Go Back   Cruiser Log World Cruising & Sailing Forums > Cruising Forums > General Cruising Forum
Cruiser Wiki

Join Cruiser Log Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-26-2007, 10:21 PM   #1
Admiral
 
Auzzee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Home Port: Darwin
Vessel Name: Sandettie
Posts: 1,727
Default

Looking around the marina yesterday I noticed many boats, some clearly voyaging vessels, which did not have the familiar additions to the mast and stern arches. Some without radar, many without wind instruments, many without a windlass.

I wonder how many voyaging sailors are resisting expensive changes in order to continue sailing safely and inexpensively using seamanship, paper charts, ".......and a star to steer her by".

I am not a luddite, but when I started small boat sailing there was no GPS, or SatNav, no watermakers, few boats could afford a bulky radar, some could afford a SSB (I remember my amazement when I bought a Codan 8121).....and sextants were used for more things than just checking out a solar eclipse.

I'm all for making things safer, but I respect the genuine 'salts' who keep traditions alive.

I remember remarking to the Captain of a tanker (1992) that I had more sophisticated nav gear on my boat than he did on his. His response was that he would give the game away on the day he could no longer navigate between the Straits of Malacca and Darwin without the use of modern technology.

Incidentally, in those early days of GPS, my first unit was a Magellan which sourced three satellites and cost me, on special, $4000.

David.
__________________

__________________
"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!


Auzzee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2007, 10:37 PM   #2
Admiral
 
Trim50's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Home Port: Who cares really...
Vessel Name: T
Posts: 1,215
Send a message via Yahoo to Trim50
Default

Luddite I'm forced to respond when I see that word.

I love my new electronics as much as my sextant. What I really like the most is when they are all working at the same time and providing me with roughly the same information +/-.

I do however believe I sailed better and faster before I knew what the actual wind speed and direction was.
__________________

__________________
[
Trim50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2007, 12:21 AM   #3
Lieutenant
 
Pelagic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 41
Default

As a Master Mariner who used to teach both costal and celestial navigation, I worry about those who rely solely on modern navigational magic without the knowledge of how to determine if fixed or variable errors exist on those electronic aids.

Like Trim, I enjoy the conveniences of my nav electronics, but when coasting, still use my Radar and parallel indexing from paper charts to keep my own processor working. I will never allow a GPS to be tied into the autopilot so that the watch keeper has no feel for the set and drift, if all that magic fails!
__________________
Pelagic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2007, 12:04 PM   #4
Rear Admiral
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 437
Default

"Luddite" isn't even in my dictionary.

I'm with Pelagic - if one relies too much on their electronics - they're only "a diode away from disaster." And I'd never go anywhere without a paper chart on the table.

Personally, the modern electronics which make my life easier are GPS, radar & depth sounder. I've recently gotten into digital electronic charting but keep a globe for analog back-up. The prudent mariner should never rely on just one source of information and all of these electronic modcons should just be considered as additional reference material.

We certainly like the powerful convenience of an electric anchor windlass.

I still have a nice, old German Sextant mounted on a bulkhead in the saloon (mostly used for decoration and a conversation piece, now-a-daze), a sounding lead rolling around in the bottom of a locker and a cassette tape for an unlimited supply of wind tale-tells. And oars in the dinghy.

The biggest problem I have with these new-fangled digital charts is that I keep dammaging my computer monitor from poking too many little holes in the side of the screen with my dividers! Maybe I should put some tape along the edges?

To Life!

Kirk
__________________
Gallivanters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2007, 12:27 PM   #5
Admiral
 
Auzzee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Home Port: Darwin
Vessel Name: Sandettie
Posts: 1,727
Default

Mr Ludd, was a textile worker who organised labour gangs, during the early days of the industrial revolution in pomland, to destroy the new mechanised looms in the mills. They believed mechanisation would destroy jobs...ergo, Luddite = resistance to change.

There is a great degree of satisfaction in working with paper charts...and they prevent coffee rings on the chart table.

There is a little cornish gaff rigged workboat of about 27' in my marina called 'Boy Willie'. I understand it was sailed from England with no engine, a spirit stove, and with electricity only for light. I think it would have been a real adventure.

Interestingly, on the subject of traditional seamanship skills, I notice every now and again that advice to '...have a basic knowledge of Colregs....." is offered. I think, especially in waters where heavy traffic is encountered, that we should have a good knowledge of the Rules for the Avoidance of Collision at Sea.

David.

PS. Does anybody watch the continuing series 'Grumpy Old Men' on the teev? I think I am becoming one!
__________________
"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!


Auzzee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2007, 03:09 AM   #6
Lieutenant
 
Pelagic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 41
Default

Hi David,

While I agree that the more knowledge and awareness you have about Colregs the better informed you are when questioning the intention of a give way vessel via VHF in high density traffic with multilateral considerations.

However, your intimate knowledge of these rules when operating a small craft should never over-ride Rule 2

a) Nothing in these Rules shall exonerate any vessel, or the owner, master, or crew thereof, from the consequences of any neglect to comply with these Rules or of the neglect of any precaution which may be required by the ordinary practice of seamen, or by the special circumstances of the case.

( In construing and complying with these Rules due regard shall be had to all dangers of navigation and collision and to any special circumstances, including the limitations of the vessels involved, which may make a departure from these Rules necessary to avoid immediate danger.

Simply, Rule 2 says, stay out of the way of the big guys!
__________________
Pelagic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2007, 12:41 PM   #7
Moderator
 
JeanneP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,098
Default

Peter's mother used to say, referring to your brain or your muscles, "use it or lose it!" My biggest concern regarding modern gadgets is that people are lost when the gadget stops working, or starts to fail.

I love the information that modern technology gives us, but it is still no substitute for thinking on your own.

Our daughter has a GPS in her car, and when she comes to the States for a visit rents a car with a GPS. The problem is that when she starts the GPS she turns her brain off. She was driving to a train station in a small town, and called me to tell me she couldn't find it, the GPS wasn't very helpful. I told her to stop the car and look around. She didn't, just kept driving listening to the GPS and talking to me. I knew about where she was - on the street parallel to the train station drive - but she wouldn't look either left or right to find the train tracks, therefore knowing which way to turn.

When we were driving to her summer cottage last month, she did the same thing - the GPS directions overrode her common sense.

She's a bright person whose only failing in these situations is turning over the thinking to a non-thinking object.

I hate to believe it's human nature, but I think that it is. And for that reason, I believe it's important to continue to exercise your mind - with manual plotting of your course, visually observing your surroundings, steering your boat. Avoiding a ship you're on a collision course with even though you believe that you have the "right of way".

I think that this is also why I recommend newbies to sailing/boating/cruising that they learn how to sail before buying a boat. That they learn to plot a course using paper charts before buying a chart plotter. Etc., etc. Not only because these electronic things fail at the most inopportune moments, but also because there is no computer that is as good at processing information from the data received than the human brain. But it needs training and practice.

Use it or lose it.

Step down from the soapbox now.
__________________
In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

SY WATERMELON |
MV WATERMELON (New) | Cruiser's Dictionary, free ebook

= Cruiser's Dictionary, North America,
JeanneP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2007, 03:03 PM   #8
Commander
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 143
Default

I'm with Jeanne. Common sense, along with all your senses, along with plotting knowledge and a good paper chart to confirm the GPS are all necessary. My husband was along with a professional skipper bringing a boat up the Delta, water with which Michael was very familiar, having sailed it for years. It was night ,and the skipper was watching the lights and the GPS. Michael told him he needed to make a sharp turn to port, whereas the skipper was determined that the best course was straight ahead toward the light. Straight ahead would have taken them across a small peninsula to the light he was seeing. Fortunately, he remembered that he'd brought Michael along for a reason and turned to port, highly embarrassed when they indeed did come out on the other side of land to find the light in question. I'm sure the paper chart would have confirmed Michael's statement, but it was below, and the land loomed, invisible in the dark.

I like our two GPS units, the chart plotter, and MaxSea on the computer, but I always have the paper chart handy with points plotted and an awareness of where we are. Having found ourselves anchored 100 feet inland--according to the chart plotter--I want to have all the resources available to check one another.
__________________
SeaVenture is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2007, 02:45 AM   #9
Ensign
 
maxingout's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 24
Default

Incidentally, in those early days of GPS, my first unit was a Magellan which sourced three satellites and cost me, on special, $4000.

David.

[/quote]

My first GPS was also a Magellan that cost $2000, but I had it for navigating in the Arabian desert. But even in my desert days, I had a WWII aeronautical bubble sextant that I used for navigation. At night in our camp I would take star sights with the bubble sextant and compare that to our DR and GPS positions. I was usually within 2-4 miles of our correct position, which is pretty good when you are using an antique bubble sextant.

On our circumnavigation, we had paper charts the whole way around, but on the last half of the circumnavigation, we used C-map on our computer. At first I was skeptical using C-map, but after I adapted, I found that C-map was a big help. I used it primarly to orient me to my surroundings. I didn't trust it to tell me where I was. Instead, I used it to tell me what I should be seeing from where I was, and then I trusted my eyes to conifrm that what I was supposed to be seeing was actually there.

I think that C-map made me a better navigator because it forced me to be more aware of my surroundings. Neverthelss, I never trusted my C-map, and I always trusted my eyes.
__________________

maxingout is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Keep Up To Date On The Latest Cruising Gear And Gadgets Lighthouse Other Equipment 0 08-05-2009 05:04 PM
Latest Galapagos Entry Requirements taisho General Cruising Forum 0 01-12-2009 11:42 PM
Latest Time Of Year You Can Do A Transatlantic Voyage? searad General Cruising Forum 4 07-03-2008 12:02 PM

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

RV & Travel Trailer Communities

Our RV & Travel Trailer sites encompasses virtually all types of Recreational Vehicles, from brand-specific to general RV communities.

» More about our RV Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


All times are GMT. The time now is 01:33 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0