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Old 02-12-2014, 18:40   #76
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
...
On this sort of boat navigators devote a great deal of effort to weather routing and race tactics. I wonder if this distracted from the primary role of avoiding hitting the bricks, but this is pure speculation.
Yes it seems obvious to me but even so a previous reconnaissance of the hazards on all possible courses should have been made and they should be concerned about the best strategy to avoid and pass that Island without losing time. Instead they hit it almost at the middle. Too much pressure with competition, the best course for the best wind and not losing time: they forget about the basic stuff. Also at 20k things happen a lot more faster than at 7K.
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Old 02-12-2014, 18:53   #77
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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Noelex, I agree with you that GPS is not a full replacement for your own eyes (aided by magnification), a radar and hand bearing compass when within range of obstacles. But fretting that all the satellites will stop one day is pointless.
That is a bit of an understatement. A full replacement... I passed many times over land (on the plotter) and passed over reefs.. I mean on the plotter being in reality 500m away. The GPS gives you the right position but if the map is slightly wrong (and that happens plenty of times) the position your boat appears on the plotter is not correct and that can be very dangerous if you are not aware of that.

Saying this I only use small scale charts (for global planning) and use the plotter for almost everything, you have only to know its limitations.
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Old 02-12-2014, 19:11   #78
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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Polux- Sujin is exactly right when he says that there are "often errors on electronic charts that are not on paper charts, and there are differences in data quality/inaccuracies". Navionics in particular is RIDDLED with really quite dramatic errors. For example their data entry for notices and information contained in the "see lower zooms" notes is so bad that it can only be described as having been entered by someone for whom English is a THIRD language, who cannot even copy by sight., and I have actually rarely seen a fully accurate text. I have complained of it many times, with pictures, to no avail. There are often the most astonishing errors on E-charts that have nothing whatever to do with use of outdated bathymetry copied from the paper or whatever. For example I passed a series of lateral marks in the middle of the Coral Sea, on the Navionics charts, which were not there on the C-charts, certainly absent on Admiralty paper, and for damn well sure not there in reality! Apart from anything else, the depths were in the several thousand meter range… Look, on this one you are just wrong. Paper equally affords a FAR more detailed representation of small features on small scale charts, and offers quick and stable reference to them without "zooming". I use electronic charts all the time, and they are exceedingly useful tools.
Not my experience at all and I have made at least 20 000nm with e charts. Maybe in what regards Europe they are a lot better.

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Paper equally affords a FAR more detailed representation of small features on small scale charts, and offers quick and stable reference to them without "zooming". I use electronic charts all the time, and they are exceedingly useful tools.
That's true in what regards available detail but how can I possibly have small scale charts from all the places I sail on a year? it would cost a small fortune, it would have to buy 30 charts possibly 50. That does not make sense, specially because I don't need them. The Advantage of a superior small definition without zooming is not a match for having instantly the position of the boat on the map, even if it is an approximated one.
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Old 02-12-2014, 22:53   #79
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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Not my experience at all and I have made at least 20 000nm with e charts. Maybe in what regards Europe they are a lot better.



That's true in what regards available detail but how can I possibly have small scale charts from all the places I sail on a year? it would cost a small fortune, it would have to buy 30 charts possibly 50. That does not make sense, specially because I don't need them. The Advantage of a superior small definition without zooming is not a match for having instantly the position of the boat on the map, even if it is an approximated one.
You may be confusing "small scale", the definition of which is a chart covering a very wide area, with "large scale" the definition of which is a chart covering a much smaller area. I sail around 8,000 - 18,000 miles a year on average, currently. In Europe they do tend to be better, but are far from flawless.
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Old 03-12-2014, 00:30   #80
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Map errors in both electronic and paper charts are not uncommon, especially in remote areas.

Traditional navigation techniques such as clearance bearings can be a much more reliable way of avoiding obstructions if there is a map error. However, these techniques can also be used on electronic charts. There seems a mistaken belief that this sort of check is only possible with a paper chart.

If radar is available a radar overlay is a very powerful tool for picking up map errors.

However, in this case it sounds from the preliminary reports like map error was not a factor.
Yes indeed. And as for radar overlay it is exactly how I test error in charts when close piloting in most of the areas I sail. Extremely useful tool. I also use Google Earth imagery side by side with radar to help out, as GE often penetrates to the shallow reefs and gives a visual bathymetry check. However I always carry paper, and at this ver moment am looking at two rolls of Admiralty charts obtained from DPM Singapore for the passage up the Malacca, through Thailand to Myanmar.
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Old 03-12-2014, 00:43   #81
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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Noelex, I agree with you that GPS is not a full replacement for your own eyes (aided by magnification), a radar and hand bearing compass when within range of obstacles. But fretting that all the satellites will stop one day is pointless.
However there are other reasons to carry paper. They are by far the quickest and most reliable way to do a general passage and hazard avoidance plan and do not crash or require "lower zooms" to operate effectively. Aside from which a general systems failure is not unheard of, and lightning strike is just one way such a failure can occur. Most people's back up gps has lain neglected in a box for years with non-updated batteries. Ship's batteries, contrary to popular belief, are rarely fully isolated from one another and usually share a common ground bar, for example. Further, a vessel can be substantially flooded, killing ALL batteries aboard, but still recovered and sailed the 1500 miles back out of wherever the heck in the Bundu one finds oneself. If you are coastal sailing in familiar waters, fine. If you are long ranging it in the wilds of the world thousands of miles from aid, not so.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:38   #82
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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However there are other reasons to carry paper. They are by far the quickest and most reliable way to do a general passage and hazard avoidance plan and do not crash or require "lower zooms" to operate effectively.
This was a major advantage of paper, but this advantage is rapidly disappearing. Old chart plotters only had fixed zoom levels with slow screen redraw and poor resolution.

Try the same thing on a touch screen with infinite zoom. Tap on the screen to create a waypoint. The heading and distance are calculated. Slide your finger to move the waypoint slightly and the new values are instantly shown. Zooms are instant. The only remaining example of paper is the larger format, but even this eroding. Much higher screen resolutions are a big help, providing your close vision is good. Of course with paper you often have to switch charts and transfer waypoints when more detail is required.

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. This pleasure is lost on electronic charts, but these days passage planning on electronic charts is much quicker with fewer chances for silly mistakes. The ability to almost instantly switch to a large scale map or overlay a google earth map or even see photograph of the relevant feature is hard to beat.

Finally, when the route is plotted electronically you get a real time display of the distance to go, cross track error, real bearing to the next waypoint etc.

Unfortunately the romance is gone.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:47   #83
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

I think this is a pointless discussion.
Some will never accept electronic navigation, despite its (to me) huge advantages. like all navigation, NEVER rely on a single source of data. By all means, use a plotter. Verify the position with radar, sonar, and your senses and positional awareness. If the sonar, radar, and plotter agree, they will be right, and you can rely on it if you cannot see (like at night). In the daytime there is no substitute for the mk1 eyeball. Some of the electronic charts are exactly the same as the paper ones. I have a minimum of 5 GPS sources aboard, and a sextant and tables, and yes I can use them. I don't always have the right paper charts though. I record my waypoints before departure, and can navigate with a plotting grid if required.
If all electrical power is gone, handhelds all run down, solar panels gone etc, then the issue is likely water. Ever tried to navigate with sodden charts and tables turned to mush?
Nothing is infallible, including the boat and crew.
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Old 03-12-2014, 02:38   #84
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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Nothing is infallible, including the boat and crew.
Agreed.. but methinks that is a common mindset when in racing mode.
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:34   #85
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
This was a major advantage of paper, but this advantage is rapidly disappearing. Old chart plotters only had fixed zoom levels with slow screen redraw and poor resolution.

Try the same thing on a touch screen with infinite zoom. Tap on the screen to create a waypoint. The heading and distance are calculated. Slide your finger to move the waypoint slightly and the new values are instantly shown. Zooms are instant. The only remaining example of paper is the larger format, but even this eroding. Much higher screen resolutions are a big help, providing your close vision is good. Of course with paper you often have to switch charts and transfer waypoints when more detail is required.

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. This pleasure is lost on electronic charts, but these days passage planning on electronic charts is much quicker with fewer chances for silly mistakes. The ability to almost instantly switch to a large scale map or overlay a google earth map or even see photograph of the relevant feature is hard to beat.

Finally, when the route is plotted electronically you get a real time display of the distance to go, cross track error, real bearing to the next waypoint etc.

Unfortunately the romance is gone.
For some reason you seem not to have noticed that in many posts to this thread I have said that I CONSTANTLY use at least two independent chart plotter systems and at least two independent electronic chart sets. However, the point is simply that paper is an important and still necessary back up if long ranging it in the wilder parts of the world. It is also still the quickest general reference. I constantly refer, for example, when in the Pacific, to the General Chart of the Pacific. It makes planning and contemplation of options far easier and more convenient. Further, mid scale paper is definitely a better option for quick reference of subsidiary areas, such as the Coral Sea, without the need to double check the entire route to make sure that the declutter on higher zooms has obliterated important hazards, as it often does. Yes, plotters are getting better and better, but none that I am aware of are lightning proof. Paper remains not simply a matter of "romance" any more than paper publications are "romance" alone in the age of the kindle (three of which have died aboard with me in the past year alone, despite waterproof casings!).

Anyhow, this is all oblique to the topic of the thread, and vis a vis that, it wouldn't have mattered what the tools these guys had. They ran into the side of a reef far longer than the coastline of Manhattan!
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:37   #86
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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Ever tried to navigate with sodden charts and tables turned to mush?
Nothing is infallible, including the boat and crew.
Well… I accept the use of both, and chiefly use GPS and electronic systems, but definitely paper is still useful and important, and as to your question about sodden charts- the answer is yes, many times, in the days before GPS. Both Admiralty and Imray are designed to be used post a good soaking. It's one of the reasons they are so expensive. Makes me wonder if you have?
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:35   #87
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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Originally Posted by Muckle Flugga View Post
Aside from which a general systems failure is not unheard of, and lightning strike is just one way such a failure can occur. Most people's back up gps has lain neglected in a box for years with non-updated batteries. Ship's batteries, contrary to popular belief, are rarely fully isolated from one another and usually share a common ground bar, for example. Further, a vessel can be substantially flooded, killing ALL batteries aboard, but still recovered and sailed the 1500 miles back out of wherever the heck in the Bundu one finds oneself.
By your above scenario, one would not have any electronic means of obtaining a position fix at all.

So a good sextant, expensive, calibrated and maintained mechanical timepiece, sight reduction tables and a slide rule - and regular practice with these - are minimum requirements for going offshore?

I wonder how many cruisers here really have these skills anymore (or ever had them)? I do not.

BTW, it would take a catastrophic flood to kill the hundreds of dry cell batteries we have aboard. I think we will be in a life raft (using dry cell batteries in our radio and GPS) when that happens. Likewise, the dinghy will have to sink before its battery is taken down. Heck, to even reach our house batteries, the flood will have to be up to the top of the deck with just the coachroof above water.

By that time, any paper charts will be floating in battery acid and the sextant will need a dive tank to recover it.

I will say this again: when it comes to this particular topic, people have opinions formed from many years (and technology generations) ago, and they have rarely updated them with a fresh look at the current situation. Or they apply their own personal situation to everyone in general.

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Old 03-12-2014, 06:37   #88
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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.. I sail around 8,000 - 18,000 miles a year on average, currently. ..
You should be rich and have a huge chart locker if you sail 18 000 miles a year and have all those detailed maps, or then you are talking about ocean sailing and not about coastal sailing. If you do extensive coastal sailing along big distances it is not practical to have all those maps (that are on the E chart) on paper also.
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:46   #89
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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I think this is a pointless discussion.
Some will never accept electronic navigation, despite its (to me) huge advantages. like all navigation, NEVER rely on a single source of data. By all means, use a plotter. Verify the position with radar, sonar, and your senses and positional awareness. If the sonar, radar, and plotter agree, they will be right, and you can rely on it if you cannot see (like at night). In the daytime there is no substitute for the mk1 eyeball. Some of the electronic charts are exactly the same as the paper ones. I have a minimum of 5 GPS sources aboard, and a sextant and tables, and yes I can use them. I don't always have the right paper charts though. I record my waypoints before departure, and can navigate with a plotting grid if required.
If all electrical power is gone, handhelds all run down, solar panels gone etc, then the issue is likely water. Ever tried to navigate with sodden charts and tables turned to mush?
Nothing is infallible, including the boat and crew.
Great post. Lead me to look at what you sell. Makes sense too
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:59   #90
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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In one of those video clips, I think it was the skipper of another Volvo yacht standing-by during 'abandon ship' exercise, he uses derogatory hand signals for quotes (as we often do) when referring to the local "coast-guard" (cue fingers), to show how little respect he has for that "organization" (cue fingers again).

How ironic..

I wonder if anyone will bother to reimburse them for the fuel for the "lifeboat" (cue again..)
That was Alvimedica I think. A US speaker perhaps. I am not sure he meant derogatory, he may have meant that it is not coast guard proper (which it was not) and lifeboat proper (which it was not).

The derogatory or not is very culture based. The sailors are very tired by now and under extra stress. Sometimes the beauty is in the onlookers eye, and 'derogatory' is too.

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