Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 25-09-2008, 03:27   #16
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,579
Images: 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by squarerigger View Post
I still use my sextant, not as a backup to my GPS, but because its satisfying somehow to see how close the GPS can come to the actual position as deterined by celestial observation. Usually, I find, the GPS is pretty darn accurate...
I’d suppose that, in actuality, you’d be finding your celestial position to be “fairly”* accurate, when compared to the much, much more accurate GPS** position.

*A good Celestial navigator, with an accurate sextant and chronometer, and visibility, can determine their position to within about Half a Mile. Of course, when you're pitching & rolling on a small boat , you'd be happy to get to within a Mile or two of the correct position.

** By comparison, you’d be very unhappy with any GPS that couldn’t maintain at least a 30 Foot accuracy, under virtually all conditions.
__________________

__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2008, 07:53   #17
Registered User
 
RickD's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Colorado Springs
Boat: Transworld Formosa 41
Posts: 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickm505 View Post
A sextant? No, I use GPS and a laptop for primary navigation. Hand held GPS will still work even if your boat is struck by lightning (ask me how I know).

I have a question, why would you consider chucking the chart plotter and regressing to last century's navigation tool of choice? Do you know something about GPS satellites that we don't know? Or isn't it important to actually know exactly where you are?
Hey Rick, wanted to say something here about that last question. I meant to post this last night, but got interested in doing something else (eating food)....

Satellites are only as good as the technology they use.

If we ever have a nuclear attack anywhere in our hemisphere MOST of those satellites will go offline. I wouldn't ever suggest people give up using technology myself, but I certainly advocate know alternative, even primitive methods for doing the same job.

For instance, I can start a fire with a firebow...and while I certainly will use a lighter to do it, if necessary, I can make a fire to cook.

I can do land navigation using the stars at night and the sun during the day but I've never used a sextant. I can use a GPS unit to tell me where I am, and how to get somewhere else, if I know where I am going though. But if the batteries crap out, a good map and a compass, or the sun in the day time can give me N/S/E/W.
__________________

__________________
Rick Donaldson, CET, NØNJY

If you survive today, tomorrow will be better.
RickD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2008, 09:15   #18
Senior Cruiser
 
sandy daugherty's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: near Annapolis
Boat: PDQ 36 & Atlantic 42
Posts: 1,178
OK, line up everyone, Crusties on the left, Trons on the right. What? you don't know who you are? Welllll....... Here are some simple questions:
Is your mast made of wood or aluminum?
Would you rather read Herman Melville or Tom Clancy?
Would you rather holystone your teak or hose off your non-skid?
Does your First Mate have a beard and an eye patch, or hand cream?
Do you illuminate your nav lights with a match or a switch?
When its cold out, do you sail in barefeet or boatshoes?
When someone asks you to name seven stars, do you think of Spica or Spike Lee?
Given a choice between belt, suspenders and duct tape would you choose all the above or none of the above?

I suspect the list goes on, Crusties on the left, Trons on the right.

I'm a Tron. But some of my best friends are Crusties; ill advised, stubbornly reactionary, indellibly lost in tradition and probably closet Luddites, but friends. In the best of all possible worlds, my slip will be between two beautifully maintained wooden sailboats adorned with all the glowing brightwork and masterful handiwork of a bygone era. Tha way I can sit in my plastic chair on my plastic bridge deck and salute the rising and setting sun with a word of encouragement to my dust and varnish coated neighbors, hard at work maintaining my million dollar view!
__________________
sandy daugherty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2008, 09:19   #19
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,150
LOL....thats great Sandy

I'm clearly a Tron...with a few Luddite tendencies. I still own a sextant and think teak is prettier than carbon fiber.

Ya know what boat I really like? The Alerion 28. Beautiful and fast. Built with modern construction techniques and shaped like an Express 27 below the waterline. (Same N.A. Carl Schumacher)

There is going to be one of the longer hulls at the Annapolis show that I am looking forward to seeing.



__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2008, 10:03   #20
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,150
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickD View Post
Hey Rick, wanted to say something here about that last question. I meant to post this last night, but got interested in doing something else (eating food)....

Satellites are only as good as the technology they use.

If we ever have a nuclear attack anywhere in our hemisphere MOST of those satellites will go offline. I wouldn't ever suggest people give up using technology myself, but I certainly advocate know alternative, even primitive methods for doing the same job.

For instance, I can start a fire with a firebow...and while I certainly will use a lighter to do it, if necessary, I can make a fire to cook.

I can do land navigation using the stars at night and the sun during the day but I've never used a sextant. I can use a GPS unit to tell me where I am, and how to get somewhere else, if I know where I am going though. But if the batteries crap out, a good map and a compass, or the sun in the day time can give me N/S/E/W.
Not only that, if we ever get into a really nasty war, the DOD may shut down the civilian GPS receivers (C/A code) so they cannot be used by the enemy while keeping up the P(Y) code that only US military GPS units can receive.

So how many GLONASS GPS units, Omegas, Sat Nav's, Loran-C units or even sextants do you think we will be able to find on Ebay if that happens?...like none.

It will be time to break out the sextant if you already have one, make an astrolabe out of driftwood or hope you are really good with your DR's
__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2008, 11:11   #21
Registered User
 
RickD's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Colorado Springs
Boat: Transworld Formosa 41
Posts: 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandy daugherty View Post
OK, line up everyone, Crusties on the left, Trons on the right. What? you don't know who you are? Welllll....... Here are some simple questions:
Is your mast made of wood or aluminum?
Would you rather read Herman Melville or Tom Clancy?
Would you rather holystone your teak or hose off your non-skid?
Does your First Mate have a beard and an eye patch, or hand cream?
Do you illuminate your nav lights with a match or a switch?
When its cold out, do you sail in barefeet or boatshoes?
When someone asks you to name seven stars, do you think of Spica or Spike Lee?
Given a choice between belt, suspenders and duct tape would you choose all the above or none of the above?
I dunno what those mean precisely, but I'm guessing a "Tron" is a modern type person and a Crustie is someone who does things older or more primitive.

I like both Clancy and Melville.
I use aluminum (poles, for antennas, I don't have a mast yet )

Not sure if I wanna holystone the deck. Might go with non-skid.

I know where Spica is. Who the hell is "Spike Lee" (and he isn't really a star, he's a DIRECTOR and not a very good one!) haha

So where's that put me? LOL
__________________
Rick Donaldson, CET, NØNJY

If you survive today, tomorrow will be better.
RickD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2008, 13:00   #22
Senior Cruiser
 
Vasco's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 7,138
Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
Not only that, if we ever get into a really nasty war, the DOD may shut down the civilian GPS receivers (C/A code) so they cannot be used by the enemy while keeping up the P(Y) code that only US military GPS units can receive.

So how many GLONASS GPS units, Omegas, Sat Nav's, Loran-C units or even sextants do you think we will be able to find on Ebay if that happens?...like none.
If that war comes we'll have more to worry about than reaching land. It might be advisable to stay out at sea. In any event global navigation satellite systems are multiplying, we have GPS, GALILEO, GLONASS and COMPASS. Lot's to choose from in the future.
__________________
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beneteau393/
Vasco is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2008, 13:06   #23
Registered User
 
RickD's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Colorado Springs
Boat: Transworld Formosa 41
Posts: 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
If that war comes we'll have more to worry about than reaching land. It might be advisable to stay out at sea. In any event global navigation satellite systems are multiplying, we have GPS, GALILEO, GLONASS and COMPASS. Lot's to choose from in the future.
All true, however, a satellite is still a satellite.

A nuclear weapon detonated at the edge of space, just on the top of the atmosphere will destroy all satellites within line-of-site and 80-95% of all solid state electronics on the ground. So it's not going to make a bit of difference what kind of satellite it is and your GPS sitting out on the ocean someplace will suddenly become rather useless. Most LIKELY so will your HF radio, VHF rig and even your stereo system and CD player.

I still think that knowing the more "traditional skills" are something no one, anywhere (whether on the land, sea, air or in the mountains) should overlook. (In case you haven't figured it out, I'm a bit of a survivalist and I have taught such classes in the past. I just think everyone should not limit themselves to one type of skill when there are other, overlapping skills that can do the same job, albeit, slower.)
__________________
Rick Donaldson, CET, NØNJY

If you survive today, tomorrow will be better.
RickD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2008, 13:12   #24
Senior Cruiser
 
Vasco's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 7,138
Jeez, and I just had my bomb shelter filled in.
__________________
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beneteau393/
Vasco is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2008, 13:26   #25
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,579
Images: 240
The traditional face of survivalism is that of a shaggy paranoid loner, dressed in camouflage, holed up in a cabin in the wilderness, and surrounded by cases of canned goods, guns and ammunition.

I'm glad to meet (virtually) one whose preparation for disaster concentrates on survival SKILLS, rather than hardware.

It's hard to argue against acquiring skills.
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2008, 13:27   #26
Eternal Member
 
imagine2frolic's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Las Brisas Panama AGAIN!
Boat: Simpson, Catamaran, 46ft. IMAGINE
Posts: 4,508
Images: 123
I bought a sextant in 92 in Sausalito. Went to the class, and it flew over my head. I raised my hand, and the instructor said "Oh don't worry about that we'll get back to it." Went to the class a second time, and pretty much the same result. I still have it tucked away safely. I got a great deal on the last day of the boat show on a GPS.

Next time I leave I will at least buy the little computer to go with it, and then work on the tables. It would just be nice to know how. What has always fascinated me was the Polynesian navigating method. THE LAST NAVIGATOR was a good read.
__________________
SAILING is not always a slick magazine cover!
BORROWED..No single one of is as smart as all of us!
http://sailingwithcancer.blogspot.com/
imagine2frolic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2008, 13:43   #27
Registered User
 
RickD's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Colorado Springs
Boat: Transworld Formosa 41
Posts: 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
The traditional face of survivalism is that of a shaggy loner in camouflage, holed up in a cabin in the wilderness and surrounded by cases of canned goods, guns and ammunition.

I'm glad to meet (virtually) one whose preparation for disaster concentrates on survival SKILLS, rather than hardware.

It's hard to argue against acquiring skills.
Well, technically (and not to correct you but...) that's the "media's traditional face of survivalism". Over the years I've watched the "field" become more and more infiltrated by precisely that sort of person, too.

Many years ago I was part of an email "Survival list" full of people who's main thrust was to teach and train skills, everything from sailing, to hunting, to making fires, to cooking, to food storage.

Over time the list became infiltrated with people who "didn't like the government" and they became the loudest wheels on the lists, eventually being seen as the "survival types".

In truth, there are a lot of people who are "survivalists" who aren't anything like the initial description above and I'm one of them - I teach people to learn skills they can use, and when it comes to things like food storage, I teach them to use and buy the same foods they always eat, rather than go buy "survival foods" and MREs.

In keeping in that vein, I'd say that learning and knowing how to navigate by using the simplest piece of gear possible is not the BEST way, but you can always fall back on it.

Think about it.

A simple protractor with a string and weight can be used to get your latitude.

A compass can be made from a magnetized needle, some cork and a container of water.

I guess getting longitude is still difficult unless you know the time - and digital watches and clocks not working, no access to WWV on the shortwave for time hacks might be a problem... but a good wind-up watch might be helpful.

Tough to get the exact location on an ocean I think - but if they could do it several centuries ago, most of the people here can do it, right?

(to be honest, I'm a geeky guy, with a lot of electronic toys... but I always try to know how things work!)
__________________
Rick Donaldson, CET, NØNJY

If you survive today, tomorrow will be better.
RickD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2008, 13:46   #28
Registered User
 
RickD's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Colorado Springs
Boat: Transworld Formosa 41
Posts: 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
The traditional face of survivalism is that of a shaggy paranoid loner, dressed in camouflage, holed up in a cabin in the wilderness, and surrounded by cases of canned goods, guns and ammunition.
Forgot to mention... I ought to put up the normal avatar I use. lol

(Picture of me in camo, fully loaded weapon... etc)
__________________
Rick Donaldson, CET, NØNJY

If you survive today, tomorrow will be better.
RickD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2008, 14:01   #29
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: No longer post here
Boat: Catalac Catamaran
Posts: 2,462
This thread is both funny and entertaining. If DOD ever shuts down GPS satellites because of war, there won't be any resin to repair glass boats, no aluminum for masts, no polyester for lines and absolutely no refrigerant, fuel or batteries available at any price.

So, I get the picture now. All survivalists carry sextants, own wood boats, with wooden masts and weave their own sails, halyards and anchor rodes and don't believe in refrigeration. They definately have no engines in their boat, as what's the point if you can't buy fuel.

Hopefully, you see my point.

Bottom line you ain't a boat survivalist unless you comply with the rest of the items that allow a boat to travel over water. The GPS is the very least of your problem. If it ever does come to war, we'll be in bomb shelters, not on a plastic boat during an attack.

In the mean time, those of you waiting for those bombs to drop, please buy a GPS and learn how to use it. You'll lower insurance costs for the rest of us, and the life you save could be your own.
__________________
Tropic Cat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2008, 14:12   #30
Registered User
 
RickD's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Colorado Springs
Boat: Transworld Formosa 41
Posts: 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickm505 View Post
So, I get the picture now. All survivalists carry sextants, own wood boats, with wooden masts and weave their own sails, halyards and anchor rodes and don't believe in refrigeration. They definately have no engines in their boat, as what's the point if you can't buy fuel.

Hopefully, you see my point.
I see your point, but I suspect you missed mine. If you read back, you will see that I am a techie guy, I like toys and I have a GPS, among many other cool electronic toys.

I don't advocate getting rid of such things. I merely am making the point that one should honestly know "how things work". That's all.

I'm not saying you need to know how a computer works to use one to read a web page, but if you're going to do programming you should be intimately familiar.

If you're going to use a gun for target practice, you can certainly point and fire, but you're going to miss a lot until you understand how the weapon functions, how the sights line up, bullet velocity, windage, etc.

If you're going to navigate around the world, or across a country, you can follow a map on the roads and not have to know anything about latitude and longitude, or what star is what, which constellations rise and set in different times of the year or even what time it is to get from point A to point B.

But if you're going to use a GPS, computers and autopilots to get you across the ocean and you have a power failure... what do you do?

I think it is helpful to understand how to use something like a sextant (which I can not do, so if you can, great.... someone teach me)...
__________________

__________________
Rick Donaldson, CET, NØNJY

If you survive today, tomorrow will be better.
RickD is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
chartplotter, sextant

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Northstar 962 XD Color Plotter with 2 heads scuppas@yahoo.c Classifieds Archive 0 14-04-2008 17:52
Raymarine 425 Chart plotter problems. sailvi767 Marine Electronics 0 11-10-2007 05:52
The Chart plotter is in, the AIS is in, the new radio is in, etc CSY Man Marine Electronics 25 04-06-2007 14:18
which GPS chart plotter?? rtbates Marine Electronics 17 06-03-2007 14:17



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 15:58.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.