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Old 15-02-2009, 08:56   #16
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I think navigation is an evolving thing and I am happy to ditch the old and go with the new as it slowly evolves.

If I say I want a COG of 250 thats what I want and I want her to acheive that. She can because the GPS has COG. For her to have to translate is just unnecessary, slow, error prone and consequently perhaps unsafe

Defjef mentions crabbing... coming into this last port, Bundaberg, there was about 3 miles of leading markers and a cross current so strong it was amazing. It was 5 am and I didnt want to get to the end of the leads till daylight so I had to go at 3.5kts. Fair Dinkum we were at 45 degrees to the course! Pointed that way, going this way! Nic was a little worried I was trying to kill her so I showed her my COG. She cared about where the bow was facing as she hadnt been on the wheel. I was on the wheel (auto pilot) so I couldn’t give a rats bum where the bow was pointed as long and the boat was going down the leads.

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Mark, Perfect! As this is what is happening everywhere. If we go to the extreme, we can eliminate all terminology or make up an entirely new one, because the reality of GPS today is...." Keep the boat on this line"
It's become a virtual game. You can even do it in 3D now.

The key here is understanding the effect of wind, tide and current. Tidal currents don't have a constant velocity and direction changes every cycle. So, as the current diminishes instead of your heading being 45 deg. from your COG ( track) in an hour it could be 35 deg. 6 hours later you could be facing 45 deg. the other way.

If we were on inland lakes this might not even be a discussion.

It's not intuitive even with GPS to steer a vessel 45 degrees from the intended course to achieve that CMG...somewhere along the line...An old duffer whispered in your ear...
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Old 15-02-2009, 12:42   #17
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Actually Mark, we agree more than you think.

The "old duffers 200 year old book" (Bowditch) is actually a book that has evolved over the years as navigation has become more sophisticated and more precise. With each edition, things are added to Bowditch as well as deleted or changed.

Modern ECDIS and other electronic terms are indeed in Bowditch. Its fine to teach someone tany sort of imprecise terms that your electronic plotter might use so long as that person is never asked to navigate on a different vessel or to describe to someone over the radio a navigational description.

There is a foundation to navigation which all mariners should know and then there is the electronics stuff put on boats to make navigation as easy as pushing a few buttons. Knowing how to push the right buttons is fun and good and gets you around safely, but it does not require a knowledge of the fundamental principles of navigation. Only when the electronic box fails on you will you need to go back to the basics. I think its still a good idea to know the basics....which means understanding the terms and their precise definition.

This term "crabbing" needs to be put to rest....its for airplanes. Its called set and drift on boats. It applies to currents as well as the difference between the heading and Course Made Good....even if CMG is a bit of a misleading term. CMG still has a precise definition.

It would be fine to call a duck a seagull so long as everyone else on board does the same thing...as there would be no confusion as to what you are talking about. The same thing applies navigation terms. The problem comes when you use the same terms outside of the boat, such as on someone else's boat or on the radio.
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Old 15-02-2009, 16:37   #18
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The problem comes when you use the same terms outside of the boat, such as on someone else's boat or on the radio.

But the terms used on a plotter are essentially the same on all plotters and have already become ubiquitous. If ringing the Coast Guard on the VHF they will understand the plotter talk of waypoint, bearing, course, cmg, vmg, sog. The only person who will not is one who only has paper charts. With the cost of paper charts so prohibitively high (my trip would cost tens of thousands for paper charts) the only people using them exclusively will be those that only have old charts on board anyway! Do people really update their charts? Maybe if they stay in their own harbour but not cruisers. So the charts, their technology ie drawing instruments, and their terminology will all go the way of the Dodo.

Nicolle with her education only in electronic charting will be easily able to assimilate on any other boat - except for the few remaining ones using paper. When she does get on one of those boats she can learn and compare to her methods. (I expect you will find her a slow learner, David, unless you entice her with ice creams...)

I think the big psychological barrier is that those formally trained feel upset, dumbfounded, flabergasted, and deflated that their huge amount of knowledge is redundant. It is, except for historical purposes.

However there is so much more to do at sea than having to worry about navigation. The human mind is wonderful in that when one task is taken away something else will be found to interest it.


Quote:
Tempest said: It's not intuitive even with GPS to steer a vessel 45 degrees from the intended course to achieve that CMG...somewhere along the line...An old duffer whispered in your ear...


Yes it is because you just make the Projected Course Line go where you want the boat to go.
I can change my projected course time from 2 minutes, 10 mins, 30, 1hr and 2 hrs. By looking at the tennis racquet* at the end of the Projected Course line I can see not only where but when I will arrive graphically... as well, of course as my digital readout of time to next and/or time at next.

*Tennis Racquet is a term I have submitted for inclusion to Bowditch defined as: "The Round Thingy Sticking Out of the Boat Blob on the TV Screen".

May the Auto Pilot Never Fail



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Old 15-02-2009, 17:33   #19
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All excellent points Mark. I guess I am still a little freaked out by the thought of being completely reliant on electronics. I guess if you have backups for backups, you will never get to the point where your last backup has failed and then you are S.O.L. ... lost and having no clue where that submerged reef is at night...somewhere out here.

I far as terms go, I still prefer to stick to old school terms.

What on Earth is the "tennis racquet thingy"?
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Old 15-02-2009, 17:37   #20
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...I can change my projected course time from 2 minutes, 10 mins, 30, 1hr and 2 hrs. By looking at the tennis racquet* at the end of the Projected Course line I can see not only where but when I will arrive graphically... as well, of course as my digital readout of time to next and/or time at next.

*Tennis Racquet is a term I have submitted for inclusion to Bowditch defined as: "The Round Thingy Sticking Out of the Boat Blob on the TV Screen"...
I usually just use the "Tennis Raquet" thingie too . Just point it at where I want to be and watch it - starts pointing a bit the wrong way I just tweek the autopilot the required amount in the right direction (I usually don't use waypoints and route). No doubt some will denigrate that as irresponsible but if so it only confirms that they do not know what we are talking about and the safety the "Tennis Raquet" thingie delivers in real time. And "left" and "right" I am happy to use too, just as I frequently find professional crews do these days (as do pilots) with no fear of confusion.

I have followed a lot of these types of threads and I just come more and more to the conclusion that many people just do not understand that with an electronic charting system one can do everything that one can do with a paper chart plus much more again, and it is all much quicker and feedback is in real time. It is only for very good reasons that certain classes of commercial vessels will be mandated to use electronic nav and even naval vessels are now going to paperless boats. We should take note rather than harp on about the "good" old ways.

Is much like comparing in the engineering, architectural, etc world CAD with old tee squares and drawing machines - no doubt some still use the old gear but those who want to do the job accurately, efficiently and quickly use CAD and just as in the same way that electronic nav has introduced a new vocabulary they talk about layers, object properties, models, etc, etc and those terms now predominate (even in boat design too ).

For myself, I have found that although brought up in the old style, electronic nav has opened up a whole new world of much more powerful nav tools and introduced far greater safety - only proviso is that one just has to understand a few things to keep one safe. Many use that proviso to denigrate electronic nav which to me only confirms that they are unaware that provisos apply to traditional nav on paper too. It also only confirms to me that they are not prepared to look for the answers around such provisos but rather present them as being insurmountable road blocks to progress.
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Old 15-02-2009, 17:49   #21
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I use Nobeltec all the time and have been using it for about 12 years now. I just installed a Navnet 3D system onboard. The monitor on the left will be Navnet and the monitor on the right Nobeltec. So I am not one of those luddites who only believes in fixes by astrolabe. In fact, without my Nobeltec, I would not have been able to do my job in many instances....usually holding my position over ground in a current or try running transects....try doing that on paper.

My point is that there is no reason to abandon the fundamentals of learning good navigational skills nor unnecessarily redefine the old terms or add a bunch of unnecessary new terms which replace the old terms.

I agree that ECDIS type systems (chart plotters) do a fantastic job at what they do. Mostly that at a glance, you can see where you are and where you are headed...which is one hell of a lot faster and less prone to errors than plotting something to a chart.

Midland, I was never denigrating electronic charts.
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Old 15-02-2009, 18:57   #22
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The thread started out by suggesting we create a new navigation language because GPS makes things confusing. I love my plotter and use it exactly the way everyone talks about. So this is not a question of paper vs electronics, I can work with either and prefer the electronics most of the time. I also have Nobletec.

I'm not afraid of a new language, I just don't see the need at the moment, if someone says follow the Tennis Racket thingy....I'll know exactly what they mean......just don't ask me to say it over the radio......unless you hand me an ice cream cone 1st...
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Old 15-02-2009, 19:20   #23
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...I'm not afraid of a new language, I just don't see the need at the moment...
Fair enuff but could you tell me what you call the following, for example, in the old traditional language when you are using electronic nav -

Tracking Frame?
Look Ahead Vector (remembering this a vector managed in real time ie the "Tennis Raquet" thingy )?
Electronic Bearing Line?
Variable Range Marker (centred on vessel managed in real time)?
Zoom In, Zoom Out?
Cross Track Error Limit?
Critical Point Ahead Warning (audible warning when a point marked on the route by the navigator enters the look ahead zone)?

Better stop there for starters .
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Old 15-02-2009, 22:28   #24
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Fair enuf Midlandone.....but don't forget... on/off , scroll.... lol

I was refering to the original posters suggested terminology.

as to your list, I don't see those terms as "Navigation" terms...they are computer terms...

zoom in zoom out = putting reading glasses on? or = using a magnifying glass to read the little symbol for the seabed?

An electronic bearing line = a bearing line...

Critical point ahead = "Land-ho"...." look out for that crab pot" "danger bearings"

cross track error limit, look ahead vectors.. similar to "fix expansion" used in DR

Can I have my ice cream cone now?
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Old 16-02-2009, 01:55   #25
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A slight diverson here: After paper charts, sextants and compass came the GPS; then came the chartplotter.
The simplest way to use the GPS is load your waypoints and keep the bearing and track numbers the same.
The simplest way to use the chartplotter is to keep on the line.

But I prefer to work out courses, bearings, headings, tracks etc - just because I can and because it is intersting to know what is really happening rather than following some numbers or an electronic line.
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Old 16-02-2009, 02:33   #26
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Having been through a few revisions of navigational methods, using paper only, using paper and Autopilot, using GPS and paper, using GPS,plotter and autopilot intergrated I prefer the latter. I can plot a number of routes on my computer at home, at work, or on the boat. I then upload these routes to my Chartplotter which is connected to a GPS reciever and the auto pilot. Underway I can select any route I want to use (which is very detailed, lots of way points) and set the auto pilot to follow the route. It follows it as if it were on tracks. This takes away some of the immediate requirements at the helm and allows me time to watch the surrounding areas for possible problems. I can move waypoints on the go to adjust my position with respect to the wind or possible hazards. I seldom touch the wheel except for coming into a harbor, but I am always ready to do so. I embrace the new technology. The older I get the better I like it. I primarily single hand.
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Old 16-02-2009, 03:44   #27
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The thread started out by suggesting we create a new navigation language because GPS makes things confusing.
Thanks for trying to bring the thread back to where I started, Tempest245. It has gone off into tangents and down rabbit holes. This isn't about paper versus GPS, or old duffers versus early-adopters. I'm a died-in-the wool GPS navigator. On a blue water cruise a couple of years ago I tried to do celestial navigation in parallel to GPS, rediscovering how incredibly time-consuming it is to maintain a DR plot, and how little information it provides compared to GPS. (Though it was reassurring that I could navigate if GPS goes down.) So, that is not the issue I raise.

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I'm not afraid of a new language, I just don't see the need at the moment...
Let me explain further. I started the thread because there has been drift and confusion over basic navigation concepts in recent decades, especially since GPS arrived in the market, although it began before then. There has been proliferation of new meanings for old terms, and new terms for similar meanings. Part of this is due to the proprietary nature of modern industry, but part is due to the fact there are many acceptable ways of navigating a boat (many schools of thought). I find this drift and variety makes it hard to teach navigation to new boaters (I compared glossaries of navigation schools).

I'm looking for first principles. This lack of standardization probably increases risk in the cruising world. There is wisdom in standardization, especially teaching beginners, or handing off at the end of a watch at midnight.

GPS navigation has not been around long enough for the world to develop a consensus about the new navigation tradition; one that can be commonly understood by all. The terms proposed in my first post are not new, merely a proposed standard that I think is grounded in sound navigation principles that appear to work in a wide variety of navigation situations encountered by today's cruisers.

So, anybody up for the challenge of trying to define the new tradition in cruiser navigation? There is huge experience and knowledge on this forum. We all agree a new age has dawned. How do we tame it?
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Old 16-02-2009, 04:24   #28
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...Can I have my ice cream cone now?
Maybe a very warm one so's it runs down yer arm .

Getting back to the original question I don't think many (if any) of the past definitions used within nav practice have gathered new meanings. Some fall into disuse as electronic nav takes over. In any case it is clear from some of the discussion that many are confused about what the long standing definitions are let alone what the new ones are.

Definitions used for the new practices introduced by electronic nav have appeared but I don't see much (if any) inconsistancy in the use of those between references such as equipment and software manuals.

Perhaps the answer to the original question lies in reading a manual or two as I think the answers are there .

In the end I navigate and don't talk to myself or anyone else while doing so. So it really doesn't matter if in my head I call day marks "lollipops", courses "for horses", past tracks "where we went", look ahead vector "the tennis raquet thingie" etc, etc. Sometimes I think we try and take ourselves with our sailing too seriously in trying to act like knowledgeable (sic) old salts.
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Old 16-02-2009, 05:18   #29
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So, anybody up for the challenge of trying to define the new tradition in cruiser navigation? There is huge experience and knowledge on this forum. We all agree a new age has dawned. How do we tame it?
Hi Clearsea, yes sorry we diverted the thread a bit - but for this place its been remarkably on track! Did I tell you the one about....?

I think I see you are coming from the academic standpoint of codifying what is going on for easy of teaching.

If you are saying you will take the language and terms currently (and in the future) being used by developers and operators then yes I think you are doing a great thing for teachers.
If you are trying to force words on this new group of developers and users then I think you will fail because its not of the behaviour of early acceptors to use old descriptors.

Its like telling a kid that a Facebook 'Nudge' should be called a message. Nudging is cool. Messaging was so last year!

Do I make any sense whatsoever? LOL


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Old 16-02-2009, 07:07   #30
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So, anybody up for the challenge of trying to define the new tradition in cruiser navigation? There is huge experience and knowledge on this forum. We all agree a new age has dawned. How do we tame it?

Clearsea, I completely understand what you want to do, and why you want to do it. This is not an issue of Paper vs Electronics. Electronics are here to stay, I like everyone here have embraced the new technology.

I also teach ASA and USCG courses ( part-time) . The problem we have here in the USA in changing the terminology, at the moment, is that the USCG and the Major US sailing certification associations are still using the " traditional" formats ( charts) tools ( dividers, hand held compasses etc ) and navigation terminoloy in their course materials and testing.

Both USCG and ASA navigation testing takes place using paper charts. The fundamentals of navigation haven't changed, the tools have changed; and yes there is some terminology that has arisen with those tools. At the moment, those terms have not been incorporated into the testing.

Having learned the most recent "old" ways I have found no difficulty in transferring that knowledge to the current new technology using existing terminology. The changes you suggest will eventually have to take place at the level of the Certifying authorities. That will probably take some time. In the meantime, I have to teach the course provided.

I too have felt that their should be more classes in Electronic navigation than there are.
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