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Old 01-08-2020, 09:25   #16
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Yes. Off course study celestial navigation from Youtube.


The other way of doing it, by taking sights and doing the calculations, is so pase.


And why the hell do you need to 'spend big bucks updating 2019 charts'?


What is wrong with 2019 charts Mr. captain ???


Or do you think this little welding project of yours will take you 'a bit longer' ??? ;-)


Take it easy, mate. These charts will be fine still for a time.


You can sail without gps and plotters, but not without charts. And paper charts are ... errr BIG BUCKS.


I am not shouting now I MEAN BIG BIG BOLLOCK DOLLARS. Heaps of.



PS The sextant part is easy. Get a sextant, get a good book or two, go on a crossing and study every day. You will likely be very fluent before you come to Hawaii.



Cheers,

b.

That's an exaggertion about the price of a few charts. For less than $150 OP could get detailed charts of areas around his home port that would provide several years worth of new harbors and anchorages to visit.

For about $350 I got a set of charts to cover all cruising needs from Panama to Florida via Central America.



So navigation can be done with much less expense than a chart plotter and electronic charts. Two or three GPS devices for backup will give you a position, speed and course to plot on the paper chart. In areas with cell phone coverage you can get your position plotted on a chart instantly. But I would always always still have depth sounder and radar without a doubt.



Still nothing beats watching your track progressing live on a screen in front of you, checking nav aids and water color visually to compare to the chart w/o having to fumble with a chart in the wind, while steering the boat to keep in a narrow, strange and confusing channel.
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Old 01-08-2020, 09:59   #17
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

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Originally Posted by CMO Tashina View Post
Jim, so enjoy reading your posts. Have not yet sailed out of sight of land myself ... yet ...and so admire all of you real sailors. The worrisome thing to me (one of several) is that electronics can crash for any number of reasons and if you've relied solely on the electronics navigation tools without having an understanding of celestial navigation or the use of a sextant, could be disastrous! I love that you and Ann have a real choice of which method to use!
When I first started sailing big boats, I studied celestial nav. Then I made a few real trips, and realized it was so much easier to invest in a primary, secondary, and tertiary GPS plotter / iPad than to invest in buying and learning to use a sextant. There are so many things to learn, that celestial nav just never made it into the top ten, especially when nav software and the GPS-enabled devices that run them are so comparatively cheap.
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Old 01-08-2020, 10:34   #18
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

This discussion makes me feel old. Helped teach celestial when there was no gps and there may have been 1 or 2 early celestial computer programs to crunch the number, otherwise you did it by hand.
If you were a navigator doing celestial on a boat, you were very busy everyday. You did your morning shots (crunched those and plotted your fix), noon shots (worked those & plot), then you had precomps to prep for your evening shots, then your evening shots (worked those & plot) and finally do your precomps for your next morning shots. If you didn't have the computer program, there was lots of math, interpolation from H.O. 249 and potential errors that you then had to trace back to find them.
Yes, those were the romantic times of sailing!
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Old 01-08-2020, 10:35   #19
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

if you look at any chart and see all the wrecks from the old way of navigating, you can see that GPS is a great tool that everybody should have, I do some celestial navigation and dead reckoning for fun and it is good to know if you lose all your electronics, but you should always have a spare battery operated gps unit in the oven(farady cage)
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:21   #20
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

Wouldn't a set of charts + decent sextant + astronomical tables cost as much (or more) than three gps units + electronic maps?
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:25   #21
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

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Originally Posted by waterman46 View Post
That's an exaggertion about the price of a few charts.



...



A-h!


Sorry, sorry, I did not understand that was just a few charts.


OP mentioned spending 'big bucks' updating 2019 charts hence my guess was we were talking like say the Pacific basin or a rtw coconut milk run coverage.


Well, then if they are just a few charts, updating the digital files sure will not be big bucks.


You see how nice it is to get inputs from many sources.


Regards,
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:46   #22
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

I have gotten a bunch of old charts from consignment stores like Blue Pelican in Alameda, and a few more from marina flea markets. My sextant was my fathers that I learned with as a kid. It all can be gotten with out spending big bucks. I have spent more on a GPS unit than on all the old stuff combined. I just hope I get to use the charts. For now stuck on the farm at home.
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:56   #23
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
“Traditional” navigation sounds romantic, but if traveling long distances it is difficult, inconvenient, hard work, not very safe, and expensive.

However, understanding the methods of traditional navigation, applying these, and using them in conjunction with electronic navigation is easy, safer, and not expensive.
If one simply installs a chartplotter and looks at the pretty picture to find their location, that is little different in concept from hiring a skilled human navigator and asking them "where are we now?"; there is no navigational skill acquired.

If one learns the traditional methods then navigational skill is acquired. Most of the time the GPS will outperform that; there is a reason GPS is usually the best tool for the job. But, as with any system, one should still maintain backups and verify correct operation from time to time.
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:56   #24
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

I always do it by hand. I use just the almanac and reduction tables. No need for anything else but the chrono.



Assuming the calculator works is like assuming the gps works.

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Old 01-08-2020, 12:01   #25
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

I spent a long time with my sextant, using a pelorus for a bearing and hoping my chart was correct in tight places. I always say "these days you could shave a monkey and he can sail a boat." However, having had it both ways, I'll gladly be a monkey.
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Old 01-08-2020, 12:02   #26
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

BTW people do not want skills. People want results.


Gps onboard buys you time. Not sure now what to do with this new found time when one is not interesting in learning skills ...


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Old 01-08-2020, 12:19   #27
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

Quote:
Originally Posted by waterman46 View Post
That's an exaggertion about the price of a few charts. For less than $150 OP could get detailed charts of areas around his home port that would provide several years worth of new harbors and anchorages to visit.

For about $350 I got a set of charts to cover all cruising needs from Panama to Florida via Central America.



So navigation can be done with much less expense than a chart plotter and electronic charts. Two or three GPS devices for backup will give you a position, speed and course to plot on the paper chart. In areas with cell phone coverage you can get your position plotted on a chart instantly. But I would always always still have depth sounder and radar without a doubt.



Still nothing beats watching your track progressing live on a screen in front of you, checking nav aids and water color visually to compare to the chart w/o having to fumble with a chart in the wind, while steering the boat to keep in a narrow, strange and confusing channel.
If you have a iPhone or iPad with cellular (because cheap Apple only installs the GPS chip on the models that also have cellular) you have a device with a full on GPS, you don’t need cell service to get a fix, furthermore the GPS in many iPhones and iPads are a good bit more advanced than some of the older boat GPS, they work off not only the US constellation.

I see zero use, outside of nav education for new sailors, for a paper chart, I see many disadvantages.

Just navionics on a iPad and a second backup device would be enough for most any type of sailing, even more so when you combine it with AIS and sounder input.

I think a sextant is a fun toy and worth getting to give you something to do during long passages, maybe in a one in a million it could save you, sure, but there are MANY instances the GPS will save you from sextant only navigation
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Old 01-08-2020, 12:50   #28
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

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Originally Posted by requiem View Post
Off shore or coastal?

The US Sailing Coastal Navigation text is useful for the latter, and for offshore you'll want to add celestial to the toolkit. I picked up David Burch's celestial navigation home study guide a short while ago and have been working through it as time permits.
Coastal initially, then offshore

Thanks will look into it!

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Originally Posted by Ded reckoner View Post
I would recommend John Rousmaniere's Annapolis Book of Seamanship. Otherwise, the ASA 105 navigation course is very good for learning piloting and deductive reckoning.
Awsome thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Yes. Off course study celestial navigation from Youtube.


The other way of doing it, by taking sights and doing the calculations, is so pase.


And why the hell do you need to 'spend big bucks updating 2019 charts'?


What is wrong with 2019 charts Mr. captain ???


Or do you think this little welding project of yours will take you 'a bit longer' ??? ;-)


Take it easy, mate. These charts will be fine still for a time.


You can sail without gps and plotters, but not without charts. And paper charts are ... errr BIG BUCKS.


I am not shouting now I MEAN BIG BIG BOLLOCK DOLLARS. Heaps of.



PS The sextant part is easy. Get a sextant, get a good book or two, go on a crossing and study every day. You will likely be very fluent before you come to Hawaii.



Cheers,

b.
Haha, little welding project, more like never-ending project (said with a huge grin on my face)

She will be sailing before winter one way or the other!

Plotter has UK and Ireland charts only, so was more cost effective to buy charts as I need to for navionics I've found!

I think its more that its an outdated plotter, just in general. I mean who still gets "chips" apart from a local takeaway these days!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Barnakiel is exactly right! I love traditional navigation, but it's too expensive! And not enough space to store all the charts.

That being said, I guess I have 200kg of paper charts on board, stuffed under every bunk But even that doesn't nearly cover my cruising area. And let's not even get started on keeping them all updated. Electronic nav is far cheaper, and more convenient.
Yes I guess I didn't realise quite how many charts I might need!

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Originally Posted by Bycrick View Post
Crawford’s Mariner's CelestialNavigation is another good one. Once you know how to do it on paper, StarPath's app for the iPhone/iPad makes it much faster. That allows you to take a dozen sites a minute apart, reduce them all, and derive the best position. That makes the sextant work even easier.
Thank you sounds good!

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Originally Posted by Bycrick View Post
Dockhead is right if the old way is the only way you have. Even back in 1980, I spent almost $1000 real dollars buying Pacific Charts and I didn’t get all of them. But having a limited set of charts and knowing how to use them is a good supplement for electronic navigation. One doesn’t throw out all their screwdrivers because one has a new electric one.
Exactly my thoughts, I'd hate to have to speed read celestial navigation in the middle of an ocean because the electronics died!

Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandInfedel View Post
This reminds me of the people who decide to not have a engine or go electric

I guess it sounds cool, but you’re just adding line to hang yourself with, for what reward?

If you don’t want to pay for charts get openCPN, I’m not too worried about subscriptions and I still use opencpn anyways, just pull up to a marina with WiFi, or tether to you phone, hot update, have a cup of tea and it’s done
Just searched opencpn very nice! Its not that I won't have a tablet with navionics on it, more that the marine plotter, auto pilot and other bits all seems to need something doing and I want to just get her sailing, then worry about getting the electronic sorting (obviously depth speed will be made to work)

Wait whats wrong with electric? I'm going to move my 11 ton biat with a 68lb trolong motor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Speaking as one who made ocean passages with celestial because it was all that there was, I can say that I'm glad that I know how to do it, but I'm even gladder that I don't have to any more.
Yep thats what im after! I'd rather know i can do it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaymondR View Post
After the wheel and toilet paper the GPS system was man's greatest invention.

I still have my sextant but after I get around to having a perspex cover for it made am going to mount is on the bulkhead as a decoration.

Before the sextant and chronometer they used the backstaff and latitude sailed. Go north or south until you were on the latitude, as ascertained by the backstaff and a knowledge of seasonal changes to the suns altitude, then sail east or west accordingly.
Sounds cool but complicated, nice to understand it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Yes.


Apparently as recently as 20 years ago two French brothers set off from here (Canary Islands) towards the West Indies, no sextant, no chronometer.


They navigated by the stars, and they did land where they intended (on the Guadeloupe).


Very impressive.


barnakiel
That is impressive!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewie12 View Post
Simple dead reckoning will get you most places. It is easy and fun. Get a chart, any chart and practice with it.
I will do just that! Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by CMO Tashina View Post
Jim, so enjoy reading your posts. Have not yet sailed out of sight of land myself ... yet ...and so admire all of you real sailors. The worrisome thing to me (one of several) is that electronics can crash for any number of reasons and if you've relied solely on the electronics navigation tools without having an understanding of celestial navigation or the use of a sextant, could be disastrous! I love that you and Ann have a real choice of which method to use!
Quote:
Originally Posted by leandroflaherty View Post
I say both. Use traditional methods so you can safely navigate without electricity, and have electronic chartplotter. For under $200ish bucks you can have an excellent setup using Opencpn and NOAA free charts. I just set up a vesa monitor 10" and a raspberry Pi running openplotter with GPS and ais for 1/10th the cost of a similar commercial system.
Don't suppose there is a how to thread on this? With ais i like the sounds of that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
“Traditional” navigation sounds romantic, but if traveling long distances it is difficult, inconvenient, hard work, not very safe, and expensive.

However, understanding the methods of traditional navigation, applying these, and using them in conjunction with electronic navigation is easy, safer, and not expensive.

Use the best of both worlds.
Thanks i think that is the way I will go!

Quote:
Originally Posted by waterman46 View Post
That's an exaggertion about the price of a few charts. For less than $150 OP could get detailed charts of areas around his home port that would provide several years worth of new harbors and anchorages to visit.

For about $350 I got a set of charts to cover all cruising needs from Panama to Florida via Central America.



So navigation can be done with much less expense than a chart plotter and electronic charts. Two or three GPS devices for backup will give you a position, speed and course to plot on the paper chart. In areas with cell phone coverage you can get your position plotted on a chart instantly. But I would always always still have depth sounder and radar without a doubt.



Still nothing beats watching your track progressing live on a screen in front of you, checking nav aids and water color visually to compare to the chart w/o having to fumble with a chart in the wind, while steering the boat to keep in a narrow, strange and confusing channel.
Points taken!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ_n_Audrey View Post
When I first started sailing big boats, I studied celestial nav. Then I made a few real trips, and realized it was so much easier to invest in a primary, secondary, and tertiary GPS plotter / iPad than to invest in buying and learning to use a sextant. There are so many things to learn, that celestial nav just never made it into the top ten, especially when nav software and the GPS-enabled devices that run them are so comparatively cheap.
Yes yes and yes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill O View Post
This discussion makes me feel old. Helped teach celestial when there was no gps and there may have been 1 or 2 early celestial computer programs to crunch the number, otherwise you did it by hand.
If you were a navigator doing celestial on a boat, you were very busy everyday. You did your morning shots (crunched those and plotted your fix), noon shots (worked those & plot), then you had precomps to prep for your evening shots, then your evening shots (worked those & plot) and finally do your precomps for your next morning shots. If you didn't have the computer program, there was lots of math, interpolation from H.O. 249 and potential errors that you then had to trace back to find them.
Yes, those were the romantic times of sailing!
That sounds like a lot of math!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jharding View Post
if you look at any chart and see all the wrecks from the old way of navigating, you can see that GPS is a great tool that everybody should have, I do some celestial navigation and dead reckoning for fun and it is good to know if you lose all your electronics, but you should always have a spare battery operated gps unit in the oven(farady cage)
Hehe my boat is steel, one big Faraday cage 😁

Quote:
Originally Posted by meirriba View Post
Wouldn't a set of charts + decent sextant + astronomical tables cost as much (or more) than three gps units + electronic maps?
No idea havent priced it up yet!

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
A-h!


Sorry, sorry, I did not understand that was just a few charts.


OP mentioned spending 'big bucks' updating 2019 charts hence my guess was we were talking like say the Pacific basin or a rtw coconut milk run coverage.


Well, then if they are just a few charts, updating the digital files sure will not be big bucks.


You see how nice it is to get inputs from many sources.


Regards,
barnakiel
It might also help if the op had not been drinking rum when posting.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthCoastJoe View Post
I have gotten a bunch of old charts from consignment stores like Blue Pelican in Alameda, and a few more from marina flea markets. My sextant was my fathers that I learned with as a kid. It all can be gotten with out spending big bucks. I have spent more on a GPS unit than on all the old stuff combined. I just hope I get to use the charts. For now stuck on the farm at home.
Thanks 😁

Quote:
Originally Posted by requiem View Post
If one simply installs a chartplotter and looks at the pretty picture to find their location, that is little different in concept from hiring a skilled human navigator and asking them "where are we now?"; there is no navigational skill acquired.

If one learns the traditional methods then navigational skill is acquired. Most of the time the GPS will outperform that; there is a reason GPS is usually the best tool for the job. But, as with any system, one should still maintain backups and verify correct operation from time to time.
Yup id agree!

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I always do it by hand. I use just the almanac and reduction tables. No need for anything else but the chrono.



Assuming the calculator works is like assuming the gps works.

b.
Assumptions make an ar5e out of you and me! I'd rather be safe!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davie J. View Post
I spent a long time with my sextant, using a pelorus for a bearing and hoping my chart was correct in tight places. I always say "these days you could shave a monkey and he can sail a boat." However, having had it both ways, I'll gladly be a monkey.
Me too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
BTW people do not want skills. People want results.


Gps onboard buys you time. Not sure now what to do with this new found time when one is not interesting in learning skills ...


b.
Not all people are result driven, I am now skill driven 😁 if somome offered me free lessons on almost anything I would jump at it, far too many people have passed with skills and knowledge that has now been lost forever!

Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandInfedel View Post
If you have a iPhone or iPad with cellular (because cheap Apple only installs the GPS chip on the models that also have cellular) you have a device with a full on GPS, you don’t need cell service to get a fix, furthermore the GPS in many iPhones and iPads are a good bit more advanced than some of the older boat GPS, they work off not only the US constellation.

I see zero use, outside of nav education for new sailors, for a paper chart, I see many disadvantages.

Just navionics on a iPad and a second backup device would be enough for most any type of sailing, even more so when you combine it with AIS and sounder input.

I think a sextant is a fun toy and worth getting to give you something to do during long passages, maybe in a one in a million it could save you, sure, but there are MANY instances the GPS will save you from sextant only navigation
Agreed but also I would rather have a genuine solid backup without any electronics
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Old 01-08-2020, 12:50   #29
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

Quote:
Originally Posted by jharding View Post
if you look at any chart and see all the wrecks from the old way of navigating, you can see that GPS is a great tool that everybody should have, I do some celestial navigation and dead reckoning for fun and it is good to know if you lose all your electronics, but you should always have a spare battery operated gps unit in the oven(farady cage)


Yeah but most of those wrecks were for the same reasons you see today: poor maintenance, lax watchkeeping, ....
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Old 01-08-2020, 12:51   #30
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

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Originally Posted by meirriba View Post
Wouldn't a set of charts + decent sextant + astronomical tables cost as much (or more) than three gps units + electronic maps?


Nope: about $200 at the low end.
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