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Boats hit rocks all the time, often snapping off deep keels.

Tod

Dec 30, 2010
82
Montgomery 17 trailered
This was the result of mistaking an uncharted buoy marking a charted wreck for a mooring ball...

smashedrudder.jpg
 
Aug 22, 2017
1,562
Hunter 26.5, 212, 170 West Palm Beach
This was the result of mistaking an uncharted buoy marking a charted wreck for a mooring ball...
Ooof, that reminds me that I need to make a new kick up rudder for my 212
 
Aug 22, 2017
1,562
Hunter 26.5, 212, 170 West Palm Beach
In the early years we easily spent 75% of our sailing time confirming our location and reconfirming. First with LORAN and later with first gen GPS handhelds
I did not trust Loran at all. Back around 83, I was sailing a Beneteau up to Cape Cod from Long Island in a bit of fog & tried to use a Loran to guide me. That darn thing said that I was in the middle of Fisher's Island, but somehow I still had water all around me.

When GPS came out, it was like a breath of fresh air. When selective availability got shut off (most of the time) it was almost like cheating. Now I am hard pressed to find a position error that is en excess of 6'. Notable exceptions to that seem to include areas near my house when Airforce 1 shows up in the neighborhood & certain parts of Italy when certain sorties are flown out of Aviano. It would seem that selective availability is still engaged at selected times in selected places.
 
Oct 22, 2014
10,222
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
did not trust Loran
Before loran there was RDF. RDF became ADF which was popular in the 60’s.
After WW2 Loran-C was the go to system for long range radio navigation. All of these systems had error. Why so many fishing skippers used depth sounder to follow a contour on a good chart.

Piloting has become a lost art.
 
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Oct 19, 2017
5,066
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
Piloting has become a lost art.
It's too bad. DR is a great tool to use in a math and geometries classroom to give context and meaning to what students are learning. I find that if a student learns at least one meaningful way to apply the theories and formulas they learn, then they can better understand how to apply those same concepts elsewhere. The end result is that they don't forget it after the test. They end up having a better vision of how it will fit into their future.

- Will (Dragonfly)
 
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TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
1,847
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
This was the result of mistaking an uncharted buoy marking a charted wreck for a mooring ball...

View attachment 146630
Ouch! Even as navigation tech evolves, the groundings do not stop...

When I think back to piloting with compass and paper chart, I had some groundings. Once Loran made my job a little easier, I had some groundings. Now that I use GPS on chartplotters to do the chart work (much better than I ever could),... the groundings haven't stopped!!!

But I haven't had one like this in about 10 years.
Keel damage Email. .jpg


Thanks to a very strong keel/hull connection, there was no damage (except for a cup of West epoxy and filler).

I'm a better navigator as time goes by, or is it just caution? Or am I overdue? :)
 
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Jan 11, 2014
4,159
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
I did not trust Loran at all. Back around 83, I was sailing a Beneteau up to Cape Cod from Long Island in a bit of fog & tried to use a Loran to guide me. That darn thing said that I was in the middle of Fisher's Island, but somehow I still had water all around me.
LORAN delivered highly accurate repeatable readings. Set a waypoint and every time you go to that waypoint you will be in exactly the same spot. GPS, even today does not have the same accuracy. However, LORAN time delays did not always translate into the correct Lat/Lon coordinates due to local variations in the signals, in some areas, as you found out, the coordinates could be off by a considerable distance. If you recall, NOAA navigation charts of the day had the LORAN time delay curves printed on them. The most accurate way to navigate with LORAN was to use the TDs and not the Lat/Lon. I suspect most folks didn't bother to learn how to use the TDs.
 
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Feb 11, 2017
407
C&C 27 MkII Ottawa
Loran TD was repeatable but not always accurate. In some locations, more accurate than others. I used TD charts because the LAT LON translation would be miles out sometimes but even the TD location could be sketchy if you only had 2 TD readings that were oblique. The good thing was you could get an idea of accuracy by looking at the angle between the TD lines. Repeatable didn't help if you hadn't been there before.
 

TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
1,847
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
In the early years we easily spent 75% of our sailing time confirming our location and reconfirming. First with LORAN and later with first gen GPS handhelds I filled my bookshelves with lists of lights and cruising guides, carefully entering the lat Lons for each and every rock, coral head and shoal in my cruising area. I set guard waypoints.... Our locating effort dropped to maybe 20% of the sailing day. I had more screen time than a teenager with a new iPhone. When the first of the helm mounted chart plotters came out I was an early adopter. I would not be without a GPS plotter at the helm. If I am on a strange boat I have a type of RAM mount for my handheld. There is still a chart on the seat, but there is always a chartplotter at eye level.
75%, so true for me as well. Once we were close to land, piloting new coastline took nearly all my time. There wasn't much time for sailing when I spent much of my time tracking my location, bearings, speed (currents,ayiyi,..), with a pencil and rules, on a paper chart.

That chart was often below. My eyes spent hours on those charts when they could have been put to better use, scanning the horizon.

Sailing through the Bahamas in the 80's, Loran was useless. But I don't remember piloting or the time it took on the charts, changing much.

These days, I sail many more of my coastal miles as I'm free to keep watch ahead. I never stopped piloting visually, whether piloting on paper charts, or digitally with GPS CP's.

Yet accidents still happen, of course.
 
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Mar 16, 2010
5,943
Beneteau 411 Oceanis Annapolis
The orienting skills of the coastal dead reckoners always impressed me. As much magic as it was technique. The ability to scan the horizon, identify a few features and translate the angles into a ship’s position. Doing most of this in their head. To a young crewmember that horizon just looked like a bumpy blue line, but those reckoners were seeing a map projection and they knew where they were on that map. Full situational awareness. With hand compasses and charts we practiced and learned those skills, building confidence. Never being lost. Knowing where we were, we could go back to sailing the boat.

I don’t use my hand compass and paper chart as much as I used to but I do still use those orienting skills to confirm what my instruments tell me. Do the angles look right, does the horizon conform with my digital feed? Where am I on that chart in my head? If you aren’t worrying about where you are, you can focus on what you are doing.
 
May 25, 2012
2,193
john alden caravelle 42 sturgeon bay, wis
motorcycles, snowmobiles, airplanes, motorboats, crashing will KILL you. we all know it. well, sailboats too my friends. thats right, kill you and your friends. the skipper needs to know where he is at all times, period. the op's friends are guilty of gross neglect. that's right, i said it. the skippers crew should be appointed to assist as look outs.
 
May 25, 2012
2,193
john alden caravelle 42 sturgeon bay, wis
i got married standing on a beach in blue hill maine. i went on my honeymoon sailing on aeolus for two weeks on the maine coast. i took my father, my best man, and my sister on my honeymoon. when nonsailors asked why i would take anyone on my honeymoon, my answer was simple. i'd rather have my bride sitting on my lap than a bunch of charts.
 
Aug 22, 2017
1,562
Hunter 26.5, 212, 170 West Palm Beach
TDs would repeat accurately when things were working correctly. They didn't always work correctly. More than once, I have had a Loran lock up & hang on an old number, even though I was moving. This happened twice within a few hours before I got the erroneous reading that I cited above.

Even the (not cheap at the time) middle priced receivers had problems as late as Loran C. I never had the top of the line ones, so I can't comment on those.

The old Loran A system was truly spooky. I only used the dial & line system on an old A receiver once. You could not drive the boat & use that thing at the same time.

As far as I am concerned, GPS was a godsend for boaters. Pilots too.
 
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