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  #11  
Old 12-18-2012
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

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Originally Posted by ScottyIrwin View Post
IMO you shouldn't have any equipment on your boat you don't fully understand. If you have an electronic engine monitor, make sure you can troubleshoot it! Bring spares! Frayed wires? Really? Maybe you should make sure your boat is up to snuff before you venture out to sea!
ScottyIrwin is right.

Equipment should permit a wise sailor to sail better, not define his ability to sail at all.
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Old 12-18-2012
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

I was tracking speed & distance with a Garmin 76 while driving in open territory when all the satellite signals were gone? (No position)This went on for a few hours then suddenly they reappeared.
Why? I don't know.
That's one reason my primary are these:




Dick
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Old 12-18-2012
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

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Originally Posted by Flybyknight View Post
I was tracking speed & distance with a Garmin 76 while driving in open territory when all the satellite signals were gone? (No position)This went on for a few hours then suddenly they reappeared.
Why? I don't know.
That's one reason my primary are these:




Dick
And I suppose you were able to get at least 2 LOP's for a fix in 2 hours and have as good a position as when the GPS came back on?
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Old 12-19-2012
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

Idk I've been using GPS for years and its pretty dam reliable. Redundancy is I have navionics in my iPad for primary navigation, I have it in my cell phone for backup or for just days ailing, most of the people I sail with have a chart plotter on their phones and there are even ais transmit and receive apps for coastal navigation! Short of some massive solar event, nuclear bomb caused emp, or space war with the Chinese, I'm not that concerned about losing GPS navigation.

Of greater concern is the irregular updating of the charts themselves IMHO, esp after sandy...
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Old 12-19-2012
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

I'm a Merchant captain and my (young) Mate is always on about the latest gadget or spiffy new chart plotter program.

It's funny how guys just love to have the latest and greatest new wizbang thing regardless of whether it works well or is useful.
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Old 12-19-2012
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

Even My cabin light has a gimbling oil lamp as a back up. I remember waking to the smell of burnt rubber crossing to the Bahamas in 1978 with Grandpa. An electrical fire in the pannel. We lost all electronics. Of course back then that meant lights and a vhf, which is all I still have on the same boat today. My gps is a hand held that uses AA batts. I turn it on a couple of times a day to check my D.R.'s.
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

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Originally Posted by Capt.aaron View Post
. My gps is a hand held that uses AA batts. I turn it on a couple of times a day to check my D.R.'s.
Why not leave it on all the time? Surely the safety aspect of a continuously updated position is worth the cost of a couple of AA batteries?
You will also gain a far more accurate idea of currents, leeway etc.

If the cost of the batteries is a concern use some rechargeables. The cost will cents a day.

There seems to be a perception that doing without GPS information is some how virtuous. To have ready access to the information, but to deliberately ignore it seems rather unwise. A good navigator uses all the tools available, in my estimation.
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Old 12-19-2012
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

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Originally Posted by Capt.aaron View Post
My gps is a hand held that uses AA batts. I turn it on a couple of times a day to check my D.R.'s.
Yep, that's how we do it too. Garmin 76

I guess there is a fascination with watching the bread-crumb trail grow longer - I don't have a need for that. On a voyage I plot a position twice a day. Switch on, get a fix, switch off. When I'm sailing local (coastal) the GPS almost never goes on.

And it's not about batteries.
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

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Originally Posted by Omatako View Post


And it's not about batteries.
Why switch it off then?

It provides a position a fix. A couple of independent position fixing methods , more if possible are always helpful. As well you have information about currents leeway etc.
I can only see drawbacks in not having the information.

Everyone should be able to navigate without GPS, but deliberatly loosing information does not seem sensible to me.
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Old 12-19-2012
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

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Originally Posted by noelex77 View Post
Why switch it off then?

It provides a position a fix. A couple of independent position fixing methods , more if possible are always helpful. As well you have information about currents leeway etc.
I can only see drawbacks in not having the information.

Everyone should be able to navigate without GPS, but deliberatly loosing information does not seem sensible to me.
OK so each person manages information differently. Here's my rationale - it may not work for you.

If I'm out at sea, there is really no need to stare at a GPS, I know where I am going, I know there is nothing in my way that the GPS is going to tell me about anyway and from my last known position, I have set a course which I will sail until it is no longer relevant. So what benefit do I derive from having a GPS on all the time? None that I can see. a twice-daily position is all I need.

If I'm coastal, all I need to do is look around me and I can see anything that I'm going to hit. My GPS doesn't tell me of a reef under my keel. My chart on the other hand does. Once again I know where I am going and if I can identify the stuff that's on my chart, of what value is it to know my position? If I can't follow a coastline without a GPS running in my hand, I shouldn't be in charge of a vessel (my opinion).

Let's clear up a possible misconception. I am not anti-GPS, in fact I consider it by far the best navigational aid one can have. But I don't need the security/comfort of being able to see my exact position every 5 minutes. I get a far greater pleasure out of looking around me and absorbing my surroundings and if you do that correctly, using a GPS once in a while is all that is required - it doesn't have to be on all the time. If you want to see how much leeway you're making, just look at your wake - it's unmistakable. If you want to know how much current you should expect (more important than knowing what you're experiencing right now), just look at your chart - it's all right there (assuming you have a chart).

In truth, it is far easier to place a dodgy go-to waypoint into you GPS than it is to misinterpret a course on a chart.

Just my process/habits, you no doubt have different methods.
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