts: 1,198
Re: To Plot, or Not ? Is a Chart Plotter a Luxury or a Necessity ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
If you're approaching shore the last thing you should be looking at is the chart plotter.
Actually that is exactly what most marine pilots are using these days, that's not to say all the other safe navigation procedures are not been followed, just that one of the first things the pilot does on entering the bridge is set up his PC based chart plotter.....

__________________
IslandHopper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 18:17   #89
Senior Cruiser
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 11,447
Re: To Plot, or Not ? Is a Chart Plotter a Luxury or a Necessity ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandHopper View Post
Actually that is exactly what most marine pilots are using these days, that's not to say all the other safe navigation procedures are not been followed, just that one of the first things the pilot does on entering the bridge is set up his PC based chart plotter.....

Exactly true, but one must remember that the pilot is intimately familiar with his pilotage area, that he has made the same trip numerous times, that he knows from previous trips that the plotter's chart is accurate and up to date, that he has other professional seamen providing additional lookouts and that he too will be carefully examining the real world outside the bridge windows.

A far cry from Joe Yottie making up on a new landfall...

Cheers,

Jim
__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II , lying Port Cygnet, Tasmania once again
Jim Cate is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 18:33   #90
Registered User
 
Astrid's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Northern British Columbia, part of the time in Prince Rupert and part of the time on Moresby Island.
Boat: 50-ft steel Ketch
Posts: 1,885
Send a message via MSN to Astrid Send a message via Yahoo to Astrid
Re: To Plot, or Not ? Is a Chart Plotter a Luxury or a Necessity ?

If you are 'Joe Yottie making up on a new landfall...' without being guided in on the wings of angels, then one had better not put all one's faith into gadgets. Use your chart plotter but keep a sharp lookout and if possible take bearings to check your plotter position. Use everything in your navigational inventory of tools and do not depend on any one thing.
__________________

__________________
'Tis evening on the moorland free,The starlit wave is still: Home is the sailor from the sea, The hunter from the hill.
Astrid is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
charts, chartplotter

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 18:11.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.