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Old 04-12-2014, 08:51   #136
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
How many people out cruising do you think are proficient in a sextant and can whip one out immediately and get a good fix?
Mark
I can get a good fix in about 52min... 31min if I put my cocktail down...

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post

There is a great deal of pleasure drawing pencil lines on paper charts getting the bearing of the compass rose and measuring out the distance.

Unfortunately the romance is gone.
Aww... I still get all sappy romantic whenever I expose my bottom to new seabed...

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
It was after dark they hit, huh? Odd they did not hear the swell breaking on the reef.
b.
I think it would be tough to test air horns at 19kts...

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Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
For example, we would not enter several of the ports of call on the West Coast of Vancouver Island unless we had eyes on the shore or rocks we recognized. We would stand off in crappy weather and sea conditions and wait until we were sure of our position before running in.
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:08   #137
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

Revision 2 of the hull text...
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:42   #138
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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Originally Posted by Muckle Flugga View Post
Of course the problem was situational awareness and likely the overconfidence of great experience, but if you are referring to my posts kindly don't characterise them as a suggestion that sextant/paper is "more reliable" than a GPS! What I did say is simply that paper charts are a very useful and important adjunct to those electronic tools which I constantly use for international sailing. What is so hard to understand about that? Only a fool would suggest GPS is not the more powerful tech for general use. However, there have been MANY GPS and plotter assisted disasters, and paper often serves to give a good awareness of hazards along a more general passage, which is ABSOLUTELY a matter of situational awareness. Further, the likes of Admiralty charts and sailing directions in paper form are indeed significantly more reliable than the likes of navionics charts, whose data is entered by some third world, third party individuals who make frequent and colossal errors. The level of such errors is far higher than those in the government produced material and this is really not a matter of argument. Why do you think that commercial ships use ECDIS? The fact that paper charts may indeed be the last resort and necessity in really remote sailing zones is also not a matter for debate. It is simply a fact. The unforeseen occurs at sea. This is the primary rule. And redundancy is the absolute watchword of seamanship. If yourself or whoever prefers to disregard that and put all your faith in electronic aids, apart from anything else allowing your own skills and readiness for more basic navigation to wither, so be it. But what you are denying is the simple assertion that paper is still an important and useful adjunct and backup to plotters. Is that really what you want to say?
I wasn't referring to your posts.

In response to another persons post, I did point out that multiple GPS's are less likely to become useless than a sextant since all it takes for a sextant to become useless is a cloudy day, which are pretty common at sea. In other words, the assumption that some seem to have that the "tried and true" sextant is the ultimate reliable means of navigating doesn't really hold much water. I didn't even attempt to address the reliability of paper charts vs the human error that is possible when that chart is transformed into a digital format. Certainly that conversion introduces a possible source of error and I wouldn't argue against using a paper chart with a GPS or multiple GPS's, especially in remote areas where you aren't sure that your chartplotter'(s) database is/are entirely accurate. But in this case we are discussing, in the middle of the Indian Ocean, it wasn't a database problem OR a lack of paper charts that caused the grounding. Even IF they were primarily using paper charts, if they were going to carry enough paper charts to show every little island in a large enough scale to use that chart to navigate close to them, round the world racers would be carrying so many charts that are almost nothing but blue with a lat/long grid on it that they'd have trouble finding room to stow them all aboard a racing sailboat and in this case, if it was too much trouble to look at their chartplotters, I think it's safe to say it's unlikely that they'd always have the correct chart out with someone dutifully plotting their position all the way across the Indian Ocean.

But if you are frequently sailing in areas where you don't trust your chartplotters database, I agree that it's a great idea to hold onto your paper charts and use them in conjunction with your GPS(s) and other electronic aids, but if we're talking about counting on using a sextant for backup navigation, I think you'd be much better off to simply buy another portable GPS and a box of batteries for it that you keep in a sealed, waterproof container.
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Old 04-12-2014, 10:39   #139
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

I think modern radars, at short range, can't be using that much power. And when sailing close in with obstacles, I would have the radar on. I bet Vestas had its radar on too.

And there can be a depth gradient too. Modern depthfinders will reach way below what an average Raymarine on a Bavaria could reach 20 years ago. Could Vestas had their depth sounder switched off? I doubt it.

The girl or boy above who thinks one can't hear a reef thru the boat noise can be right, and can be wrong too. I have sailed to windward of big reefs and they make a specific very low thud. Also, ocean swell behaves in its own way as you get too close to the reef.

And a fast sailing boat does not imply a more noisy boat. Most racing boats are quieter on the plane than when sailing below planing speed.

Not to say anything could be seen or sensed BUT with some electronics and some primitive human senses one could expect some sort of warning.

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Old 04-12-2014, 10:46   #140
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

I wonder how close the boats were at that time?

I presume that they all had AIS, how else did we get the tracks? Did one of the other boats see that they were heading for trouble and not warn them?

Do the boats either upload their position to a ground crew or is the position otherwise available to ground crew via an AIS site? If so, do they have ground crew to help them with nav?
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Old 04-12-2014, 11:09   #141
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

On the rocks. I guess they weren't kidding when they said they lost their rudders. The keel is still attached. Crazy no one got hurt.
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Old 04-12-2014, 12:08   #142
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
On the rocks. I guess they weren't kidding when they said they lost their rudders. The keel is still attached. Crazy no one got hurt.
Wow, those pix are the best ones I've seen of the damage done. It sounds like most of the damage came after the initial grounding, during the night, as the waves continued to pound the aft part of the hull against the reef. The crew has been quoted as saying that "a mistake" caused this. it will be interesting to hear the whole sequence of events involved in this "mistake."
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Old 04-12-2014, 12:16   #143
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

Here's a link to the VOR page that has video of the crash. Painful to watch. Looks like the watch is alerted to something wrong only shortly before impact.

Volvo Ocean Race Broadcast Room : Team Vestas Wind crash footage, skipper interview, crew safe
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Old 04-12-2014, 12:21   #144
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

Also here.

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Old 04-12-2014, 13:12   #145
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

"I wasn't referring to your posts.

In response to another persons post, I did point out that multiple GPS's are less likely to become useless than a sextant since all it takes for a sextant to become useless is a cloudy day, which are pretty common at sea. In other words, the assumption that some seem to have that the "tried and true" sextant is the ultimate reliable means of navigating doesn't really hold much water." Jtsailjt

JT,

Where is it stated in the previous posts that a sextant was the "ultimate reliable means of navigating"--especially in comparison to a GPS? Can you please provide the author and the quote? Thanks, R
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Old 04-12-2014, 15:18   #146
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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What does "Um" have to do with it? Of course a chartplotter isn't the only electronic device that is useful in the fog, but if you read this discussion, it's been about paper charts/sextant and chartplotters so I didn't think it was necessary to mention every other electronic gadget aboard that is helpful to maintain situation awareness in limited visibility. I was asked how many GPS's I felt was necessary and I was attempting to illustrate that I couldn't really come up with a hard number because it depended on where you are and what the prevailing weather conditions are. I think most people got that.
I'm sorry, I meant no disrespect or offense. I just wanted to point out that often people use "new" things like super resolution chart plotters to the exclusion of older (traditional?) devices like radar and depth finders for situation awareness. There are other navigational devices besides GPS that will get us through tight places. Loss of GPS should not be the end of the world thus my answer would be that we don't truly need a lot of GPS backups.

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I'm not an around the world racer but it seems to me that on a racing boat that doesn't carry a lot of heavy fuel to power a genset or run their engine every day, it would be pretty tough to find the electrons available to power a radar 24/7 for the entire duration of the race. If the radar isn't transmitting all the time, it's not going to be on to warn you when you least expect it to.
Most radars (at least all that I know of) have an auto-cycle function where every so often they switch on, make a few sweeps and if nothing is in the guard zone they go back to sleep. But at 19 knots the radar has to take a look every 10 minutes or so. These big VOR boats use a fair amount of power but I think they could spare enough to run the radar especially at night.

In the video it seems pretty clear they had no idea they were close to any obstacle. The reef they hit looks unlit and at 19 knots there is a fair amount of noise from wind and water so they probably didn't hear waves crashing. The shallow area extends out a ways too. It looked like they hit something, continue sailing and for a while tried to turn the boat around but it was too late.
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Old 04-12-2014, 16:57   #147
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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I'm sorry, I meant no disrespect or offense. I just wanted to point out that often people use "new" things like super resolution chart plotters to the exclusion of older (traditional?) devices like radar and depth finders for situation awareness. There are other navigational devices besides GPS that will get us through tight places. Loss of GPS should not be the end of the world thus my answer would be that we don't truly need a lot of GPS backups.



Most radars (at least all that I know of) have an auto-cycle function where every so often they switch on, make a few sweeps and if nothing is in the guard zone they go back to sleep. But at 19 knots the radar has to take a look every 10 minutes or so. These big VOR boats use a fair amount of power but I think they could spare enough to run the radar especially at night.

In the video it seems pretty clear they had no idea they were close to any obstacle. The reef they hit looks unlit and at 19 knots there is a fair amount of noise from wind and water so they probably didn't hear waves crashing. The shallow area extends out a ways too. It looked like they hit something, continue sailing and for a while tried to turn the boat around but it was too late.
These guys surely had all the necessary equipment to be know right where they were and all about the reef just ahead, but weren't using the warning devices they had on board. A depth alarm, a radar alarm on even a 10 minute watch schedule should have showed the island.

I agree with several previous posters who have brought up that people trained at a high level sometimes focus so much on the more advanced stuff that they overlook the basics. There's an old saw in aviation that says the more instructors you put in a cockpit, the higher probability of something bad happening, and it's been my observation that there's a lot of truth to that.

Seeing that video, it looked to me like they were straining to see and interpret something off on the port bow of the boat when BAM, they hit. Especially frightening because we've all experienced that uncomfortable feeling when we see something that just doesn't make any sense in the context of where we think we are, and it's normal to have a delayed reaction as we struggle to accept what we know "can't be there" but there it is right before our eyes. In this case, it seems like they got a glimpse of something without enough time to process what it must mean before impact. The next time the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and I get that uneasy feeling, I'll try to keep this video in mind and attempt to force myself to accept that I'm seeing and react accordingly, instead of remaining in denial those extra few seconds that can mean all the difference. But in the fatigued state they must have been in, I know that is easier said than done. That's another reason to rigorously USE all the tools you have available and assume nothing, so in the reduced mental capacity that WILL result from a racing watch schedule, you will never find yourself in the position where you must rely on your quick thinking and catlike reflexes to keep out of trouble.

I do agree with you about other items such as depth sounders being quite helpful in navigating. I've had a couple of instances that I won't bore you with where either my depth sounder and/or position information was inop or degraded and I've found it's a surprisingly uncomfortable feeling when we've all become so accustomed to having so much information available to us and so easily accessed. Yes, it's possible to manage without a GPS but when a spare or two can be had so cheaply, why would you?
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Old 04-12-2014, 20:35   #148
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

You are right and all the other boats managed to steer around the reef.
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Old 04-12-2014, 23:38   #149
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

This picture of the chart plotter on Vestas is worth 1000 words.
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Old 05-12-2014, 01:05   #150
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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Here's a link to the VOR page that has video of the crash. Painful to watch. Looks like the watch is alerted to something wrong only shortly before impact.

Volvo Ocean Race Broadcast Room : Team Vestas Wind crash footage, skipper interview, crew safe
the video in the above link gives the reason for the incident,its from around 6:20, the whole video is a good watch though,answers a few questions anyways.looks like the keel can take a good hit without major failure as well-certainly got themseves high and dry!
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