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Old 02-06-2014
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Re: Magnetic Variance

Originally Posted by sck5 View Post
Rarely do I ever hear anyone give a position in anything but lat/long. In Chesapeake Bay people will often say things like "off Lookout Pt" or "a mile east of red 34" but never have i heard anyone give an exact bearing in either true or magnetic. It might be important in theory and yes, I learned to do it like everyone else but it just doesnt come up very often in real life unless you are still firmly in a paper chart only universe. Most of us arent any more.

Sure, it is a good thing to be ready for disaster to strike but do you REALLY keep a dead reckoning going on a long passage when you can simply read off the lat/long whenever you like and write it in the log? I think a lot of folks are piously repeating what their lessons told them was "proper" but which is a lot of work for a less accurate result.

It is a good idea to remember WHY our teachers told us to do all these calculations. It was to know our position with as much accuracy as possible. Again, I can do it, but why would I waste time with that when I have 4 redundant GPS's which will tell me my position with 10ft. accuracy? It is especially pointless when I am hundreds of miles from land and seem to only rarely have a wind fair enough to head directly toward my goal.
when you give a bearing, you normally give it from a known point, just like you just did. Red 34. You see your point, you glance at your compass and give your bearing from in magnetic. Simple.
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