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Old 19-01-2012, 20:34   #226
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

Mines all integrated, except for the compass, which stands alone, Thank goodness,

2 weeks before I left Fiji, I didnt even know how to turn it on, let alone know how to use it,
A crash course in using it, like a day and a half to learn all the systems on my boat,

I would not have set sail for Australia with out all the electronic gear on it, I am not that good with out it,

The GPS does throw hissy fits,
Very scary in the middle of the night, going through Islands and reefs and no GPS.

Actual speed, 7 knots forwards, 5 knots sideways, Wind and current.

The GPS says I am doing 1 to 1.5 knots forwards,

The direction line on the GPS is going round in circles,

I am standing on the side of the boat with spotlight looking for breakers,

The compass says 270 west,
The Auto pilot says, 270 west,
The GPS is going round in circles,

It did it a couple of times, Once you go too slow, the GPS goes round in circles,

Another one is when you are in very bad weather and 5 metre waves on the nose, The depth sounder also cant get a fix and wont show the actual depth,

It was reading 7 feet in 300 feet of water, Lucky I could see the land and the lights, so I could work out where I was visually,

The GPS and Paper charts gave me the depth, So I knew I was safely in deep water,

I found my GPS to be dead accurate in Fiji, Vanuatu, and OZ, and the reefs between, This was a visual check and confirmation of the electronics,

But it was out in the entrance to Bundaberg by about half a mile, It put me sailing on the beach,

The GPS information left my Paper charts for dead,
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Old 19-01-2012, 20:38   #227
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
And things do break. Back in the usenet days, there were these types of rabid arguments around whether windvanes should be integrated into the ship's steering or provide independent standalone function.

The more things change...

Mark
Again...NOWHERE will you see that I advocate dispensing with modern marine electronics.

Again...As you "integrate" such systems aboard, make sure that you "integrate" your personal processes so that you continue to hone your basic mariner skills.

Oh yeah. Did I mention I was going to be at Strictly Sail next week hoping to pick up an autopilot (that I can integrate) on a boat show deal?
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Old 19-01-2012, 21:44   #228
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Is this a game? I stepped up and showed you quotes from your last challenge and you skip right over it and ask for another?

Mark
"Integrated electronics allow stupid people to look smart until they hit something easily avoided, perhaps killing themselves or others in the process."Not sure where you got this from (went back and looked but its not in any of my posts), but I never said it.

Here yah go Mark...From the archives. Here is what I have been saying alllll along. You apparently picked off the top quote from a previous post. The statement you attributed to me, I NEVER made:


Its about how automation of the process can stifle cognitive awareness.
------

While its true that there have always been idiotS on the water...These new whizbang nav systems which do everything for you are ushering in a new, more efficient way for them to spread their mayhem.
But more importantly, even for those of us who want to use them properly, its imperative to understand that its easy to develop a personal process that can leave your head out of the game at a critical time.
-----------
Not saying throw all your electronics away....Just saying that as you "integrate" them into the way you sail, consistently ensure that you are not allowing these alluring sirens to seduce you.
-------------
Anyway, point is that I am not saying life was better without all this cool electronic stuff. Point is that even professional crews professionally trained and monitored are having dificulty in preventing complacency in situations where automation has supplanted what had been a manual process.
----------------
Its real easy for these seductive sirens to lull you into a situation where your head is not in the game at a critical time, and it is imperative that you recognize the threat eixists and take care in how you "integrate" these systems into the way you sail....

------------

You can find the rest here

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Old 19-01-2012, 23:41   #229
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post

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". . .

cheers,
Nick.
Boy, Nick, pride goeth before the fall. . .

Have you never made a navigational or pilotage error? Taken a buoy on the wrong side? Had your head in the plotter and missed noticing something essential going on? I think a good sailor is constantly struggling to avoid "human factors problems" . . . They are all around us. . .

Like you, I like to think I could never possibly do something like what Schettino did, but instead of saying to myself "what an idiot; could never happen to me", I prefer to think "there but for the grace of God go I - and how can I try harder. . ."
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Old 19-01-2012, 23:53   #230
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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Originally Posted by Mr B View Post
Mines all integrated, except for the compass, which stands alone, Thank goodness,

2 weeks before I left Fiji, I didnt even know how to turn it on, let alone know how to use it,
A crash course in using it, like a day and a half to learn all the systems on my boat,

I would not have set sail for Australia with out all the electronic gear on it, I am not that good with out it,

The GPS does throw hissy fits,
Very scary in the middle of the night, going through Islands and reefs and no GPS.

Actual speed, 7 knots forwards, 5 knots sideways, Wind and current.

The GPS says I am doing 1 to 1.5 knots forwards,

The direction line on the GPS is going round in circles,

I am standing on the side of the boat with spotlight looking for breakers,

The compass says 270 west,
The Auto pilot says, 270 west,
The GPS is going round in circles,

It did it a couple of times, Once you go too slow, the GPS goes round in circles,

Another one is when you are in very bad weather and 5 metre waves on the nose, The depth sounder also cant get a fix and wont show the actual depth,

It was reading 7 feet in 300 feet of water, Lucky I could see the land and the lights, so I could work out where I was visually,

The GPS and Paper charts gave me the depth, So I knew I was safely in deep water,

I found my GPS to be dead accurate in Fiji, Vanuatu, and OZ, and the reefs between, This was a visual check and confirmation of the electronics,

But it was out in the entrance to Bundaberg by about half a mile, It put me sailing on the beach,

The GPS information left my Paper charts for dead,
Well, as the OP on this thread, I've found all these posts interesting reading. Here's my conclusion. I will integrate the autopilot, in fact the whole system will be totally integrated. But same as I've always done, I'll plot my position on the chart every hour. Thanks to everyone who contributed!
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Old 20-01-2012, 01:48   #231
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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Originally Posted by Eleebana View Post
Well, as the OP on this thread, I've found all these posts interesting reading. Here's my conclusion. I will integrate the autopilot, in fact the whole system will be totally integrated. But same as I've always done, I'll plot my position on the chart every hour. Thanks to everyone who contributed!
Sorry I commented on all kinds of off topic digressions, but not on your original question.

Your plan sounds like a good one.

The single most useful integrated autopilot function, in my opinion, is "wind-following mode", which emulates a wind vane. This is fantastic and is the standard way I use my autopilot while sailing.

I have only recently started using "track mode", which steers the boat to keep her on the rhumb line to a set waypoint. This is useless -- in my opinion -- for sailing, or even dangerous -- because the pilot will change course without regard to sail trim, which could result in an unexpected jibe or other problems. Besides that, there are not that many situations where you actually want to stay on the rhumb line. If you are being swept by tidal currents, you're better off steering a constant heading and doing a tidal vector calculation. Nevertheless, "track mode" is useful in limited situations -- when you are motoring, and when you are trying to follow a certain path where there are obstacles on either side, making it desirable not to deviate from that path. Usually I would hand-steer in such a situation, but "track mode" is actually very helpful on a few occasions.

The integrated mode called "route mode" I never use. This mode will follow a route covering a series of waypoints. First of all, like "track mode", this is totally inappropriate to sailing and for the same reasons. And even motoring, well -- I just wouldn't leave that work to the pilot and just can't imagine a situation where it would be helpful to do so. Reach a way point and set a new one by hand -- seems to me to be the absolutely minimum required involvement of the skipper in steering even when motoring.

If you don't integrate the autopilot, you lose all of those options. By far the most useful of which is wind-following mode, which in my opinion greatly increases the value of the autopilot while sailing.
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Old 20-01-2012, 02:50   #232
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead

Sorry I commented on all kinds of off topic digressions, but not on your original question.

Your plan sounds like a good one.

The single most useful integrated autopilot function, in my opinion, is "wind-following mode", which emulates a wind vane. This is fantastic and is the standard way I use my autopilot while sailing.

I have only recently started using "track mode", which steers the boat to keep her on the rhumb line to a set waypoint. This is useless -- in my opinion -- for sailing, or even dangerous -- because the pilot will change course without regard to sail trim, which could result in an unexpected jibe or other problems. Besides that, there are not that many situations where you actually want to stay on the rhumb line. If you are being swept by tidal currents, you're better off steering a constant heading and doing a tidal vector calculation. Nevertheless, "track mode" is useful in limited situations -- when you are motoring, and when you are trying to follow a certain path where there are obstacles on either side, making it desirable not to deviate from that path. Usually I would hand-steer in such a situation, but "track mode" is actually very helpful on a few occasions.

The integrated mode called "route mode" I never use. This mode will follow a route covering a series of waypoints. First of all, like "track mode", this is totally inappropriate to sailing and for the same reasons. And even motoring, well -- I just wouldn't leave that work to the pilot and just can't imagine a situation where it would be helpful to do so. Reach a way point and set a new one by hand -- seems to me to be the absolutely minimum required involvement of the skipper in steering even when motoring.

If you don't integrate the autopilot, you lose all of those options. By far the most useful of which is wind-following mode, which in my opinion greatly increases the value of the autopilot while sailing.
Funny in all my years I've never used wind wave mode. I just drop a waypoint ahead or even just lock in a compass course and manually work up an xte. But then I never let an autopilot steer for more then a few minutes without monitoring it. I have used routes but infrequently.if I get wind shift I trim the sails.
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Old 20-01-2012, 03:09   #233
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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Funny in all my years I've never used wind wave mode. I just drop a waypoint ahead or even just lock in a compass course and manually work up an xte. But then I never let an autopilot steer for more then a few minutes without monitoring it. I have used routes but infrequently.if I get wind shift I trim the sails.
I suggest you try "wind following mode". It's really cool.

The logic of it is as follows:

You have two ways of sailing with autopilot:

1. You can set the heading as a priority, and then trim and retrim sails as necessary as the pilot holds a steady course. As the wind shifts around, you will be improperly trimmed much of the time, if you are not pretty aggressive trimming sails.

or

2. You can have the boat follow the wind, using "wind following mode" instead of setting a fixed heading. In this case, your sails will always be perfectly trimmed, but the course will vary a little back and forth as the wind shifts. If the wind shifts very far and you find yourself significantly off course, then you change course AND sail trim at the same time.


Once the wind is abaft the beam and the wind can shift 10 or 20 degrees without requiring a sail trim adjustment, I don't use wind-following mode -- I just set the heading. UNLESS I am on a run and in danger of jibing, in which case "wind following mode" becomes useful again as a way to reduce the risk of an accidental jibe (not instead of a preventer, however!!).

With the wind ahead of the beam, and particularly when sailing hard on the wind, I find "wind following mode" to be absolutely invaluable. It's pretty hard to sail hard on the wind with the pilot set on a constant heading -- you really have to fall off quite a bit so that the sail trim can absorb small wind shifts. This really screws your VMG to windward. Wind following mode is an absolute boon to sailing upwind.

That's my experience; YMMV. The value of wind following mode is probably greater and greater, the more weatherly and better sailing your boat is, because such boats will be more sensitive to sail trim. On a slow long-keel boat with a low-aspect rig, you might not miss it.
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Old 20-01-2012, 05:26   #234
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Quote:
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The only thing "irrefutable" is Zero AGL. So make sure you ALWAYS approach it on your own terms....

I possess 3 Airman's Certificates (including the one with that little blue logo). And exercise the privileges of one daily to make a pretty fair paycheck...One that is highly dependent on keeping things SAFE (and have been on NTSB investigations too).

The reason I bring up the aviation cases is because the results of "The Vincennes Effect" are both more immediate and brutal, and more systematically studied in the aftermath. And there are direct similariies to crashes like AA at Cali or AF over the Atlantic that directly apply to what I am trying to make folks aware of here in the marine recreational setting.

So if you are what you say you are, then you should be keenly interested in what has come out of the AF447 investigation (an industry colleague I saw today just got back from Paris helping train the good folks there as they continue to transform from the European model to the practices employed at US Pt 121 carriers-But I digress)

And you must know that "Aftermath" is the most popular and first read feature in Flying Magazine. But anyway:

Air France 447. The controversy continues

Rush-Hour Read: How Automation Leads to More Aviation Accidents | INFRASTRUCTURIST

Rush-Hour Read: How Automation Leads to More Aviation Accidents

Pilots’ “automation addiction” has eroded their flying skills to the point that they sometimes don’t know how to recover from stalls and other mid-flight problems, say pilots and safety officials. The weakened skills have contributed to hundreds of deaths in airline crashes in the last five years.
AF was initially not a systems issue and actually has pretty little to do with systems integration. If your point is the pilots not inderstanding those systems and how to hand fly the aircraft in one of the many reversionary modes, then fair point.

As I said human factors is contributory in all accidents and primary causal factor in most.

The question I have and we will never probably know is why they did not divert to miss the heart of the storm. I have no idea but I suspect range and fuel management might have had something to do with their thinking.

But again this is not an aviation forum. And once again go research the accident statistics. Flying is safer today than it ever has been. Unfortunately to the point that the prime cause is usually the human.

To this point, I predict no humans in the cockpit within the next 20-30 years.
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Old 20-01-2012, 05:35   #235
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Tks, I have played with it. Raymarine setups I find I regulary get too many twindshift alarms especially in boisterous wave conditions with the boat moving around a lot.

Other then that I dont find on a cruising boat there's too much trimming. In fact it helps to have trimming to pass a watch
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Old 20-01-2012, 05:41   #236
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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I really appreciate Nigel1's "working mariner" viewpoint, as discussions of this type can get all too theoretical.
Thanks, skipper.
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I don't think anyone is saying that electronic navigation aids are bad or that we should all go back to 19th century navigation but what some of us professionals are concerned about is excessive reliance on what is supposed to be an aid not the be all and end all. People need to be aware ...
Indeed.

As far as electronic aids increase situational awareness, and reduce unnecessary crew workload, those aids are a boon.

As far as they reduce the need for crew work, hence reducing situational awareness, they are a bain.
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Old 20-01-2012, 05:44   #237
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead

Boy, Nick, pride goeth before the fall. . .

Have you never made a navigational or pilotage error? Taken a buoy on the wrong side? Had your head in the plotter and missed noticing something essential going on? I think a good sailor is constantly struggling to avoid "human factors problems" . . . They are all around us. . .

Like you, I like to think I could never possibly do something like what Schettino did, but instead of saying to myself "what an idiot; could never happen to me", I prefer to think "there but for the grace of God go I - and how can I try harder. . ."
I have never made such a mistake. The worst I did was long before GPS and it was taking longer than I wanted to find a marker with the binoculars. This prolonged the trip because I stayed in safe deep water until I found the marker leading to a channel between sand banks.

I think that the big majority of professional mariners never made such a mistake while on duty either.

What Schettino had in his mind was close to what I had in mind while sailing a Laser or windsurfing. That is where you can show off and do funny or risky things. Not when you are responsible for others, regardless if that is your better half on a small boat or 4,000 passengers on a cruise ship. If you can't deal with that responsibility then you are incompetent for the job. Like a pacifist won't do well as navy seal, myself not doing well writing poems etc. etc.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 20-01-2012, 05:49   #238
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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The question I have and we will never probably know is why they did not divert to miss the heart of the storm. I have no idea but I suspect range and fuel management might have had something to do with their thinking.

But again this is not an aviation forum. And once again go research the accident statistics. Flying is safer today than it ever has been. Unfortunately to the point that the prime cause is usually the human.

To this point, I predict no humans in the cockpit within the next 20-30 years.
Yeah flying is safer than it has been...If one simply looks at the macro stats which have the accident rate to the right of a decimal point and preceeded by several zeroes. And the recent media attention on that which intimates our problems are solved scares the beegeebus out of me...

Second point is the lamentable lack of weather training in both the aero and nautical worlds (note the need for weather forum thread in this venue).

Expect to hear more from me on that score.

I am sure Nick will attempt to lecture me (on things he has no clue about) and Mark will misquote me there too...


I still maintain that the problems of eroded skills due to the "The Vincennes Effect" prestn in airline cockpits is present in many sailboat cockpits as well. Just most are unaware of the threat.

And you do know why Airbus recommends a German Shepard start occupying the right seat in 2016 don't you?

So it can bite the hand of the guy in the left seat if he attempts to touch anything??!?!?!

(full disclosure-was on a 'bus last night fine airplanes)
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Old 20-01-2012, 06:09   #239
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I personally see few parallels between aircraft and sailing. Modern aircraft require electronic control systems to function, sailing boats do not. There are many other factors that also don't apply.

In boats the main argument comes down not to integration but one thing, the over reliance on accurate positioning using inaccurate electronic charts. ( or plotting on paper charts using accurate gps ).

This is the central complacency issue , and one that isnt difficult to address with some training.

Dave
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Old 20-01-2012, 06:21   #240
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

this is what I currenty am getting out this :figh t:

But I keep checking in to see who has gotten pissed off and read the battle.
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