Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 10-06-2018, 08:50   #16
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2017
Boat: Island Packet, Packet Cat 35
Posts: 188
Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

It depends on you. You could sail from San Francisco to Hawaii with just some ratty sails, no electronics whatsoever, no charts and make it by following the jet contrails. Would you want to do that? I knew a guy who did, twice. Not me.

Thinking BW you also have to think about landing somewhere which means coming into a coastline which may be insanely busy or extremely remote and dangerous due to reefs etc. What information do YOU need to feel comfortable? I have 2 autopilots as they tend to breakdown at inconvenient times. I have a chrtplotter with radar that I would not be without. CP is backed up by laptop and opn cpn. I am installing AIS because with that, I can sleep at night on long offshore passages. I have several GPS's on board as lots of things come with them and when doing deliveries I always brought 2 handhelds. They are so cheap it would be silly not to and even though it's nonelectric I even have a sextant.


In my professional career I have seen just about every piece of electronic and mechanical gear fail and never at a good time. If say "that" piece of equipment fails and it will, what is your backup plan? How will you respond to that failure in a critical dangerous situation?
__________________

Cpt Mark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2018, 09:35   #17
Moderator

Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 2,385
Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Cowpoos:

Welcome here!

You need to be really, really careful how your phrase your questions lest we go roaring off all over the place :-)

Quote: "The question is ' Do not need' "

That rather contradicts your opening question, but if you wish to see it in this light, the answer is that you do not NEED any electronic gear at all. It's nice to have, but you don't NEED it.

Others have said, at least by implication, that all you NEED, by way of "electronic" stuff, is light to see by, so you can use the antiquated NON-ELECTRONIC navigator's tools in the dark of night. When you are puking your guts out, and you are scared silly :-). You might like to have an oil-fuelled "schooner lamp" to see by in case your electrics wipe out :-)

I deduce that you are engaged in an intellectual exercise of equipping a boat yet to be acquired. My recommendation is that you guard against putting your cart before your horse. Get the NON-ELECTRONIC stuff first: Charts, navigator's triangles, bearing compass, pencils, erasers, dividers, compasses (pencil carrying dividers) and learn to use them. Doing so will shine a light on what you might "need" in the sense of what you'd LIKE to have.

If your are gonna go "BW", then you should ALSO get a sextant and the "reduction tables". Also NON-ELECTRONIC stuff, but absolutely essential for safe navigation.

In days of yore a CHRONOMETER was an essential navigator's tool for doing your "dead reckoning" when "off soundings" and you haven't seen the sun for days. No more. This is the exception to my advocacy of "no electronics without non-electronic back-up". A fifteen buck wristwatch will keep better time than an old-fashioned chronometer, so buy a few :-)

TP
__________________

TrentePieds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2018, 09:36   #18
Registered User
 
hamburking's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Kingston Ont Canada
Boat: Looking for my next boat!
Posts: 2,696
Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

I crossed the atlantic in 2010 from almerimar spain to antigua via the canaries. I was delivery crew. I brought a pair of garmin etrex yellow (one as backup) and a few paper charts. That was sufficient and pretty much all I used for the 4000nm trip. The owner had installed $10,000 worth of electronics...radar, AIS, chartplotter, electronic barometer, etc. and he had no idea how to even turn them on. After reading all the manuals, and testing it all out, I found the battery drain to be tremendous, and we shut it all off again. In the ocean, a chartplotter is just a square of blue...not much use at all. AIS is nice, but there are still enough boats out there without that you still must stand watch, so I would not call it necessary. The owner would not allow me to use the VHF, or even turn it on. We had a sat phone with 1000 minutes on it. The owner used it exclusively to speak with his wife...who waited till we were well to sea before telling him not to bother coming home. There were 11 minutes remaining after the trip. I did however receive txt messages on the sat phone with weather info from my (now ex) wife. So yes, sat phone is pretty nice. We had an epirb, but never used it....LOL!

Aside from my garmin, which I preloaded with I think about 12 waypoints, the most crucial electronics was the autohelm. We had a hydraulic unit which was pretty much worn out by the time we arrived...but we made it. The autohelm steered for 6 days to the canaries, and 20 days to antigua.
hamburking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2018, 10:14   #19
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 779
Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

In addition to Atoll's excellent list, I like to make color copies off of Google Earth close-ups of river bars, marina and harbor entrances, enroute anchorages, etc. that I might need or want to use.

I also lay out my route plan on both OpenCpn and on Google Earth and zoom in on GE to compare the two, mile by mile. You would be amazed at how many possible places where you can come to grief that are clearly visible on GE, like the enormous reef and island chain in the Indian Ocean that a Rolex race boat piled on to a few years back. That obstruction is visible on GE from 4,000 miles out in space and they still manage to hit it in the middle of the night at 20+ knots.
jmschmidt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2018, 10:29   #20
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Summerstown Ontario Canada
Posts: 311
Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowpoos View Post
I have been thinking about what electronics I will be installing in my boat.

I'm interested to know from the experienced crews on here, what aids do they always use and rely on? And what is superfluous?
A VHF radio, a chart plotter gps, a radar when you get caught in heavy unforeseen weather. I like it simple and easy. I travel Great Lakes, St Lawrence river and east coast of USA.
seabreez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2018, 10:41   #21
Senior Cruiser
 
grantmc's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Wellington, New Zealand 41 degrees south
Boat: Raven 26
Posts: 409
Send a message via Skype™ to grantmc
Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Curious way to ask the question: not!
I don't need washer/dryer, microwave oven, toaster, waffle maker or juicer. and prefer a petrol chainsaw to electric, same for the concrete mixer. I get by without heated towel rails too.
Perhaps OP you put up your list of 'needed' and we'll all point out unnecessary items. The reason for the question would also be helpful. Do you mean everyday or just in an emergency situation?

But have enjoyed reading the replies.

Something I've found really useful is some sort of watch timer. Here's a link to Watch Commander. It's great for reminding watch crew to
a. keep awake or at least wake you up, and
b. actually look around.
You set the time, say 10 minutes and after 10 mins it bleeps until it is 'reset'.

I did a trip Tonga to Auckland a few years back and after a few days at sea we had almost no power. Needless to say there was some fault. We had an auto tiller and a backup unit but without power totally useless so had to hand steer for days on end; somewhat painful.

But devices with their own power supply were very useful. All crew had a head lamp or similar and we had 3 or 4 torches. We prepared food during daylight. And we had a couple of handheld VHFs.
Just as an aside a hand crank handle for the motor is always useful as are tools that work without power.
__________________
Grant Mc
The cure for everything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.
grantmc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2018, 10:47   #22
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 21,030
Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

I rely on VHF, Radar, GPS, Autopilot, Depth Sounders a lot. Radar has saved my bacon more than once.
SSB or Ham is nice for weather status for sure. Otherwise you are pretty "blind".
-Anemometer is fun, but more of a crutch really.
-Knot Log, definitely can live without. Seldom operate for long.
-Battery Monitor, I hate them. Spend more time trying to keep their info accurate etc than they're worth. Just a Voltmeter for me is fine. In a short time you get to know how many amp hours your boat uses in a day anyway.
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2018, 11:11   #23
Moderator

Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 2,385
Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Quote: "...a hand crank handle for the motor is always useful...

'Cept we don't get'em with the new "improper" diesels any more'n we get "decompressors". Maybe there's a connexion? :-)

So, Cowpoos, if you are outfitting a boat for BW you really ought to have a "proper" old diesel c/w crank and decompressors. Carrying a spare starter battery - kept out of the circuit till you need it - it one way of dealing with that. But even if you DO do that, all you do, really, is tempt yourself to run that down ALSO when your installed batts have been exhausted.

Back when you were young, possibly before you were born, General Electric used to advertise: "Live Better Electrically!" Don't you believe them! If you want to be a BW sailor, better learn to do your job WITHOUT the new-fangled gear. Then if the new-fangled gear lets you down, as it very well may, you'll still be okay :-)

All the best.

TP
TrentePieds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2018, 12:38   #24
֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 15,039
Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Why would you need a compass light offshore? There are always stars to steer by.
hellosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2018, 12:59   #25
Senior Cruiser
 
atoll's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: gettin naughty on the beach in cornwall
Boat: 63 custom alloy sloop,macwester26,prout snowgoose 37 elite catamaran!
Posts: 9,867
Images: 75
Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Why would you need a compass light offshore? There are always stars to steer by.
and you can follow jet contrails during the day.....as well as birds heading for land........ and wave patterns.....who needs a compass anyway.
__________________
my catamaran building project updates http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...36#post2502136
atoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2018, 13:02   #26
Registered User
 
Stu Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 7,283
Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Why would you need a compass light offshore? There are always stars to steer by.

I'm reminded of a recent story I read, probably right here on CF, about a helmsman who did just that but ran aground because he kept following a particular constellation that actually had the temerity to move all night long!
__________________
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
Stu Jackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2018, 13:54   #27
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: New Zealand
Boat: Moana 33
Posts: 1,092
Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Quote:
Originally Posted by atoll View Post
[1] a good compass light!
[2] chart table light white/red.
[3] basic gps.
[4] vhf.
[5] 300w inverter, for running a
[6] laptop with gps dongle and chart software.
[7] small shortwave radio [receiver] with ssb function, for weather fax on laptop.
[8] iridium sat phone.
[9] hand bearing compass.

this is generally what i use for deliveries...
Very useful list of easily transportable "essentials" in case the yacht has some shortcomings, so I take it they are all 'batteries included', except #5: how do you install #5 on another yacht, without lots of tools/wires/crimps...?

And you would manage with no depthsounder? Does gps make it just another extra?
NevisDog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2018, 14:18   #28
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 15,149
Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Hi, there, Cowpoos,

My friend, with a screen name like that, how can you expect to be taken seriously?

Trente Pieds, above is exactly right, you do not NEED any electronics to circumnavigate.

Friends of ours who finished their circumnavigation about 1980, had a vhf radio and a depth sounder. Did all their travels with sextant, quartz watch for a "chronometer", sight reduction tables, and eyeballs.

Therefore, I'm thinking what you want to learn is rather about wants, not needs.

You will notice there have been some pretty experienced people replying here, and there is already a range of responses.

Due to the necessity for maintaining night vision, I would not want a helm chartplotter with MFD. I know some people love them, but my own opinion is that they are too bright at night, and too dim in the day. Better, if you want electronic charting, have it below. You really don't need to know where you are on an electronic chart, you need to know you are going to be safe. Last years loss of the catamaran on Huahine, skippered by an airline pilot, is one example. What you need is sea sense, especially of how and where the ocean will try to kill your boat.

When you read what all these guys tell you about watching the sky and the water, it is the things that experience has taught them that you are reading. To keep yourself safe at sea, you most need attention to potential hazards, some of which appear on charts. To those, you give a wide berth. How wide depends on how much you trust your engine, if you have one. Sometimes, your course might take you close to a hazard, and being able to see the signs of them in the water could save you from *whatever*; entering unfamiliar ports in daylight is always preferable. You can heave to or jig about till you have visibility, or abort the mission.

What we like to have in the way of electronics, besides VHF (required for monitoring Ch 16 for emergency traffic), in no particular order, items we'd replace if they failed:
Wind, depth and speed instruments
Forward looking depth sounder (kept us off a reef that brown water hid)
AIS (Jim likes having the transponder; to me, it is a mixed blessing, and if you were singlehanding, you'd likely want one)
Radar (great for watching squalls; great in the fog, great for keeping an exact distance off a break; but doesn't do well with timber boats, so doesn't show everything)
Charts and some form of chart plotter, the largest possible display (and backup paper charts), and backups for them. Obviously, GPS.
SSB radio
Battery monitor

in addition to all that, I'm really partial to LED anchor lights that have light sensors in them, so they come on by themselves, based on available light

It is just simply really important to understand that the above make life nicer, but they aren't necessities. They are luxuries.

Ann
__________________
Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
JPA Cate is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2018, 14:27   #29
Registered User
 
hamburking's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Kingston Ont Canada
Boat: Looking for my next boat!
Posts: 2,696
Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
Due to the necessity for maintaining night vision, I would not want a helm chartplotter with MFD. I know some people love them, but my own opinion is that they are too bright at night, and too dim in the day. Better, if you want electronic charting, have it below.
Totally agree! Even with the helm instruments turned down to 10% brightness I still found them too bright. It gets really dark out there. Darker than you can imagine. A few lumens is like a blazing searchlight. But the stars...Oh my...the stars...from horizon to horizon, a dome of the universe all around you...you will never forget the stars on a clear dark night...and your wake glowing behind you! How will you see these wonders if you are staring at a charplotter all night? Turn it all off...and sail the night ocean.
hamburking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2018, 14:30   #30
Senior Cruiser
 
atoll's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: gettin naughty on the beach in cornwall
Boat: 63 custom alloy sloop,macwester26,prout snowgoose 37 elite catamaran!
Posts: 9,867
Images: 75
Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Quote:
Originally Posted by NevisDog View Post
Very useful list of easily transportable "essentials" in case the yacht has some shortcomings, so I take it they are all 'batteries included', except #5: how do you install #5 on another yacht, without lots of tools/wires/crimps...?

And you would manage with no depthsounder? Does gps make it just another extra?
inverter just has 2x 8mm crimp fittings on it which can be attached direct to the battery terminal clamps or bus bar,then a 240v extension run to nav station.
it is also useful to have a small nicad charger and spare cells if using hand held gps ,shortwave radio and vhf

for depth generally use mk1 eyball,and avoid breaking surf!
dark blue water is generally +20m,light blue 10m,green 3-5m, brown 2m or less.

a few large fishing weights on a bit of light line once you are inside an anchorage if you want an exact depth

generally at night you will see and hear breakers before you get into really shallow water if you are not on a down wind track
__________________

__________________
my catamaran building project updates http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...36#post2502136
atoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Navigation aids in Exumas compassrose88 Destinations 17 01-08-2013 11:14
Any Good iPhone Nav Aids ? Donovan26490 Navigation 0 30-06-2012 18:45
Rocna Anchor Sizing Aids Pyxis156 Anchoring & Mooring 71 17-04-2012 12:07
Lifespan of Hearing Aids Around Salt Water LiveLife76 Health, Safety & Related Gear 29 24-02-2012 22:28
Navigational Aids are a Waste of Money ! sneuman Navigation 143 27-06-2011 11:02



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 19:17.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.