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  #31  
Old 12-20-2012
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

Quote:
Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
It never ceases to amaze me how many individuals pooh-pooh advancements in navigation, something that has likely happened since the invention of the compass.

Gary
Gary

I don't believe there is more than 0.002% of the members of this forum who still regularly use a sextant or depend on it for their navigation. I know I don't. So in essence they (we) are not pooh-poohing the use of electronic navigational aids.

The OP posed the question: Is there over-reliance on electronics. Well yes, I believe there is. Simply because I see folks who have bought boats and they learn how to sail and then begin to plan their offshore trips to the islands.

Amongst the things they consider important are watermakers to feed the automatic washing machine and inverters big enough to drive the microwave and hair dryer.

And when you ask them of their navigational training, the common refrain is "we have a top-of-the-range chart plotter, we have AIS and we have a 3D colour radar, what more do we need?"

Well, I just find that a little scary because all of those things rely on electricity and that is one of the less reliable supply lines on any boat. If I had to make the continued safety of people on my boat dependant on the continued supply of electricity I would consider myself very irresponsible. And with all your immediately updating charts on the chart plotter you are reliant on that unstable system.

It's like I said on a thread elsewhere - what are you going to do when that beautiful screen goes black? And with respect, only very naive boat owners believe that it can't. From your first post I gathered that EVERY piece of information on your boat will soon be presented to you on one display. Really - good luck with that.

Oh, and by the way, good luck also with well-managed cross track error information that helps you sail down the rhumb line - many other boats/ships with fancy chart plotters will agree with you and are doing the same thing.
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  #32  
Old 12-20-2012
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

I agree with much of what you stated above. In my case, if the screen goes black, it's not a problem - I switch on one of the 2 backup GPS/Plotters I have onboard. If all three go dead, and all 5 batteries die, I'll reach on the bookshelf and pick out the appropriate chart book(s). Yes, I have, and use paper charts, mainly in conjunction with the GPS/Plotter. As some stated earlier, they provide me with a big picture, but zooming in with a paper chart is not a possibility. Granted, some have insets, but they too are limited.

Cheers,

Gary
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  #33  
Old 12-20-2012
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

Sorry MILUTIN, didn't follow your post properly. The attached blog made things clearer.
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  #34  
Old 12-20-2012
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

Your cockpits can look like Starfleet command if you want, just remember to raise your heads once in a while and look around you. Too many times I see boats motoring past us and the helmsman never looks up from his electronics. Not to mention the time a boat went by on autopilot and there wasn't a helmsman.
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  #35  
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

I think all skippers should be confident navigating traditionally.

However the reality is that mapping and GPS systems, frequently with independent battery supplies, are becoming very cheap and multiplying rapidly.

I seem to accumulating 2-3 GPS units a year, many with built in maps. Some precaution concerning lightening strikes needs to be considered, but given the multitude of GPS units storing a couple in a faraday cage is sensible.

As a cruising boat I currently have 12 GPS units and 8 electronic mapping systems. 9 independent battery systems.

Could all these GPS and mapping systems fail? Certainly, the sea is a hard environment. However I have far fewer backups in the event of rudder failure, hull strike, fire etc etc.

I don't lay awake at night worrying about GPS failure. Navigation without GPS is not difficult. Managing a boat without a rudder, or rig, following a fire, or with a hole below the waterline even MOB. These are the important catastrophic events that pose a real risk to my vessel and perhaps my life.

Sure, I could stuff up navigation and end up hitting rock, but I fail to see how turning off the GPS decreases the risk. Removing a valuable source of navigational information could only increase, rather than decrease the risk in my view.
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Last edited by noelex77; 12-20-2012 at 04:25 PM.
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  #36  
Old 12-20-2012
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

Count me among the 0.002%
Why,
Because I like to, and I'm good at it.
Dick
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  #37  
Old 12-20-2012
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex77 View Post
I think all skippers should be confident navigating traditionally.
I think thats a load of bollocks. (Thats my fav word of the day. But just today)
Teaching people the old outdated school like sextant sights just bores the student. It needs to be kept relevant.
Compas swingers are a thing of the past because a compass doesnt need to be accurate anymore, its just a reference, an approximation, good enough for emergency.
Now courses should covering, not to a proficent level as in the past, getting to a port in case of an emergency. That uses differenct techniques that can be learned basically. Things like you are off the east coast USA in June. West is where the sun sets, go west, when you see land, if no visual identification, wave madly, wait for a ship and follow, vhf the Coasties etc. one doesnt need to have precise L&L and make it to the exact destination, one merely needs to get to a safe port.

As the older lot of sailors die and theres generational change the rediculousness of the paper/non ecn position will be come irrelevant. All cell phones will have GPS, all will probably be Satellite connected, all wil have world maps available without cell connection (with Advertising!!!!!). Big brother will know where you are anyway with his chip up your bum.

The last bit of paper has left the modern world of aircraft, space flights, science, and even literature. Ask and author to write a page with a pen and his hand will be shakey, the prose weak and sentences wrong, but give him his computer and his words will flow.....

Damn it! I have to go! My refrigerator with its internet connection has listed my days social events! I am meeting 3 (three!) females all with huge gazooballys!


Mark
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  #38  
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex77 View Post
I think all skippers should be confident navigating traditionally.
Can't say I support that. Getting a fix on a GPS is easy, quick and generaly very reliable so to learn how to effectively do celestial nav in these times is, to me, a waste of time. If you have it and use it as a hobby and maaaaaybe in an emergency that's cool but starting now? No, I don't thinks so

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex77 View Post
As a cruising boat I currently have 12 GPS units and 8 electronic mapping systems. 9 independent battery systems.
That level of redundancy is extremely rare on any boat - I'd be interested in what the 9 independent battery systems you have look like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex77 View Post
I fail to see how turning off the GPS decreases the risk. Removing a valuable source of navigational information could only increase, rather than decrease the risk in my view.
I can't recall it ever being suggested that switching a GPS off decreases risk. If there is an immediate need for navigational information, have it on by all means but tell me how, when you are 1500Nm from the nearest GPS-related thing (land), does having a GPS permanently on reduce risk?
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  #39  
Old 12-20-2012
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

"but tell me how, when you are 1500Nm from the nearest GPS-related thing (land), does having a GPS permanently on reduce risk? "
Is that a trick question?

You see, if you have the GPS turned off, and your boat is abducted by a UFO or vortexed through the Bermuda Triangle, and suddenly you are dropped off near a rocky lee shore, having the GPS ON will give you that valuable warning that you now are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

If you had your GPS off, you might notice the bright lights and spinning needles, but you'd have no idea how much imminent danger you were in.

What, it never happened to you?
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  #40  
Old 12-20-2012
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
I think thats a load of bollocks. (Thats my fav word of the day. But just today)
Teaching people the old outdated school like sextant sights just bores the student. It needs to be kept relevant.
Compas swingers are a thing of the past because a compass doesnt need to be accurate anymore, its just a reference, an approximation, good enough for emergency.
Now courses should covering, not to a proficent level as in the past, getting to a port in case of an emergency. That uses differenct techniques that can be learned basically. Things like you are off the east coast USA in June. West is where the sun sets, go west, when you see land, if no visual identification, wave madly, wait for a ship and follow, vhf the Coasties etc. one doesnt need to have precise L&L and make it to the exact destination, one merely needs to get to a safe port.

As the older lot of sailors die and theres generational change the rediculousness of the paper/non ecn position will be come irrelevant. All cell phones will have GPS, all will probably be Satellite connected, all wil have world maps available without cell connection (with Advertising!!!!!). Big brother will know where you are anyway with his chip up your bum.

The last bit of paper has left the modern world of aircraft, space flights, science, and even literature. Ask and author to write a page with a pen and his hand will be shakey, the prose weak and sentences wrong, but give him his computer and his words will flow.....

Damn it! I have to go! My refrigerator with its internet connection has listed my days social events! I am meeting 3 (three!) females all with huge gazooballys!


Mark
The proof is in the putting Mark. Your track record of miles speaks for it's self. One does not need to now how to Navigate to sail any more. Boat's sail them selves these day's. Cars Paralell park them selves, Microwaves cook pre-prepared meal's. Men don't need to know how to please their wives...the majic of electronics! I supose you are right about the future, I remember my little sister could'nt tell time on a clock that was'nt digital. I bet you are a better navigator then you let on. I just aquired my commercial radio operaters lisence, and that will be uselees some day with satalite phones. I think it's sad. I pride my self in my self sufficiancy. I don't need thousands of technitions, factory workers, and systems operaters to get up and go to work so I can cross an ocean. I need wind and the magnetic pull of the earth, and even that is'nt totally necasarry, because as you say, the sun goes up and down and Pleadeas alway's points east. I've never seen someone so proud to not know something, but some how (and you are the first), I find it humorously charming. Only because you've proven to be rather salty.
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Last edited by Capt.aaron; 12-20-2012 at 07:00 PM.
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