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Old 10-06-2018, 14:39   #31
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

I am still not clear if the question is do need or do not need. You basically want as many gadgets as you have the inclination for. It can get pretty lonely out there. In terms of need, I would say you can get by with an Android phone with maps and a few apps. A VHF radio is nice to have and I believe required in most parts of the world but you use it rarely in blue water passage making.

Now in terms of the other items:

Radar is essential. It can keep watch for you while you are resting. It will warn you about weather. It will let you calculate speeds of distant ships. It may even find birds for you so that you can fish.

Ditto for autopilot.

A compass is best replaced with an electronic one. More accurate, integrates better with the rest of the electronics, etc. Have a hand compass for backup.

Everything else you will want to have and one day you will add if you spend a lot of time out there.

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Old 10-06-2018, 14:40   #32
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

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Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
...you most need attention to potential hazards, some of which appear on charts.
I put a waypoint for the hazards in my old garmin etrex yellow. That way I always know exactly where they are, distance and bearing. Places like Pigeon island, Scotch Bonnet, and Point Petre (here on Lake Ontario). Funny how many people think of waypoint as only spots you want on your course. But this method keeps track of the nasty stuff, and keeps you safe.

I also make a waypoint right when I drop the hook. So long as the distance to that waypoint remains relatively stable, I know I'm not dragging...even from my warm bunk. This was always a good task (pressing the "mark" or MOB button on the gps) to give my young kids, as I was usually busy with the actual hook up forward.

My point is that even an old/simple/cheap handheld GPS has a great many useful functions. All for $99 at walmart.
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Old 10-06-2018, 15:04   #33
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

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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?

Been cruising 4 years now. ELECTRONIC items we always use:
Garmin and Navionics plotters + ipad
Wind, depth speed
AIS
Auto pilot
VHF Radio
Solar charging peripherals
Water Maker
Laptop computer
Cameras
Cell phones - one for anchor drag alarm

Stereo system
TV and peripherals
Anchor chain monitor




Things we use often enough

Radar night mostly but some day: unlit boats, unlit beacons, fog, squall intensity and movement.
Hand held VHF
Water and fuel tank monitors
Sat Phone - when out of range of cell for weather updates
Multimeter
Temperature sensing gun
Fog Horn - for Fog and waking up crew



Things we rarely use

Night vision scope (Fleur) - waste of money - it works but never use it - maybe twice
Digital hand bearing compass
Autopilot remote control
Wifi Extender
SSB Receiver
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Old 10-06-2018, 19:00   #34
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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?
Define BW, do you plan to do a lot of serious voyaging (mostly crossing oceans) or mostly coastal cruising (which a lot of cruisers call BW)?
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Old 10-06-2018, 19:12   #35
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

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a good compass light!
...
Absolutely! ...and a compass card big enough to actually see easily and steer by. Many modern boats, including mine, are deficient in this department.

I had a chart plotter fail on me a few years back, at night in bad weather while making an approach in an area w no nav aids or even shore side lights for reference. It was a familiar channel, but pitch black out so had no visual references. Had to rely on a small not so well lit compass to steer by and depth finder to confrim I was still in the channel...not fun.
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Old 10-06-2018, 19:18   #36
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Don’t need an SSB. Have one and never used it.

Radar is very handy, we use it all the time.
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Old 10-06-2018, 21:17   #37
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Of course, you're right, Kenomac. I didn't say we NEED it. Ours is used for a number of things when outside internet range: e-mail, grib files, weather reports, and entertainment of various kinds. But we understand that we don't need it. It is a choice for us.

Imho, the OP doesn't NEED a satphone, nor a PLB. But, he may WANT one, and that's fine with me. People get to choose what they want on their boats, according to whim, even.

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Old 10-06-2018, 23:21   #38
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

I have several gps devices, two chronometers, compass, paper charts, and a sextant for navigation.

Autopilot and windvane for steering.

Do not need anything else.
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Old 11-06-2018, 01:47   #39
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

You should avoid the three most useless things on a yacht
A wheelbarrow
An umbrella
a Royal Naval Officer



(Sail RAF)
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Old 11-06-2018, 01:55   #40
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Anything powered by electric string can let you down, and if an electronic aid is defective and showing a false reading, it is worse than useless - That is why modern aircraft have triplex systems.
(Duplex you mightn't be able to determine which one is in error)
Compass, Log, Chronometer , Sextant, Almanac and Sight Reduction Tables, plus charts and plotting instruments.


My generation learnt to navigate that way, as was the SOP until modern electronics removed the skill and judgement from the practice of Navigation, but it is still a valid skill.
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Old 11-06-2018, 03:25   #41
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Why would you need a compass light offshore? There are always stars to steer by.
Someone has obviously never run their easting down for a couple of weeks in a heavy overcast while hand steering ..

Steering by the stars is great... as long as you remember to refer back to the compass every little while.... which can be aided by a torch if the compass light has gone TU.
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Old 11-06-2018, 03:58   #42
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

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Anything powered by electric string can let you down, and if an electronic aid is defective and showing a false reading, it is worse than useless - That is why modern aircraft have triplex systems.
(Duplex you mightn't be able to determine which one is in error)
Compass, Log, Chronometer , Sextant, Almanac and Sight Reduction Tables, plus charts and plotting instruments.


My generation learnt to navigate that way, as was the SOP until modern electronics removed the skill and judgement from the practice of Navigation, but it is still a valid skill.
I beg to differ. Many current generation sailors will cover thousands of miles, safely, without skills such as celestial navigation or even a traditional compass. Times have changed. GPS is more accurate. Fluxgate compasses (or GPS compasses) are many times better. Seeing your heading line overlayed on an electronic chart is much more useful than reading a heading number, and going through a few mental steps to ensure you are still on course. Anything can fail but if you take a systems approach (multiple cell phones, small backup solar panels) you can come up with a pretty reliable system, that would be more convenient and more accurate. I would rather invest time and effort in using modern systems to their maximum potential than fret over sight reduction tables.
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Old 11-06-2018, 04:16   #43
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Bay sailed for years (boats from 3-15 ton) with a hand-bearing compass, hand-held VHF and Garmin 72H (chart and flashlight), recently got a 78SC and our ODay actually has a depth-finder which is really convenient (used to use a homemade lead-line). I suppose if I sailed somewhere serious Iíd mimic much of ATOLLís list which seem conservative from what Iíve seen, but for inshore I donít think one really needs much more than their eyes a compass and a chart, maybe a VHF for weather. See: https://www.sailblogs.com/member/awing/113135
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Old 11-06-2018, 06:56   #44
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

circumnavigation
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Old 11-06-2018, 18:15   #45
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Re the ubiquitous "celestial reliability vs electronic nav reliability" argument that wages incessantly here on CF:

Consider the likelihood of total electronic failure versus the likelihood of days of overcast defeating the practice of celestial... and then try to decide for yourself about which is more likely to get you safely home!

As one who started out voyaging with celestial... I've experienced 11 straight days of overcast on a passage from Hawaii to SF (with attendant anxiety), but never a total failure of my various GPS systems in all the years since.

I'm glad that I had that experience, and yes, I still carry a sextant and decent timepieces, but have not needed to use them in over 25 years of GPS navigation.

Jim
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