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Old 24-08-2016, 09:55   #16
bmz
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Re: Is all the new technology worth it?

On the other hand, I love NMEA 2000. No more redundant wiring, no more redundant instruments, no more hiring technicians to replace instruments/sensors; twist click, remove the bad instrument/sensor, twist click, install the new one. Additionally, a $200 AIS receiver is more valuable for coastal cruisers than a $2000 radar used to be.
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Old 24-08-2016, 09:57   #17
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Re: Is all the new technology worth it?

From a purely safety/redundacy standpoint, I find it hard to believe that a one year old 70' foot yacht without manual controls on the switchboard would ever be allowed to get off the drawing board in the first place much less to actually be allowed to be installed! Whose standards was this vessel built too? Comp USA's?

Technology is cool, fun, great and all. But one must realize that it has it's many uses and at the same time remember that said techhnology will fail more often than a simple set of switches on the front of the switchboard. Hi-Tech does have it's limitations. Many boat systems are much more reliable and cheaper to maintain without all the "latest and greatest" new gizmo's out there. As state by someone previously: KISS

With that being said....I wish I could afford to have those kinds of problems!
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Old 24-08-2016, 10:13   #18
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Re: Is all the new technology worth it?

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On the other hand, I love NMEA 2000. No more redundant wiring, no more redundant instruments, no more hiring technicians to replace instruments/sensors; twist click, remove the bad instrument/sensor, twist click, install the new one. Additionally, a $200 AIS receiver is more valuable for coastal cruisers than a $2000 radar used to be.
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Old 24-08-2016, 10:15   #19
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Re: Is all the new technology worth it?

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Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post

I also wonder what will happen to all our electronic devices dependency when a good size solar flare will hit the Earth. Or in the event of deliberate jamming on a wide enough scale. How fast would we get to the "Mad Max" level of existence?
Read the book, "One Second After" to find out. Much to learn there.
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Old 24-08-2016, 10:38   #20
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Re: Is all the new technology worth it?

Everything except autopilot/radar I carry in one bag with a Panasonic toughbook.

Driving a commercial ferry in Auckland used iPad with Navionics.

Next cat we build/buy all systems will be disposable.

Redundant autopilots. Everything else unnecessary and takes away from the experience. Now an ice maker, there's luxury :-)
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Old 24-08-2016, 10:44   #21
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Re: Is all the new technology worth it?

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The problem isn't "new technology" - it is bad design. Silicon products are not inherently safe stable or more prone to random error than mechanical ones. The key, like Kenomac said, is redundancy, but also we need better contingency planning.

But the folks who are good at contingency planning are mocked for having low threat tolerances and nannies w/ no balls - so they don't get to head up design and don't sell expensive yachts.

The survivor's bias is Darwin's memory for what works and what doesn't - but too often we don't keep records of negative results (and since the surviving design/build is the only example we have of the past - we think OH they used to build things better). This applies to boats, homes, walls, forts, knives, people, etc.

The problem with many superyachts and custom expensive boats is that the systems are custom designed - and people make mistakes, but there's less opportunity to correct and refine them because each build is a one off. People knock mass manufactured products, but I'd drive a boring Toyota Corolla for safety against the most latest Mclaren sports car.

In my perfect world? All hardware electrical systems conform to common standards/protocols so future controller devices, whether a simple switchboard or laptop can control them with relative ease.
I want to help, so please let me know where I can pick up the McLaren.
There are owners who do nothing and owners who do everything, great and not so great electronic equipment and every conceivable level of simplicity, complexity and redundancy available in the boat of your dreams. Buy the boat that works for you and understand that it will need routine and systematic maintenance of every component and system.
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Old 24-08-2016, 10:55   #22
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Re: Is all the new technology worth it?

Expecting to step onto a superyacht, or any yacht, with any kinds of systems and casting off the lines is simply stupid. Training on each system is simply a survival skill. I came across a builder recently who charges $1K for a week of Captain-aboard training to explain and teach how to work all of the systems. I'd keep that Captain aboard for a year if that was how long it took for me to be comfortable and competent when Murphy's Law pays a visit.

Yacht design and system design must have fail-over redundancy and a 'worst case' approach. An accurate GPS system should be accompanied by a course in Celestial Navigation. All electrical wires, and all pipes, should be well labeled and easily accessible. And pretty much everything should/must have a manual 'old-style' contingency element. That's just good design.

Electronics, hydraulics, and similar systems can and should make life at sea better and more comfortable, but should never be expected to replace basic seamanship skills. That's just common sense. And we have thousands of years of nautical experience to prove that those who leave common sense at the dock deserve what happens next.
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Old 24-08-2016, 11:07   #23
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Re: Is all the new technology worth it?

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do a google search on MyPhoneExplorer, shareware software to download/upload with your droid phone. I have been using it for years to sync my phone with MS Outlook. It keeps my contacts, calendar, and notes on both my phone and computer in sync. This way if I ever lose my phone or my computer I still have all my info. It will also download files from your phone, like pictures, music, etc. Saved me when my phone would not connect with the USB wire because it got wet.
You could simply get a google account and it will automatically sync all of your calendar, contacts, photos and any documents you want automatically. Drop your phone in the drink, no big deal. Get another phone and sign in with your google account and you get all of your stuff back. You can also access your stuff from any pc or phone that is not yours too. Cost is free.
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Old 24-08-2016, 11:30   #24
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Re: Is all the new technology worth it?

I was down in the dry Tortugas in June, met a nice couple in a 65' Viking Sportfish, a 5+ million dollar boat I later found out. Anyway they had a problem, the fire system had shutdown the fuel and air supply to the engines and wouldn't let them run.
I went over to help, problem was they had a shorted battery that was hot, overheat detector went off and shut the whole boat down. I unplugged the overheat detector and turned off the battery charger and told them to head to KY and buy new batteries.
Speed that thing was capable of they could leave after lunch and be seated for an early supper in Key West.

But one bad battery brought the whole boat down, it wasn't going to move and everything was functioning correctly, but a little salt water in one of those sensors causing one to fail and how are you going to trouble shoot that?
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Old 24-08-2016, 11:57   #25
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Re: Is all the new technology worth it?

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Originally Posted by rourkeh View Post

(...)

I can't even find anybody qualified to fix my old school systems most of the time. Good luck finding someone in the Caribbean to come out and fix your broken joystick, propulsion pod, or computerized whatsit. New technology in boats might be great but over time is it really worth the added Bs?
I have fixed anything and everything in the Caribbean. You are looking in the wrong places.

Technology is worth as much as you are willing to pay for it. It is a choice, an option, not a must.

And it is 100% worth every penny of it when you are sailing an IMOCA planning at 20 knots under a kite while you sleep. It is also worth all you paid when you dock a multi million maxi in any modern (=congested) marina.

If you are poor or technology backwardish, there are smaller boats that can be sailed technology-less. I mean it. No electricity, no electronics, no engine nor hydraulics. People do sail rtw like this too.

So IMHO it is just up to what you want be doing and there is a boat fit for every style.

If in doubt, SIMPLIFY. Get rid of the systems you cannot easily fix, anywhere.

Cheers,
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Old 24-08-2016, 14:09   #26
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Re: Is all the new technology worth it?

I like chartplotters and radios. I also like manual valves, winches and switches.
My fallback is having manual over ride for everything. The fancy electronics are to make life easier and more informative but I do not to ever allow the electronics to dictate to me. I will tell them what to do, not the other way around.
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Old 24-08-2016, 14:13   #27
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Re: Is all the new technology worth it?

I love all these toys to play with. Where would we be without GPS? Who wants to go back to the lengthy process of using Decca and Loran?
However, the key is redundancy. I like a minimum of 2 and preferably 3 ways of operating my various systems on board manually. I certainly prefer the old fashioned diesel engine which just worked happily rather than the new engines which need a computer to tell them what to do. The same problem applies to new cars which seem overly complicated and with have no get you home features.
It is surprising how many new yachts sink rather than have water tight bulkheads? And yachts and ships using Vector charts which are compilations with all sorts of possible errors hit charted obstacles rather too often because they have 'tuned' out those obstacles buy using too small a scale chart.
I use raster charts (scanned standard charts)and plan my course first and write out a pilot plan. Thus I can check my course and waypoint against a rough plan which my chart plotter will be set up to follow. using at least 20 other methods.
Likewise, radar is a very useful aid to navigation but if all goes wrong I can revert back to plotting using at least 20 other ways of fixing the ship not the least being just running along contour lines.
Innovation is the leader into a less hectic life, but at sea things do go wrong and you have to be prepared to take the ship out of auto and go back to manual.
I believe that aircraft crossing the Atlantic have 3 computers in case one fails.
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Old 24-08-2016, 14:22   #28
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Re: Is all the new technology worth it?

I remember looking at a Passport at the Newport Boat show a while back and it had full hydraulic furling. Push a button and voila your sails were furled. I asked the broker what happened if the hydraulics failed? How do you get the sail back in while you try to fix it? You would have thought I peed in their cereal by questioning the awesomeness of the boat, of which they had no answer. Now they are beautiful and I'd kill to have one but I really would feel better with a manual back up to get my sails in/down.
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Old 24-08-2016, 14:24   #29
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Re: Is all the new technology worth it?

1. If it can't handle a bucket of seawater thrown on it, don't depend on it.
2. The sea reclaims everything, but it has a particular craving for anything electrical.
3. Everything breaks at 3 in the morning, in a storm.
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Old 24-08-2016, 14:34   #30
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Re: Is all the new technology worth it?

The main problem with all these systems is the people who design them mostly, or exclusively, do not use them in real life. They have no clue what actually goes on out in the “field” or the ocean. This is supposed to be taken care of in alpha and beta testing but I think the designers put this stuff out only to trusted people who won’t find much fault with their work and who have little practical experience themselves and that think every whizz-bank, mostly useless, “improvement” is something the grateful consumer has been waiting for all his life.
I see this in everything from the jet airplanes I used to fly to the accounting package that I use for my business. Software upgrades are usually nothing more than garbaged up originals with unnecessary complexities and stuff you would never use in a million years but because memory is cheap and designers are clever they can throw in all this junk that make the simplest task more complex and time consuming. I offer the latest version of MS Office as proof.
I had to laugh recently when in a maritime trade publication I saw a full page Yanmar ad stating. “NO COMPUTERS, ALL MECHANICAL”. Meaning any good grease monkey can fix the damn thing without a Ph.D.
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