Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 28-10-2011, 21:53   #46
Registered User
 
S/V Alchemy's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Toronto
Boat: Custom 41' Steel Pilothouse Cutter
Posts: 4,576
Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I still don't understand the connection between integrated instruments and keeping watch. Lots of arguments against integration are presented here that conflates the two.

They have nothing to do with each other.

Interestingly, the wreck you use as an example might not have happened if the autopilot was steering to a course instead a heading.

And some of us can recognize poorly trimmed sails, the presence of currents and the set and drift of tidal flows without failing to arrive at our destination. This is actually a good example of seamanship, as compared to whether your instruments are integrated or not.

Not all boats can carry or use windvanes and I don't see any functional difference between a windvane and an autopilot integrated with the wind instruments. They both steer to wind.

Except, of course, that the use of an autopilot forces people to leave the watch and do stupid things, while using a windvane gives one virtue and constant vigilance...

Mark
It's not about virtue or even convenience. I am, I dare say, pretty technologically competent and I embrace many of the members of our brave new world of personal electronics.

But a plot is an electronic version of a chart, which itself is a graphical representation, frozen in time, of the real world. Eventually, the sailor is convinced that the representation of a representation is equally valid as looking out the bloody window.

By definition, it cannot be. The information is not current.

A radar, or an AIS, by contrast, show the skipper what is there in real time. Very, very few people with working radars have run into freshly built piers. Chartplotters and APs in concert have done it frequently since the '90s. They don't know, care or see that the town built a pier or a breakwall and it's not registered on the chart used to give the plotter something to display other than "blue".

If I am playing a computer game, the absence of recoil on my fake gun with its idealized physics shooting unlikely aliens is really besides the point. If I am trying to bag a deer with a .22 from 250 yards because my freezer is empty, it's a different scenario. I have to pay attention in a different way.

Has anyone here seen someone run into a dock or another boat with eyes locked to the helm display? Please, don't all shout at once.

I personally can't see much advantage to helming integration with GPS. I can see, quite easily, and with my eyes, a number of reasons to reject yet another "convenience" (like text messaging...why use a phone to type, labouriously, when you could have a 15 second call?).
__________________

__________________
S/V Alchemy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2011, 22:10   #47
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,769
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

on looong passages as i make--i donot daysails inside a harbor, so i use my autopilot and my gps is integrated --so is radar. i use my gps as a guide as to wherei am going but i refuse to follow the yellow brick road-i will use the wind. i will also use my hydraulic quadrant mounted autopilot to self steer my cable driven steering and huge rudder as i make my loong passages. auto is my best teammate/crew member. does not argue . does not complain nor does he need to be fed or sleep. his week long watches are welcomed and he is wonderfully accurate.
i can fish while i am steering, i can cook, i can even sleep--when i have another crew member.....he doesnt even whine about steering thru any sudden winds or storms.
too bad folks arent like auto.

oh--i NEVER use auto inside a harbor or at a harbor entrance or in the approaches. that is time for hand steering.
__________________

zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2011, 02:16   #48
Moderator
 
Boracay's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Pelican Bay, Great Sandy National Park
Boat: Steel Roberts Offshore 44
Posts: 5,175
Images: 18
True believers...

I've had big boats on a reciprocal course to me come within 15m. No one at the helm. Going dead straight.

A little freaky at first, then I realised they were just overconfident idiots and made a habit of adjusting my autopilot so as to give them a big miss.

All it needs is for someone to put any kind of magnetic field near their compass. Anything electrical or made of iron could do the trick.
__________________
Rust never sleeps
Boracay Blog.
Boracay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2011, 03:56   #49
Registered User
 
Don1500's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: On Board, just above the water
Boat: Marine Trader 47
Posts: 1,176
Re: Why integrate the autopilot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
Your GPS has a compass in it?
Your GPS INFERS heading by computation of past plots. There is no compass in the GPS.
__________________
The Nomad Blog Mother, mother ocean, I have heard you call
Everything I know about cruising I learned from Travis McGee - http://theroamingnomad.com
Don1500 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2011, 04:17   #50
Armchair Bucketeer
 
David_Old_Jersey's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,013
Images: 4
Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
sailing is adjusting your trim to go where you want to

if in Track mode the boat is adjusting heading to stay on rhumb line it is doing the same thing you would do if hand steering, it's just doing it better
Agree that an Autopilot damned useful - not so sure about the integration part as sounds a bit too much like all eggs in 1 basket for my tastes. Nonetheless an autopilot being able to sail to the wind sounds nice

If I bought a boat with everything plumbed in together I would probably leave as is, however would stick to laying a course(s) that allows for tidal drift rather using the Autopilot / Chartplotter to "crab" towards a destination.
__________________
David_Old_Jersey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2011, 04:47   #51
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,374
Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCountry View Post
My sailboat has an integrated system but the boat I've done two passages on in the last year does not. While on these two trips we've had to hand steer the boat. ....
Not sure I am understanding your post. Are you saying that the friends boat had an autopilot but because it is not integrated with the boat's nav system that you had to hand steer on the trip to TX?

If so I don't see the connection. Can you clarify this?
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2011, 05:31   #52
Don't ask if you can't handle it
 
sailorboy1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: On the boat somewhere
Boat: Hunter 410
Posts: 12,310
Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

I can not get over how many posts in this thread about running on the autopilot made the assumption that it means no one is playing attention to when they are going etc. Even less I don't understand how running on Track mode changes this at all.
__________________
jobless, houseless, clueless, living on a boat and cruising around somewhere
sailorboy1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2011, 05:41   #53
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,374
Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
I can not get over how many posts in this thread about running on the autopilot made the assumption that it means no one is playing attention to when they are going etc. Even less I don't understand how running on Track mode changes this at all.
Well, I have seen plenty of boats on AP with no one on watch. Manual steering at least insures that there is someone on deck who might be paying some modicum of attention.

And, perhaps, there may be that type of owner/captain who installs all the latest gadgets, including an integrated AP/nav system who is more likely to not pay attention. However I think the correlation between integrated vs non integrated systems and lack of watch keeping is nebulous at best.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2011, 06:00   #54
Don't ask if you can't handle it
 
sailorboy1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: On the boat somewhere
Boat: Hunter 410
Posts: 12,310
Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Well, I have seen plenty of boats on AP with no one on watch. Manual steering at least insures that there is someone on deck who might be paying some modicum of attention.

.
Yes I've seen that also ............. it's not the AP's fault!
__________________
jobless, houseless, clueless, living on a boat and cruising around somewhere
sailorboy1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2011, 06:02   #55
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Maryland
Boat: Island Packet 35
Posts: 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don1500
Your GPS INFERS heading by computation of past plots. There is no compass in the GPS.
That's not entirely true.....alot of the newer models; chart plotters, smartphones, and handhelds actually have an electronic compass. If your "GPS" can establish cardinal directions stationary then you have an electronic compass inside. If it spins or is ways off until you start moving then your using the satellites to establish headings.
__________________
Hotel L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2011, 07:05   #56
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
But a plot is an electronic version of a chart, which itself is a graphical representation, frozen in time, of the real world. Eventually, the sailor is convinced that the representation of a representation is equally valid as looking out the bloody window.

Why are you painting all of us this way? Some of us remain unconvinced, even while using integrated electronics in a useful way, and still managing to look out the window.

They don't know, care or see that the town built a pier or a breakwall and it's not registered on the chart used to give the plotter something to display other than "blue".

Again, what does this have to do with integrated electronics? Stupid people are stupid people - the electronics don't give one a lobotomy or force one to behave in a certain way. And this is a broad, sweeping statement that reflects an emotional prejudice more than statistics or facts. Do you suggest a law banning integration? History is full of people not using any electronics at all hitting reefs, breakwalls or obstructions. There are more ships throughout history using sextants and manual helming that hit reefs than those in the same situations using integrated electronics.

If I am playing a computer game, the absence of recoil on my fake gun with its idealized physics shooting unlikely aliens is really besides the point. If I am trying to bag a deer with a .22 from 250 yards because my freezer is empty, it's a different scenario. I have to pay attention in a different way.

That is you - but it is incorrect to project your experience on everyone. Again, some of us don't have that problem.

I personally can't see much advantage to helming integration with GPS. I can see, quite easily, and with my eyes, a number of reasons to reject yet another "convenience" (like text messaging...why use a phone to type, labouriously, when you could have a 15 second call?)

Again, you are projecting your prejudices and preferences (and perhaps inexperience with the subject matter) on others. Many of us use integrated autopilots effectively and safely and find advantages to doing so. I think it is "convenient" in the same way that roller furling is "convenient" (and these debates here are the same as those taking place years ago around roller furling).
.
Again, seamanship and good practices have NOTHING to do with electronics, autopilots or how they are integrated. Nothing.

I am not meaning to be argumentative or personal with you Alchemy, it is just that I remain confused and confounded why the seamanship argument keeps being made.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2011, 07:08   #57
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotel L View Post
That's not entirely true.....alot of the newer models; chart plotters, smartphones, and handhelds actually have an electronic compass. If your "GPS" can establish cardinal directions stationary then you have an electronic compass inside. If it spins or is ways off until you start moving then your using the satellites to establish headings.
And Airmar makes a Wind/GPS/rate compass combination sensor/receiver.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2011, 08:02   #58
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,374
Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
Yes I've seen that also ............. it's not the AP's fault!
Oh sure. Not the AP's fault. So what do you want to do? Blame the captain? After all, why should it be the captains responsibility?

__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2011, 08:27   #59
Registered User
 
jrd22's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: San Juan Islands, WA
Boat: 1988 Brewer Three Seas 40' Pilothouse
Posts: 251
Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

I see little need to integrate the autopilot with the plotter, it's a very minor inconvenience to have to manually adjust course to compensate for currents or wind drift. I find that I'm watching the course and heading closely enough anyway, even when the auto is engaged that I do it automatically, and it's good to be aware of forces that are moving your boat. I would like to be able to overlay radar on the chartplotter though, I think that could greatly reduce mental workload when in poor/no visibility and heavy traffic, or tricky navigation. I've never had an autopilot with the ability to adjust to wind so can't comment on that, but it sounds useful, especially if single handed.
__________________
John Davidson
S/V Laurie Anne
1988 40' Brewer Pilothouse
jrd22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2011, 08:55   #60
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

Imagine this: It is night and you are on passage. There is a current and sea state set and commercial shipping in the area. Setting the pilot to navigating to a waypoint puts your steered course on a direct and unwavering path, leaving you free to adjust sails and make charting decisions based on a straight course rather than estimating drift and making periodic and somewhat random course corrections.

This has three advantages:
1. The shipping in the area gets steady course readings on you instead of continually changing ones.
2. You have less chance of making a computational error at 3am in rough weather that could put you in danger.
3. The power usage of the autopilot is cut in half. When steering to a course, the AP will work itself silly as the boat is moved around in the seas. When steering to a waypoint, the AP assumes short, random movements will happen and only works to correct XTE. Everyone should try both ways with your AP - you may be surprised at how it settles down on Nav vs Course modes.

Now imagine a 7 day passage of the same conditions with current and sea state changing multiple times a day. It is no longer a very minor inconvenience to bear that much vigilance to changing current and sea state and continually make course adjustments. In fact, it could lead to errors, particularly if one (or more) of the crew are not that proficient with navigation.

Mark
__________________

__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
autopilot

Thread Tools
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
Autopilot Track Following RobbieW OpenCPN 50 10-10-2012 08:23
Dodgy Autopilot Question stevensuf Engines and Propulsion Systems 9 10-10-2011 18:50
Autopilot Options Rakuflames Navigation 13 20-09-2011 23:15
Sending 'Go to Here' Active Route to an Autopilot Sail323 OpenCPN 11 01-08-2011 16:44
Route Properties, Missing Functions James Baines OpenCPN 13 13-07-2011 05:31



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:29.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.