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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #11  
Old 03-18-2007
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ahhhh this may sound dumb but have any of u guys looked at google earth its got a ruler that lookes pretty accurate and gives the gps location on anything under the cursor its pretty detailed and u can see whats on shore
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Looking at harbours on google earth while planning a trip can be kind of useful for getting an idea of what you will see in an unfamiliar place. That's about as far as it goes though. Also, when you say GPS location, I assume that you mean Latittude and Longitude, or position, something that a Gps will give you for it's particular location in the world.

Beyond that, google earth is really just a fun toy. It doesn't tell you anything about depth or underwater obstructions, Nav aids (buoys and the like), shipping lanes, the location of anchorages etc. etc. etc. You need charts.
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Old 03-19-2007
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IIRC, Google Earth also requires one thing not available on most small sailboats... an active internet connection. Yes, using Google Earth for anything beyond a rough estimate of distances for a journey is a good way to start on your Darwin Award...

You need to have charts or software that accounts for water depth, navigation channels and aids, bridge heights, and other things that will adversely affect your boat in the real world.

Also, it is rather foolish to rely solely on an electronic system of charts, especially on a small sailboat, where electricity is less than reliable as a general rule.... you need to carry paper charts that cover the same areas that your electronic ones do at a minimum, along with the tools to use them—dividers, protractor, compass, parallel rules, hand-bearing compass, binoculars, coast pilot, tide tables, etc.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #14  
Old 03-19-2007
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Talking

As sailingdog indicates, to rely on electronic charts is foolish for small boats. I'll even expand that to include ships too. As part of my job, I spend a fair amount of time on U.S. Navy destroyers. They just approved the use of electronic charts for navigation, but still use papercharts in CIC for nav.

On Victoria, we carry the laptop w/GPS & chart software, a Garmin handheld, and paper backup charts. I wouldn't even leave the dock without the paper charts, it's that important. Only once in 35 years have I gone on a trip without paper and that resulted in losing our anchor in the Delaware Bay at 0300. The good news is that I was young and stupid and learned from the mistake (got a good story out of it too).

Google Earth is simply a joke, in my opinion. Even with my trusty Mac, things can happen.....
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Old 12-12-2008
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Is anyone using raytech RNS navigation software? If so are you satisfied with with what it provides? Am planning an offshore cruise and want some backups. Presently have all raymarine equipment (E-series).
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Old 12-13-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabreman View Post
As sailingdog indicates, to rely on electronic charts is foolish for small boats.
I agree. Amazing how hard it is to convince people of this, though.
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Old 12-13-2008
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Even on very large ships—where the navigation console is well sheltered and a long distance from any water that might damage the electronics, with electrical systems that are far more reliable than that found on a small sailboat—electronic charts are not the sole resource for the navigator, as most still require paper charts aboard.
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I agree. Amazing how hard it is to convince people of this, though.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 12-13-2008
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If you want radar, you'll need vendor specific software. Those are expensive. Buying a plotter is cheaper and plotters are much more reliable, use less power, can be much more easily mounted at the helm and are vastly more daylight viewable.
I kept trying to get myself into a computer based nav setup. Couldn't do it. Looked at a remote monitor for the helm, that cost more money, looked at feeding radar and that cost more money, looked at the reliability/durability and went EEEK.
I do have a hockey puck USB/GPS and Seaclear on my laptop as a backup that can operate at the nav station below. But having a plotter right at the helm is fantastic. Shop for last years discontinued model and you'll get off cheaper than some of those nav software packages.
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Old 12-14-2008
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RAytech RNS

Someone asked if anyone uses this program. I do. I have a Macbook pro computer with a large screen. I partitioned the hard drive and installed Windows XP using bootcamp, thus I can boot the computer either in the Mac OS or Window XP. For navigation I obviously boot into windows. The computer is plugged into the Raymarine bus and the Navionics Gold card is in my E80 chartplotter that is at the helm. The computer is secure down below at the chart table. Since it takes more power, we generally only use it when close to shore or wanting to do some planning, since it is a LOT easier to work on a laptop, than on a chartplotter. I would NOT want only the laptop however, since it takes only ONE spilled cup of coffee or any other fluid (even humidity over time) and you'll be seeing a blue screen, if that.
I also have paper charts from Bellingham Chart printers. They are grayscale and printed to order (I notice their website is down so I hope they're still in business).

Ive previously used Nobeltec and was very happy with it. However having the Raymarine hardware I was forced to change and became used to the Raytech program and now really like it. The latest version is 6.1, which has the main upgrade from mine (6.0), that the Raymarine AIS data is now displayed on the computer as well. It's a major irritation on our system that the AIS only displays on the chartplotter. I'm still awaiting a response from Raymarine to find out how to upgrade and what it will cost.

So, Yes I've used Rayteck from Newport RI, all the way through the Caribbean down to Grenada and really like the program. As with everything, one needs to get used to it. There are still features I don't understand but the ones I want and need, work very well.

Magnus Murphy
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  #20  
Old 12-14-2008
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Magnus—

You might want to check out either Parallels or VMware Fusion. Either should allow you to run the RayTech RNS via a virtual machine without having to reboot the machine into windows. Far more convenient and useful. You do take a performance hit compared to running it native, but considering the power of the new Core 2 Duo machines, that isn't much of an issue, especially if you consider the convenience of it.
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New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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