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Old 09-20-2008, 05:17 AM   #1
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Hi folks,

I've recently read somewhere about the existence of "GPS anchors" available on some pleasure craft. Whereas I understand the concept behind this wonderful development, I would love to hear comments on it from those of you who may have had first hand experience with it.

As a corollary, would something like this be worth installing as a retrofit? I have no idea of the costs involved in acquiring such stuff.

Thanks in advance.

- MP
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Old 09-20-2008, 06:06 AM   #2
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Hello MP,

I guess you are taking about the Fortress - which in fact has been around for some ten years at least. CascadeGPS

----------------------------------------

This link will take to discussions in our forums on anchors - including the fortress.

ANCHORS

If you have more questions - please come back here.

Richard
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Old 09-20-2008, 11:50 AM   #3
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Hi Richard,

Quote:
Originally Posted by MMNETSEA View Post
I guess you are taking about the Fortress - which in fact has been around for some ten years at least. CascadeGPS
Afraid not Richard. What i read was a system that utilized GPS satellites to "lock" a boat's position with a computer controlling throttles & thrusters to maintain position. No physical anchor was required.

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Old 09-20-2008, 12:29 PM   #4
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Well, if you had only mentioned that in the first place!

How does this 'system' function when everyone on our cruising yacht has furled the sails - turned the engine off - and is enjoying a quiet dinner in a peaceful anchorage?
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Old 09-20-2008, 12:33 PM   #5
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What about wind-shift/swell-shift, etc.? Could get really uncomfortable.

Give me an anchor anyday!
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Old 09-20-2008, 02:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Well, if you had only mentioned that in the first place!
Sorry guys, just trying to understand a technology that I've briefly chanced upon ...
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Old 09-20-2008, 02:25 PM   #7
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I think that the simple answer may well be that this technology would not be suitable for a cruising yacht. Interesting concept though!
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Old 09-20-2008, 05:25 PM   #8
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I'm certainly no expert, but...

I believe what we're talking about here is "Dynamic Positioning" a system which has been around for quite some time for station keeping. All are now interfaced with GPS. It's a method to keep a powerful vessel in one spot by use of computer controlled thrusters and main propulsion system.

Commonly used on research & oilfield vessels but completely inappropriate for a sailing vessel as it requires a ship-load of energy to "hover" in one spot for any length of time. I can immagine dynamic positioning as a new & trendy accessory on some of the newer lulury yachts as an aide for landing helicopters or fishing or watching sunsets or whatever it is the filthy rich do while idling away their time at sea.

GPS sure is a helpful tool for setting-up an anchor watch... especially when working in conjunction with a chart plotter.

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Old 09-20-2008, 08:55 PM   #9
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I worked with DP systems a while back on a multi-support vessel. We used it when divers were down working on the seabed around platforms in the North Sea. GPS was not accurate enough nor was it safe enough for this kind of work so we placed a transponder on a rig and used that to as the DP's referance point.

As for the filthy rich - well that is a lifestyle I know nothing about nor am I likely to.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 09-21-2008, 03:59 PM   #10
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Hi Kirk,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gallivanters View Post
I believe what we're talking about here is "Dynamic Positioning" a system which has been around for quite some time for station keeping. All are now interfaced with GPS. It's a method to keep a powerful vessel in one spot by use of computer controlled

<snip>

newer lulury yachts as an aide for landing helicopters or fishing or watching sunsets or whatever it is the filthy rich do while idling away their time at sea.

GPS sure is a helpful tool for setting-up an anchor watch... especially when working in conjunction with a chart plotter.
Firstly, thanks for the explanation. Makes sense.

However, I don't completely agree that it's only for the "filthy rich" ... the article I chanced upon was for a 40' yacht that offered a joystick control with GPS anchor as an option. The craft was running IPS engines and no thrusters.

Perhaps this technology is derived from really expensive systems that used to be installed on mega yachts or ships, but only in concept. I think the advance in computers has made it much more accessible to smaller boats.

My two cents worth ...

Thanks.

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Old 12-27-2008, 04:24 AM   #11
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I saw one vessel using this system in Bermuda in October, 2007. The boat was Octopus owned by Paul Allen. WARNING - the link to to a PowerPoint.

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Old 12-27-2008, 11:28 AM   #12
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I'm just curious as to the reason that a cruising yacht would want such a system. *Run one's engines to stay in one place when dropping an anchor is less complicated, quieter, and somewhat less prone to failure. *Who wants to sit in one place for several hours with a noisy engine running if there's an alternative - i.e., anchoring?
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Old 12-27-2008, 06:04 PM   #13
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In my case, Jeanne, we used the DP system in about 300 feet of water, where anchoring would not have worked due to the scope of the rode as the diving bell would not remain sufficiently stable to ensure the safety of the divers.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 12-27-2008, 06:14 PM   #14
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Interesting technology for a MOTOR cruiser or commercial vessel. As far as I can see, totally inappropriate for a SAILING cruiser. Anchoring in deep water is indeed difficult and staying in one location might be appropriate for a mission-driven trip (e.g. scientific research or commercial endeavors) but makes little sense for the cruiser.

If the cruiser wishes to stay in a general locale of very deep water without making way...well, one can pretty easily heave to, right? Yes, there's drift with it but it does work pretty nicely and doesn't use any energy
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