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Old 13-01-2016, 12:07   #16
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

http://www.amazon.com/Navigation-Rul...rds=navigation

Boat Navigation for the Rest of Us: Finding Your Way By Eye and Electronics: Bill Brogdon: 9780071372268: Amazon.com: Books

www.activecaptain.com
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Old 13-01-2016, 12:09   #17
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

Yep, buy an A3 printer and print your own free charts, this will be eyeball pilotage not navigation (thats when you get clear of land). You just need to knoe depth, bridge hights and whats out of sight round the bend.
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Old 13-01-2016, 12:11   #18
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

These online (free) charts may help with planning...for example, bridge heights should be listed:

Navionics Webapp

I agree with the poster who said paper charts, and a handheld gps/charting device (like the garmin gpsmap78).

On trips like you describe, it is very easy just to follow the bouys...but it tedious to keep track of your location. The gps or chartplotter does this very well. In bad visibility, the charplotter is amazing.

If you have the 3g/4g version of ipad (I sure hope you do), then it will make an excellent chartplotter. FYI, the gps circuit is on all ipads, but it uses the cellular antenna...which is only present on the 3g/4g version. Same is true for ipods. The only caveat...ipads aren't waterproof.

Congrats on the purchase of your boat...so what did you get? Any pictures? I think you will have a great trip. By going solo, you get to set your own pace, and need not worry about anyones comfort but your own.
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Old 13-01-2016, 12:23   #19
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

Thjis is all great advice and gratefully taken. I will most likely have an app on the iPad, and handheld GPS, some charts of the river, and a keen eye.
That's kind of what I thought I would do, but it's great to have that confirmed by more experienced sailors and power boaters.
Thanks to all. I really appreciate it.
I may take a video or two on the trip which I will post here so you can laugh when I knock the mast off going under a low bridge.
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Old 13-01-2016, 12:26   #20
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

Very interesting question. It's a multi step process. Navigation is fairly simple. Start with boat handling, rules of the road and fitting out/i.e. what equiment do you need to get? You will need to make multiple stops and marinas are not always conveniently spaced. In any case you need to be confortable in handling the boat on dock approaches, anchoring in an emergency and recovering from grounding. The latter might be the best choice when facing a string of barges heading downstream. The river current is something you must know either because you estimate it several times each day, you calculate from your daily run or you aske a local. Preferably all 3. For example if your new boat has a hull speed of 6 Kts and the current is 4 kts you can expect to average 20 NM per day in a 10 hr day. I'm no river guy but I believe spring runoff is a lousy time to sail or power upstream. In any case talk to river experts before setting out. One site claiming expertise is Cruising the Ohio River, by Capt John.
Best of luck to you.
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Old 13-01-2016, 12:58   #21
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

A Chartplotter. On a river. Hmmm....


First time I came into NY harbor and up the East River (after midnight) with no charts at all, the boss asked me "Are you sure about this?" and I said, uh, yeah, I'm a native, I know where the ships go and if they can fit, we can fit.


I can't say I've known your river, but would suggest you don't need to navigate on a river at all, you only need to PILOT. That means getting some paper charts, using some colored highlighters to brighten up any shoals, obstacles, and marks you plan to use, and then just motoring on up, mark to mark. Usually there's a prominent shipping channel.


And forgive me for mentioning--since you are going UPriver, you want to really make sure the engine and fuel supply are 100% reliable. That you've got an adequate anchor, just in case. And that you've got a good working VHF radio and antenna, so you can listen for any commercial traffic coming down at you the other way.


If there's a USCG Auxiliary in the place where you are picking up your boat, they can do a courtesy inspection for you, to make sure all the necessary safety equipment is there and functional. If you pass, you get a "Go bother someone else" sticker to display on your boat. If you fail, all you get is a list that says what you should take care of. No penalty.


It's a river. How lost can you get?(G)


Towing insurance usually doesn't kick in for 30 days, so you might also want to get that in advance. Just in case.
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Old 13-01-2016, 13:01   #22
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

You will be fighting the worst current and debris in April (lots of sticks, some trees and logs, much mostly sunk). Gas is scarce but not nonexistant along that patch. What is your top speed motoring? You are heading into about a 5mph current (research this!). Calculate your fuel consumption (at a comfortable speed greater than the current). Borrow lots of gas cans. I know I have seen at least 35 ft sailboats snowbirding on the Ohio, cant really comment beyond that on bridge height.

The good news is there hasn't been that much snow up north so we won't have a particularly bad runoff or debris come spring. Take a GPS to measure your progress, depth gage is nice but probably not essential if you stay away from shore.

My friends brought a houseboat up that way last year and needed to run a good clip (3400 RPM) to make decent headway and went through tons of gas. They had 6 gas cans and still had to stop and flag down a pickup truck when a road appeared nearby (that stretch can be a whole lot of nothing). Have lots of good bumpers for the locks, the trees and some barges go through with you.

My advice is to make arrangements to wait til early June and bribe some buddies to come along for Pizza & Beer.
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Old 13-01-2016, 13:41   #23
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

Quote:
Originally Posted by RKO View Post
This may not be as exciting as the headline sounds. I just bought a boat that is 300 miles down the Ohio and Cumberland rivers in KY from my location. The boat is on Lake Barkley in Eddyville. In late April, my PLAN is to bring it up to my home in Louisville KY.

My first question is, if anybody has traversed this part of the water, how is bridge clearance? My mast is 42 feet from the waterline. Of COURSE I'll have charts and a lot of help and advice from locals who have done it, but my plan is to do this solo.
And I'm sure this is an annoying question, but what do I need in terms of a chartplotter? I have a brand new iPad, which I have been told can be connected to a GPS, for some reason. I have no idea what that reason is.
Basically I'm clueless and will be grateful for any direction or advice I can get.
I did the trip from Tenn thro Lake Barkley to Cincinnati 2 years ago. Bridges have an average of 70 ft. clearance during non-flood times, but in April water could be substantially higher, but are well marked on the charts. Keep in mind that I am a Power Boater with 25' clearance, so check the clearance beforehand. Also, beware, a lot of debree is floating down river in the spring and many marinas will not have very deep marinas for an sail boat, always radio in first to check. We never stay at a Marina unless there is some other attraction there to see. Anchoring is not a problem almost any where on the river as long as you get out of the channel, but check the charts for low head dams. If you are planning to hand plot, be aware that every 80-100 miles will take 100+ way points. This is much easier on a laptop or chart plotter. I use both a Garmin Chartplotter & Coastal Explorer (CE) on a laptop. CE will show Active Captain as you go up river showing all marinas and other information. Yes, you do not need a chartplotter, but if you have an autopilot that you can drive with the chartplotter or laptop you will make your trip a lot more fun and allow you to momentarily leave the wheel and reduce the burden of plotting you route. Call if I can be of help 513-425-9388.
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Old 13-01-2016, 13:48   #24
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

FWIW, there is some added safety in using a marina on any river that might have commercial (or simply drunk) traffic. Some folks drop anchor on the Hudson thinking "Hey, I'm safe here" and then down comes a freighter, or a barge string, and they're figuring they can go wherever they please. Ooops.


So the physical shelter of a marina can be of some value. It is also likely to block anything that is coming downriver (fallen trees, house debris) before that can interrupt your sleep as well.


Just a thought.
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Old 13-01-2016, 15:52   #25
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

good advice on CG or power sq. courses, Good luck on your trip and new boat
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Old 14-01-2016, 02:45   #26
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVToybox View Post
I did the trip from Tenn thro Lake Barkley to Cincinnati 2 years ago. Bridges have an average of 70 ft. clearance during non-flood times, but in April water could be substantially higher, but are well marked on the charts. Keep in mind that I am a Power Boater with 25' clearance, so check the clearance beforehand. Also, beware, a lot of debree is floating down river in the spring and many marinas will not have very deep marinas for an sail boat, always radio in first to check. We never stay at a Marina unless there is some other attraction there to see. Anchoring is not a problem almost any where on the river as long as you get out of the channel, but check the charts for low head dams. If you are planning to hand plot, be aware that every 80-100 miles will take 100+ way points. This is much easier on a laptop or chart plotter. I use both a Garmin Chartplotter & Coastal Explorer (CE) on a laptop. CE will show Active Captain as you go up river showing all marinas and other information. Yes, you do not need a chartplotter, but if you have an autopilot that you can drive with the chartplotter or laptop you will make your trip a lot more fun and allow you to momentarily leave the wheel and reduce the burden of plotting you route. Call if I can be of help 513-425-9388.
That's what made me ask the question. I've cruised the ohio in or around louisville for 25 years. I've got a fair handle on the current and traffic issues. I know the way ( go to the ohio and turn right!)
What I was most concerned about was bridge clearance. I've only driven across the bridge from evansville indiana into henderson ky, but its new and seems to be closer to the water.
I,ll keep an eye on my depth guage too.
I wanted to hear from folks who.have done this trip, and now I have. I'll keep your number in case I have another question. Thanks so very much!
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Old 14-01-2016, 19:35   #27
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

You need to know where you are on the chart. That is called a "Fix". Get a hand bearing compass and learn how to use it. I have Fujinon binoculars with a built in compass that I love. Good suggestions above. I am not familiar with your area but, here, currents are critical.
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Old 14-01-2016, 20:37   #28
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

Quote:
Originally Posted by RKO View Post
SNIP

And I'm sure this is an annoying question, but what do I need in terms of a chartplotter? I have a brand new iPad, which I have been told can be connected to a GPS, for some reason. I have no idea what that reason is.
Basically I'm clueless and will be grateful for any direction or advice I can get.
Check out Garmin app for the iPad and use the Active Captain option. Has the anchorages, bridge heights, and marina locations. Active Captain is updated on a regular basis. You can update it every time you have wifi access.

You can also go to the Active Captain web site and get a lot of the information there. Active Captain is free, Garmin for all of North America is like $US40 or so.

You can get some idea of gas usage from the app and see if you need to buy additional gas cans.

Remember other folks have posted here how important ground tackle is.
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Old 15-01-2016, 03:40   #29
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

I am in the UK and have no experience of US Inland Waters at all but find these threads very stimulating and informative...

A look at the US Corps of Engineers site seems to indicate that their charts will give you all the information that you need. I found it a bit tricky locating all the pdf's that you would need for the stretch from Eddyville as the files are named including the range of charts each file covers...

This search seems to let you find the ones for the Ohio

ohio river chart - Louisville District Search Results

And this lets you find the charts for the Cumberland:

Nashville District > Missions > Navigation > Downloadable Cumberland River Charts

From my research I would reckon that transiting the locks on the Ohio could be the trickiest part of this trip for you, depending on how much commercial traffic you will be sharing them with and how the lock-keepers view "pleasure craft".

I hope all goes well and you enjoy your trip.
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Old 15-01-2016, 05:05   #30
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

A trip during April will probably find the Ohio river above pool stage, and depending on how much above' you should consider postponing as you'll be going against a stout current the whole trip. Check out the NOAA river forecast chart for the Ohio and see how much water flows for every foot of rise. The flow about doubles with only a couple of feet of rise. Personally, I would not want to do that uphill run if the river was more than 3' above pool stage.

This time of year, few marinas will be open so you'll be anchoring out. Pick your spots wisely and make sure you don't wonder out in the channel. Most of the marinas are mom and pop places and you'll probably be able to reach them on the phone, and in that case they'll probably take some money to let you tie up to their docks. More than likely there will be no water turned on, but likely electric. Getting fuel could be an issue, and you'll need to plan this out as you'll be burning some fuel going against the current. Qimby's cruising guide is pretty decent for this part of the river. The other down side to travel at this time of year is that there are few boaters out and about to offer assistance if you have a problem. If the river is up a bit and full of drift, there will be no boaters out there. If you got into a real jamb, a passing push boat might launch their skiff to assist, but only if they are close.

There's a draw bridge just above the Louisville lock that will be you're only issue regarding height. That draw bridge is 35' and raise's on request 24/7.

I'd use a chart plotter as it will show the sail line and the shoal better than paper charts. The Ohio is wide enough to run at night and in fog in you have a plotter and radar. Without radar, I'd only run during daylight and no fog. You don't need a top of the line unit, but you'll need to buy the charts as those charts normally don't come pre loaded.

Read up on how to talk to the push boat captains and how they'll tell you which side to pass on. They'll refer to either the one or the two ( one whistle or two whistle). The Ohio gets very serpentine in the area you'll be on, and it's important to talk to the push boats as they can take up the whole sail line traversing the bends. The push boat captains are very professional, and communicate well.

The locks are all floating bollards and are easy to get through. Call the lock master once you get to the charted arrival point. Locks and push boat captains refer to traffic direction as either "up bound" or "down bound". You and your crew need to wear a life jacket while in the lock. Don't enter until the lock master tells you to either by radio, light, or whistle. Don't untie until lock master tells you to (usually by whistle). Get a six foot length of 5/8 garden hose and pass a 1/2" line through it to create a loop. Use this garden hose loop to easily lasso the floating bollards as you get close to them, then use another line to secure you to the bollard.

The Ohio river is big and powerful, and while you'll be going slow, things can happen rather quickly some times. A danforth type anchor works well, but I'd carry at least one spare. We carry three anchors.

Cheers,

Conall
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