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  #71  
Old 07-11-2013
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Re: Need Opinion: Chart plotter, north up or course up?

I think the real issue with GPS only it that you use it differently when you don't know basic navigation. It's a well known principle in computers that mistakes are more likely to happen when someone is using them to do calculations they wouldn't know how to do by hand.

Good example:

I went up a very narrow river in Passamaquoddy Bay on a rising tide. It was quite an adventure for a sailboat with a keel. I made up all the way up without touching.

Going back, I had deeper water and the GPS track to follow. I struck twice. Why? Going up, I was watching the current pattens in the water, looking at the shore for clues to where the deep water was. Going down, I my attention was more on the GPS.
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Re: Need Opinion: Chart plotter, north up or course up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Long View Post
I think the real issue with GPS only it that you use it differently when you don't know basic navigation. It's a well known principle in computers that mistakes are more likely to happen when someone is using them to do calculations they wouldn't know how to do by hand.
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Great point, Roger.

It kind of boils down to having enough basic knowledge to know when what the electronics are telling you don't make sense. If all a kid knows how to do is punch numbers into a pocket calculator, and doesn't actually know multiplication tables, then when he/she makes a fat finger mistake or misplaces a decimal point, they'll have no clue that their total is way off.

All too often we read about people who blindly follow their car nav systems with humorous or tragic results.

Yes, electronics are a great tool, but it should never be the only one in your toolbox.
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  #73  
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Re: Need Opinion: Chart plotter, north up or course up?

With regard to the loss of ships power; I always keep a battery operated handheld on with the active route loaded. ( and plenty of spare batteries) I also like it on because it has a graphing barometer, a compass and other useful information. The related paper chart is always open and notated on the chart table.

I also like to distinguish between Piloting and Navigation. I'm guessing that 90 + % of the time boaters are piloting their vessels using visual aids. Transiting a river, or the ICW, running along a coast line etc. More important to me than where north is, is how much water is under my keel, where is the next mark, Where is that big ship headed etc. So I find myself using my eyes, a depth sounder ( an electronic device) and binoculars more than anything else. When inland or near coastal I'm probably using course up, as a check against what I'm seeing. @ 5 kn. the screen doesn't move that fast. Either works, I don't seem to have a problem switching. I can see where North up when offshore on a long passage keeps everyone on the same page.
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  #74  
Old 07-11-2013
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Re: Need Opinion: Chart plotter, north up or course up?

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Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
snip

You can pick and chose which electronics to use (I notice you use the demon computer to post) and let the technology help you become a better safer sailor, or you can get left behind. ( grin). Not referring to you Jon...you use GPS of course ( grin).
Dave, It seems to me you are being somewhat unfair. JE (irritating grin or no irritating grin) is on record in this very thread as saying his primary nav aid is GPS and as you have yourself noted he seems to be using a computer from time to time. I daresay the old luddite probably has a mobile phone, has updated from oil to electricity for his lights and rumour has it the hamster has gone and replaced by one of them new fangled infernal combustion thingys.
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Re: Need Opinion: Chart plotter, north up or course up?

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Originally Posted by tdw View Post
Dave, It seems to me you are being somewhat unfair. JE (irritating grin or no irritating grin) is on record in this very thread as saying his primary nav aid is GPS and as you have yourself noted he seems to be using a computer from time to time. I daresay the old luddite probably has a mobile phone, has updated from oil to electricity for his lights and rumour has it the hamster has gone and replaced by one of them new fangled infernal combustion thingys.
Not trying to denigrate JE. I have the utmost respect for him and would jump at the chance to learn from him on a delivery or sail sometime if he'd have me. I'd even keep my charts north, plotter north and turn off my iPad and cell.

We do have differences in opinions, especially when it comes to electronics and the experience of modern sailors, but most of what he posts I agree with.

Sorry if my sarcasm has overshadowed that
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Re: Need Opinion: Chart plotter, north up or course up?

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Originally Posted by tdw View Post
Dave, It seems to me you are being somewhat unfair. JE (irritating grin or no irritating grin) is on record in this very thread as saying his primary nav aid is GPS and as you have yourself noted he seems to be using a computer from time to time. I daresay the old luddite probably has a mobile phone, has updated from oil to electricity for his lights and rumour has it the hamster has gone and replaced by one of them new fangled infernal combustion thingys.
Nah, I'm a Luddite, through and through... I rate my Sailomat windvane as the best money I will ever spend on my boat, after all...

Sometimes I wonder how I've managed to fit all this crap tethered to 12V into my little 30-footer, however...

Simrad 32 plotter at nav station
Simrad 44 plotter / 4 KW radar in cockpit
(3) Garmin 48 handheld GPS (one lives in ditch bag)
Furuno NX 300 NAVTEX
Icom 802 SSB
Pactor III modem
Standard GX 2150 VHF w/ AIS
C.A.R.D. radar detector
Iridium satphone
ACR 406 EPIRB
Raymarine 6002 tillerpilot /w spare control head and (2) spare rams
(2) Standard 406 Handleld VHF, plus one other that lives in ditch bag
Fog-Mate signal horn system

However, I don't use a computer for navigation, nor have an iPad (yet), so that places me light-years behind the masses today... (annoying grin)

Apologies for the (grins), but I starting posting to the old CW forum well before we had Smiley Icons... Old habits die hard with us Luddites, you know... :-)
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  #77  
Old 07-12-2013
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Re: Need Opinion: Chart plotter, north up or course up?

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
You can configure it any way you like. The only wrong answer is from those that insist they are right or belittle those that choose differently.

I was also taught to navigate in the military. If you at sitting at a desk or fixed position, often in a room barking orders to those getting the job done, north is up. If you are on the move, you put your compass on the map and keep north on the map pointing north, ie it is always oriented to the surrounding terrain.

It's not a question of whether you can do the spacial orientation, it's the bandwidth you are wasting on it, which could be used to move, shoot and communicate.

Personally, I set the aircraft display to course up as well, although, there was no such thing when I started flying.
I was an Arty guy for 10 years. North up for orentation and course up for travel. Now everything is done by Inertia and GPS. Move shoot and communicate.....guess you were Arty as well.
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Re: Need Opinion: Chart plotter, north up or course up?

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Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Simrad 44 plotter / 4 KW radar in cockpit
That explains why you can't use heading up.. The redraw time on the Simrad 44 plotter's are horrible.
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Re: Need Opinion: Chart plotter, north up or course up?

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That explains why you can't use heading up.. The redraw time on the Simrad 44 plotter's are horrible.
Well, it's a hell of an improvement over the CR 42 I had previously, that thing redrew at a positively glacial pace... My CP 32 below is extremely slow to redraw, as well... By most people's standards today, both of those units are hopelessly obsolete, and badly in need of replacement - but a dinosaur like me will elect to spend my next couple of boat bucks on a new Code 0, instead...

But, trust me, I've run plenty of boats with plotters that redraw in an instant, that's not the sole reason why my preference is for North-Up... :-)



Last edited by JonEisberg; 07-12-2013 at 06:50 AM.
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Re: Need Opinion: Chart plotter, north up or course up?

I'm surprised no one has mentioned what I find is the best thing about COG (course over ground) up.

It lets me easily see how the currents are affecting the vessel. Especially in unfamiliar waters.
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