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Old 26-12-2011, 16:20   #2566
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
I will double vote for that equation. In fact, if you are coastal cruising and can read markers, how about a chart and a compass. (OK add a spyglass if you want to do it easily) For instruments, how about a depth sounder.
I main aid to navigation is what is in your head not what is in your boat.
Finally, a dose of realism.

The chart, weems plotter, a compass whose deviation and variation you have checked and recorded, pencils, dividers, hand bearing compass, and binoculars, will do nicely for coastal navigation.

Don't forget the pilot, and lightlist, too.

INDY
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Old 26-12-2011, 16:38   #2567
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pirate Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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Originally Posted by goprisko View Post
Finally, a dose of realism.

Don't forget the pilot, and lightlist, too.

INDY
Don't USA charts have the lights location and sequence info printed on them...????
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Old 26-12-2011, 16:44   #2568
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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The boat, particularly with a metal sextant like the friberger or the Tamya does not have the precession and acceleration problems common to bubble sextants in Bombers.

Given a 5 body fix, you can definitely get a position to within a mile, and with practice, to half that easily.
Ok, that's good. That's what I want to learn. I understand GPS etc very well, but I am not a slave to it. Quite the contrary. I learned to fly in the DR era, by map and compass and 'prayer wheel'.

I recall an AirNZ DC10 that wound up embedded in a volcano in the Antarctic because the course the nav system was flying and the course the pilots THOUGHT it was flying were not the same. INS or GPS can kill you with near perfect accuracy if you don't make sure it's doing what you want and not what it thinks you want.

On a boat in the middle of an ocean if the electronics dies (and it can) you still need to make landfall, preferably not on a reef somewhere because you misplaced a decimal point, so you need to be able to trust your results, even if you find you are not where you thought you were. (I have seen peopl convince themselves they were elsewhere than the nav system (GPS on more than one occasion) indicated because they were misidentifying things they could see. The GPS was right. If you do that when you are relying on sextant and compass and chart, you have to be sure you got it right, which means running the reduction at least twice, preferably 3 times, to eliminate human error. It's tedious but worth it if you slip up (and it's easy to do).

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Given the size of your target, and it's visibility, this is more than adequate for the small boat navigator to make landfall.

Should you invest time in learning the habits of seabirds, you can discover your landfall's location from a distances as great as 100 miles.

The above discussion is more suited to a thread on the latest electronic navigation gimmicry.
No disrespect, but the prices of the sextants you mention exceeds that of most GPS systems. I have a plastic Davis, which is not in the same league of course. The thread is related to the '$500 a month' cruising, so I respectfully suggest that 'most economical' (discarding all other considerations for the present) navigation is germaine to that. So minimalist ($45 non map GPS and chart) navigation is at least within the bounds of that discussion.

Being on that kind of budget may well preclude the use of the precision equipment you suggest, so cheaper expedients would also be germaine.

I'm not sure what sort of accuracy to expect from the $50 used Davis, but I suspect it is on the order of the bubble jobs, hence the comparison. I was aware of precession issues, but not the acceleration related errors, thank you for that.

That said, I'm pleasantly surprised by the accuracies you quote, my understanding was that physically larger scales were necessary to achieve that kind of accuracy, scales that would not fit on a hand held instrument. I stand corrected.

Learning how to do celestial nav without spending a fortune on gear is an interesting concept for a sub thread perhaps?

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Thousands of navigators made their landfalls using compass, sextant, stopwatch, and chronometer, including Kevin, myself, Eric Hiscock, Larry Pardey, Miles Smeeton, Annie Hill, and George Day.
Not disputed. However, I've never heard of any of them (hey, I'm new at this lol). I depend on this forum for education and advice, which I have been very pleased to find.

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You can too.
I hope to learn enough to do just that. Thanks Indy.

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Old 26-12-2011, 17:08   #2569
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Re: Stolen Dinghy

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Hi,

While enjoying Christmas Lunch with friends, an unknown
person(s) took my dink from where it was tied to the Cocoa Town Docks, and made off with it.

My dink was hand built by myself. The ash oars were carved by myself to a pattern by Pete Culler.

If you see it, please call the Cocoa Police Dept. or phone me at: 340-514-1588.

Of course, I am looking for a replacement 11 ft dink.


INDY
Now that sux. I ride a motorbike and my worst nightmare is to have my helmet stolen (it the law to have one in the nanny state) How when this happens do you get to and throw your boat. Where do you build another as a cruiser or must you now buy whatever is able to begot ASAP.
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Old 26-12-2011, 17:21   #2570
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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No disrespect, but the prices of the sextants you mention exceeds that of most GPS systems. I have a plastic Davis, which is not in the same league of course. The thread is related to the '$500 a month' cruising, so I respectfully suggest that 'most economical' (discarding all other considerations for the present) navigation is germaine to that. So minimalist ($45 non map GPS and chart) navigation is at least within the bounds of that discussion.

Being on that kind of budget may well preclude the use of the precision equipment you suggest, so cheaper expedients would also be germaine.
As you say, a basic GPS available nowadays dirt cheap - even on a hard budget I would want one, even though I could cope without.....just makes life a lot easier. back up would be a 2nd one - after that would come a sextant, but that over 50% recreational .

One of the secrets of DR is to be comfortable not knowing exactly where you are 24/7. Some people simply can't cope with that .
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Old 26-12-2011, 17:32   #2571
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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Don't USA charts have the lights location and sequence info printed on them...????
Mine do. In addition they have land features and many channels have lighted buoys. The information is quite clear for making landfall during the day. If you are passagemaking during the night you may want a cheap Garmin (eTrex used 59 USD Amazon) but that is not the point.
I have navigated along the coast and into the Bahamas using just a handheld compass and charts (which can be had now-days for pennies on the dollar) and I am not a "big man" or have something to prove, just someone who studies the books given me.
In fact, things are getting more clear to me as I look at the overall picture:
Want a cheap boat? Be a craftsman in metal work, fiberglass, plumbing and woodworking.
Want to Navigate? Know how to DR and use the few tools you need. If going offshore use a few more.
Want enough power to stay out of trouble?- listen to the weather, including a barometer, install oars and learn to sail out of anything by quitting early and having a backup plan.
You may or not agree my solutions to problems, but the point is this: Less educated seamen need more, more educated and experienced seamen need less to do more.
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Old 26-12-2011, 17:42   #2572
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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One of the secrets of DR is to be comfortable not knowing exactly where you are 24/7. Some people simply can't cope with that .
Indeed.

Knowing exactly where you are not is much more important
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Old 26-12-2011, 18:25   #2573
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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Indeed.

Knowing exactly where you are not is much more important
and a lot easier to do
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Old 26-12-2011, 19:33   #2574
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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Originally Posted by goprisko View Post
Given a 5 body fix, you can definitely get a position to within a mile, and with practice, to half that easily.
*******
Frankly, from a small boat with a low height-of-eye and any sort of sea running, this is pretty difficult in my experience. A mile or two error is common even with a multi body fix when faced with the realities of small boat navigation.
*********

Given the size of your target, and it's visibility, this is more than adequate for the small boat navigator to make landfall.
******
Even with my less optimistic ideas about accuracy, Indy is right here. When using celestial, one doesn't expect to drive up to the harbour entrance. That's where eyeballs take over.
********

Should you invest time in learning the habits of seabirds, you can discover your landfall's location from a distances as great as 100 miles.
******
Well, perhaps one can get the general direction of an oceanic island or reef, but surely not it's location, nor that of a coastal harbour.
*******

The above discussion is more suited to a thread on the latest electronic navigation gimmicry.

Thousands of navigators made their landfalls using compass, sextant, stopwatch, and chronometer, including Kevin, myself, Eric Hiscock, Larry Pardey, Miles Smeeton, Annie Hill, and George Day.
*******
While I wouldn't class myself in that league, Ann and I made many a passage using celestial and always managed to end up where we expected.
********

You can too.
******
Agreed!
**********


INDY
See above comments

Jim

PS We still carry a sextant and the necessary gear to use it, but I LOVE having a GPS!
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Old 26-12-2011, 19:33   #2575
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

One of the best budgeteer (totally stealing this phrase DOJ ) stories is James Baldwins first and second circumnavigations.

I think a lot of people look to James to learn about voyaging and outfitting their boats, but they seem to forget how he got his start. He didn't start out in a well outfitted boat with all the right gear, or even as an experienced navigator and seaman. He was just some dude with a dream and a crappy little boat...

You can read the entire story here and his latest articles on his second circum. here.

What I find most interesting, is his first Cirucmnav was done in a boat with minimal upgrades, second hand rigging, flimsy wet decks, worm eaten rudder, and a "cranky" atomic 4 motor, among other things...

He decided make a few changes for his next circumnav... toughened up the boat considerably, and decided to go engineless and gadgetless.

The important thing to note here, is that he went with what he had available, made it work, loved every minute of it (for the most part), and was entirely succesfull, despite his lack of experience, knowledge, and gear.

Quote:
Stripped to the essentials, sailing alone and without an engine or electric gadgets, I hoped would teach me whatever I hadn't learned about sailing and myself during my first circumnavigation. I've found trying to articulate or justify this kind of thing to the average person is usually unproductive. You either have an understanding of this brand of adventure spirit or you sit back and scoff at the impracticalities of it. If you need to ask "why", you are unlikely to be satisfied with any explanation. I also remind myself that my dream is not anyone else's dream so I won't waste time trying to convince others to follow my path. Whatever I'm doing at any moment is not necessarily a lifetime philosophy commitment. People and ideas evolve - one path leads to another.
Pretty incredible story and really great reading...
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Old 26-12-2011, 19:47   #2576
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

I'm posting that to (also) make the point that several well known voyagers got their start in the pre-gps era, by leaving with a sextant, but without the knowledge of how to use it.

The idea that a sextant is the only thing that will get you across an ocean when 'the lights go out' is somewhat overstated IMO. Of course I'm no expert, but neither were they

I'm not advocating electronics over anything else, but I don't believe celestial nav is necessity that would prevent a person from heading off into the sunset...

This all falls into the same catagory of "you must have exactly this type of gear or you can't go". It's all personal opinion (valid ones, of course), but none of it is "necessary". You can set sail with nothing but a sundial and a windvane if thats what you choose. It's no more, or less, dangerous than heading out with 10 GPS's and 3 sextants! It just might take longer to get where you want to go

So If all you have is some h/h gps units and a few charts, don't let that stop you. I fully intend to learn celestial nav, but it's kinda fruitless on land or in port. Maybe it will take a catastrophic electrical failure before I actually pull the books out and start reading, but so what? It's not the worst thing in the world and it's not something to be deathly afraid of... There are worse places to be than bobbing around ocean in a boat with no direction
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Old 26-12-2011, 21:13   #2577
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
Mine do. In addition they have land features and many channels have lighted buoys. The information is quite clear for making landfall during the day. If you are passagemaking during the night you may want a cheap Garmin (eTrex used 59 USD Amazon) but that is not the point.
Unfortunately for those of us in Oz as opposed to the US, paper charts are quite expensive. Yes, they do show what lights and beacons there are as well as depths etc. A full set for Australia will cost well over $1,000 thanks to the govt. The license fees for the electronic versions, which incidentally are in a proprietary format that can only be read with their proprietary reader, are also quite high. This is why Navigatrix and other open source stuff, whilst it's very nice, is next to useless in Australian waters, there are some very old charts in electronic format that NOAA has amongst their stock, and some of them have been 'massaged' to work with nav software, but mostly, if you want charts of Australian waters, you have to pay through the nose for them, either the paper ones or the electronic version from Garmin or whoever.


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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
I have navigated along the coast and into the Bahamas using just a handheld compass and charts (which can be had now-days for pennies on the dollar) and I am not a "big man" or have something to prove, just someone who studies the books given me.
I'm comfortable with that concept and it's something I want to be able to do.
The 'pennies on the dollar' part however is not happening in this part of the world. Charts are expensive in any form.

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In fact, things are getting more clear to me as I look at the overall picture:
Want a cheap boat? Be a craftsman in metal work, fiberglass, plumbing and woodworking.
My skills lie in other areas. Ahem, and in my case that would be metal, cement, plumbing and woodwork.

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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
Want to Navigate? Know how to DR and use the few tools you need.
DR I can do. Aviation DR is not that dissimilar. I learned that 40 years ago.

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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
If going offshore use a few more.
Want enough power to stay out of trouble?- listen to the weather, including a barometer, install oars and learn to sail out of anything by quitting early and having a backup plan.
I qualified in Met Observing some time ago. I understand it better than many boaties I've met. No problem. Listening to weather reports is a given, and getting grid winds, synoptic and msl charts either by internet or HF Fax is also something I do. Need to add a printer somewhere though, I'd rather have a hard copy of wind and weather data if the net or radio dies.

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You may or not agree my solutions to problems, but the point is this: Less educated seamen need more, more educated and experienced seamen need less to do more.
Actually I have no problem with them. (Well, I'l pass on fitting oars to a 35' ferro ketch, 12 tonne is a but much to row really) but the rest is fine, knowledge is power. The more you know, the less difficulties you have if the power in the wires goes on strike. Learning to use sextants and such is somewhat problematic, but I'll manage, unfortunately the number of boaties within some hundreds of miles that can identify a sextant much less use one I can count on the fingers of no hands. But I'll manage.

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Old 26-12-2011, 21:19   #2578
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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He decided make a few changes for his next circumnav... toughened up the boat considerably, and decided to go engineless and gadgetless.
That's certainly how the boat started off, but by end of the 2nd RTW the boat was pretty well loaded with "toys"........albeit took a good few years to get there - and of course no reason why not.

But as you say, perfectly possible to undertake grand voyages without all the bells and whistles - the questions are really: "how minimal do you want to go?" and "are you willing to learn the skills / acquire the knowledge to allow that?".
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Old 26-12-2011, 21:24   #2579
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

Geoff,
I had no idea Australian charts were that expensive. Can you copy off some in a copier somewhere? Can you get them from libraries? I would not want to navigate without charts. I would do the Australian coast with them, but I was last there 30 years ago...
It seems a shame to go back to Capt. Cook era simply because you do not have the money.
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Old 26-12-2011, 21:40   #2580
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

[QUOTE=AussieGeoff;846348]Unfortunately for those of us in Oz as opposed to the US, paper charts are quite expensive. Yes, they do show what lights and beacons there are as well as depths etc. A full set for Australia will cost well over $1,000 thanks to the govt. The license fees for the electronic versions, which incidentally are in a proprietary format that can only be read with their proprietary reader, are also quite high. This is why Navigatrix and other open source stuff, whilst it's very nice, is next to useless in Australian waters, there are some very old charts in electronic format that NOAA has amongst their stock, and some of them have been 'massaged' to work with nav software, but mostly, if you want charts of Australian waters, you have to pay through the nose for them, either the paper ones or the electronic version from Garmin or whoever.



Huh ? C Map chips are not proprietary and will fit many brands of chartplotter. You only have to commit to a C Map compatible unit which all the big companies make. Whitworths are asking $350 for a chip that covers for all of Australia.

Waddayawant ?
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