Originally Posted by smurphny
In response to the discussion on reliance on electronics, I think it is very important to have DR skills. This method of determining position has been largely forgotten by many because of the more accurate and convenient GPS technology. LORAN and RDF were precursors to the newest chartplotter tech. but they all have one thing in common: 12v. When the electricity fails, which it WILL at some point, those without DR skills are simply...lost.
I use a chartplotter and have a backup battery GPS, they are great, but would never try to navigate without a paper chart and a compass. As I have posted before, it is easy to print b/w charts while at anchor from your chartplotter/computer on a cheap inkjet printer (laser will not work on converter). This also gives you the ability to print large or small scale and gives you something to take notes on for log entry later. I make booklets of charts to keep right in the cockpit which are very handy, especially in seeing a larger picture than on the little plotter screen.
I'm sure many of us can remember the problems in trying to navigate with DR alone and no one would want to go back there BUT when all else fails DR will get you where you want to go.
When I first started sailing in 1980 I crewed on a boat from Annapolis to Antigua. We had only a sextant, a log and charts. In a storm for 3 days we could not take noon sites due to clouds, used DR. The log we used was a metal fully mechanical one hung from the stern rail and had about 100 feet of line to a propeller. A few weeks ago I was looking to buy one of these but no one seems to make them. Everthing I see is electrical and solid state. Any idea where you can buy a mechanical log like this?