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Old 19-01-2012, 04:35   #166
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

Ok...

We'll see as the investigation progresses.

You do see the cite above?
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Old 19-01-2012, 04:43   #167
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I have to generally side with nick. The complacency factor is not a fault of integrated systems, such systems provide far more benefits then drawbacks. No it's the human, who gets lazy, that's at fault.

To suggest that such systems act as sirens and somehow tempt us, is to advance the argument that all bars should be closed because a few people overindulge at the sight of all that alcohol.

Modern integrated " glass" cockpits were specifically designed to address the situation where individual displays were, as things increased in complexity, too difficult for users to maintain a picture of the situation. Hence the integrated cockpit.

It's probably the case that the problem is such systems are too complex for humans in the first place. So most companies are trying to design the human out all together.

In the case of our own boats systems. It brings me back to the argument for compulsory training. In our case we can go out and buy and integrate all this stuff, integration that's often in advance of what's on a modern ships bridge ( or an airliner ). Yet we have no formal navigation training, no formal radar training. No chart training. Well I for one think , it's that lack of training that brings on complacency, the belief that I don't need to know anything cause the electronics will keep me safe.

None of this relates to the Concordia. This is pure human decision making error. No captain should have gone anywhere near the area. This was a triumph of bravado over common sense, not a reliance on electronics.

Dave
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Old 19-01-2012, 05:31   #168
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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Originally Posted by Eleebana View Post
All the electronics manufacturers seem to be promoting totally integrated electronics packages for new fit ups. I can see some advantages and some disadvantages. The major disadvantage seems to me that one component failure may mean that you lose the functionality of every component in the system. My major concern is the autopilot. If the autopilot can't trim the sails then what advantage is it to have course changes etc programmed into the system?

Can anyone help me with one advantage of having the autopilot integrated?

Greg
Have you gotten your answer yet?

To me the advantage is that the autopilot will stay on course. It's up to you that staying on the course is acceptable and your sail trim is good for it etc.

Course changes programmed are just to help with your route planning so you know it before hand. I never have put a route into mine but I know the autopilot will not make a turn unless I accept the course change.

On my system the loss of a component doesn't take down the whole system. If my chart plotter dies my autopilot still works etc.

So to me the only advantage to NOT integrating is that you saved some time and money on running the wires between each component.
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Old 19-01-2012, 06:21   #169
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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Nick I was long aware of that NOAA effort; you have told me nothing new.

+/- 100m (with ALOT of caveats) IS NOT accurately depicting depths
Vertical resolution was 1" or 3cm or close to that but those details don't interest you. Discussing these papers is only useful when we all study them first, no need to write big sized letters about out-of-context quotes either. No worry, I'll stop thinking people actually want to study these kind of papers on the Internet It takes weirdo's like me to do that

ciao!
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Old 19-01-2012, 06:40   #170
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

Good lord, how have we come to equating hooking up an autopilot to glass bridges on navy ships and airliners? Let's be clear: "integrating" an autopilot consists of simply allowing it to get navigation data from another instrument. That is all. The end result for most autopilots is that it will add the ability to "steer to waypoint" and "steer to wind" to its non-integrated "steer to heading" capability.

Really??? Some of you think that having the option to steer to a wind angle involves a confusing 3-D glass display requiring years of training to avoid confusion and complacency? Wonder what those with windvanes think about that.

But maybe you are correct - I don't recall any cases of boats running aground, going off course or being skippered by complacent people before all this electronic trickery. They should make it illegal to integrate an autopilot, or at least require compulsory training.

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Old 19-01-2012, 06:55   #171
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post

It's probably the case that the problem is such systems are too complex for humans in the first place. So most companies are trying to design the human out all together.

In the case of our own boats systems. It brings me back to the argument for compulsory training. In our case we can go out and buy and integrate all this stuff, integration that's often in advance of what's on a modern ships bridge ( or an airliner ). Yet we have no formal navigation training, no formal radar training. No chart training. Well I for one think , it's that lack of training that brings on complacency, the belief that I don't need to know anything cause the electronics will keep me safe.

Dave

This is a very good point, but IMO, training and training institues are also partly at fault.
On my Anchor Handling tug, I am by far the oldest of the bridge dept, and started my time time where the most sophisticated bit of nav kit was the old style Decca set with the "spiders". Radar was for special occasions only, and only with the old mans permission. Primary navigation was by visual bearings on the coast, and sights deep sea.
I have benefited from this training, and also benefitted from the gradual introduction of more and more sophisticated nav systems, to the point were I now have at my disposal 2 x ECDIS, 1 x Chart Radar, 2 x radars, 4 x DGPS, AIS, 2 x Dynamic Positioning Systems etc. To me, this was all a gradual introduction, and I make a point of reading and understanding the manuals of all this kit, and know its advantageous and drawbacks.

I find that the new guys coming in to the industry concentrate on this new stuff and disregard the more traditional methods.
Couple of examples, yesterday, running anchors for a pipe layer, going at 12 kts towards an anchor buoy and another tug parked itself about 3 cables dead ahead. Prior to this I had passed the con to the 3rd mate, and at this stage I asked him what he was going to do, his rsponse was to dive into the ECDIS, select the AIS target of the vessel. I asked him WTF, and he said to ascertain ther CPA. By eyeball the CPA was a T boning, but he went to the electroncis for an answer.
Leaving the port of Roenne couple of months ago, quite a small port, narrow entrence and about 40 kts of wind across. Had been through the departure chat with mates and explained how the exit was to be made. I needed to get off ther berth, and make a 140 degree turn and then shoot the gap. I detailed one guy to watch the leading lights, just in case I lost sight of them in the turn, and he gave me a humerous look and says "Captain, we have the track on the ECDIS". Wrong answer as far as I am concerned.
Is it the fault of these youngsters, nautical colleges are concenrating on electronic nav, to the extent that students rely sioley on them, and then these students will one day, or already have, return to colleges as teachers and pass on their inexperience to the next generation. I'm left onboard trying to wean them off this reliance on the magic boxes, and get them back more into the hands on real world.

And I dont use track control either on an 16,000HP tug or a 47' foot bene, use the auto pilot, but I like to make the decisions as to when to turn, plus it means the course and position has to be monitored
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Old 19-01-2012, 07:01   #172
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

@Nigel, do you mean to say that these kids do not learn how to do paper chart coastal navigation anymore? No bearings to check collisions etc? Or is it that they do master that but consider it a backup to the modern gadgets?

It doesn't feel that long ago that I passed exams for my (mostly pleasure boating) papers, which included full navigation with paper charts before being allowed on my boat at sea!

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 19-01-2012, 07:12   #173
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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@Nigel, do you mean to say that these kids do not learn how to do paper chart coastal navigation anymore? No bearings to check collisions etc? Or is it that they do master that but consider it a backup to the modern gadgets?

It doesn't feel that long ago that I passed exams for my (mostly pleasure boating) papers, which included full navigation with paper charts before being allowed on my boat at sea!

cheers,
Nick.
Hi Nick, they are of course still taught coastal nav, but degree to whcih is is taught is a lot less than it was say 30 years ago, and I guess thats because we have the GPS and ECDIS.
For a younger generation brough up on a diet of computers and X box etc, given a choice you know ehich method they will use to monitor the vessel.
I still need to periodically remind them to put a position on a paper chart, and no, they cannot use the GPS for that, look out of the window and take a bearing and a radar ranges.
Which leave me to wonder how the "paperless charts" ships get on. With enough redundancy, Class and Flag will excempt a ship from having to carry paper charts (bar a few small scale one I think). So on those ships, it would not take too long for a 20yr old 3rd mate to forget all about chart work
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Old 19-01-2012, 07:24   #174
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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Hi Nick, they are of course still taught coastal nav, but degree to whcih is is taught is a lot less than it was say 30 years ago
As captain with the ship reasonably in the clear I would test them by denying access to any of it and see how quick they pick it up.

They should recognize that determining a collision course can often be done quicker and more accurate by sight than by looking at AIS CPA info. Isn't teaching them these things while actually on the bridge and underway, part of their training? It always used to be, and the responsibility and discipline to keep complete logs (incl. positioning) come with age and experience.

ciao!
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Old 19-01-2012, 09:26   #175
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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As captain with the ship reasonably in the clear I would test them by denying access to any of it and see how quick they pick it up.

They should recognize that determining a collision course can often be done quicker and more accurate by sight than by looking at AIS CPA info. Isn't teaching them these things while actually on the bridge and underway, part of their training? It always used to be, and the responsibility and discipline to keep complete logs (incl. positioning) come with age and experience.

ciao!
Nick.

That is done on coastal passages with me on the bridge until I'm happy I can leave them to their own, but keeping a wary eye out of the window.
There is as I see it a lessening in the standard of training over the last few years.
When I did my training it was
24 mths sea time, 6mths college, 2nd Mates ticket
18 mths sea time, 6 mths college, Mates ticket
24 mths sea time, 6 mths college, Masters ticket

Each set of exams consisted of about 8 papers, 2 to 3 hrs duration and an oral exam, the exams were set and marked by the Goverment dept responsible for merchant shipping. Calculators not allowed.
I learnt stuff like the retrograde motion of Venus, no longer taught, but why should it, but for each subject I came away understanding that subject, and get to an answer from first principles.
Now for a second mate its 12 mths sea time in total, the nautical colleges set and mark the papers, If you fail one part, just re sit until you pass. In my day, fail one paper, and you had to do the lot again.

Cadets tell me that now they are just taught enough to pass. Thats OK I guess, provided that once they have passed, they continue to seek further knowledge.
Its a joy to teach them if they are willing to learn, sadly not all do.

The above applies to the UK, I dont know what the regime is in other countries, it was odd, that this sort of fast tracking came about just as the industry realised that they were facing a huge shortage in mates and engineers.

The one lessen they all get, is that if they see a sail boat on an ocean passage, to call them and see if they require food, water or fuel
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Old 19-01-2012, 09:42   #176
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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Vertical resolution was 1" or 3cm or close to that but those details don't interest you. Discussing these papers is only useful when we all study them first, no need to write big sized letters about out-of-context quotes either. No worry, I'll stop thinking people actually want to study these kind of papers on the Internet It takes weirdo's like me to do that

ciao!
Nick.

Snort!

So happens I am sitting in a room of NOAA folks as I type.

Like I said, I was already aware of this effort years ago and read up on it then extensively. Surface resolution still does not equate to accurate depth measurements.

But whatever. you are not the only one who reads this stuff Nick.

Moving on as its a rabbit hole discussion. Take another look at that screen shot of the ECDIS taken off the coast of Africa (Nigeria?) a few pages back. Look at the date of the data in the upper left hand corner.

Thats as good as it gets. Even electronically. Satellites and "secret" data ain't gonna fix it.

Anyway, I really think we are reaching a state of violent agreement.

No. Its not the equipment itself. It is our response to it that is the issue.

If you think the nav team of the San Francisco or the bridge team of the Port Royal...or for that matter Schettino...were all grossly incompetent boobs?

If thats where you are you are dead square wrong. These people fell victim to a common human factors problem. And that is a tacit belief in the infallibility of their electronic nav systems, and the resultant atrophy of their basic skills and sense of prudence.

"The Vincennes Effect"
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Old 19-01-2012, 09:55   #177
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

I really appreciate Nigel1's "working mariner" viewpoint, as discussions of this type can get all too theoretical.

Thanks, skipper.
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Old 19-01-2012, 11:24   #178
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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If thats where you are you are dead square wrong. These people fell victim to a common human factors problem. And that is a tacit belief in the infallibility of their electronic nav systems, and the resultant atrophy of their basic skills and sense of prudence.
We will never agree on that. If they put a US Navy warship with all it's disciplined crew on a reef like on the photo you posted, then the bridge crew that was on station is incompetent. I see no reason why you want to defend them by blaming navigational aids. I understand that they blame the plotter, they are trying to save their skins, but I don't understand how anyone can fall for that. Lucky for us, most of the world and the courts and judges agree with my view or we would not be able to have any form of sea transport anymore.

We are with just 2 hands aboard, have all that integrated navigation systems and yet never fall for any of those "common human factors problems", and neither do the hundreds of cruiser friends we have.The problem must be less common than you think it is.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 19-01-2012, 11:42   #179
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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We will never agree on that. If they put a US Navy warship with all it's disciplined crew on a reef like on the photo you posted, then the bridge crew that was on station is incompetent. I see no reason why you want to defend them by blaming navigational aids. I understand that they blame the plotter, they are trying to save their skins, but I don't understand how anyone can fall for that. Lucky for us, most of the world and the courts and judges agree with my view or we would not be able to have any form of sea transport anymore.

We are with just 2 hands aboard, have all that integrated navigation systems and yet never fall for any of those "common human factors problems", and neither do the hundreds of cruiser friends we have.The problem must be less common than you think it is.

cheers,
Nick.
I primarily singlehand Nick...

As for the how common it is...The proof is vivid off Giglio and sitting on Astrolabe.

Go back and look. My only point is that as these systems migrate into pleasure boats, the same human factors issue will reveal itself.

You don't think so. I think you are wrong.
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Old 19-01-2012, 11:59   #180
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

Ah yes, the average pleasure boater will be much safer with a sextant and hand bearing compass and the tiller tied to the sheets for an autopilot. There was never any human error back then.

All that new-fangled electrickery will be the downfall of civilization and cause young people to dance funny. Someone must SUE to make it stop!

Really. Don't you think you are making a mountain out of a molehill? This thread is about integrating the autopilot to take data input from other instruments versus leaving it as a standalone to steer to a heading only.

Talking about mistakingly shooting down an airplane or driving an aircraft carrier onto a beach, and blaming that on what you KNOW to be the fault of having electronics on board, has no relevance to pleasure boats.

I think you have gone off the deep end trying to project a personal demon where it doesn't fit.

Again, the "scary" thing we are talking about is integrating an autopilot to take navigational bearing and wind angle data in addition to its normal heading data. Using nav data on an autopilot has been available since the days of Loran, and boats with windvanes steer to wind angles as the only option available.

I remember back in the usenet days when the subject of headsail roller furling would bring out people up in arms about how dangerous boats were becoming and how complacent these systems would make people, and that it was just a matter of time before someone put an eye out...

Mark
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