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Old 04-06-2014, 23:49   #691
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

FWIW:

From a typical height of eye from a small yacht, say 8 feet, the horizon is a bit over three miles away. So, any time you are more than that distance from land, you can use the visual horizon for your observations. You don't need an ocean for that!

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Old 05-06-2014, 05:48   #692
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pirate Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

For me these days a Sextant is pretty much redundant..
If you've been maintaining a proper plot on your Passage Chart and your GPS/CPs all die on you.. the amount of knowledge we have of our world.. combined with the current/wind info in pilot books should be more than adequate to make a safe and fairly accurate (within 50miles over 1500miles) landfall with DR and your boats compass and S&D log..
Unless of course your an absolute purist and don't have any toys..
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Old 05-06-2014, 06:30   #693
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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For me these days a Sextant is pretty much redundant..
If you've been maintaining a proper plot on your Passage Chart and your GPS/CPs all die on you.. the amount of knowledge we have of our world.. combined with the current/wind info in pilot books should be more than adequate to make a safe and fairly accurate (within 50miles over 1500miles) landfall with DR and your boats compass and S&D log..
Unless of course your an absolute purist and don't have any toys..
And of course if you have a handheld GPS you're good even if all your permanent electronics get fried...

A compass, passage chart, and some sort of speed estimate should get you within handheld VHF range of something
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Old 05-06-2014, 07:25   #694
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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FWIW:

From a typical height of eye from a small yacht, say 8 feet, the horizon is a bit over three miles away. So, any time you are more than that distance from land, you can use the visual horizon for your observations. You don't need an ocean for that!

Cheers,

Jim
True, but this is less apparent on the Great Lakes where one is sometimes seeing land behind the shore (which is actually below the horizon) and assuming that one is closer than one is. Having said that, if you have two landmarks (say, a water tower of height X and a radio tower of height Y), you can use this to calculate distance off with the sextant in the customary vertical orientation, or you can flip it on its side to calculate the intersection of the two angles made vis-a-vis one's position, and then just use dividers to calculate distance off. Some models of GPS won't acquire satellites as fast as you can do this "manually". It's something I do when I'm motoring under AP to make hourly position notes in the log, because if I'm motoring, it's probably quite calm.
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Old 05-06-2014, 07:29   #695
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Unless of course your an absolute purist and don't have any toys..
Thread drift in full effect, perhaps, but I have found that the best answer is "both" the GPS-related toys...and the older DR/CN, etc. (even running a depth contour is valid and prudent when motoring at night, although you want the chart for that)...keeps me in a state of situational awareness in which going on deck for a sight and looking at the sail set, debris in the water, wave sets, and so on...all give me a more comprehensive sense of what's going on. Also, I'm generally not sailing just to peer at a screen. Too much like my working life.
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Old 05-06-2014, 07:36   #696
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

life is thread drift...
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Old 05-06-2014, 07:58   #697
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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And of course if you have a handheld GPS you're good even if all your permanent electronics get fried...

A compass, passage chart, and some sort of speed estimate should get you within handheld VHF range of something
Here's the big rip-off. If you lost all your electronics, including the handheld GPS, due to a lightening strike, it is quite possible that your compass is now way off from the strikes affect.
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Old 05-06-2014, 15:25   #698
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Here's the big rip-off. If you lost all your electronics, including the handheld GPS, due to a lightening strike, it is quite possible that your compass is now way off from the strikes affect.
While my steel boat is one big Faraday cage, fibreglassers can...and should...keep their satphones and GPSes and emergency flashlights in a box small enough to fit in the microwave...assuming they have one...in any kind of stormy weather.

But there's no rhyme or reason to lightning. I was nearby when a brand new Hunter 42 or 44 took a strike to the mast top...it vaporized part of the top plate...and exited in a series of coin-sized holes punched out just above the WL on the starboard bow...where there were no electrical runs. The boat got ducted taped inside and out on the holes and was able to start, with no other damages, save (if I recall) a destroyed VHF.

All that said, if you don't have a microwave, you can make a "Faraday box" for your electronics. And you don't even need to be a survivalist!
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Old 05-06-2014, 15:44   #699
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
While my steel boat is one big Faraday cage, fibreglassers can...and should...keep their satphones and GPSes and emergency flashlights in a box small enough to fit in the microwave...assuming they have one...in any kind of stormy weather.

But there's no rhyme or reason to lightning. I was nearby when a brand new Hunter 42 or 44 took a strike to the mast top...it vaporized part of the top plate...and exited in a series of coin-sized holes punched out just above the WL on the starboard bow...where there were no electrical runs. The boat got ducted taped inside and out on the holes and was able to start, with no other damages, save (if I recall) a destroyed VHF.

All that said, if you don't have a microwave, you can make a "Faraday box" for your electronics. And you don't even need to be a survivalist!

It had been quite thoroughly discussed here:

Faraday cage for hand held GPS
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Old 05-06-2014, 15:55   #700
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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While my steel boat is one big Faraday cage, fibreglassers can...and should...keep their satphones and GPSes and emergency flashlights in a box small enough to fit in the microwave...assuming they have one...in any kind of stormy weather.
...
Steel hulls are still susceptible to lightening damage. I have a friend in a 46 steel hull who was hit off Nicaragua. There was a fire in a wiring harness in the engine room and significant damage to major electronics, such as the chart plotter/radar.
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Old 05-06-2014, 19:37   #701
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Unless of course your an absolute purist and don't have any toys..
I'm a purist and don't have a head. Whatz that make me?
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Old 05-06-2014, 20:04   #702
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pirate Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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I'm a purist and don't have a head. Whatz that make me?
Don't worry Monkey.. just pee off the veranda...
Check for neighbours first..
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Old 05-06-2014, 20:20   #703
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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I'm a purist and don't have a head. Whatz that make me?
Someone afraid to kick the bucket ?
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Old 05-06-2014, 22:14   #704
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Steel hulls are still susceptible to lightening damage. I have a friend in a 46 steel hull who was hit off Nicaragua. There was a fire in a wiring harness in the engine room and significant damage to major electronics, such as the chart plotter/radar.
Yes, I understand that, and it's a function of isolation and perhaps something as simple as giving the lightning an easy "out". But steel is generally going to route the blast around the outer skin of the boat. I'd still pull out a lot of leads in a nasty lightning storm...and stay inside the pilothouse.
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Old 09-06-2014, 12:13   #705
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

RH - simple question...

Did you repair/replace the rotten decking you mentioned in your blog before you started the trip?
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