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  #41  
Old 02-10-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vega1860 View Post
Valiente, there are a couple of seeming contradictions in your post.

Yes, I see that. Looks like I want it both ways. I suppose it's because it is hard to obtain a taff rail/Walker log these days, and what I've read of them seems to involve losing them to hungry, large fish. I suppose I could use the very traditional method of chucking a board on a bridle off the bow, and counting the seconds until it passes the stern! Fun for the kid, maybe.


Concerning my comment about needing a mechanical log or other manual means of determining boat speed for maintaining a DR position you said:

The GPSes do this quite well, and we keep hourly logs from which we derive set and drift, etc. DR positions are customarily kept and then compared with bearings taken from the shore (when it's visible) or against GPS reports. I plan to add celestial-derived positioning into the mix in order to add another element this summer.

Further down the page you say:

GPS is a great way to *confirm* a position...but it too, can be off: I've seen with my own eyes a significant correction to a GPS display even while it was reporting a good contact with four satellites. Briefly, my boat was doing 130 knots SOG, until I learned I was four miles SSW of where I'd been seconds before! Thanks to pilotage, I knew that the GPS system itself was "having a moment", (I had two GPSes on, and they both went briefly mental) which is why I like to have as many sources of information as possible, like following a 10 fathom contour line, for instance.

OK. You like using a sextant but, remember, we didnít get a good enough look at the sun to get a sight for over a month on our crossing.

No moon or stars at night, either? If I have confirmation of my time, I don't necessarily need a noon sight.


You said:
I differentiate between the deck log and the maintenance log, butwhat I'm talking about here is a record of your position plots, be they by DR, Observation or GPS. My point was the need for position determined by two or more separate means, belt and suspenders, and comparing the relative accuracy of the positions determined by various methods so you are aware of the accuracy you are achieving.

Sometimes the problem is terminology. What I usually do on the lake is to study the lake chart to get a general bearing that combines shortest distance with a safe margin off any known nav hazards (there are few on Lake Ontario excepting a couple of reefs, rocks and headlands). Then I do my plots on a chartbook, a "not for navigation" wire binder collection of older, out of copyright charts that nonetheless suffice for plotting courses. Due to the "bent carrot" shape of Lake Ontario, the logical course will frequently be several miles offshore, so what you want is bearings to whatever landmarks you can see at that distance, of which there are several (CN Tower, Crysler Point power station chimney, etc.) So I will take visual bearings on deck, plus a simultaneous GPS position, and only if they fail to match will I trot out the "official" paper chart. In heavy weather or fog, I will keep a DR in terms of noting how long and at what logged speed (either from the sounder, which has a SOG function, or the helm GPS)and course we've been travelling. I don't mind sailing in fog in terms of navigation, but I do worry about other vessels, which is why I'm looking forward to getting radar. Radar is not necessary for yachts on the Great Lakes in most situations, but I believe it's pretty critical on an ocean-going boat, if you can justify the power draw issues and can interpret the display. I've had a bit of practice at this, and I am fascinated by looking at distant weather via radar, as well as discerning seawall gaps at night and other hard to locate features.



(I might add that I agree with your observations on celestial. Itís just that on a boat the size of a Vega in all but a flat calm sea it is nearly impossible to get a decent sight.)

I would imagine. Our boat is a more stable platform naturally, and having the ability to brace against the pilothouse (handy for binoculars as well) means you can do the bob and weave thing smoothly in order to bring down the sun or planet.

On the subject of logbooks: we use a day planner zipper binder with tabs dividing the engine log, provisioning lists, stowage plan, expense record, position log and daily journal. It has pockets and inserts to hold our passports, vessel documentation, Veterinarians health certificate for the cat, Yacht Club membership cards, Coast Guard inspection certificate etc. You will really impress the Coasties if you whip out the book that has everything organized at your fingertips. The inspection, if they bother to inspect at all after seeing that you have your act together, will go a lot more smoothly. When they ask if you have flares, for example, just flip to the page where you have recorded the purchase and expiration dates and tell them. What could have been an ugly experience ended up nothing more that them standing on the dock filling out the form and me sitting on the boat with my logbook.

That's a good idea. I use a binder with three-hole paper currently, but the "ship's papers" are by the companionway in a plastic slipcover. The zipper binder might be a better idea because it should be at least splash-proof.

Frankly, a lot of my decisions come from having the pilothouse, which I treat as an office...a dry office. I only bring on deck what I need to, which is usually just a handheld VHF and maybe a handheld GPS. If it's raining, I'll move inside unless I need to be actively sailing with a lot of sail trimming.


Good point about the barometer BTW. Essential equipment for offshore, in my opinion, but, like everything else, only if you know how to use it. Laura got quite good at forecasting the weather using the barometer, thermometer and watching the clouds. Then again, you may have a weather fax or satellite internet connection but whatís the fun in that eh?

In addition to the wristwatch (which shows me just now that the pressure drop of the last six hours has levelled off), we have a traditional aneroid barometer, plus a Speedtech recording barometer with humidity and temp readings. Once calibrated, it has proven to be exceptionally accurate (there's a major weather station 200 metres from my dock). I treat the Internet connection (wireless at dock) when I have a laptop aboard like the GPS: it provides some of the data to determine how I plan my day. For instance, if it's stinking hot with a SSW breeze in late July at 9 A.M., and I see on a North American weather map storms in Indiana or Illinois or Michigan, odds are excellent that squalls will form by late afternoon and will march right up the lake. I have also used live weather radar in race situations, not only to determine whether it's safe to race at all, but to gauge where disturbed air is likely to be, and at what point the onshore and offshore winds of evening will trade places. All good fun, if you don't put too much faith in it.

We enjoy being self reliant. We enjoy learning how sailors crossed the oceans in the 18th 19th and early 20th centuries and trying out their methods in our own voyaging. The old ways still work, are challenging and, for us, fun. But letís not be foolish about it. We carry a set of signal flags for fun. Not as a substitute for a VHF.

I made a Q flag, but I have to admit, I don't carry signal flags. Maybe after I get a sewing machine!
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  #42  
Old 02-10-2008
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Mr. W. Bat:

I see that using that split pipe insulation foam to cushion your lifelines is as popular down under as it is here...or is that the darker sort of "pool noodle"?
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  #43  
Old 02-10-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdw View Post
Plumper,

Vega,
What was it the English used to say about you septics during WWII ? Overpaid , over sexed and over here ? Something like that. Actually I think it's fair to say that despite the opposition to the war itself, American servicemen have always received a warm welcome here. Even an old peacenik like me is likely to be out to welcome in visiting US ships and I don't mean with protest banners flying.

ps - I could be absolutely anal about it and remind you that when he commanded Endeavour Cook was but a lieutenant. But I won't.

Thanks again for this thread.
WWII was a bit before my time Plumper but the discription would apply, I think, to all men of soldiering age. I don't know about the overpaid part. It's all relative I suppose. We all greatly appreciated the hospitality BTW.

Yes, Cook was a mere Lieutenant when he commanded Endeavour but, of course was called "Captain" in accordance with tradition. Were you aware that he was not even commissioned, just a warrant officer when he was selected to command the first voyage? He was commissioned because the admiralty needed the man in charge to be an officer. He was later "Made Post" and was a Post Captain when he attended the famous barbeque held by the Hawaiians in his honor at Kealakekua-Kona. The famous Captain Bligh was also a Lieutenant at the nime of the mutiny on the Bounty.

You may also have noticed that Bark Endeavour is not a bark at all. Rather she is ship rigged having square sails on all three masts. Why then is she not called HMS Endeavour? Because a mere Lieutenant could not command a "Ship". Those of us with too much time on their hands may also note that Bounty, also ship rigged, was not HMS Bounty but rather HMAV Bounty. For the same reason.

Malie ke kai

Last edited by vega1860; 02-10-2008 at 04:06 PM. Reason: typo
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  #44  
Old 02-10-2008
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Originally Posted by vega1860 View Post
WWII was a bit before my time Plumper but the discription would apply, I think, to all men of soldiering age. I don't know about the overpaid part. It's all relative I suppose. We all greatly appreciated the hospitality BTW.

Yes, Cook was a mere Lieutenant when he commanded Endeavour but, of course was called "Captain" in accordance with tradition. Were you aware that he was not even commissioned, just a warrant officer when he was selected to command the first voyage? He was commissioned because the admiralty needed the man in charge to be an officer. He was later "Made Post" and was a Post Captain when he attended the famous barbeque held by the Hawaiians in his honor at Kealakekua-Kona. The famous Captain Bligh was also a Lieutenant at the nime of the mutiny on the Bounty.

You may also have noticed that Bark Endeavour is not a bark at all. Rather she is ship rigged having square sails on all three masts. Why then is she not called HMS Endeavour? Because a mere Lieutenant could not command a "Ship". Those of us with too much time on their hands may also note that Bounty, also ship rigged, was not HMS Bounty but rather HMAV Bounty. For the same reason.

Malie ke kai
I certainly didn't mean to imply your were quite that ancient yon mariner.

The Lieut v Captain thing is one of those very irritating issues that pedants seem to love to have a gnaw at. Of absolutely no consequence to most of us. Then again we cold start a gazillion page thread to debate the meaning of ship v boat.

As for the Bark, you have me there. I certainly hadn't realised that but then i'm in no way even vaguely expert on square riggers.

btw, on the subject of simplicity, we were watching a 50ish foot wishbone ketch out on the harbour yesterday. She had four sails , three wishbone plus the mizzen, which was larger than your usually see on a ketch, so all sails self tacking. I suppose, never having experienced this, that the negative would be raising and lowering the sails with those wishbones attached. It did keep all the sails to quite handy sizes given the LOA of the boat itself.

Ignoring those who can afford to pay for the work done on their boats the other major negative of big boats for most of us is the amount of work involved in simply keeping the things clean. Even a 40'er is a major task to scrub down and antifoul. To maintain a 50'er would be a serious trial methinks. Our 28'er we could haul, scrub, paint and have back in the water within 24 hours easily. The 34'er it can be done but certainly not so easy.

That ketch from yesterday was a real beauty, evoking images of Adverntures in Paradise but oh my. Upkeep on a 50' timber ketch ? No thanks.
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  #45  
Old 02-10-2008
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Originally Posted by Valiente View Post
Mr. W. Bat:

I see that using that split pipe insulation foam to cushion your lifelines is as popular down under as it is here...or is that the darker sort of "pool noodle"?
Sprung !! Other than the comfort aspect it's really not a great result though. The foam itself is far from UV stable. We've had 18 months out of those and they need replacing.

We are in the process of having new sail and bimini covers made and I'm thinking maybe to have covers for the foam made also. Just a simple tube with velcro fastening. It would look so much better, be more comfortable and solve the deterioration problem.

Which reminds me.

Years ago it seemed that almost every cruising boat sported lee clothes on the cockpit lifelines. You still see them but they appear to be nowhere near as popular these days. Any thoughts, anyone, on why this is so ? Or indeed is it so ?
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Old 02-10-2008
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Quote:
Years ago it seemed that almost every cruising boat sported lee clothes on the cockpit lifelines. You still see them but they appear to be nowhere near as popular these days. Any thoughts, anyone, on why this is so ? Or indeed is it so ?
I think it has to do with stuff, BBQ grills, propane tanks, solar panels, all take up space and need some way to attach to the rail. Then you really don't want to block any views with a lee cloth of that shiny Magma grill.
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Old 02-10-2008
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Plumper,
There are two Endeavours. The one you are talking about 'the Young Endeavour' was a gift to Oz from Britain at the time of our bicentenary in 1988. She nows calls Newcastle home. We were moored across the way from her when we sailed into Newcastle year before last. Good looking thing but not a replica.

[
I am aware of the Young Endeavour. A close friend was the Captain for a couple years. He used to be my Navigator on another ship. He sent my a great book on the history of the ship. Good read.
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  #48  
Old 02-10-2008
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I am aware of the Young Endeavour. A close friend was the Captain for a couple years. He used to be my Navigator on another ship. He sent my a great book on the history of the ship. Good read.
I did mean to preface that post with "hope I'm not stating the bleedin' obvious".
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Old 02-10-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdw View Post

Which reminds me.

Years ago it seemed that almost every cruising boat sported lee clothes on the cockpit lifelines. You still see them but they appear to be nowhere near as popular these days. Any thoughts, anyone, on why this is so ? Or indeed is it so ?
We have them on Lealea. Ours go all the way around the stern. Makes for much improved privacy while in the marina and a drier cockpit at sea.

That whole bark, ship, brig, sloop thing is a great topic for discussion while everyone is half looped on beer but the plain fact is that it was never engraved in granite. There is British naval tradition of course but that depends on the period.

And of course that which we call a "Sloop" today


Is very different from the "Sloop" of the mid 19th century
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Old 02-11-2008
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I think weather cloths (with the boat's name, naturally), are a great spray and wind break (and most sailors like to break wind, in my experience). I see no reason why they can't be made up the same time as the lee clothes for the sea berths...something else a lot of boats seem to have forgotten these days.
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