Over reliance on electronics - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 61 Old 05-11-2009 Thread Starter
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Over reliance on electronics

What's wrong with this:
Panbo: The Marine Electronics Weblog: Gizmo Wisdom #1, reboot 'er!

...Everything IMHO
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post #2 of 61 Old 05-11-2009
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SanderO wrote the first reply?

Seriously? This guy needs to look out the ******* window more, and consider a lead line and a lump of tallow as a "backup depth sensor". But more realistically, the author is a marine electronics reviewer who uses his own boat as a floating (or occasionally motoring) test bed, so it makes a sort of sense that he would view a flat-water voyage as a battle of the digital screens.

Any engine sensing technology that can cripple the engine until it gets turned off isn't worth a damn in my mind, however. The Maretron "see your engine water temp even as you are checking bilge strokes and apparent wind angle" multi-function displays SOUND good, until you really think of the havoc you would have with a single frayed wire in the mix.

If I must install a few more analog dials and live without GPS mated to the AP, I will somehow struggle on...

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post #3 of 61 Old 12-14-2012
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

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!
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post #4 of 61 Old 12-15-2012
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

What was that Scotty of Star Trek said? Oh yah! The more complex the vessel becomes, the easier to bollex it up. And you also have Murphey's law in effect... If anything can go wrong. IT WILL.

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post #5 of 61 Old 12-15-2012
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

Now, here's a nav station!



Cheers,

Gary
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post #6 of 61 Old 12-17-2012
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

"IMO you shouldn't have any equipment on your boat you don't fully understand."
Ask the pilot on a 747 if he knows how to change the oil on his engines. Or the brakes. Don't expect so.
And while commercial aircraft have generally gone from 4 engines to 2 because they gain reliability by having fewer redundant systems to fail (catch 22) complexity is not necessarily a problem, if you have reliable systems.

A sextant may be more reliable than a GPS--but drop either one and it is offline.
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post #7 of 61 Old 12-17-2012
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

[QUOTE=ScottyIrwin;961533]IMO you shouldn't have any equipment on your boat you don't fully understand.[QUOTE]

Well, that ought to clear the waterways!

I'm OK. I like kayaking just fine.

________________

Actually, I kind of agree with the exception of equipment I'm willing to do without (ie., if my GPS goes out I have other means).

(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")

"Well, I just climb up to them."

by Joe Brown, English rock climber




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post #8 of 61 Old 12-17-2012
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"IMO you shouldn't have any equipment on your boat you don't fully understand."
Ask the pilot on a 747 if he knows how to change the oil on his engines. Or the brakes. Don't expect so.
And while commercial aircraft have generally gone from 4 engines to 2 because they gain reliability by having fewer redundant systems to fail (catch 22) complexity is not necessarily a problem, if you have reliable systems.

A sextant may be more reliable than a GPS--but drop either one and it is offline.
I totally agree with the self reliance sentiment in Scotty's post but Hello is right. Realistically, both diesel engines and most electronics are beyond the abilities and/or knowledge of most sailors. Basic troubleshooting and maintenance is about as far as any of us will ever get with those systems. How many of us are capable of, or equipped for, rebuilding a high pressure fuel pump? Similarly for the circuitry in a plotter?

That's the reason behind backup systems, alternate systems and careful maintenance.

I'm no gadget freak but I will definitely have a big plotter on my next boat - the first time I used a Ray C80 was an epiphany.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #9 of 61 Old 12-17-2012
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

If anybody thinks a sextant is "more reliable" than GPS has not HAD to use one.
It takes a considerable amount of practice and talent to get a fairly accurate LOP, especially on a small craft at sea, let alone the several it takes to get a good fix. Once one has mastered the sextant, mother nature and Neptune still have to condescend to allow you to get a "sight". A 4 second error in time can produce a one mile error in navigation, so exact time is critical as well.
On my circumnavigation in the 70's, it was overcast and I could not get a single sight on the sail from New Caledonia and Bundaberg, Oz, until I had already passed through the passage north of Frazer Island. I'd have given anything for any form of electronic navigation, had any existed in those days.
Sailing today with all the electronics I can afford has diminished the value of Rolaid's stock and allows me to sleep more and work much less, especially on passages.
I love my chartplotter and other than the ICW, it has been perfect everywhere I been, but of course, I don't know if will be perfect where I haven't gone yet.
IMO one should concentrate on learning to read the water, the colors, the ripples caused by currents and underwater obstructions and let the sextant die a dignified death. GPS is a gift and a boon to those of us who venture out on the water and redundancy is the key to continuous navigation. And common sense!
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post #10 of 61 Old 12-18-2012
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

My friend with the C80 once crewed a boat from Van. to S.F. in the days before GPS - 12 days and they never got a single sight. They had to dead reckon the entire trip.

The Pardeys described their voyage from Japan to Victoria B.C. - 45 days with only 2 iffy sights through overcast.

I'll take the plotter first as well.
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I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.

Last edited by SloopJonB; 06-28-2014 at 09:59 PM.
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