Dead Reckoning - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 47 Old 05-03-2012
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Re: Dead Reckoning

Being too cheap to buy the wheel they use I loaned my wife my CR-3 when she took her naviagtion course. It drove her and the instructor nuts. I kept telling them to ignore everything but the outer two rings but go nowhere.
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post #12 of 47 Old 05-03-2012
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Re: Dead Reckoning

I think there are many of us on this board who can remember when dead reckoning WAS the way you navigated. There were some electronic tools such as RDF and then the cutting edge LORAN but I, for one often couldn't afford an expensive LORAN back then. While traveling for miles in fog and then seeing a predicted mark is gratifying, doing so and then seeing something completely different is terrifying. Don't forget water depth, echoes, and the sound of surf!! in dead reckoning techniques.

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post #13 of 47 Old 05-03-2012
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Re: Dead Reckoning

I learned DR gift of the Army, free of cost. They called it land navigation, but it was the same process I use when sailing, only the "land" marks are different and we never had bouys on land.
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post #14 of 47 Old 05-03-2012
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Re: Dead Reckoning

We do plot on paper when going on a passage. Just seems to make sense though I confess that with backups available I am way less concerned about equipment failure.

At night I always practice lighthouse id and of course when in sight of land try and identify landmarks.

Other than for practice I've not used DR in anger.

Andrew B

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post #15 of 47 Old 05-03-2012
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How do you plot an upwind course before you get out on the water and see which direction the wind is REALLY coming from?
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post #16 of 47 Old 05-03-2012
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Re: Dead Reckoning

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Originally Posted by -OvO- View Post
How do you plot an upwind course before you get out on the water and see which direction the wind is REALLY coming from?
You really can't, but you can check out the route for nav aids and hazards.

You can use DR by noting every tack change with the course and speed.

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post #17 of 47 Old 05-03-2012
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Re: Dead Reckoning

DR is (or was) my primary nav method and GPS is mostly just a sanity check. I used DR before I had LORAN and used it to sail from Sarasota to Carabelle, FL and it was magic to see that marker on the horizon just where and when it should be after two days. I use it to sail between Cedar Key and Tarpon Springs quite often. Why bother with the GPS. My speed log was one of those "knotstiks" you drag behind you and it has a spring and reads knots on a scale on the side, no electronics. I ALWAYS plot my position on paper charts and I try to nav near shore by taking bearings on known objects. This gives a much better sense of where you are.
Lately, I've gotten lazy and use the GPS to give me lat/Lon and I have a pic in my head of lat and Lon of either a "waypoint" or a feature to avoid and I know "If my lon gets smaller than XX,yy,ZZZZ then I am in trouble" or My Lat is changing faster than my Lon so I need to steer more E or W. For awhile I almost bought a chart plotter until my brain switched to this new mental pic of navigation. Now, I don't think I need it.
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post #18 of 47 Old 05-03-2012
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Re: Dead Reckoning

I grew up w/ DR. The only instruments my dad had on his boat was a compass and a depth sounder. We explored coastal NE every summer. He made a plotting our course, calculating how long it would take to get to the next bouy and so on a game and the winner got a frozen milkey way bar. We didn't have anyone on board named "Auto" to drive the boat.
That was 50 years ago.
Today sadly most people can't find their way out of the channel w/o their gps.
Don't get me wrong I love the info modern electronics give me but I treasure those simpler days.
Jim
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post #19 of 47 Old 05-03-2012
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Re: Dead Reckoning

I remember getting our first Furuno gps that gave the lat and long, MAGIC! It was such an amazing feeling to really know precisely where you were, all you had to do was plot the two numbers and bingo, X marks the spot! DR works, but by the time you throw in some current, cross wind, rough weather, fog, etc it was really little more than an educated guess most of the time:-)) But we always got where we were going, maybe not in a straight line, but we got there. I still plot the course on paper charts, but mostly just for fun.

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post #20 of 47 Old 05-03-2012
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Re: Dead Reckoning

When dead reckoning in Arctic waters remember the sun is in the north at night and in the south during the day. The compass doesn't work if it's rough weather and mud bars don't reflect radar and waves do, so use the clutter dial. Large ice chunks caught on the bottom can indicate current in the fog and big waves can come from any direction. Daily weather reports depend on you sending in the info on side band , so be brave, wait for the signs. Now GPS takes all the fun out of it.
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