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Old 08-07-2016, 08:21   #76
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

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Considering that wind is variable in force and direction aside from places like the tropics with their trade winds... planning a 50-100 mile journey in advance for a sailboat is almost a fool's errand... stuff changes. Sure note the hazards, shipping, currents, familiarize yourself with the general route... but planning as if things don't change strikes me as an odd waste of time.
"Planning as if things don't change"?

I don't even know what that means. Are you saying you don't look at weather forecasts because in the course of a 50 mile passage the weather might change?

In these waters, at least, you can easily get yourself killed by not getting and analyzing the weather forecast -- GRIBS and synoptics. Applying that to your intended passage -- "does that expected wind shift mean we go inside or outside of Bornholm?" for example -- can be a serious job, even for 50 miles. "Will we clear the Dover Strait before that SW gale comes through?" Will there be wind over tide? Do I need to start with the starboard tack, because the wind will be backing?

Then if you're CROSSING tidal waters, you have to calculate a CTS, usually in several versions for different possible speeds, and figure out the right time of departure.

You have to check to be sure that you won't arrive at a tidal gate at the wrong time. Or in harbor with not enough water to get over the sill.

You have to study the approaches to your intended harbor and memorize the buoyage. Read the almanac and pilot book. Maybe set up clearing bearings. Pilotage plan for departure harbor as well.

You might have to call to reserve a berth. Plan customs and passport clearance; check opening times, local rules, etc. Get phone numbers and radio frequencies ready.

You might have to plan watches and think about meals.

Once you know where and via what you're going, you have to set up waypoints, and maybe a route (unless you're sailing to a CTS), and check carefully for obstacles (if you don't want to end up like Team Vestas).

Some of this might be shortened if the harbors and waters are familiar ones (but not skipped!). Hard to see how an adequate, seamanlike job could be done in two minutes. An hour is a fairly typical time for me.

All of this pleasant labor (an integral part of the sport, in my opinion), and much more besides, is best done at the nav station, which in my opinion should be a spacious and well-thought-out space with everything to hand.
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Old 08-07-2016, 10:21   #77
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

DH...

It IS mission critical to constantky monitor weather and forecasts and familiarize yourself with current patterns and hazards as I noted... This is not a long and detailed task and for the most part in my experience is done on the fly as there is usually ample time. If a nasty storm pops up... this would be pretty rare because you have studied the weather forecast map. Even if it does you should have time to prepare... in most cases and "pre planning" a route will not help much.

I don't think an informal planning of a 100 mile journey takes 2 min. The forecast is longer than that!

I just sailed about 120 miles and did not engage in route planning before hand.

I did check the weather and the current. I did leave from a familiar port and was sailing in familiar waters. We made fabulous progress and decided on the fly to keep going...even though the current turned foul. It was a clear sky so we made less progress. Easy peasy even a night time land fall... and having to do a system restart on the main plotter (Raymarine C 80) which would show radar without the restart.

Boats are moving pretty slow and I think detailed route plans may be fun but for long passages probably aren't followed to the T.

+++++

When I cruised in the Carib with one of the first marine GPS... Trimble NavTrac... I never bothered nor needed route planning. I had no issues leaving port and only had to do a quickie to study the port / harbor I was going to anchor in. The NavTac I don't think even had routes... and concept which is an not compatible with sailing.
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Old 08-07-2016, 23:06   #78
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

This thread has got me to do a little pondering on nav station design and since I am moving aboard another boat in the near future it's working out to be fairly handy.

A few points I've run across whilst pondering:

Space for books and stuff. With Mr Google ready at hand and Wikipedia my library on the boat has been whittling itself down and I now have only 14 books where once they numbered in dozens. I have not had a chart out on the chart table for years although I still have a full set stored in waterproof tubes. My recreational reading is all done on a Kindle with my tablet as backup. I have had these books for many years however if I was buying them today I would buy the electronic versions. I don't need space to lay out books sufficient to justify it's dedication as part of the internal space in my boat.

I tend to the opinion that chart plotters with big enough screens to readily do course planning are exorbitantly expensive. However those with smaller screens which are perfectly OK for position monitoring and autopilot control are relatively inexpensive. Rather than searching for a computer system with very low power draw perhaps I should be searching for a system which allows me to do my course planning on my large screen computer and wifi transfer the courses to the low cost, small screen chart plotter at the wheel.

The other thing that the nav station does is act as a central control for much of the switching and control systems on the boat. But it is a pain in the butt to have to leave the wheel and go below to switch things on and off. Also with the proliferation of gadgets aboard the vessel the perfectly-adequate-at-build conduits have pretty well filled up and I am considering a two ring main (nav and house) system with fusing and switching at the device, switching via data cable and mosfets. If I was to implement this system there would no longer be a central switching and control centre as the functions would be conveniently placed and carried out from wherever most convenient.

For me, the nav station requirement is beginning to converge on just a secure place below for either the notebook or a dedicated boat computers keyboard and mouse with an adjacent secure mounting for a tablet.
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Old 09-07-2016, 00:13   #79
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

What I have..... a very untidy chart table.... a bit bigger than a folded Admiralty chart.
30 years of adding stuff on a random basis. One day I need to replace the whole bulkhead..one day.

Behind the old geezer's head .. Icom 710... small control head to the right of that is the R1500 for NOAA WX sats.
Just in front of the OG's nose.... Shore power ammeter, below that solar panel ammeter and below that the engine alternater ammeter.
Beyond that.. a big bit of smoked acrylic covering part of the hole left when the old switchboard was replaced 15 years ago, and then the new switchboard.
Below that a couple of Raymarine repeaters bought second hand a few years ago to replace the old Stowes... depth and speed. To the left... wind/water generator ammeter above engine hour meter followed by another bit of smoked acrylic covering the hole where once lived a ginormous KH VHF ( now just an FM/AM radio) . Round the corner on the frd bulkhead, a very old ( oldest thing in the photo apart from the old bloke) legacy Autohelm GPS display still running on the seatalk system. Beneath which is $50 weather station sitting on top of a black box with a regulated 12v supply inside it which runs the 19 inch monitor ( used for Cmap, AIS,Sailmail) which is on a custom made bracket so we can also watch movies from the saloon ( it can also take input from the mac). Out of sight to the right is the Anritsu radar which along with the monitor can be seen from the cockpit. Under the pencil tray is the control head for the Icom 706Mk2G. The VHF is mounted on the deckhead in way of the hatch so it can be used from both inside and out.

Ship's PC, AIS, bodies of the R1500 and the 706, the Pactor, and assorted other stuff out of picture to the left in the walkthrough to the Master's Quarters.

Works for me.
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Old 09-07-2016, 11:15   #80
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

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Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
What I have..... a very untidy chart table.... a bit bigger than a folded Admiralty chart.
30 years of adding stuff on a random basis. One day I need to replace the whole bulkhead..one day.

Behind the old geezer's head .. Icom 710... small control head to the right of that is the R1500 for NOAA WX sats.
Just in front of the OG's nose.... Shore power ammeter, below that solar panel ammeter and below that the engine alternater ammeter.
Beyond that.. a big bit of smoked acrylic covering part of the hole left when the old switchboard was replaced 15 years ago, and then the new switchboard.
Below that a couple of Raymarine repeaters bought second hand a few years ago to replace the old Stowes... depth and speed. To the left... wind/water generator ammeter above engine hour meter followed by another bit of smoked acrylic covering the hole where once lived a ginormous KH VHF ( now just an FM/AM radio) . Round the corner on the frd bulkhead, a very old ( oldest thing in the photo apart from the old bloke) legacy Autohelm GPS display still running on the seatalk system. Beneath which is $50 weather station sitting on top of a black box with a regulated 12v supply inside it which runs the 19 inch monitor ( used for Cmap, AIS,Sailmail) which is on a custom made bracket so we can also watch movies from the saloon ( it can also take input from the mac). Out of sight to the right is the Anritsu radar which along with the monitor can be seen from the cockpit. Under the pencil tray is the control head for the Icom 706Mk2G. The VHF is mounted on the deckhead in way of the hatch so it can be used from both inside and out.

Ship's PC, AIS, bodies of the R1500 and the 706, the Pactor, and assorted other stuff out of picture to the left in the walkthrough to the Master's Quarters.

Works for me.
Looks very functional.
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Old 09-07-2016, 16:55   #81
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

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Originally Posted by RaymondR View Post
This thread has got me to do a little pondering on nav station design and since I am moving aboard another boat in the near future it's working out to be fairly handy.

A few points I've run across whilst pondering:

Space for books and stuff. With Mr Google ready at hand and Wikipedia my library on the boat has been whittling itself down and I now have only 14 books where once they numbered in dozens. I have not had a chart out on the chart table for years although I still have a full set stored in waterproof tubes. My recreational reading is all done on a Kindle with my tablet as backup. I have had these books for many years however if I was buying them today I would buy the electronic versions. I don't need space to lay out books sufficient to justify it's dedication as part of the internal space in my boat.

I tend to the opinion that chart plotters with big enough screens to readily do course planning are exorbitantly expensive. However those with smaller screens which are perfectly OK for position monitoring and autopilot control are relatively inexpensive. Rather than searching for a computer system with very low power draw perhaps I should be searching for a system which allows me to do my course planning on my large screen computer and wifi transfer the courses to the low cost, small screen chart plotter at the wheel.

The other thing that the nav station does is act as a central control for much of the switching and control systems on the boat. But it is a pain in the butt to have to leave the wheel and go below to switch things on and off. Also with the proliferation of gadgets aboard the vessel the perfectly-adequate-at-build conduits have pretty well filled up and I am considering a two ring main (nav and house) system with fusing and switching at the device, switching via data cable and mosfets. If I was to implement this system there would no longer be a central switching and control centre as the functions would be conveniently placed and carried out from wherever most convenient.

For me, the nav station requirement is beginning to converge on just a secure place below for either the notebook or a dedicated boat computers keyboard and mouse with an adjacent secure mounting for a tablet.
Are we headed to a nav station which is a smart phone or a tablet... dat's it?
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Old 10-07-2016, 01:16   #82
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaymondR View Post
This thread has got me to do a little pondering on nav station design and since I am moving aboard another boat in the near future it's working out to be fairly handy.

A few points I've run across whilst pondering:

Space for books and stuff. With Mr Google ready at hand and Wikipedia my library on the boat has been whittling itself down and I now have only 14 books where once they numbered in dozens. I have not had a chart out on the chart table for years although I still have a full set stored in waterproof tubes. My recreational reading is all done on a Kindle with my tablet as backup. I have had these books for many years however if I was buying them today I would buy the electronic versions. I don't need space to lay out books sufficient to justify it's dedication as part of the internal space in my boat.

I tend to the opinion that chart plotters with big enough screens to readily do course planning are exorbitantly expensive. However those with smaller screens which are perfectly OK for position monitoring and autopilot control are relatively inexpensive. Rather than searching for a computer system with very low power draw perhaps I should be searching for a system which allows me to do my course planning on my large screen computer and wifi transfer the courses to the low cost, small screen chart plotter at the wheel.

The other thing that the nav station does is act as a central control for much of the switching and control systems on the boat. But it is a pain in the butt to have to leave the wheel and go below to switch things on and off. Also with the proliferation of gadgets aboard the vessel the perfectly-adequate-at-build conduits have pretty well filled up and I am considering a two ring main (nav and house) system with fusing and switching at the device, switching via data cable and mosfets. If I was to implement this system there would no longer be a central switching and control centre as the functions would be conveniently placed and carried out from wherever most convenient.

For me, the nav station requirement is beginning to converge on just a secure place below for either the notebook or a dedicated boat computers keyboard and mouse with an adjacent secure mounting for a tablet.
That is a question which boat designers are struggling with these days.

The nav station has shrunk and even disappeared on some recent boat designs, for the reasons you state.

I was astonished to see that even on one large ocean going high end yacht (I think it was a Contest) that the nav table is aft-facing and with no seat -- you sit at the end of the salon settee to use it.

Everyone has a different way of working, so I guess if that suits anyone -- then, whatever. The world is changing.

I used to think it was impossible to get a reasonable overview of a large area with [edit: WITHOUT, of course -- typo] a paper chart (and I still use paper quite a bit), but with a large enough (say 23") high resolution monitor, it's possible and actually convenient (routes have to be transferred by thumb drive so far, however, not by wifi, even if you are connected).

But if you plan to have all your charts (with no paper backup) and even all your pilot books on a computer, then you had damn well better be sure you have a high level of reliability -- what happens if you get knocked down, and your main computer soaked and ruined, as actually happened to me in the North Sea last year? You will need a robust installation with plenty of backups of both data and hardware -- consumer electronics standards of reliability are not enough by themselves for essential navigation and pilotage functions.

I don't think I'll ever want a minimized or eliminated nav table -- for me the nav table is the essential nerve center of the boat -- my working space. Even if you're not working with books and charts (but what about taking notes??). I use the nav table as an office, too, when in port. I would rather build the boat around the ideal nav table, than jam in whatever nav table into an ideal boat. But to each his own.
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Old 10-07-2016, 05:03   #83
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

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....

I don't think I'll ever want a minimized or eliminated nav table -- for me the nav table is the essential nerve center of the boat -- my working space. Even if you're not working with books and charts (but what about taking notes??). I use the nav table as an office, too, when in port. I would rather build the boat around the ideal nav table, than jam in whatever nav table into an ideal boat. But to each his own.
I completely agree with this approach. The nav station needs to have all the controls and information available. AND it needs a comfortable and secure in a seaway seat... probably with a hand hold or a means to brace yourself with your foot/leg. While not analogous think of the ergonomics of a jet cockpit.
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Old 10-07-2016, 06:42   #84
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

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...... I use the nav table as an office, too, when in port. I would rather build the boat around the ideal nav table, than jam in whatever nav table into an ideal boat. But to each his own.
I am very fortunate to have a small office with lots of storage incorporated into my cabin design. This gives me a quiet, private location to take care of business, without compromising others use of the more common nav station.

I would not give that feature up in a new design, but would reduce the size of my present nav station.
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Old 10-07-2016, 07:22   #85
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

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I am very fortunate to have a small office with lots of storage incorporated into my cabin design. This gives me a quiet, private location to take care of business, without compromising others use of the more common nav station.

I would not give that feature up in a new design, but would reduce the size of my present nav station.
Your nav station would be just right for me I like the idea of a separate chart table for concentrated chart work, not in front of the wheel.

My boat could be ordered with one of the cabins set up as a dedicated office, with a folding down bunk so you could also use it for sleeping.

Sounds like a good idea, but that cabin does not have any view to the outside, and the only natural light/ventilation comes from a hatch. I would not be able to work there for whole days at a time; I would go crazy.

So on my next boat, instead of a dedicated office, the master cabin will have a desk in it, so I can work there. I DO need space to work alone and out of the salon (or pilothouse) -- so that I can concentrate on my work while my crew do other things.
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Old 10-07-2016, 08:07   #86
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

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Are we headed to a nav station which is a smart phone or a tablet... dat's it?
It looks where this is all going is to fully automated navigating boat control via smart phones or tablets, whether you are on the boat or not. Like the self-driving cars and autopilot drones. You could observe and appreciate the art of sailing from the safety and comfort of your sofa at home with your smart TV or tablet without all the inherent dangers you would have if you were on the boat.

Of course, those times you really feel like pushing the envelope you could actually go on the boat at the same time but without the need to pay attention to how the boat is doing. The radar and camera tech needed to do that is already well-tested on Google, Volvo, Tesla, and other cars. And the new software would automatically look at all-scale chart data from the Cloud to set safe courses in any area of the world.

And don't forget the ability to lock your boat while at home or in your car, and to warm up the motor while driving to the marina. All you would have to do is push a button or two. And you could monitor the boat interior and exterior from afar (already being done). The only part that no one is working on is how to take off the dock lines and secure them and the converse to dock and secure the boat automatically. You would, of course, have reduced insurance rates because, as we all know, electronic tech is always better than human tech.

I'm only making fun but most of this is just around the corner and I am sure there will be early adopters. And there are some definite advantages to some "improvements" to safe cruising, especially monitoring systems.

The nav desk could sure be simplified also with all tech behind cabinetry and only a touch pad showing and that could be a mobile tablet or phone. I personally can't wait for this new age of boating to fully arrive. And all the dinosaurs who still use paper charts will go the natural path to the dead past. Good riddance!
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Old 10-07-2016, 11:23   #87
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

Where do you have your gas sensor controls and bilge pump controls?
I had it right in the companionway, but all cables there got rusted so thinking to move it to nav desk space
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Old 10-07-2016, 15:10   #88
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

I think we are in the early days of wifi, Bluetooth and multi function displays.


When I first launched my boat in 1987 I installed a 10" B&W TV, that progressed to a 10" colour then through a number of flat screens to where I now have a 23.5" flat screen with inbuilt DVD player. I can plug it into my computer, crank up OpenCPN and it displays about a 1/3 sized chart which I can zoom in and out with any degree of detail. It's power consumption is about 30 watts or half way between the 10" B&W and 10" Colour.


I notice that the formerly described "chart plotter" is now being referred to as a "multi function display" and there are all sorts of apps for displaying engine instrumentation etc on it as well as charts. I suspect that the multi function display which my TV has become will also include the ability to receive and display all this stuff fairly soon in the future and If I wanted I could already do it on some mobile phones.


I suspect it will not be to long before all marine instrumentation comes with wifi connectivity rather than cable interconnections and I will be switching nav lights on and off with my mobile phone or on my TV with the remote from my bunk in the V berth.
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Old 10-07-2016, 15:19   #89
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

S2a gas sensor is above galley counter
bilge switch is on engine rm bulkhead next to battery switches.
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Old 10-07-2016, 15:24   #90
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

I like discreet displays with large numbers..... don't have to change to my reading glasses or take my gloves off to know what is going on.....

... and please don't say multifocals.....

A better ( old geezer removed from sight) and more recent photo of mine..... the blue mat is that non skid stuff ... only goes on at sea...
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