Nothing has changed in 50 years...many sailors still can't navigate... - Page 16 - SailNet Community
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post #151 of 167 Old 12-04-2013
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Re: Nothing has changed in 50 years...many sailors still can't navigate...

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Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
After reading through all these arguments over the plusses/minuses of the vast array of sophisticated electronics that are now available to everyone at affordable prices, I realized how incorrect the title of this thread is.

"Nothing has changed in 50 years???" I call BS.
You forgot the most important part of the title:"many sailors still can't navigate" is the thesis.

You can buy machines that can show you where to go and drive the boat for you, but that does not mean *you* can navigate. All you are is an output device for the electronics. They navigate, not you. If they croak, you're lost. You can sail around until you bump into something, but that's not navigation.
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post #152 of 167 Old 12-05-2013
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Re: Nothing has changed in 50 years...many sailors still can't navigate...

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You forgot the most important part of the title:"many sailors still can't navigate" is the thesis.

You can buy machines that can show you where to go and drive the boat for you, but that does not mean *you* can navigate. All you are is an output device for the electronics. They navigate, not you. If they croak, you're lost. You can sail around until you bump into something, but that's not navigation.
...which once again highlights just how much things have changed.


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Re: Nothing has changed in 50 years...many sailors still can't navigate...

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...which once again highlights just how much things have changed.
True. I've seen it! Typewriter, rotary dial phone, drafting board, Kodachrome, paper charts. I knew how to use them all(I think it's a myth that most of us don't know how to navigate on paper charts).

But today, I'm a safer better sailor because of GPS. Too often on paper charts, I didn't know where I was. But I managed for a few decades getting up and down the east coast. Digital photos, CAD design, MicrosoftWord, Garmin, this stuff has made me so much better at what I do.

Don't be afraid to navigate with electronic charts, just be sure to look for cows ahead(that hasn't changed).



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Tom Young sailing a 1961 38' Alden Challenger, CHRISTMAS out of
Rockport, Maine.
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post #154 of 167 Old 12-05-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Nothing has changed in 50 years...many sailors still can't navigate...

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I... IMHO, there is NOTHING more important offshore than having a boat capable of doing so with relative ease, and a skipper who is always willing and able to employ the tactic - especially on boats being sailed with shorthanded crew..."
This is great information and advice. How about some specifics for us aspiring offshore sailors who might get caught offshore in snotty conditions?

So, at what angle to the waves should we try to assume?

What if the prevailing wind and waves are at different directions?

What sail configuration for the gale-force conditions in the SDR, deeply-reefed main and storm jib, or trysail and storm jib, or storm jib alone, say for a late 70s/early 80s IOR-influenced fin keel design with a wheel?

(My greatest concern with being hove-to is setting the boat up to be hit broadside by a large breaking wave and suffering a knockdown/roll.)

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Re: Nothing has changed in 50 years...many sailors still can't navigate...

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Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
This is great information and advice. How about some specifics for us aspiring offshore sailors who might get caught offshore in snotty conditions?

So, at what angle to the waves should we try to assume?

What if the prevailing wind and waves are at different directions?

What sail configuration for the gale-force conditions in the SDR, deeply-reefed main and storm jib, or trysail and storm jib, or storm jib alone, say for a late 70s/early 80s IOR-influenced fin keel design with a wheel?

(My greatest concern with being hove-to is setting the boat up to be hit broadside by a large breaking wave and suffering a knockdown/roll.)
Some poor decisions on my part had my daughter and I hove to 50 nm off Cape Ann this past season. Conditions were only heavy because- she was seasick and I was spent after too many hours fighting the wheel downwind in mid 30 winds and following seas. Better planning, another crew member, lots of things would have turned it into a Nantucket Sleigh Ride.

Your greatest concern was my greatest concern- going broadside to the seas- upon broaching or heaving to. It was around midnight. You couldn't see the waves until they were on us.

We hove to under deeply reefed- sheeted bar tight on the centerline- main alone. (every boat is different).

I didn't want any sail forward of the mast as I wanted the boat to head 45 degrees or so into the seas. On my boat, there's enough windage forward in the roller furled sailed to keep the bow heading off.

However, she still has quite a bit of windward power under the smallest reefed main, I found, so you have to adjust and lock the wheel at a point where she won't tack. We even went into a forereach for a spell. At any rate, the 3 hour "sleep over", saved our bacon which I knew it would from past but lesser experiences heaving to.

Still, I wish I'd used better judgement earlier, and not been in the situation. I'm still learning at 60.


I documented that passage here if anyone is interested. Stormy Voyage to Boston Across the Gulf of Maine | Massachusetts

Tom Young sailing a 1961 38' Alden Challenger, CHRISTMAS out of
Rockport, Maine.
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Last edited by TomMaine; 12-05-2013 at 10:20 AM.
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post #156 of 167 Old 12-05-2013
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Re: Nothing has changed in 50 years...many sailors still can't navigate...

well Im sort of ior...an islander 36...deep fin and skeg...but giving advice on specifics like this is very hard on the "nets"

the only way for sure is to test YOUR boat...and tae advice as tips and maybe jot them down for refference while you are actually doing it...

motissier on his boat liked his quarter to the breaking waves...yes his quarter not his stern because in his "canoe" stern if he let the breaking waves hit him dead on it would lift him to much...cavitate and then whip him to either side and then roll over(this in the roaring 40s)

so he tested his boat and found that by giving EITHER cheek of his stern the breaking rumbling water wouldnt lift his boat as much, and since hos quarter was already to the waves the whipping and gyrating was much less...

if you read his book cape horn he even draws a little diagram showing this

he alse preffered to run bare poles over heaving to as he preffered this and his boat did too...

heaving to can be hard to do on some boats...not all boats do it as well, having said that ALL boats will heave to in some manner of sail, no sail, helm over, in the middle or even loose...yes I said it...a bungee on a tiller and loose sometimes works...

ive had 3 full keelers 2 spade rudders and 2 fin and skeg boats...

all used different techniques for heaving to, I dint try it on my last boat which was an islander 34, basically a very shallow cutaway keel with a VERY SMALL RUDDER

this boat suffered badly when at speed(yes I was guilty of pushing the boat to its limits but how do you know unless you try?)

right?

my last trip on this boat I cursed the boat inmensely as the rudder COULD not handle surfing down waves from san francisco to santa cruz, california...the rudder was severely over powered.

I was solo...tethered and pissed off...why cause every puff of wind(30knots steady) would almost completely broach me

the ruddder was so small that I was hard over every time a puff filled the sails...I was reefed main...

In the end because there was no way in hell the autopilot would of worked for even a second I had to let the jib blow...

i know you say impossible, how, why?

why didnt you lash the wheel or douse the main...well its because certain boats can handle certain conditions and because sometimes you do get caught in conditions WHERE YOU CANT LEAVE THE HELM

the worst or best case scenario and the laws of diminshing returns dictate that its better to blow a sail and cruise into where you want rather then round up and risk snapping the boom or mast or worse.

so what does this have to do with heaving to or navigating? well simply put navigating is based on your experience, what you have learned or not and YOUR BOAT

no amount of advice over the internet will ever prepare you for all conditions

my conditions that led me to blow out a 110jib ddw surfing a heavy ass islander 34 at 12 knots...my assumption given the conditions and weather forecast that I would have a sweet 10-15 knot day sail into santa cruz

what I got in the end? a lost dinghy(i was hip towing out of the anchorage and later towing) and a blown jib

what did I learn from this? well all boats are different and even after almost circumnavigating you can always get your ass handed to you...maybe even as a joke from the man upstairs...

something to humble you...

and to add more fuel to the fire...this boat was COMPLETELY outfitted for cruising...aries windvane, massive wheel autopilot, "full keel" strong rigging and mast...everything you needed to be "safe"

so there you have it...

my 2c
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post #157 of 167 Old 12-05-2013
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Re: Nothing has changed in 50 years...many sailors still can't navigate...

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So, can we expect new boats will no longer have a navigation table, or is that still useful as a staging place for hors d'ouvres at the raft up?
holy crap... i do not want that!

just last summer i joined a friend of mine on a 2 weeks trip around naples, the islands there, down to the eolic islands and back...
he was always playing around with his multitude of electronical gadgets he had... during the two weeks where we made 2 crossings (down to the eolic and back again) he plotted not a single position on a chart!

call me old fashioned but i want my chart and i want my position plotted there and not on a flimsy display i do not trust, which blinds me at night and is unreadable in the sunlight...
what i learned from experience and work: everything that can break, breaks (usually in the most inconvenient moments) and only trust software you have written yourself!
and i am software developer, so i know what i am speaking of...
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Re: Nothing has changed in 50 years...many sailors still can't navigate...

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Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
This is great information and advice. How about some specifics for us aspiring offshore sailors who might get caught offshore in snotty conditions?

So, at what angle to the waves should we try to assume?

What if the prevailing wind and waves are at different directions?

What sail configuration for the gale-force conditions in the SDR, deeply-reefed main and storm jib, or trysail and storm jib, or storm jib alone, say for a late 70s/early 80s IOR-influenced fin keel design with a wheel?

(My greatest concern with being hove-to is setting the boat up to be hit broadside by a large breaking wave and suffering a knockdown/roll.)
Sorry, but the only good answer to all those questions is - "It depends..." :-)

Every boat, every situation, every crew - they're all different... Sailors simply need to experiment with this stuff, try to assess what works for them, and what doesn't... Even the most seasoned voyagers are likely to learn something new every time they resort to a tactic like heaving-to...

When I refer to heaving-to, I'm not necessarily thinking of it as a storm or survival tactic. Indeed, there will be many times where one might have to resort to something more active, or 'drastic'... My point is to simply highlight the value of parking the boat simply to take a break, have a decent meal, get some rest, settle down an anxious crewmember, whatever... Much as Tom describes in his excellent account above, sometimes you just need to pull off the interstate into a rest stop, for a while...

There's tons of far better advice out there than I can possibly give here... Steve Dashew's writings are among the best, his SURVIVING THE STORM is an awesome resource, probably the single best I've ever found...

All I can say is what my boat (with an underbody/sail plan probably not too much different from yours) seems to like, at least in winds and open ocean waves up to about 35 or so. Deep reef in the main, sheeted near centerline, no headsail, with the tiller not lashed, but steered by the windvane... technically, she's more forereaching than hove-to, but still making very little headway... The key is having the vane do the 'driving', it prevents her from wanting to tack, or from falling off, and gaining too much speed... As is so often the case, one of those things I discovered 'by accident' in the Stream, beating back up towards Key West from Belize. After furling the headsail, and getting ready to set a backwinded bit of staysail, I realized "Hey, this works fine", and I was able to get 4-5 hours of much needed rest... Sometimes, all you really need to do is basically slow the boat down, that alone can make a world of difference...

Without question, one of my biggest concerns about many modern boats I see today, is the potential difficulty of setting them up in such a way that they will take care of themselves - and, the crew - in such situations... Modern designs with flat bottoms, high freeboard, etc... I'm not sure where one begins with setting them up to properly heave-to, and I would guess many such boats can only be made to do so with the assistance of the massive amount of excess windage aft that stern arches, dinghies on davits, and so on, can afford :-) But I'm afraid that for many of today's boats, the only way to get them to 'behave' properly when trying to park them for a bit in heavy weather, may be to fire up the engine...

So, the only way to figure this stuff out, is to go out and start playing. However, what works fine in 25 knots will not necessarily do so well in 35-40, due to the exponential increase in the force of a rising breeze... The most serious blow I've ever experienced on my own boat, was years ago at the north wall of the Gulf Stream on a trip out to Bermuda... In that instance, amazingly, simply lying ahull worked fine... Of course, that approach is widely considered the most dangerous approach of all, but in that particular situation, and with open ocean waves of a long period, my boat simply slid directly sideways in her own slick for about 6 hours, hardly ever taking a drop of water on deck, it was amazing... But that was a very rare circumstance, indeed...

These are the boats I've had more experience with offshore than any other single design - the Trintella 47 & 50...





Absolutely magnificent sailing machines, but a real challenge to park in a good blow... With their huge rig, and massive amount of windage forward (one real downside of the increasingly popular Solent-style double furling headsails) there's no way to keep the bow up, and maintain a 50 degree angle or thereabouts to the seas... In that instance, I would think a very creative technique described by John Harries on MORGAN'S CLOUD - that of streaming a Galerider from the bow, to windward - might work wonders in keeping the head up, and from forereaching off at too great a speed...

How to Stop Wave Strikes While Heaved-to in a Sailboat Offshore in a Storm





Needless to say, Morgan's Cloud is another superb resource...

Finally, one technique that is widely discussed, but I cannot personally endorse or recommend, is the vaunted Pardey Bridled Para-Anchor... Frankly, I just don't see how any of us mere mortals get that setup to work as they describe... :-) I'm guessing their success with it has a LOT to do with the Lyle Hess design they sail, and is less applicable to most more modern boats...

Evans Starzinger explains why, far better than I'm able to:

http://www.bethandevans.com/seamanship.htm#9a.

Last edited by JonEisberg; 12-05-2013 at 11:56 AM.
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post #159 of 167 Old 12-05-2013
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Re: Nothing has changed in 50 years...many sailors still can't navigate...

nice diagrams jon! a pic or drawing in this case is worth 1000 words of verbiage huh?

wish I was more profficient on the computer and Im "young"

jajaja

peace
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Re: Nothing has changed in 50 years...many sailors still can't navigate...

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Those planes have backups for the backups for their backups and all systems were installed and are constantly maintained by highly qualified techicians.
They don't send Billy Bob down to the discount electronics store and install everything with marettes using a pair of pliers
The comment I responded to said:

"Your little boxes are worthless if *anything* goes wrong with the massive network of wizardry that makes them work."

The same network of wizardry that makes my handheld GPS work also makes the GPS in the aircraft work so they can have 500 levels of redundancy, when my GPS stops working because of a collapse in the network, so do all of theirs.

You see, the paranoia that we're dealing above with suggests that the whole GPS satellite constellation goes belly up. Of course that would give users of GPS a problem but then so would the sun being extinguished.

I rest my case - no more correspondence in this vein will be forthcoming.


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