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Old 21-09-2016, 17:12   #1
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What's Your Actual Nav. Setup?

The arguments about traditional navigation techniques pop up fairly often. My question is; what do you actually do? I suspect a good proportion use dedicated onboard electronic equipment with maybe a handheld gps as backup, probably a few charts, maybe a sextant in a drawer somewhere that hasnt been played with in a while.

I use a handheld gps with another one as backup, charts, and i have a sextant but i rely on a laptop for my almanac data, so its more of a hobby than anything practical - keeping my hand in...navigation between Australia and NZ is pretty much go east for nz, choose your lat to follow, go west for oz, if it gets cold and windy you're too far south...
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Old 21-09-2016, 17:42   #2
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Re: What's Your Actual Nav. Setup?

My sailing now is mostly in Southern NE and LIS these days and so I still have the gear evolved over 3 decades and most of 2nd and 3rd generation.

I have a Ray MFD w/ radar. I've added recently a new Horizon fixed mount VHF which has GPS and AIS the later is wired into the MFD. I can "do" AIS, but don't find much use for it.

An MFD below decks.... where mine is not terribly useful. I have GPS repeaters in the cockpit dash over the companionway so I can see COG and SOG and waypoint information if one is programmed. I have a KVH fluxgate compass with a display on the same dash and it is wired to the MFD as well.

I have paper charts, a hand bearing compass and a stand alone old GPS plotter down below. I rarely even turn it on.

These days I use a coach roof under the dodger winch mounted B&G T7 stand alone GPS plotter. I can see it from anywhere in the cockpit. IN all I have 8 GPS enabled devices including a smart phone and maybe a tablet... I use them aside from weather radar and weather graphic reports.

I have a laptop but it has no nav stuff on it.

I am way over equipped for the sailing I do in familiar waters. Never take out or use the sextant.
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Old 21-09-2016, 18:50   #3
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Re: What's Your Actual Nav. Setup?

I crew on lots of different boats and I always bring with me
my Delorme InReach, it functions as my personal GPS and communications device and now has weather. I also insist that the skipper has good old fashion
Paper Charts. This way no matter what, we know where we are and how to get to where we want to go.
I have been on a few cruises where there were gaps in the paper charts
And we were totally 100% dependent on the chart plotter.
It is very unsettling to think that your fate is dependent on a 7"
Magic electronic box.
Cheers
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Old 21-09-2016, 19:05   #4
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Re: What's Your Actual Nav. Setup?

We have a chart plotter with C map cards as the primary nav setup. We have OpenCPN on the boats computer with it's own external gps antenna. We also have an external GPS antenna for the laptops.
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Old 21-09-2016, 19:51   #5
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Re: What's Your Actual Nav. Setup?

I always have a paper chart on the table.

Passage making... point in general direction and log GPS position every 24 hours. Note n/n position on 'plotter' and paper. Work out distance to go etc.

Coastal.... paper and eyeball. Log position on plotter now and again so I can calculate where we are going to spend the night. Difficult spots I rely on GPS and CMap.

I admit to being a bit slack these days.
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Old 21-09-2016, 20:07   #6
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Re: What's Your Actual Nav. Setup?

Does anyone have a trick for non-permanent position marking of paper charts (besides a light pencil and eraser)?

Steve
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Old 21-09-2016, 21:13   #7
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Re: What's Your Actual Nav. Setup?

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Originally Posted by Panope View Post
Does anyone have a trick for non-permanent position marking of paper charts (besides a light pencil and eraser)?

Steve
Use plotting sheets. Basically paper with lat/lon lines. Plot nav stuff on the sheets get the position from there and make a tiny dot on the chart it you need to for looking at the situation.
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Old 21-09-2016, 23:56   #8
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Re: What's Your Actual Nav. Setup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by charliehows View Post
The arguments about traditional navigation techniques pop up fairly often. My question is; what do you actually do? I suspect a good proportion use dedicated onboard electronic equipment with maybe a handheld gps as backup, probably a few charts, maybe a sextant in a drawer somewhere that hasnt been played with in a while.

I use a handheld gps with another one as backup, charts, and i have a sextant but i rely on a laptop for my almanac data, so its more of a hobby than anything practical - keeping my hand in...navigation between Australia and NZ is pretty much go east for nz, choose your lat to follow, go west for oz, if it gets cold and windy you're too far south...
Three ipads. An ipad air and ipad air 2 using INavx and Nobeltec app along with an original ipad still going strong with the original iNavx. Each in waterproof floating cases. Lifeproof. We keep the old ipads as we upgrade to newer models. Not so much as a hiccup from the original that is now 6.5 years old.

An iphone 6s running the iNavx app in a waterproof floating case by Lifeproof.

Laptop pc running Nobeltec software.

Complete set of Imray paper charts of the Med including the up close versions.
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Old 22-09-2016, 01:01   #9
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Re: What's Your Actual Nav. Setup?

Picture of Mrs. Mac using the 6.5 year old Ipad to navigate during a gale.
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Old 22-09-2016, 02:39   #10
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Re: What's Your Actual Nav. Setup?

Raspberry Pi running openplotter down below with a sony xperia under the sprayhood. RAM mic for the standard horizon GX2100 gice SOG/COG and basic ais as well.
Don't need no more (apart from the radar down below once a year )
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Old 22-09-2016, 02:51   #11
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Re: What's Your Actual Nav. Setup?

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Originally Posted by Panope View Post
Does anyone have a trick for non-permanent position marking of paper charts (besides a light pencil and eraser)?

Steve
Try taping a sheet of very light drafting paper, or tracing paper in place over top of the section of the chart that you're using & do your plotting on it.
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Old 22-09-2016, 03:05   #12
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Re: What's Your Actual Nav. Setup?

Pizzazz has a Garmin sonar/chart combo at the helm interfaced to the autopilot+fluxgate. There is no traditional compass. This is the day sailing setup. Below I have a Raymarine chart, radar, AIS, MARPA, weather, etc. That is the night sailing setup.

Sent from my MotoE2(4G-LTE) using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 22-09-2016, 03:29   #13
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Re: What's Your Actual Nav. Setup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Time2Go View Post
. . ..I have been on a few cruises where there were gaps in the paper charts
And we were totally 100% dependent on the chart plotter.
It is very unsettling to think that your fate is dependent on a 7"
Magic electronic box. . . .

I know the feeling, but if you want to cruise really long distances you have to get over it, unless you have thousands to spend on charts and a whole separate cabin to store them. The other thing which becomes impossible is keeping charts for 10 to 15 countries up to date.

Paper is the best, but if it's not kept up to date, and if you try to rely on it for navigation, it can be worse than useless.

We cruise thousands of miles and 10 -12 countries every year, and here is the practice which has evolved on our boat:

1. I keep paper for as much of the territory as possible, and I buy more every year (and sometimes my friends give me charts). All the bunks on my boat are full of charts under the mattresses. But I do NOT attempt to either (a) cover the whole cruising area without gaps; OR (b) keep them up to date. Paper is a planning tool only, but there is no electronic system which can give you the vivid orientation that paper can. For a really complex and unfamiliar new piece of water, I always reach for the paper first, if I have it. But I am extremely careful to check any routing or navigation which I have done on non-updated charts, with an authoritative, up to date chart, before using it. N.B.!

2. I have out of date CM93 charts of the whole world, plus up to date and authoritative "For Navigation" raster charts for parts of my cruising area (all British Isles, Atlantic France, North Sea), on ship's computer used with OpenCPN. With a large high resolution monitor, this is a superlative planning system. I create routes and transfer to the main nav system by thumb drive. I always check the route carefully (it takes a long time, zoomed all the way in) on the authoritative charts in the main nav system, before using it, which is especially important if routing has been done with out of date CM93 charts. Remember Team Vestas!!

3. Main navigation system (B&G Zeus plotters at helm and nav station) has what we consider the authoritative cartography on board. Navionics and NV charts which are always kept up to date.

4. Various backup devices, like IPad with INavX and out of date Navionics charts (which Navionics are surprisingly gracious about supporting).



I don't have any big problem with "magic electronic boxes" except that you can't do passage planning in complex water with vector charts and small screens. This doesn't matter to most cruisers who don't sail much in complex or unfamiliar waters and so don't really do much passage planning. But my pet peeve is that many cruisers DON'T UPDATE their charts and don't have any up to date charts on board at all. This is dangerous!!
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Old 22-09-2016, 04:08   #14
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Very basic.. a 10" Notebook with Nimble Navigator, a set of Pilot Charts (RN Boats Charts) of the sea's/ocean's I'm traversing plus boats compass, speed/depth log.
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Old 22-09-2016, 10:27   #15
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Re: What's Your Actual Nav. Setup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Panope View Post
Does anyone have a trick for non-permanent position marking of paper charts (besides a light pencil and eraser)?

Steve
Steve,

We have a clear plastic [acrylic?] protective cover on our pilot house table- which also serves as a chart table. We use fine point dry erase markers on the plastic with the chart underneath. [Hint- When you first position the chart under the plastic, make registration marks on the plastic in the 4 corners in case it shifts for any reason...]

This is all in back-up to several electronic nav systems on various devices.

Cheers! Bill
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