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Old 25-11-2011, 10:18   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieGeoff
I think I can summarise this nicely.

At the end of the day, all the gizmos and gadgets are navigation AIDS. ie they are there to HELP you navigate. They are NOT navigators, lookouts, helmsmen or deckhands.

YOU need to navigate your boat.
YOU need to keep a sharp lookout to avoid hitting things. (Be it other boats, rocks, shipping containers or jettys).
YOU need to ensure that you are steering a safe course and that you are compensating for leeway, not just letting 'George' steer a heading.
YOU need to ensure your boat is trimmed and the helm effort isn't too much for the helmsman (be he wetware or silicon).

No amount of navigation AIDS are a substitute for a competent NAVIGATOR.

Always remember, like rust, Murphy never sleeps, and sooner or later, that worst case combination of circumstances will happen when you just ducked in to use the head with nothing in sight...

Look up 'cascade failure' sometime. Accidents, small, large or catastrophic are usually not caused by one single thing going wrong, but by a seemingly unlikely combination of many small things, sometimes in ways that seem to defy the odds of such things happening in combination at just the right time.
Yet there have been many smoking craters that used to be airliners that have fallen prey to just such things.

Just my 2c

AussieGeoff
Geoff, why do they spell it that way and not Jeff? Never did know that. Radar and AIS are like the "All seeing Eye" and great aid to me and I expect have helped avoid very many dangerous situations, you just need to know how to use it. Being a good navigator does not mean good skipper, two different jobs are they not?
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Old 25-11-2011, 10:27   #107
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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Originally Posted by bazzer View Post
Geoff, why do they spell it that way and not Jeff? Never did know that.
As far as I am aware, Geoff (abbreviation for Geoffrey) is the original from old English, meaning something like 'God's Peace' IIRC. I believe the Jeff/Jeffrey variant is a later phonetic spelling of the original, other words, a cheap copy lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bazzer View Post
Radar and AIS are like the "All seeing Eye" and great aid to me and I expect have helped avoid very many dangerous situations, you just need to know how to use it. Being a good navigator does not mean good skipper, two different jobs are they not?
In this context, I am talking about safe navigation of the boat, not limited to 'navigating' as in 'finding your way from a to b'. In this context a competent navigator = competent skipper. Your use of AIS/Radar is exactly that, proper use of a navigation AID or AIDS to safely navigate your boat around hazards is one sign of a competent navigator/skipper.
But if they stop working, you will substitute a Mark One Eyeball I have no doubt. In small boats particularly, skipper and navigator are one and the same much of the time.

AussieGeoff
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Old 25-11-2011, 10:37   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieGeoff

As far as I am aware, Geoff (abbreviation for Geoffrey) is the original from old English, meaning something like 'God's Peace' IIRC. I believe the Jeff/Jeffrey variant is a later phonetic spelling of the original, other words, a cheap copy lol.

In this context, I am talking about safe navigation of the boat, not limited to 'navigating' as in 'finding your way from a to b'. In this context a competent navigator = competent skipper. Your use of AIS/Radar is exactly that, proper use of a navigation AID or AIDS to safely navigate your boat around hazards is one sign of a competent navigator/skipper.
But if they stop working, you will substitute a Mark One Eyeball I have no doubt. In small boats particularly, skipper and navigator are one and the same much of the time.

AussieGeoff
Here in the USA I wonder how many variations of Geoff there is? Every variation of phonetics I expect.
I totally agree with you mate, Particularly with the Mark One Eyeball. My brother who sails out of Plymouth UK only has one eye and does pretty well, I have two though and use them a lot!! Enjoy the summer.
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Old 25-11-2011, 11:07   #109
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
It's amazes me that old duffers come on and make completely hypothetical assertions or that good electronics leads to laziness. The aircraft industry will tell you that the switch to glass cockpits has significantly increased safety as it removes the tyranny of scanning the dials and allows pilots to focus on overall situational awareness.

Dave
(full disclosure: I was an Operations Specialist in the USN so worked extensively with electronic nav systems. cut my teeth whirring whiz wheels on a Loran A set; later worked as a navigator on seismic exploration ships, which are at the forefront of marine integrated nav/control systems; and currently work with integrated nav/control systems on airliners...)

[deleted as I thought my previous post didn't enter...]

More full disclosure: I have integrated my instruments with NMEA to the chartplotter ...haven't bought an autopilot yet, hoping someone will challenge raymarine in the wheel pilot market, but also because I am still getting used to balancing the boat without one. Next year, I move to lake Michigan and will be doing lake crossings, so will be getting one soon though.

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....
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Old 26-11-2011, 09:34   #110
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
But it's not the AP's fault. Without AP he would still be a scary-careless sailor.
This is the origin of my comment either here or elsewhere that the mandatory installation of airbags has not done much for safety so much as it's allowed speeding, impulsive drivers to survive their mistakes, rinse and repeat.

It's apples and oranges: The prudent, skilled sailor will not abuse the technology to forgive or paper over poor seamanship, nor will he or she make assumptions (if thinking and foresight are even activated at all) on the basis of the technology data flow. Just as putting on the AP seemed to make AP King think he was now somehow absolved from actually looking beyond his lifelines to see he was bearing down on other boats, so making sailing too push-button can seemingly make some "sailors" think they can sit and watch the gulls or check their e-mails when leaving a harbour.

Anyone else narrowly miss hitting a young woman stepping off a curb lately, utterly absorbed in texting on a "smart" phone lately? I see this nearly every day, and in fact clipped one while bicycling last week as she emerged, head down, from between parked cars on a major street. I've seen them walk into telephone poles and garbage bins. Something about the screen dominates their focus to the exclusion of all else, it seems. And I don't know why it's vastly more common to see women thumbing the things while walking, either. Yakking on the cell phone while driving is potentially even worse.

Some things are better left on "manual", it seems. For me, anyway. If you are happy with full integration, good for you. If I catch you texting while sailing, however, and standing into danger on full GPS-aided AP, please excuse me if I take too long to find my hailing horn. That's why God invented auto-inflating PFDs, I guess.
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Old 26-11-2011, 09:46   #111
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
The problem described my many in this thread, are the idiots that go out in their gadget boats. Not clearly defined is the point of view that it is the modern electronics that enable them to actually take the boat out to sea.... that without the gadgets, they would not be able to do this, making the sea safer for the rest which includes "us".

But this is in error. I clearly remember those good old days and there were enough idiots out on the water then too. They wouldn't know which way to move the tiller to steer to port but they were out there.
True, but then, the corrective was easy: once seeing how a tiller works, even the congenitally dim grasp the physics of the thing. Or drown.

Today, you not only purchase a suite of screens, cabling and black boxes, but the sense of entitlement that comes with shelling out thousands to get the "e-cockpit" treatment.

Who's seen two boats approaching a nav aid at the same time from 50 or 60 degrees off each other's course. Both full of merrymakers, both obviously on GPS waypoints, both oblivious to each other or the COLREGS.

The technology's wonderful, while used wisely, but it faciliates, aids and abets bigger and potentially more dire problems than someone who can't back down with a tiller. Today, there are tech-mitigated problems, like hitting a new pier because an old chart is loaded, that didn't even exist 20 years ago, because you didn't have the option of not keeping a watch. To not keep a watch was clearly an invitation to hit things and drown. Focused the mind. Today, the mind is a diffused thing with distractions undreamt of by our parents.

(Side note: I once socialized with a man who, prior to GPS and with very limited means of communication and no hope of rescue, sailed across Hudson Bay on a steel 40 footer. He was about the most nervous docker, in proportion to his vast and self-reliant sailing resume, that I've ever seen. Some sailors just have a blind spot or a skill weakness, it seems.)
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Old 26-11-2011, 10:15   #112
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Originally Posted by sidmon

(full disclosure: I was an Operations Specialist in the USN so worked extensively with electronic nav systems. cut my teeth whirring whiz wheels on a Loran A set; later worked as a navigator on seismic exploration ships, which are at the forefront of marine integrated nav/control systems; and currently work with integrated nav/control systems on airliners...)

[deleted as I thought my previous post didn't enter...]

More full disclosure: I have integrated my instruments with NMEA to the chartplotter ...haven't bought an autopilot yet, hoping someone will challenge raymarine in the wheel pilot market, but also because I am still getting used to balancing the boat without one. Next year, I move to lake Michigan and will be doing lake crossings, so will be getting one soon though.

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....
Doing deliveries I've sailed with many types of systems. Some highly integrated, some not. I don't think it make a difference to your sailing ability. It does help with short handed sailing typical of leisure sailors.

The two arguments advanced namely, unreliability and complacency really are misplaced. Firstly electronics are actually very reliable given the abuse they suffer and modern systems are infinitely better then older systems, thats just electronics. Modern vehicles are far safer as a result of electronic systems and complacency is more to with lack of knowledge then any reliance on nav aids.

We live in an increasingly automated world, often because in reality humans are generalists and machines are better at specifics. ( mind you our advantage will not remain around for much longer)

Dave
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Old 26-11-2011, 10:21   #113
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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy
The technology's wonderful, while used wisely, but it faciliates, aids and abets bigger and potentially more dire problems than someone who can't back down with a tiller. Today, there are tech-mitigated problems, like hitting a new pier because an old chart is loaded, that didn't even exist 20 years ago, because you didn't have the option of not keeping a watch. To not keep a watch was clearly an invitation to hit things and drown. Focused the mind. Today, the mind is a diffused thing with distractions undreamt of by our
I don't agree, while undoubtably, new failure modes get introduced as a result of technology, it's also true that the overall safety level improves. Gps is a case in point. ( as is AIS). Today there are orders of magnitude more people in boats then say 30 years ago and vastly more then say 50 years ago. In the past errors of position resulted in lost craft. Whereas today its almost unknown.

Overall the glass is far fuller then more empty

Dave
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Old 26-11-2011, 16:45   #114
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Modern vehicles are far safer as a result of electronic systems and complacency is more to with lack of knowledge then any reliance on nav aids.

Dave
This is where you are mistaken Dave, and the eividence above vividly points that out...

If you had met the flight crew of the ill fated Air France flight, or the navigation teams on the San Francisco and Port Royal (the ship on the reef), you would have been impressed with their skill and professionalism. Indeed, you would have seen them as among the best in breed.

So how did those bone head mistakes happen?

Bottom line, automating a process that you always done amnually can allow an insidious complacency to take hold that you are not even aware of.

I have witnessed this time and again.

If it could happen to these otherwise professional and competent folk...It sure as the world could happen to any unwary weekender.

As has been the case since Homer's days of plying the Seven Seas, its important to alway keep a keen eye out for subtle risks...

And so very often those risks reside in us...

All of us.

But anyway. Here is yet more eveidence that modern electronics aboard can complicate life in unintended ways. This, from gcaptain:

“Another issue is the risk of being exposed to excessive information and simply being unable to process it all. Bridge equipment is increasingly sophisticated and it can provide the crew with access to extensive information regarding the relative positions of other ships. But, unless it is used in a focused manner, it can confuse, rather than clarify, and ultimately prove counter-productive.”

Its all about never forgetting that the fundamentals are always in play....And its a universal human factors issue that those fundamentals can atrophy under the sweet seductive effects of these modern sirens seemingly providing flawless information to you...

More here:

When a new third mate attempts to solve a difficult traffic situation, most new watch officers do not trust solutions "by eye" but prefer instead the precision provided by radar/ARPA almost as if they were in zero visibility.

I've gone up to the bridge in traffic to find the mate switching from radar to radar each one with different mix of features trying to solve a problem that can be solved by a more experienced mate in just seconds by eye.
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Old 26-11-2011, 17:58   #115
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

Oh...forgot to add...

As the links above look like this is a newbie error...

I will refer back to what has been found with flight crews -that have scores of thousands of hours in the air- if they are not careful with how they "integrate" automation...

1) Overdependence on Automation (Complacency)

With increased reliance on automated technologies, flight crew may rely excessively on the glass cockpits. This could lead to the negligence of the necessity of their participation during crucial periods of a flight, such as the landing and takeoff phases.
For instance, in 1974, Eastern Air Lines Flight 212 crashed short of the runway while executing a precise instrumental approach in poor visibility conditions into Charlotte/Douglas International Airport. Out of the 82 people aboard the flight, only ten survived. The accident investigation concluded that the mishap occurred due to the pilot distraction.
After the observation of several accidents that were due to pilot distraction when flight crew engages in unnecessary activities during crucial flight phases, the Sterile Cockpit Rule was instilled by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 1981. This regulation prohibits flight crew from engaging in unnecessary activities during important flight phases, usually below the flight altitude of 10,000 feet.
The introduction of the Crew Resource Management (CRM) training in 1979 also strives to enhance pilot decision-making skills by highlighting the importance of situational awareness, leadership capabilities and interpersonal communication skills even during the presence of automation and convenience.
Both the CRM training and Sterile Cockpit Rule aim to emphasize the role of the automation only as an additional supporting assistance tool. Even with the introduction of the automation, flight crew are still educated to direct as much attention to piloting the flight as before the debut of the technology.
With this, the Times quotes engineering Professor William B. Rouse of Georgia Institute of Technology and IEEE Fellow as saying, "Complacency is an issue, but designing the interaction between human and technical so the human has the right level of judgment when you need them is a design task in itself… When the person has no role in the task, there’s a much greater risk of complacency." Also, a captain at Continental Airlines, once said, "No light comes on to tell you that you're being complacent.
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Old 26-11-2011, 18:06   #116
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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Integrating the AP with the plotter has absolutely nothing to do with if there is a idiot captaining a boat. I was sailing San Francisco bay recently and nearly got rammed amidships by one of the AC 45 support boats whose skipper was clearly not paying attention to where he was heading, maybe Larry Ellison himself. I was on AP and keeping a sharp lookout as well as my crew who has a video to prove it. A loud yell was all that was needed to stop a collision at the last moment. As for being rammed from behind, a radar circular guard zone would probably avoided this collision, surely a good case for sensible use of electronics?

If you're talking about me, it was broad daylight. We could have spit on his boat (and probably should have -- grin!) Radar would have been no assistance at all. IAH Syndrome (Idiot at Helm) -- except that he wasn't at the helm. He was sitting on a cockpit bench by the cabin wall.
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Old 26-11-2011, 18:10   #117
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
This is the origin of my comment either here or elsewhere that the mandatory installation of airbags has not done much for safety so much as it's allowed speeding, impulsive drivers to survive their mistakes, rinse and repeat.

It's apples and oranges: The prudent, skilled sailor will not abuse the technology to forgive or paper over poor seamanship, nor will he or she make assumptions (if thinking and foresight are even activated at all) on the basis of the technology data flow. Just as putting on the AP seemed to make AP King think he was now somehow absolved from actually looking beyond his lifelines to see he was bearing down on other boats, so making sailing too push-button can seemingly make some "sailors" think they can sit and watch the gulls or check their e-mails when leaving a harbour.

Anyone else narrowly miss hitting a young woman stepping off a curb lately, utterly absorbed in texting on a "smart" phone lately? I see this nearly every day, and in fact clipped one while bicycling last week as she emerged, head down, from between parked cars on a major street. I've seen them walk into telephone poles and garbage bins. Something about the screen dominates their focus to the exclusion of all else, it seems. And I don't know why it's vastly more common to see women thumbing the things while walking, either. Yakking on the cell phone while driving is potentially even worse.

Some things are better left on "manual", it seems. For me, anyway. If you are happy with full integration, good for you. If I catch you texting while sailing, however, and standing into danger on full GPS-aided AP, please excuse me if I take too long to find my hailing horn. That's why God invented auto-inflating PFDs, I guess.

I know that in NYC pedestrian accidents (including stepping off curbs unexpectedly, being hit by cars or bikes, etc.) are up because of texting. I know someone who was focused on her phone, missed a step and fell. She broke a wrist and two ribs.
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Old 26-11-2011, 18:10   #118
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If you're talking about me, it was broad daylight. We could have spit on his boat (and probably should have -- grin!) Radar would have been no assistance at all. IAH Syndrome (Idiot at Helm) -- except that he wasn't at the helm. He was sitting on a cockpit bench by the cabin wall.
I hate to say this, but since this guy is apparently a danger, why not turn him to the Harbor Police? Unsafe sailing is just that and maybe he needs to know?
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Old 26-11-2011, 20:08   #119
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

I would just like to add to sidmon's last post the reminder of the crew that "lost situational awareness" and flew past their destination city of Minneapolis not all that long ago.

http://www.time.com/time/nation/arti...932040,00.html
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Old 26-11-2011, 20:23   #120
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

Why integrate?

Because it is so technically kewl!
No other reason is necessary. If there were any other reason it would be a distraction from the total radness of having an integrated system.
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