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  #1  
Old 12-01-2013
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singlehanded close navigation

Looking for ideas on shallow water navigation with no bow person to watch. Has any one tried a camera?
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Old 12-01-2013
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Re: singlehanded close navigation

I have not tried a camera . I think if I had to do something like that I would get a remote control for the autopilot and stand on the bow . And go really slow .
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Old 12-01-2013
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Re: singlehanded close navigation

What are you watching for? I pick through the flats quite often with sails eased off genny partially furled . Like using a boat hook to sound the seasonal channels. Also wear polarized glasses you can see color changes on water and bottom far better.
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Old 12-01-2013
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Re: singlehanded close navigation

it depends on where you are. Here in Southern NJ, the back bays are a pretty uniform opaque green. The oceans are much more clear and you can generally tell shallow areas from deep by the colour
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Old 12-02-2013
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Re: singlehanded close navigation

I've never seen one in action, but I question whether the resolution on a camera/screen would be sufficient to distinguish water depth coloration.

They do make forward depth sounders, but I'm not sure how well they work either.
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Old 12-02-2013
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Re: singlehanded close navigation

Kind of goes along with a thread that's active now about the age of sailing.... the gizmos. Trying to watch a screen and sail the boat is akin to a pilot chasing his VSI while flying VFR. The possibility exists that one would get focased in on the screen and forget to watch what's going on all around and have an "oops".

I'd strongly advise against such procedure and follow Oyserman's .02. If you have a depth sounder with an alarm, you can set that to any depth... when that rascal says "beep".... you take it from there.
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Old 12-02-2013
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Re: singlehanded close navigation

I wonder if a fish finder could be rigged on the bow with the screen in the cockpit to help navigate in shallow water. Where I sail (Pamlico Sound) the water is dark tea color and you cant see a whole lot.
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Old 12-02-2013
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Re: singlehanded close navigation

markwestis post is on the mark...

have some form of controllable autopilot or manual method of steering the boat from the bow(I have used lines to blocks to a tiller before) and you can perch yourself on the bow pit, or even at the mast a little higher up so you can get a better visual of the waters you are travelling...

I have often stood on the mast winches on bigger boats that raises you like 5 feet or so off the cabin deck...this is usually a much better point of view than at deck level and helps contrast those areas you are looking to avoid...

safe sailing!

ps this is assuming you have a depthsounder btw...if not you can navigate slowly with a long pole or stick and sound the areas you are navigating, if its murky...another method of course is the classic line and weight with markers...I like the pole cause if string enough and on small boats you can move yourself if need be...

Last edited by christian.hess; 12-02-2013 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 12-02-2013
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Re: singlehanded close navigation

The problem with the remote AP idea is you still may need to suddenly stop and reverse.

btw - that functionality is available too - we watched a guy dock his 55 MY with a remote from his foredeck last summer... gearshift, bow and stern thrusters all by wireless remote. I think the only limitation he had was no throttle, it was all at idle. Money fixes all!!
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Old 12-02-2013
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Re: singlehanded close navigation

ergo the GO SLOWLY PART

and yes money can fix it all...but Ive seen some stuff that money intended to fix on boats and MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN we could start a whole new thread on miracle money fixes! jajajaja

cheers
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