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Old 03-12-2014, 11:13   #106
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I think this may speak volumes. Look at the tracks of all the boats that were ahead of them - all systematically cutting it a bit closer depending on how far behind they were. Vestas's track seems to have been going for a really close pass and then makes a strange turn to the West and back again.

I think there was some confusion at that point and an error on getting back on track. Or maybe it was just a wind shift they were riding and they didn't/couldn't correct enough.

I don't think it has anything to with charts or chart plotters at all.

Mark
Couple that with fatigue, darkness and maybe confusion about seeing the boats dead ahead on the other side of the reef. You are probably on track, Mark, about a confluence of events.
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:20   #107
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

Just dug out an old [1975]admiralty indian ocean chart,checked the lat /long of the wreck and the island has not moved since gps !
Sounds as if vestas are looking for another boat to rejoin the race after the china stop,cant be too many spare ones around ?
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:30   #108
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

The latest from the official blog:

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Now that the sailors are safe and on their way to the Mauritius Island, Vestas and the race organisers are evaluating if Team Vestas Wind’s boat can be repaired.

Based on the information now available from the Íle du Sud and the aerial photograph from the Mauritius coastguards, it may not be possible to do so.


NCG
Operations Room – MRCC Mauritius


If the conclusion is that the boat cannot be repaired, Vestas will consider all available options to remain in the race, together with the Volvo Ocean Race organisation.

The Danish company entered the race with the sponsorship of Dutch online energy distribution company, Powerhouse.

The team will provide more information on the crew’s status and that of the boat when it becomes available.

“What we can say now, though, is that human error is at the root of the accident,” said Vestas’ latest statement.
“We’ll learn more about the details of what happened exactly when we have a chance to properly debrief with the crew, which we expect to happen in Abu Dhabi over the weekend.”

The nine men are heading to Mauritius at the moment and will meet with a representative from Vestas Headquarters once they get there.
“Though we won’t be able to compete in next leg from Abu Dhabi to Sanya, China, we are considering all available options for re-joining the race at a later stage,” commented Morten Albæk, Vestas' chief marketing officer.

But one thing is clear. Vestas entered the Volvo Ocean Race with the ambition to promote even bigger and more important races – the race against climate change, against energy poverty, and against water scarcity.

These are all races they, and we still must win, and Vestas will continue working hard to promote global action.
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:21   #109
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I think he is wrong, and that your assumptions and premises here are flawed. This is another example of starting out with a gamed, but unexamined, premise as a non-debatable standard to compare to. But it is a red herring.

We aren't talking about a single electronic device here. In our case it is 11 of them. And many of them do not rely on the ship's batteries to begin with. To completely lose GPS navigation, we would have to have 11 separate and non-connected devices destroyed outright, or we would have to lose the entire house battery bank, two separate starting battery banks, the dinghy battery, the solar panels, the generator, two alternators, the internal batteries of the devices themselves, all of the AA and AAA dry cells we have on board (there are literally hundreds of these), and we would have to wait probably a week before all of the devices ran out of juice.

Will you wager an estimate of this probability? I have lost a chart overboard. I have never had the above happen.

We have been struck by lightning, suffering a complete outage of main electronic navigation and even our house batteries. This didn't stop us for a minute from using electronic navigation devices and charts for the next 3 weeks until we pulled in to effect repairs.

I do think that the probability of losing all our electronic navigation ability is as low as losing a chart and sextant. I think it is lower than falling overboard while trying to get a sextant fix. And I have considerable experience in sailing and navigating. Most importantly, I have eaten this dog food and know what I am talking about. You may think that logic, reason and experience says otherwise, but I suggest you aren't thinking hard enough, or are refusing to open yourself to the possibility that things are not what you believe.

If something so catastrophic happened to cause us to lose all electronic navigation ability the probability is very high that we would have greater issues to overcome than navigation. Not even paper charts and a sextant would be of much help because the boat would likely be sinking or on fire.

How many people out cruising do you think are proficient in a sextant and can whip one out immediately and get a good fix? And can keep doing this? In other words, even if there are paper charts being used, how many cruisers do you think will be able to use them if they don't have a gps?

I'm a rational person and I don't use paper charts. We do have a chart of the entire Caribbean Sea somewhere, but I don't know where it is.

I do know which direction the sun and moon rises and sets.

Mark

Mark,
We must let the readership determine for themselves who in the above discourse uses logic and reason and who is guilty of sophistry. The arguments are quite clear. So,back to the discussion.There are those who place all of their faith in electronic instruments, there are those that prefer traditional navigation and there are those who use a combination of both methods. I fall into the later category. I believe many today use electronic navigation because 1.)they do not know traditional navigation, 2.)it is easier to follow their position on a screen than to plot it on a paper chart 3.) because it involves less effort and 4.) they have an unconditional belief that an electronic device cannot be wrong. This is patently dangerous and one day might prove disastrous. We have seen this recently in the tragic events of a member of this Forum and his family who scuttled their boat in the Pacific and stated afterwards that one of the problems that led to the abandoning of their vessel was that the navigational equipment was not functioning because of the incessant leaking of the boat below causing them to be inoperative/malfunctional. Would traditional navigation have allowed them to continue? This is for the reader to decide. However, getting back to the original discussion, my favorite line above that you proffer as an example of "logic" in regards to paper vs. electronic navigation was:
"Will you wager an estimate of this probability? I have lost a chart
overboard. I have never had the above happen(electronic failure)."
Being a reasonable man, I can only think of a few ways a chart could be lost aboard . . . however, they would not be "logical" and would definitely be the result of a mind impaired by alcohol, drugs or early onset dementia. But, who am I to criticize a drinking man? Good luck, good sailing and may your "eleven separate and non-connected devices" have a long, happy and fruitful life. Capt. Rognvald--sailor in electromagnetic remission
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Old 03-12-2014, 13:13   #110
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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Originally Posted by rognvald View Post
Mark,
We must let the readership determine for themselves who in the above discourse uses logic and reason and who is guilty of sophistry. The arguments are quite clear. So,back to the discussion.There are those who place all of their faith in electronic instruments, there are those that prefer traditional navigation and there are those who use a combination of both methods. I fall into the later category. I believe many today use electronic navigation because 1.)they do not know traditional navigation, 2.)it is easier to follow their position on a screen than to plot it on a paper chart 3.) because it involves less effort and 4.) they have an unconditional belief that an electronic device cannot be wrong. This is patently dangerous and one day might prove disastrous. We have seen this recently in the tragic events of a member of this Forum and his family who scuttled their boat in the Pacific and stated afterwards that one of the problems that led to the abandoning of their vessel was that the navigational equipment was not functioning because of the incessant leaking of the boat below causing them to be inoperative/malfunctional. Would traditional navigation have allowed them to continue? This is for the reader to decide. However, getting back to the original discussion, my favorite line above that you proffer as an example of "logic" in regards to paper vs. electronic navigation was:
"Will you wager an estimate of this probability? I have lost a chart
overboard. I have never had the above happen(electronic failure)."
Being a reasonable man, I can only think of a few ways a chart could be lost aboard . . . however, they would not be "logical" and would definitely be the result of a mind impaired by alcohol, drugs or early onset dementia. But, who am I to criticize a drinking man? Good luck, good sailing and may your "eleven separate and non-connected devices" have a long, happy and fruitful life. Capt. Rognvald--sailor in electromagnetic remission
Of course, to place "all" your faith in one electronic device would be very foolish, and that seems to be what you are arguing against even though nobody here is arguing in favor of that. But it's unlikely that 3 or 4 or 11 redundant electronic devices are all going to malfunction at the same time, and in fact it's unlikely enough so that's how all military and commercial airplanes are operated, with redundant inertial navigation "electronic devices" along with redundant GPS's and redundant radio receivers for ground based navaids. If it's good enough for them, with millions of lives on the line every day, I think it's probably good enough for those of us on a sailboat. When was the last time you heard of an airliner getting lost when it wasn't due to operator error, and instead was a failure of the redundant instruments?

There's nothing wrong with you using a sexton and paper chart as one of your redundant layers of navigation, but having an extra GPS with an independent power source is just as viable a backup as your sextant and charts. Airliners and military transport planes did the same thing up until about 50 years ago, and some military tanker jets practiced with sextants as recently as about a decade ago, but that was because their mission involved operating in a post nuclear exchange environment when all electronic aids were assumed to be fried. Yes, it's theoretically possible that the whole GPS system could go down so he'd be unable to navigate, but that event would probably signal the start of a nuclear war so we'd all have bigger things to worry about than knowing precisely where we are located.
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Old 03-12-2014, 13:30   #111
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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Originally Posted by jtsailjt View Post
Of course, to place "all" your faith in one electronic device would be very foolish, and that seems to be what you are arguing against even though nobody here is arguing in favor of that. But it's unlikely that 3 or 4 or 11 redundant electronic devices are all going to malfunction at the same time, and in fact it's unlikely enough so that's how all military and commercial airplanes are operated, with redundant inertial navigation "electronic devices" along with redundant GPS's and redundant radio receivers for ground based navaids. If it's good enough for them, with millions of lives on the line every day, I think it's probably good enough for those of us on a sailboat. When was the last time you heard of an airliner getting lost when it wasn't due to operator error, and instead was a failure of the redundant instruments?

There's nothing wrong with you using a sexton and paper chart as one of your redundant layers of navigation, but having an extra GPS with an independent power source is just as viable a backup as your sextant and charts. Airliners and military transport planes did the same thing up until about 50 years ago, and some military tanker jets practiced with sextants as recently as about a decade ago, but that was because their mission involved operating in a post nuclear exchange environment when all electronic aids were assumed to be fried. Yes, it's theoretically possible that the whole GPS system could go down so he'd be unable to navigate, but that event would probably signal the start of a nuclear war so we'd all have bigger things to worry about than knowing precisely where we are located.
J,
How many redundant navigational devices would you recommend to a cruising sailor to avoid catastrophic malfunction? Should this then be a safety requirement by the Coast Guard? Is traditional navigation even necessary if you have multiple units . . . say eleven or so? Didn't Mark say he did not use paper charts in an above comment?
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Old 03-12-2014, 13:34   #112
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

I wonder if they are using any APs during the legs, otherwise helmsman also have to observe the horizon, not only sails?
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Old 03-12-2014, 13:54   #113
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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Originally Posted by rognvald View Post
J,
How many redundant navigational devices would you recommend to a cruising sailor to avoid catastrophic malfunction? Should this then be a safety requirement by the Coast Guard? Is traditional navigation even necessary if you have multiple units . . . say eleven or so? Didn't Mark say he did not use paper charts in an above comment?
Personally, I think that 3 would be plenty. Run 2 of them at a time and if there is any disagreement between them, start up the 3rd one to break the tie. If you've got loads of $$$ to spend, maybe have a 4th kept sealed in the original packaging just in case you are struck by lightning.

No, it should not be a safety requirement by the Coast Guard, it's just my personal opinion as to what it takes to reduce the odds of ever being lost to nearly zero over a long period of time. I think a lot depends on where you are going and whether your life depends on it. I'm used to sailing in foggy areas with 10' tides and granite ledges so ALWAYS have my chartplotter in the cockpit and my nav program on my laptop down below to refer to, so the first time I chartered in the BVI's, I was sure to pack my handheld GPS....and then didn't even get it out of my duffel bag all week. I hope that illustrates why more CG regulations for almost anything aren't the answer, but doing whatever it takes to keep your situation awareness at an adequate level IS the answer.

Traditional navigation, using a compass, dead reckoning, and common sense as a backup to whatever mechanical (sextant) or electronic (GPS)devices you favor, will ALWAYS be necessary, but specifically having a sextant or paper charts aboard are not necessary any more than having a GPS on board is necessary to someone skilled in celestial navigation. To each their own.... just do what YOU need to do in order to not end up like this racing crew did, aground in the middle of a very big ocean on a well charted reef.
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Old 03-12-2014, 13:54   #114
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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I wonder if they are using any APs during the legs, otherwise helmsman also have to observe the horizon, not only sails?
They hand steer; no AP.
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Old 03-12-2014, 14:13   #115
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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This is an interesting thought. So do you mean "sharp angle" refering to coming straight at it versus tangential, or are you saying avoid a certain course such as 270 or 90 or somesuch?
E.g. If the land, the landfall is on the E-W line, approach on the N-S line.

This minimises the period when your attention must be at top notch. You also get most dramatic readout from the depth sounder. Etc.

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Old 03-12-2014, 15:22   #116
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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They hand steer; no AP.
I can imagine the helmsmans face hiting the reef. **** &$%#!
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Old 03-12-2014, 16:27   #117
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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J,
Is traditional navigation even necessary if you have multiple units . . . say eleven or so? Didn't Mark say he did not use paper charts in an above comment?
Traditional navigation? You study navigation song-stories and use a polynesian wind/wave reed instrument? Or do you mean traditional navigation using a Kamal? Maybe you mean you use an Astrolabe? Or perhaps you are using a cross-staff or maybe even a quadrant?

Or do you mean "traditional navigation" as the particular way you got stuck in at a particular time in your life? As you can see, I am having a hard time understanding what "traditional navigation" means.

Particularly since I believe I am doing just that! GPS is pretty old, after all. It has been a navy tradition for many years.

I wonder what form these types of arguments will take in another 30 years ("you can't go cruising with only an eye-chart implant and a sexbot - you must have the traditional 5 GPS receivers and a sweaty, salty mate"…).

What is the big deal about paper charts? If one is crossing large bodies of water, charts are pretty useless. If one is near land, guide books provide sketch charts (or better) and general waypoints. On passage, we have routes and waypoints written down and don't really use even the electronic charts much until we are near land or shoaling areas.

And yes, the only official paper chart onboard our boat is a chart of the entire Caribbean Sea. I don't know where it is, but I saved it because it was pretty.

Kind of like those molas Michele bought...

Mark
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Old 03-12-2014, 16:36   #118
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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Personally, I think that 3 would be plenty.
Hah! Just try to keep only 3 GPS's on your boat! Like I mentioned, we have acquired an amazing amount of GPS's on our boat without even trying. Specifically without trying to bring another aboard. We have two point-and-shoot cameras that will give us a GPS fix. We didn't buy them to get another GPS - didn't even know they contained one - but there they are. Go ahead and buy a smartphone without a GPS - if that is even possible. Want a tablet? Most likely has a GPS in it. Got an AIS transponder? There is another GPS you weren't meaning to acquire.

And I bet the future will bring more and more and more of this to your boat.

Mark
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Old 03-12-2014, 16:58   #119
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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I'm used to sailing in foggy areas with 10' tides and granite ledges so ALWAYS have my chartplotter in the cockpit and my nav program on my laptop down below to refer to...
Um, with respect a radar and depth finder are pretty important in this situation. In fact, with only those two you should be able to avoid the rocks and shoals. Even if I had previously put a known track into my chartplotter I would still have the radar running and the depth alarm set when running in close situations with fog. There are things in the fog that move and chartplotters don't know about them. Paper doesn't show them either.

Does anyone know if the VOR guys use radar? If they had an alarm zone set it should have been screaming it's head off before they hit the reef.
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Old 03-12-2014, 17:14   #120
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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Um, with respect a radar and depth finder are pretty important in this situation. In fact, with only those two you should be able to avoid the rocks and shoals. Even if I had previously put a known track into my chartplotter I would still have the radar running and the depth alarm set when running in close situations with fog. There are things in the fog that move and chartplotters don't know about them. Paper doesn't show them either.

Does anyone know if the VOR guys use radar? If they had an alarm zone set it should have been screaming it's head off before they hit the reef.
The guy sails in Maine. There, a depth finder in the fog is pretty useless in many places because one goes from a steady 100' to high and dry on granite immediately. Well, maybe you might get a second or two warning…

Then there is the current, which will catch you in the fog. Few (I think none) are able to accurately judge cross track error and set from current without a chart plotter when they can't even see the water they are sailing in.

I agree that a radar is useful for collision avoidance, but if I am in Maine in fog, I too would be valuing my cockpit chart plotter.

Besides, for the past many years, "chart plotter" is pretty much equal to "plus radar and depth and wind and compass". Even without the radar, I don't know of any chart plotter that does not have depth input.

I wondered earlier about radar on the VOR boats. Someone said that it wouldn't have been useful in this case, but I disagree with that. However, looking at the pictures, I can't see any radome, so I don't know if they had it.

Mark
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