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Old 15-10-2012, 22:05   #16
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Re: Nav course?

If your depth sounder has zeroed out on you a few times then toss it and get a reliable one. Preferably one that is not tied into other instruments. A hand held compass , or better yet, a hand held RDF with a good compass on it will get you thru lots of nasty coastal weather. Yes, this is old school(pre GPS) navigation, but it works. Myself and many thousands of mariners have followed 10 fathom curves for many miles knowing exactly where we were by the compass and depth sounder. My first cruising boat had an old depth sounder that took a big clunky 6 volt lantern battery to power it, which lasted about a year. It was a very simple and RELIABLE insrument. I am not at all against modern electronics, but having as many independant systems as possible will someday save your bacon.____ Just my 2 cents worth.

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Old 16-10-2012, 02:55   #17
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Re: Nav course?

Regardless of your perspective on paper vs electronic, good basic coastal navigation skills are still important.

Lots of courses and books out there.

ASA's current Coastal Navigation materials, by Tom Tursi, are quite good and suitable for self study or, even better, just sign up for the class.

US Sailing has a nav class also. Starpath (Starpath School of Navigation Title Page) has on on-line class.

I used "Dutton's Navigation and Piloting" as a text when teaching coastal navigation in the past.

I for one am uncomfortable with not having paper charts and traditional nav tools aboard. I've been half way across the Atlantic before when the military shut down the civilian signal -- rendering all electronics aboard instantly useless.

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Old 16-10-2012, 11:35   #18
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Re: Nav course?

Consider this. While not "necessary" paper charts have the benefit of giving the navigator the "bigger" picture. For instance, I had a delivery which required me to sail down Delaware Bay, Delaware. We had all that latest navigation tools including a large GPS Display with Radar integration. We were barreling down the river entering the bay in 30kt Northwest breeze. Coming up fast was Brandywine shoals, which was not readily apparent on the plotter. I had a chart book which contained a chart of Delaware Bay where the shoals and lighthouse where hard to miss. So many times, the limited chart plotter display gives a false sense of security. Charts give the bigger picture.
There are really several tools indispensable when deduced or dead reckoning.
A good pair of binoculars, a reliable depth sounder, and a pelorus or hand held compass. It would be nice to know speed. Charts have the added advantage of being able to write on. Charts will also introduce oneself to the Compass Rose. Deviation and Variation are just nice to know. I have sailed hundreds of miles with just a box compass, hand held compass, binoculars and a long pole to assess depth. That was a long time ago. But when that buoy you were hoping to sight appears out of the fog after an hours run, well you just have to experience it.
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Old 16-10-2012, 12:16   #19
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Re: Nav course?

no prejudice against electronic instruments here and i don't think it is an either or situation. i see all of them as tools to be added to the arsenal as appropriate.
yep need to replace the depth... and knotmeter this winter.

I agree with not being able to see the whole picture on a chart plotter.
Coming from the design/construction industry, I've experienced the same problem with "state of the art" design software. A few years ago I laughed when i was presented with software to view construction drawings on a blackberry... simply absurd.

I think what happens is related to the loss of peripheral vision and context.
With a piece of paper, or even a book in front of you, you can have a broad view and a focused view more or less simultaneously, a more complete perspective. I just don't experience this with electronic media.
S/V Voyager
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Old 17-10-2012, 05:43   #20
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Re: Nav course?

Free Online Course on Marine Navigation
Advanced navigation courses - sailing schools Greece and the Greek islands
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 17-10-2012, 07:26   #21
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Re: Nav course?

Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Great resource!
Don't forget to pay particular attention to the difference between IALA "A" and IALA "B" lateral buoy systems when using European resources.

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