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Recommended Instruments for Close Coastal Cruising (Day Sailing)

TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
2,646
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
Giro,

How helpful is a depth sounder in that situation? How far ahead does it scan? Is it enough to stop or steer away from such an obstruction or are you looking for the clearance start dropping as the bottom is approaching? I am not familiar with depth sounders or their operation, but I figured they wouldn't protect against sudden obstacles, only upcoming clearance limits.

Snoopy
A depth sounder is a good piloting tool in that it reads the depth and changes giving you one more confirmation (from soundings on chart) of your location.

Plus as an anchoring tool it helps us gunkholers to find the best spots, on the fringes. You go real slow though, it doesn't tell you about the ledge just under your bow.
 
May 17, 2004
3,423
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
The good news is that in the waters you’ll be sailing you won’t see the precipitous drops in depth or rocks that some of the others do. The depth finder doesn’t really look ahead, but you’ll learn to recognize when to get concerned based on the depth dropping and the charted depths.
 
May 19, 2016
114
Catalina 30 Riverside, NJ
jssailem,

Sounds like great advice. I would think the depth sounder helps most when I can anticipate issues, such as decreasing clearances or when I know I am in area of low depth. Also when going slow under power through inlets, marina, etc.

Thanks,

Snoopy,
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,807
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Snoopy
Here is a chart of Avalon Harbor. I circled in red the major cautionary items noted on the chart. It looks too me if you use the chart to approach Avalon that there is a lot of water to use so you can avoid the bad spots with or without a depth sounder.
Avalon Harbor.jpg

A depth sounder may be useful there if you want to get up real close to the island. But pretty much not needed to safely arrive in the bay and find a place to rest.
 
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May 19, 2016
114
Catalina 30 Riverside, NJ
jssailem,

lol, I am on the other coast, nowhere near Avalon.

Thanks, interesting.

Snoopy
 

Ward H

.
Nov 7, 2011
3,092
Catalina 30 Mk II Barnegat, NJ
What you have no control over are the sand bars that shift with the floods and storm surges. These are the more likely suspects that will spoil your sail.
This, at least on the Barnegat Bay. As Tom Y said, it is also a good navigation tool. On my O'day 25 my first chart plotter was small, not easy to read. A few times when bad weather or a wet wide made it difficult to follow the ICW channel on the CP, I just used the depth finder to keep me centered in the channel.
Once you get out in the ocean you probably won't worry about running aground but you can still use the depth finder to give you an idea of location.
 
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Feb 12, 2021
2
paceship 25 Port Penn
Chart booklet(s) w/protective cover of your cruising area(s), a good pair of friction-head dividers, pair of 7x50 binoculars w/compass, and a back-up depth “sounder” (e.g., lead line). BTW. We have three hand-held VHFs aboard.
Best reply I have read.
old school = self rescue
too much reliance on tech with out it, pardon the expression, you could end up dead in the water.
 
Feb 12, 2021
2
paceship 25 Port Penn
paper charts are dead. i love my paper. always put it out on the nav table. but it's dead. a cheap handheld will take you around the world.
son in law just bought a tesla sedan with the self driving option. don't need paper in the car either. he let me take it out for a spin on a curvy, sporty, road. it did it all. it was fun to watch. no dash on that thing.
paper is dead. hell, most don't helm the boat much anymore. me, i love to drive. i can still give a better ride than the auto-helm.
paper is dead. RIP

jon:cool:
Hope you have at least 1500' meteor flares. you probably have an EPIRB though.
ideally you have both
 
May 25, 2012
3,807
john alden caravelle 42 sturgeon bay, wis
no epirb, got the flairs. they were required for offshore racing rules back in the day.
"there so much deep water out there, why play in the shallows"

my sight seeing is just the byproduct of the sailing i so enjoy. on our cruises we play the wind patterns, not the harbors. the great lakes has devine winds to ride.

'More Sail', jon:cool:
 
Jan 19, 2010
938
Catalina 34 Casco Bay
I'd go with a color digital radar that overlays on the chart plotter. Most of type systems allow you to integrate all data onto an MFD...
 

ebsail

.
Nov 28, 2010
241
O day 25 Nyack. New York
depth and chartplotter are all you need to go anywhere costal. Wind instruments are nice but you'll know when the wind picks up, so superfluous. Auto pilot is great for long runs or if you have no other crew. I've had boats with every gizzmo including radar. But depth and chartplotter will get you anywhere.
 
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Dec 25, 2000
5,005
Hunter Passage 42 Shelter Bay, WA
Our 1991 boat came with a suite of useful instruments; depth, speed, wind, autopilot, VHF. Added a Garmin GPS Sounder shortly after buying the boat in 2002. All come in very handy while underway. No need/want for radar, AIS, smartphone, etc.
 
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Oct 22, 2014
15,807
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Based on looking out on the bay this morning, a small plastic Snow Shovel could be handy...
Snow2Lopez.jpg


Fortunately last night we found shelter ashore... On Lopez Island.
 
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Oct 22, 2014
15,807
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
In my Mind... I am with @LeslieTroyer and our wives on Lopez Island. I thought about sailing up. to the island, but my wife nixed that idea in the bud. So we drove and ferried here Thursday. Had a wonderful, cold day, hiking on the island. Great dinner and conversation last evening. At about 11:30 the snow started to fall.

This morning the birds are visiting the bird feeder on the porch outside the windows. I can see "Outer Bay" and the visibility is about 1/8 mile.
 

dLj

.
Mar 23, 2017
1,776
Belliure 41 Snug Harbor, Lake Champlain
It’s about the same amount of snow as two years ago when they were out sailing. Those two are a menace to global warming. It always snows if they leave home on this weekend.
That's why I had to ask... It was the photo that threw me. Last time it was a photo of the boat covered in snow...
I wouldn't call them a menace to global warming, just an indicator that somethings up... ;)

dj
 
Dec 25, 2000
5,005
Hunter Passage 42 Shelter Bay, WA
This morning the birds are visiting the bird feeder on the porch outside the windows. I can see "Outer Bay" and the visibility is about 1/8 mile.
All I can say, John, I hope you have your radar on in that kind of visibility. :laugh: Lots of snow in Mukilteo, too. Still coming down.

Snow Christmas 2017D.JPG
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,807
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
If I was on the water in Outer Bay, it would be Radar, low visibility horn, and the repetitive bell with lights on.

For most of the morning visibility was less than 300 yards.

Temps started to warm a bit and the snow is now feels wet. Great snow ball making weather. Maybe the time to make a snow woman.