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Old 13-01-2016, 07:35   #1
RKO
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VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

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.
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Old 13-01-2016, 08:08   #2
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

I should add that I've been sailing on freshwater for 25 years, but the only navigational aid I've ever needed was a pair of sunglasses.
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Old 13-01-2016, 08:09   #3
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

Can't help with the first guestion.

About your new Ipad, first check if it has a built in gps. Some are WiFi data only and no gps. Others are WiFi data and 3g or 4g cellular data as well and have a built in gps.

Charting apps require a GPS for position information.

There are several charting apps for IPad and not too costly.

You will find free charts for inland waterways on the Army Corps of Engineers website.
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Old 13-01-2016, 08:28   #4
RKO
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

Quote:
Originally Posted by four winds View Post
Can't help with the first guestion.

About your new Ipad, first check if it has a built in gps. Some are WiFi data only and no gps. Others are WiFi data and 3g or 4g cellular data as well and have a built in gps.

Charting apps require a GPS for position information.

There are several charting apps for IPad and not too costly.

You will find free charts for inland waterways on the Army Corps of Engineers website.
Great. THanks!
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Old 13-01-2016, 09:22   #5
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

I would recommend Pyzel's coastal Navigation book, even though it isn't electronics focused


Coastal Navigation Manual (Pyzel) & Course Presentation CD
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Old 13-01-2016, 09:40   #6
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

I have had some good luck with the 'Navionics' app.
It is available on iphone and android.
the free version has tons of useful features.
Good luck and let me know how it ends.
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Old 13-01-2016, 09:51   #7
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

Check out the courses offered by the US Power Squadron (Home). I don't know if there's one close to where you live.
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Old 13-01-2016, 10:04   #8
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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.

Can't help with your location; however, somewhat amused by your question.
In all sincerity all you need are good paper charts and depth sounder and good sight.
I've been sailing for over 50 years, long before chart plotters, GPS and LapTops. Didn't stop me sailing offshore out of sight of land.
I'm a technocrat and have double of all and everything electronic now, convenient and safe, but I don't really need them.
If I was in your situation now I'd purchase an economical hand held marine GPS for added comfort level.
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Old 13-01-2016, 10:28   #9
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

I`m with adlib2: Skip the electronics. What you need is the fundamentals: Charts - and the knowledge to read them correctly. Binoculars. Dividers. Pencils. Erasers. Parallel rulers.

Review your basic trigonometry and be sure you have a sound familiarity with the TDS equation. Nothing there you wouldn`t, or shouldn`t, have had a sound familiarity with at the end of Grade X.

If you can do your `distance off`calculation horizontally, you can do it vertically for such purposes as verifying clearances under bridges. The NOMINAL clearances will be given on the charts. Always good policy, and excellent practice, to verify them :-)

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Old 13-01-2016, 10:33   #10
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

Either take a course with the CG Auxiliary or Power Squadron or get a book or two and practice practice practice paper chart navigation BEFORE you go. Map-tech and other commercial guides are extremely helpful. Coast Pilots / Inland Rivers also. Rules of the Road a necessity. Know VHF-FM channels for emergencies, bridge to bridge communications, marina frequencies.
Plot a DR course beforehand and get opinions on realistic expectations of ETA, daily progress, overnight anchoring at marinas, provisioning etc.
Do you have enough (meaning more than the minimum) safety and signaling gear, radios, gps, ground tackle, etc.
Be absolutely sure and expect the unexpected. Take a day or two to check the boat for spare parts and "plan B" equipment, proper clothing for all types of weather.
If you have a plan for the trip, a plan for emergencies, and expectations of progress, you will be much more confident and it will be a stress free and enjoyable voyage.
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Old 13-01-2016, 10:35   #11
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

I keep my boat 10 miles from eddy creek. The trip from there to Louisville is a piece of cake. An iPad is all you need. Can't speed for bridge clearance, I'm a power boater. I brought mine from quad cities Iowa with an iPad and navionics. The current on the Ohio may be an issue in the spring. I've seen it at 6 knots. About all a sail boat can do but other than that it is an easy trip. Do check for bridge clearance though. I've seen many sailboats traveling with the mast taken down.
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Old 13-01-2016, 10:37   #12
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

Charts will show all the bridge clearances. I suggest sit down and do the pre-planning noting all the bridge and any other clearances, draw bridges and contact requirements, hazard areas etc so you have a clear as possible preview. Helps to avoid the "oh sh*t" situations
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Old 13-01-2016, 11:01   #13
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

Navigation? - a cheap hand-held GPS and/or simple paper charts, a chartbook, parallel rules and dividers is all you need. However, probably more important for what you want to do, would be an in-depth knowledge of the "in-land rules of the road".

Check out: USCG Navigation Rules International & Inland
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Old 13-01-2016, 11:06   #14
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

Overkill? Yes, I guess. Comes with teaching boating safety for the CG Auxiliary, blue water sailing, and rowing the Atlantic. All stress free!
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Old 13-01-2016, 11:58   #15
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Re: VERY rookie navigator heading out in April

RKO, this is all good advise. Don't let it frighten you though. Learn to read and use paper charts. It's fun and transfers to electronic charts.

You will be costal piloting not "navigating." So learn how to plot a course, dead recon, read and follow aids to navigation. Learn basic vhf radio protocol.

You can easily use your iPad (cellular data models have real gps) with the iNavX app and free charts.

Go, learn, take reasonable precautions and have fun.


S/V B'Shert
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