• Mobile App For Android Now Online!

    Download it here. The app is searchable in the Google Play Store under Sailboat Owners.

    Sorry iPhone/iPad users, we are still waiting on Apple. :(

    Click the X in the upper right corner to make this go away

Why learn to Navigate?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Sumner

.
Jan 31, 2009
5,254
Macgregor & Endeavour 26S and 37 Utah's Canyon Country
........I may be doing something similar, using an ASUS eee 701 I bought 3 years ago. You might want to consider a computer in the "netbook" class because they're compact yet powerful, and many will power from 12v, with a peak power consumption of 20 W or so.......
Thanks and I'm close to ordering the motherboard and it will use the same chip set as the ASUS.........

http://www.directron.com/nf94270lf.html

and this power supply....

http://www.mini-box.com/M3-ATX-DC-DC-ATX-Automotive-Computer-car-PC-Power-Supply?sc=

along with a 320 gig drive. I'm hoping the whole computer and monitor will come in under 30 watts and think it will. It will go in a case that is about 10 1/2 X 10 1/2 X 3 1/2....

http://www.directron.com/wi01.html

I'll add all of that to the build as it happens. I'd considered just buying the computer, but I wanted a detached monitor so I could put it up by the companionway opening where we can see it in the cockpit. I will also be able to move it down into the cabin for computer use or to watch DVD's.

c ya,

Sum

Our Trips to Lake Powell, UT - Kootenay Lake, Canada - Priest Lake, ID

Our Mac Pages

Mac Links
 

Ross

.
Jun 15, 2004
14,693
Islander/Wayfairer 30 sail number 25 Perryville,Md.
I started school in 1944 and there hasn't been a year since that I haven't applied myself to learning something new. I need knowledge as much as I need air, food, water and freedom. I have very little regard for people who refuse to learn a subject for fear of cluttering up an otherwise empty space.
 

Salty

.
Dec 2, 2008
144
Catalina 390 14 Perth Amboy, NJ
Levin, I don't know if you are aware of it but there is something called "LIGHTNING STRIKE" that can take all your electronics out. Actually there was a recent article in one of the sailing magazines where a cruiser lost all his electronics by a lightning strike and he had to use his paper charts to get him back to the US from the caribbean. I know you can put your electronics in a Faraday Shield (oven) to protect it from lightning strikes, but how many of us do that before we turn in at night. For me, call me old school but I wouldn't do any extended sailing without my paper charts, parallel rule etc because I am more comfortable with it and thats the way I was trained. As the saying goes "to each his own". Please remember that the GPS must have the updated maps loaded to be accurate. I heard of cases where the GPS was not loaded with the correct map version leading to people sailing aground. That can all be prevented by cross checking with your paper charts.
 

Sumner

.
Jan 31, 2009
5,254
Macgregor & Endeavour 26S and 37 Utah's Canyon Country
I started school in 1944 and there hasn't been a year since that I haven't applied myself to learning something new. I need knowledge as much as I need air, food, water and freedom. I have very little regard for people who refuse to learn a subject for fear of cluttering up an otherwise empty space.
Amen, I was born in '44, so I'm a couple years behind you, but you said what I've always felt. Thanks!

I have friends that have retired and their desires are to sit out on the back porch in the summer with a beer watching the grass grow. I don't get it.

I want to learn how to navigate without a GPS/chart plotter, but also want to learn all that they can do. I don't see where you need to pick or choose one over the other. While I'm learning the one I'm not going to stop going on new adventures, so I'll use the GPS, my basic chart reading skills, my eyes and hopefully some common sense and try and learn from my mistakes while I learn the other.

c ya,

Sum


 

Ross

.
Jun 15, 2004
14,693
Islander/Wayfairer 30 sail number 25 Perryville,Md.
I have paper charts that date back to the early ''60's and have compared them with the latest NOAA charts on line. There have been some significant changes and some that are not. Example the approach to Kent Narrows has been changed completely but the draw bridge is still there. The black cans are green now. There has been some shoaling reported but not drawn in on the later charts. There are some new bridges for the interstate highway system. As always a prudent mariner will not rely on a single source of information. My depth sounder has kept me out of trouble far more often than has my gps.
 

zeehag

.
Mar 26, 2009
3,196
1976 formosa 41 yankee clipper santa barbara. ca.(not there)
Thanks and I'm close to ordering the motherboard and it will use the same chip set as the ASUS.........

http://www.directron.com/nf94270lf.html

and this power supply....

http://www.mini-box.com/M3-ATX-DC-DC-ATX-Automotive-Computer-car-PC-Power-Supply?sc=

along with a 320 gig drive. I'm hoping the whole computer and monitor will come in under 30 watts and think it will. It will go in a case that is about 10 1/2 X 10 1/2 X 3 1/2....

http://www.directron.com/wi01.html

I'll add all of that to the build as it happens. I'd considered just buying the computer, but I wanted a detached monitor so I could put it up by the companionway opening where we can see it in the cockpit. I will also be able to move it down into the cabin for computer use or to watch DVD's.

c ya,

Sum

Our Trips to Lake Powell, UT - Kootenay Lake, Canada - Priest Lake, ID

Our Mac Pages

Mac Links
i do hope you tie it down so on passages you donot have trash remaining after the knock down--always be ready for the potenitial.....happens.....AND have back up on hand in a separate container--waterproof and smash proof..lol....i havent made a passage yet where nothing got trashed lol.....goood luck. remember ocean sailing is a lot different than linland sailing and is a LOT rougher on the boat lol....things fly....paper backup is good--always carry a magnifying glass for the zoom in effect lol........
as military owns gps satellites, there could be a huge problem when the time comes for them to rescind their usage-or make things not as accurate as now---lol--they can ye know--lol....be prepared for everything--lol
not a doom and gloom person, but --be realistic----world is in a state of "wak"----always be prepared for the worst and you shall be fine LOL.......
i really donot want to search for amelia earhart LOL.......

hey roger---i always heard --even when i lived in NY as a kid--that "as goes kalifornia, so goes the nation"....when did maine take over----lol...didnt ever hear maine --is a goood one tho---



(getting lost at sea is searching for amelia earhart--LOL)
 
Dec 30, 2009
679
jeanneau 38 gin fizz sloop Summer- Keyport Yacht Club, Raritan Bay, NJ, Winter Viking Marina Verplanck, NY
Hey guys, I have been sailing for 30 plus yrs, GPS is fantastic, yet being old enough to have to use charts will never hurt. On top of my nav desk is a big old chart kit board with the large chart kit , I think its from Cape May to Maine?...anyhow I like to look at the big picture, I really like to use them together, maybe just me, then again the last and only vidieo game I ever played was the orig Mario Bros, I only played 3 weeks after I gave it to my daughter, until she started to whip me...Red
 
Nov 6, 2006
8,985
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
Yeah, I think Maine/Newfoundland lost it to California when my ancestors moved out of the snow and toward the gators on the Gulf ! .... and began supporting the Saints. ??
 

TimCup

.
Jan 30, 2008
304
Catalina 22 St. Pete
levin- you are right... and it's a little sad...

I suppose with enough backups, you don't need to know any other way to navigate. You also don't need to learn any nautical knots, either. You probalby can get by without knowing port from starboard, stem from stern, where aft is, and what freeboard is.

You don't NEED to know these things, but with a sailboat, you GET to know these things. It's part of the experience. I guess sailing means different things to different people- I want the full monte.

You know, the world is full of cashiers that can't give change without looking at the machine- why would you want to be one of "them"???

Oh well, as Stu says so often, your boat, your choice.

Cup

ps- how comfortable are your boat guests when you tell them you can't navigate without the gps?
 
Oct 25, 2005
735
Catalina 30 Banderas Bay, Mexico
The bottom line is that if you DON'T know how to navigate, you will never know when your instruments are lying to you. They all do, even the compass.

I suppose ignorance is bliss?

Randy
 
Jul 27, 2009
54
Hunter 1981 30 Lake Travis
I still remember a severe casualty on a submarine I was on, we lost all pwr AC & DC. When we got pwr back, we had zero navigation tools, no radio but for the emergency whip. If it hadn't been for a good time piece, sextant and charts who know's where we would have been? In most recent groundings that the Navy has suffered one thing has stood out, lack of updating the plot. Old school, maybe but it will get me home.
 

Ross

.
Jun 15, 2004
14,693
Islander/Wayfairer 30 sail number 25 Perryville,Md.
The bottom line is that if you DON'T know how to navigate, you will never know when your instruments are lying to you. They all do, even the compass.

I suppose ignorance is bliss?

Randy
There are far too many blissful people sailing around out there. I wonder if Levin carries an EPIRB. I think that we can be sure that damage control is not high on his list of things to know.
I have my gps set to show magnetic course direction and compare it to my compass all of the time. It provides me with at least two things, accuracy of my compass and set from the current when I am sailing across the current. Playing with the gps is fun when I am becalmed because it doesn't care which way the boat is pointed it shows my course the same as the current. I have plotted the current in several areas on my sailing grounds in this way and compared it with the tide current charts.
 

zeehag

.
Mar 26, 2009
3,196
1976 formosa 41 yankee clipper santa barbara. ca.(not there)
There are far too many blissful people sailing around out there. I wonder if Levin carries an EPIRB. I think that we can be sure that damage control is not high on his list of things to know.
I have my gps set to show magnetic course direction and compare it to my compass all of the time. It provides me with at least two things, accuracy of my compass and set from the current when I am sailing across the current. Playing with the gps is fun when I am becalmed because it doesn't care which way the boat is pointed it shows my course the same as the current. I have plotted the current in several areas on my sailing grounds in this way and compared it with the tide current charts.
i donot carry epirb--if i get into trouble--i have to get me out of that trubble--i cant whine for aid just because i have made a decision that mebbe i shouldnt have--is mine to so do---lol--but i am into feeding fishies anyway--lol..first bite cant be that bad--after all--cold water makes ye not feel anything---so is allll good....LOL.....and uscg has enough to do taking care of the yottays lol-and false callers and smugglers ----i am fine without that--wont put a nice young kid into danger for my own rescue--LOL......
 

Levin

.
Apr 7, 2007
163
Hunter 340 San Diego
Final thoughts

Hello all...

For the record no I don't carry an EPIRB, but then I have never sailed so far away that I figured it was necessary. I figure the Coast Guard can find me if needed off my GPS coordinates and with my VHF (I also carry multiple VHF on board). I might also add AIS at some point to the system just to help locate me in case of trouble and if I was planning a serious off shore trip it would certainly include an EPIRB... but then this all is a bit beside the point.

In my mind there is no need to know traditional navigation if you have enough backups (and apparently to my list I now need to add a Ferriday box in case of lightning strikes even though they are extraordinarily rare in SoCal). Being prepared is wise, but the day and age of only the "salty" being able to get into this world has long since passed. Modern marvels like GPS allow more and more of us to get out there and do this thing and I'm sure in another 20 years we will hardly even talk about traditional forms of navigation.

Oh and for anyone who has used the reasoning that "Well the Navy uses traditional navigation in spite of all of their electronics" I can tell you first hand that we do a lot of silly, old, outdated, and often unnecessary things in the Navy... and if the rest of world had to use us as a model nothing much would ever get done.

I think that's it for me on this subject. Thanks to everyone for the lively discussion it has been fun.

I'm off to go sailing...

-Levin
 
Nov 8, 2007
1,377
Hunter 27_75-84 Sandusky Harbor Marina, Ohio
Some more thoughts

I think the most important point is that we perceive paper charts differently than electronic charts. An example is the one time we ran into the only 3 foot rock (colorful with boat bottom paint) between Put-in-Bay, and Schoolhouse Bay in the Erie Islands. Our navigator, my brother Craig, had not bothered to draw a line on the chart between our planned waypoints, since it was a short, local run. But we all agreed that if he had done so, he would have spotted the danger, and guided us around it.

Another issue is that in northern cruising grounds (the North Channel, for instance) we have simply lost coverage on any GPS. When this happened our first day out of Gore Bay on a charter, we had great fun using dead reckoning, and piloting skills (where does that island end? Which island is it, anyway?) to come safely into Oak Bay.

A different issue is that many charts have not been re-surveyed, and re-issued to GPS accuracy. In waters like the North Channel, the Thousand Islands, the west coast of Sweden, and the San Juans, rock pinnacles rise from the bottom far below to just below the surface. While the GPS will tell you exactly where you are, the chart done with older survey methods can easily be a hundred feet off. We would find out when the rock crunches into our bottom. While sailing from Anacortes to Aleck Bay in the San Juans, we had a great chart plotter, that showed all, including the tides! But there are some nasty rocks outside Aleck Bay, so we used lines of bearing to get an accurate check on our GPS, and be sure that the charts matched the real world and the GPS (they did).

Finally, remember that a lightning strike could easily disable all of your electronics, leaving you with a sound sailboat, but no way of knowing where you are, or are going.

And the basics of coastal navigation are fun! When we are cruising, there is plenty of time to enjoy using them as a back-up.
 

Ross

.
Jun 15, 2004
14,693
Islander/Wayfairer 30 sail number 25 Perryville,Md.
Re: Final thoughts

Levin, I will leave you with this: I can sail from the east coast of America to the coast of France with a watch, my sextant (davis Mark 3) and an almanac. If my compass should go bad I can make a basic one and I can find direction without one. My cost for navigation equipment less than 100 dollars. Beat that!
 
Feb 6, 1998
11,353
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
Hello everyone...

Seems I can never get away from Autopilot woes.

About four weeks ago, for no reason I could determine, the autopilot suddenly went dead shortly after dropping some friends off at a neighboring marina before I started motoring back to my own marina. The screen was blank and upon further inspection of the computer itself I found that the 2amp fuse inside had burned out. I replaced this and the system continued to run for about another week until it burned out again.


Does anyone know what the 2amp fuse in the Raymarine X-5 course computer is used for? There is also a 15amp fuse in the computer which I assume connects to the power, but I'm assuming the 2amp fuse is used for something else entirely. If anyone knows it would help me to continue to trouble shoot this problem because right now I seem to be at a dead end

Thanks in advance...
-Levin
Hmmm, one piece of electronic gear down, and no real understanding of even how it operates or what the fuses do. How many GPS units do you carry??;) What happens when your "dead end" is at sea, in a storm, and more than just your AP is dead from suffering a knock down..?
 
Nov 8, 2007
1,377
Hunter 27_75-84 Sandusky Harbor Marina, Ohio
Sorry, Levin...

But the Navy I sailed in , and the Navy friends sail in today is plenty modern.

The first thing I learned when driving a 16,000 ton sub tender with all kinds of modern gizmos is that the Mark 20 eyeball is the best instrument we have. Navigation skills just teach us how to use this wonder to figure out where we, where we are going, and what to do next.

I have a charting GPS, and love it. Our use of paper is more of a check, and a backup than it was before the GPS. But we need those functions, and the way piloting skills inform our current situation to sail safely.
 

Ross

.
Jun 15, 2004
14,693
Islander/Wayfairer 30 sail number 25 Perryville,Md.
Re: Sorry, Levin...

With regard to this question; does GPS goto navigation plot great circle courses? My home port is about north 39D32M and west 76D17m Calias France is about north 50d51m and east 1d30m. Latitude sailing is not the shortest route.
 
Oct 25, 2005
735
Catalina 30 Banderas Bay, Mexico
With regard to this question; does GPS goto navigation plot great circle courses? My home port is about north 39D32M and west 76D17m Calias France is about north 50d51m and east 1d30m. Latitude sailing is not the shortest route.
Maybe ... great circle information is part of the NMEA output on some units. What the software does with also varies by manufacturer.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.