Nav Area. Just a waste of space???? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 25 Old 08-02-2012 Thread Starter
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Nav Area. Just a waste of space????

Although I will admit I have not been sailing for decades or have a tremendous amount of experience, it seems these days with all the electronics on board that "navegation areas" inside the boats with most of the instruments there too are a huge waste of space. Let me explain.

-Most charts I have seen are huge. I am yet to see one paper chart that even folded would nearly fit on a navegation table. When I ahve needed to use a paer chart, it ends up on the main table. It is much bigger and it allows for better spread of the chart, especially if I am trying to plot a course on it. Yes, the tables that have space under the table that flips up is useful to hide a laptop and other things, but I personally could do without.

-The instruments and switches most times seen there could easily be hidden behind a panel and out of the way. It is not like we are sitting there all the time monitoring anything anyway. When you need to see something, flip a breaker on/off, etc, you could easily open the panel door and do it.

-Although I can see the redundancy of having a second radio, plotter, etc, I hardly think they need to be sitting there occupying precious space. Personally, I would rather have a line there that I could plug a laptop to and with the appropriate software use it as a plotter, etc. This seems easily done and cheap too, but it is beyond me why it is not commonly used or done. I would like to think that a second chart plotter would cost more than simply the source to add on to a laptop.

-Even cruising along, I have never been sitting down below checking the plotter or anything else. That is something that I see it done from the cockpit above. So, why the use of precious inside space for stuff that is not used unless it is for simply keeping with tradition?

Anyway, I was simply rambling out loud, but you are welcomed to disagree.
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post #2 of 25 Old 08-02-2012
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Re: Nav Area. Just a waste of space????

Where would I'd be doing all my navigat'n, communicat'n and comput'n at if I didn't have a "proper" Nav Station? The cockpit is for drivers, trimmers and real sailormen. Cabin is for "supercargo" like navigators and skippers.

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post #3 of 25 Old 08-02-2012
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Re: Nav Area. Just a waste of space????

Interesting. While researching the Next Boat, the nav station is the second thing I look for. I like those that face the cockpit but I don't think the newer boats have them facing that direction.

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post #4 of 25 Old 08-02-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Nav Area. Just a waste of space????

I don't see you doing anything there that you couldn't do at the main table. But that is just coming from a guy that does not see the usefulness of a garage unless it is to hoard garbage, the usefulness of a "main dinning room" unless it is to brag about it and show off a table and dishes you use twice a year if that much, the usefulness of a second or vacation home, the usefulness of an RV, etc. LOL.............
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post #5 of 25 Old 08-02-2012
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Re: Nav Area. Just a waste of space????

So, in effect you are proposing to convert the main saloon table into a Nav Station and the Nav Station into...? Where would the off watch crew be sleeping while you're navigating? My biggest problem is the crew doesn't respect my "office" and it becomes a clutter magnet - especially around meal time as my office is located across from the galley.

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post #6 of 25 Old 08-02-2012
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Re: Nav Area. Just a waste of space????

Nav station is our home office (fulltime liveaboards); if for nothing else than my mental state, I need something other than working at the main cabin table, and if we were ever in the market for another boat to live aboard, I would not consider one that didn't have a nav area for paper charts that communicated with the helm. But then, when I started working from home, I changed into corporate logo polo shirts at 8 am, to help with that same mental state, so that's just the kind of person I am LOL.

Our nav station does face the helm as DRFerron suggested so the navigator has eye contact with the helmsman. If you're navigating from the main salon table, the navigator is constantly getting up and walking to the companionway to communicate with the helmsman, then walking back and sitting down, etc. And on our boat at least, the table is farther from the settees than the nav station is from its seat bench.
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post #7 of 25 Old 08-02-2012
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Re: Nav Area. Just a waste of space????

Nav table needs to be.

Nav table needs to be facing foward despite what my learned colleague thinks because ....

Nav table is place when at anchor the master and commander can sit facing crew in saloon and pontificate.



I confess that at sea I do like to be able to wedge myself into the nav station to plot onto paper chart or plotter. Yes I can see what is going on from the cockpit but I don't want the computer up there if its a bit wild and woolly. With only two of us on board it is not such an issue but with extra crew its nice to be able to keep the puter and other nav gear away from main table. Its also handy to be able to slip straight out of the table and up the companion way.

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post #8 of 25 Old 08-02-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Nav Area. Just a waste of space????

Help me out here because I seem to be missing the value you claim it has. Before I go somewhere, I either take a paper chart out and plot the route, which I then write in brief form in a piece of paper sort of like: heading x up to Y point then, heading z to certain point/distance/coordinate. While behind the wheel, I can see all that either in the plotter or can come below for a quick peek at the chart over the main table so I can spread it and see it clearly. If I am going by a plotter only, I look at it from behind the wheel on the cockpit. I am yet to see the usefulness of relaying a play by play route with someone in a hole 15 feet down below. If I am not the one at the helm, I do many thing other than pontificate the route, micro manage the current skipper, or mentally masturbate over where we are, where we are going, or 300 other ways on how to get there.

Don't get me wrong, I understand wingNwing's point about a different place even if for the mental health of another place inside. I do the same on land as I have a "home office" at home that I use solely tog et away from the kids and wife while I browse porn on the web. I mean, browse through sailnet and other sailing related sites LOL..........
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post #9 of 25 Old 08-02-2012
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Re: Nav Area. Just a waste of space????

I'm with you, dgasmd, I think a nav table is a waste of space for most boats and most sailors. Sacred cow. By most, I refer to coastal cruising sailboats, and sailors who primarily sail on the weekend, with the occasional week or more trip.

I have a Catalina 309, and would have happily traded the nav station for a tall chest of drawers. If a nav station isn't really needed for most sailors, then it's not so much a matter of what do you replace it with, as much as in a given boat, you have X amount of cubic feet available, and how do you use those cubic feet? Those "extra" cubic feet, as part of an interior design, might be better used for a larger head, galley, berth, etc.

But lemme tell ya, you go buckin' the norm, and the other kids won't want to play with you.

And I pity the manufacturer who eliminates them.

Another goofy thing on sailboats, IMO, is hatchboards. Isn't that a lot like rolling a log in front of the cave to keep out the beasties? Sailboats can't come from the factory with proper doors with screens? Fine, supply something to use in a storm, but what is up with those stupid boards?!?!?
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Re: Nav Area. Just a waste of space????

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Originally Posted by Siamese View Post
I'm with you, dgasmd, I think a nav table is a waste of space for most boats and most sailors. Sacred cow. By most, I refer to coastal cruising sailboats, and sailors who primarily sail on the weekend, with the occasional week or more trip.

I have a Catalina 309, and would have happily traded the nav station for a tall chest of drawers. If a nav station isn't really needed for most sailors, then it's not so much a matter of what do you replace it with, as much as in a given boat, you have X amount of cubic feet available, and how do you use those cubic feet? Those "extra" cubic feet, as part of an interior design, might be better used for a larger head, galley, berth, etc.


But lemme tell ya, you go buckin' the norm, and the other kids won't want to play with you.

And I pity the manufacturer who eliminates them.

Another goofy thing on sailboats, IMO, is hatchboards. Isn't that a lot like rolling a log in front of the cave to keep out the beasties? Sailboats can't come from the factory with proper doors with screens? Fine, supply something to use in a storm, but what is up with those stupid boards?!?!?
I couldn't agree more
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