Real Life Coastal Cruising - First Time - Bent Rudder - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 17 Old 02-07-2014
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Re: Real Life Coastal Cruising - First Time - Bent Rudder

I guess you never read the warning on your chart plotter, as it warms up, that specifically states that the unit should NOT be used as your sole form of navigation, but only as an aid to navigation? Charts aren't a bad thing to have aboard, if one is traveling to unfamiliar waters. CORRECTED charts.
You also learned that you'd have been safer at sea, no matter that the waves were 10'. Less comfortable, but safer.
I'm sorry they were such expensive lessons, but ones others can learn from and ones you won't forget, right?

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post #12 of 17 Old 02-07-2014
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Re: Real Life Coastal Cruising - First Time - Bent Rudder

that is the problem with GPS and Chartplotters. People tend to trust them like they do in their car. If a shoal is marked "here" it must be there.. same with reefs, wrecks, and islands.

I read somewhere that more groundings and wreckings occur because people trust their GPS to be 100% accurate and will cut corners closer than if they had been boating without.

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post #13 of 17 Old 02-07-2014
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Re: Real Life Coastal Cruising - First Time - Bent Rudder

Am not sure what shows up on chartplotters as I use only paper charts but even 5 miles off that Cape I think my charts show "breakers". I cannot confirm this as I dont have them here. I wouldnt get within 7 miles of that cape considering how unreliable the soundings are. The area around Cape San Blas is the fastest changing shoreline in Florida. The site of the original Cape San Blas light is way out to sea now. Scares me to even think of coming near that cape, specially when the wind is normally out of the south.
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post #14 of 17 Old 02-08-2014
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Re: Real Life Coastal Cruising - First Time - Bent Rudder

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Originally Posted by Frogwatch View Post
Am not sure what shows up on chartplotters as I use only paper charts but even 5 miles off that Cape I think my charts show "breakers". I cannot confirm this as I dont have them here. I wouldnt get within 7 miles of that cape considering how unreliable the soundings are. The area around Cape San Blas is the fastest changing shoreline in Florida. The site of the original Cape San Blas light is way out to sea now. Scares me to even think of coming near that cape, specially when the wind is normally out of the south.
Paper charts aren't any better that a chartplotter, all a chartplotter is is a ditigal chart with a GPS. The chartplotter is really tells far at Lat&Lon, but if the chart is wrong it doesn't matter much.

Don't blow air up my rear, be useful and blow it at the sails!
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post #15 of 17 Old 02-08-2014
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Re: Real Life Coastal Cruising - First Time - Bent Rudder

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most important instrument is the depth sounder, but I doubt you don't know this now
It really is.

And, the most important thing to know about charts and chart-plotters when cruising the coast of the Gulf of Mexico is to remember that these areas get chewed up by major hurricanes on a regular basis. You see the damage they do on the land. What is not so apparent, is how they change the sea floor, and it often takes a little while for the charts to catch up.

Sand really gets moved around by them. A good example. Look at most charts for the pass between east and west Ship Island in the Mississippi sound. You used to be able to walk between those two islands before Katrina. Most charts still say you can. But, it's 10 to 15 feet deep between them now.

And, all that sand went somewhere.

Another place to avoid is the Cape Romano Shoals. I was cruising by them a few years ago, in what the chart said was plenty of water, and even the depth finder said was 10 feet. When my wife shook me and pointed ahead of the boat. A sand bar, and we were at least seven miles from shore. I looked to the left and right and realized there were bars all around us. I backtracked using the bread crumb trail on the GPS, went out 15 miles and then went around them. .

But, it took a long time for my blood pressure to go down.
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On the northern Gulf of Mexico.


"Best thing to do is get her out on the ocean. If anything's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there." Captain Ron Rico

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post #16 of 17 Old 02-08-2014
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Re: Real Life Coastal Cruising - First Time - Bent Rudder

Sorry to hear about your troubles. Look at it this way, you are paying for an education like no other!

About chart plotters, I've got the spiffiest, gee-whiz plotter money can by and the darn thing has me going across land when I operate in the Mississippi Delta, Port Aransas, and Tampico. They're nice but don't trust them, or anything else exclusively. A good rule of thumb is to have three ways of fixing your position when operating nearshore or inshore....I typically use visual, radar, and GPS.

Best of luck!
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post #17 of 17 Old 02-14-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Real Life Coastal Cruising - First Time - Bent Rudder

Cape san blas . Waves were rough

Sail Sail Sail your boat.... Gently down the stream.....
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