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Old 31-07-2020, 10:59   #1
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Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

so getting a bit restless, don't want to spend mega bucks upgrading charts on the plotter 2019 currently, have navionics and a few others.

But for the days when I'm eventually on the big blue, I'd like to be able to navigate without the electronics?

And good books for a total novice? Or good youtube channels?

Hoping to get most of the welding dont to actually sail her before winter....
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Old 31-07-2020, 11:51   #2
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

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.
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Old 31-07-2020, 12:37   #3
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

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.
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Old 31-07-2020, 12:57   #4
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

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,

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Old 31-07-2020, 13:09   #5
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

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.
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Old 31-07-2020, 14:43   #6
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

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.
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Old 31-07-2020, 14:49   #7
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

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.
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Old 31-07-2020, 14:52   #8
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

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
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Old 31-07-2020, 16:26   #9
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

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.

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Old 31-07-2020, 18:48   #10
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

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.
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Old 31-07-2020, 19:11   #11
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

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.


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Old 01-08-2020, 08:29   #12
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

Simple dead reckoning will get you most places. It is easy and fun. Get a chart, any chart and practice with it.
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:51   #13
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

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!
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:53   #14
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

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.
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Old 01-08-2020, 09:12   #15
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Re: Considering ditching electronics and navigating the "old" way

“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.
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