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  #131  
Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
My S100 is powered by a pair of AAA batteries... If they go dead while the autopilot is in AUTO mode, it will switch the unit into STANDBY... Could result in big trouble, if you're not aware of it, and my owner's manual from Raymarine makes no mention whatsoever of this possiblilty...
Interesting. Mine doesn't behave that way. It just quietly dies when the batteries are drained. I wonder what's different. Want to swap serial numbers? Mine dates from 2006 and I haven't done any firmware updates.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Furthermore, there is no easy way to turn it off, it will only do so automatically if the pilot is in STANDBY mode for a few minutes... To avoid having to do that, I simply open the back cover and disconnect one of the batteries...
That's frustrated me more than once.

Still - I'm glad I have it.
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  #132  
Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?

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Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
.....they may be safer, more convenient, easier, etc.
There we go. That was the OP's question.
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  #133  
Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I suspect the old school advocates don't feel the same way about aircraft, or do you?
Perhaps if we ever reach the point when a private individual can purchase a $350K airplane, and immediately begin flying it without any demonstration of prior experience or competence whatsoever, then such analogies between aviation and recreational boating might have a bit more validity... Hopefully, it will never come to that, nor hopefully will I ever wind up in an airplane being flown by someone with a level of flying experience equivalent to a sailor who has never docked a boat without resorting to the use of a joystick docking system... (grin)

Funny, but I've never considered myself to be an "old school advocate"... Some might be surprised at the amount of 'gadgets' I have on my own boat, and certainly when I'm delivering a motor yacht with both bow and stern thrusters, for example, I will make use of them all... Perhaps I've simply been extremely unlucky over the years, but my experience has led me to distrust the needless complexity that is becoming increasingly commonplace on today's boats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
So if Joystick use is seamanship in ships with hundreds of thousands of tons of Oil, or cargo, or passengers why shouldn't it be the same for a Jeanneau 45????
Well, perhaps the fact that a Jeanneau 45 can be easily docked by any reasonably competent skipper using the boat's conventional propulsion and steering system alone, but a 1,000 foot cruise ship displacing 150,000 tons - well, not so much...

And then, there's this:

Quote:
I have a marina neighbor with a Jeanneau that has it. Five of six (serious) rounds of "fixes" and adds of batteries, bigger alternator, hardware, software, etc. -- it still "locks-up" at the worst times. UFB.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post

However if the computer joystick thingo blows up the Captain can not and will not attempt the same maneuvers by direct command.
Is that supposed to be a compelling argument for introducing such a complex system into small, easily managed vessels that are sailed for pleasure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
He will have to wait outside port, or wait in port until the gizmo is fixed by an expensive Gizmo Fixer.
Again, is that supposed to support the argument in favor of Expensive Gizmos?

I suppose that's fine for those who sail from one marina to the next, never beyond the reach of Sea-Tow, or always in close proximity to their Authorized Dealers/Service Centers...

But, good luck getting your friendly neighborhood Jeanneau Joystick Repairman to make a service call to a place like Baracoa, Cuba, for example...



One definition of Seamanship, to me, involves the continual consideration of the matters posed by the question "What If?" Perhaps the most egregious breach of seamanship by Captain Walbridge of the BOUNTY was his refusal to honestly consider what his Plan B would be in the likely event of a failure of the generators that powered the continual running of the pumps required to keep that pig afloat...

In my view, any crew who puts to sea in a small boat, should have the capability of either completing the voyage, or returning to port safely, in the event of a complete power failure... Those who choose to sail boats whose basic operation is so heavily dependent upon such a complex system, and ignore the value of a KISS approach in favor of convenience, might someday pay the price...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
Detachable helm wheels too. Just have one in the lazarette in case of emergency, but the rest of the time you just have the joystick and auto pilot and have a clearer cockpit space.
Hmmm, I wonder how effectively something like weather helm would be felt through a joystick?

What's to prevent you from removing your wheel now, when running on autopilot? Other than the fact that a costly, gear-busting accidental jibe might some day be averted by a quick hand on the wheel, should your autopilot or joystick suddenly decide to filp out?
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Last edited by JonEisberg; 03-26-2013 at 11:41 PM.
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  #134  
Old 03-27-2013
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Re: Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post

In my view, any crew who puts to sea in a small boat, should have the capability of either completing the voyage, or returning to port safely, in the event of a complete power failure...
In my unscientific survey of recreational boating disasters at sea, this seems to be the critical factor. The series of events is often water ingress, loss of electrical power, and loss of engine operation.

Then, Joe Doe, the technology wiz, finds himself in an oversized sailboat he can't sail without the electronics and gadgetry, with a considerable amount of water inside, no automatic bilge pumps, no lights, no electric winches, and a spouse or crew person with some kind of injury. It seems as if the boat is sinking. It is dark inside and water is sloshing around, coming in from some unknown source. Someone is throwing up and there is a bad odor inside the boat. Loose objects and gear are floating around inside the boat. Things on the deck have washed overboard. Critical gear can't be found. Everyone wants to get off the boat onto dry, safe land. No one expected this to happen (although these conditions have been a regular feature of offshore sailing for centuries).

The solution: activate the EPIRB, blame the injured spouse or crewman for the need of rescue, and go on a sailing forum like a crybaby complaining about how the insensitive freighter captain destroyed your precious boat in the process of rescuing you, or how the Coast Guard made you leave your boat when you really just wanted to let your crew get off.

Months later, if Joe Doe did not scuttle the boat, it is found happily floating hundreds of miles away, with shredded sails. Geez, you see that, we did not have to abandon ship after all!
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Last edited by jameswilson29; 03-27-2013 at 07:46 AM.
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  #135  
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Re: Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Funny, but I've never considered myself to be an "old school advocate"... Some might be surprised at the amount of 'gadgets' I have on my own boat, and certainly when I'm delivering a motor yacht with both bow and stern thrusters, for example, I will make use of them all... Perhaps I've simply been extremely unlucky over the years, but my experience has led me to distrust the needless complexity that is becoming increasingly commonplace on today's boats.
Really? Another thing for us to compare scar tissue on someday. Maybe I'm the old fart. Maybe I've just had one too many thruster controls wired backwards. *sigh*

One of my favorite stories with no humility at all is backing a brand new HR into a slip at the end of a fast trip from Florida to Maryland with the broker and the new owner standing on the dock. I came in absolutely dead center and lined up, crew dropped the dock lines of the pilings on the first toss, and I shut off the engine. The owner made a comment about how nice it was to have a bow thruster to which I replied "I didn't use it." *grin*

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
What's to prevent you from removing your wheel now, when running on autopilot? Other than the fact that a costly, gear-busting accidental jibe might some day be averted by a quick hand on the wheel, should your autopilot or joystick suddenly decide to filp out?
An autopilot losing its mind makes me really unhappy.

I keep finding boats that are missing a piece of the emergency tiller, or in some cases the tiller doesn't fit the steering head. Can you imagine?
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  #136  
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Re: Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?

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Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
Really? Another thing for us to compare scar tissue on someday. Maybe I'm the old fart. Maybe I've just had one too many thruster controls wired backwards. *sigh*

One of my favorite stories with no humility at all is backing a brand new HR into a slip at the end of a fast trip from Florida to Maryland with the broker and the new owner standing on the dock. I came in absolutely dead center and lined up, crew dropped the dock lines of the pilings on the first toss, and I shut off the engine. The owner made a comment about how nice it was to have a bow thruster to which I replied "I didn't use it." *grin*
Stern thrusters can be pretty nice on larger yachts, expecially when running something like the Erie Canal shorthanded... Always seems to blow hard up there in the fall, and with the windage most motoryachts present at the top of the lift, handling the boat with lines alone can often be a bit of a stuggle..

.

Most folks don't realize how impossible the visibility aft from the bridge helm of most motoryachts today has become, backing into a slip you can't see a thing from the helm... Reliance on video cameras has become the norm, along with a second control station aft...

What's really becoming popular now, are wireless remote control consoles... As usual, I think this is a very dangerous trend - a friend of mine was aboard a 72' Marlow when one went haywire while docking at Ocean Reef, resulting in about a $50K repair job to the transom and swim platform...

The Future of Yachting - Yacht Controller Commercial - YouTube!

One good thing about bow thrusters on other's boats, however... They can often serve as a sort of Distant Early Warning System, similar to an AIS alarm... When sitting in a slip in a place like Beaufort Town Docks, for example, and a boat shows up that's gonna be directed to an adjacent slip - if you start hearing the thruster whine when the guy is still 100+ feet away from the dock, you know it's probably a good idea to grab a spare fender or two, and stand by in a self-defense posture... (grin)
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Re: Automated sailing mentality anecdotally

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Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
I was really surprised by the vitriolic tone of some of the earlier posts, especially given the rather innocuous nature of this topic. Frankly, it sounded awfully close to the “Name your second and I’ll meet you on the cliffs of Weehawken at sunrise”. Good grief. (In honor of Jon Eisberg *Grin*)
Marvelous post, Jeff, as always... C'mon, when is that book of yours gonna be published, huh?

However, you're not fooling me - I just KNOW you were among that crowd at the Annapolis Boat Show that was APPLAUDING Beneteau's 360 docking hourly demos, when Old Schoolers like me were walking away, shaking our heads... (grin)

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Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
Anecdotally, I see this trend in a variety of symptoms. For example, in the late 1800’s, there were liveries of small rental sailboats all along the Hudson River. Blue collar workers of the era rented these for a day on the River. On Sunday’s the river was clogged with small sailing craft of a wide variety. People of a board range of economic standing, understood how to sail, and would follow sailing events in the Newspapers in the same way that people follow major league sports on cable channels today.
No doubt you've read TEMPLE TO THE WIND, a wonderful account of Herreschoff's RELIANCE, and her defense of the America's Cup... If you haven't, I'm sure you'd love it... One of the most interesting takeaways from that story, was how engrossed the public was in such an event, it was HUGE news, and a skipper like Charlie Barr was as famous as the Peyton Mannings and Tom Bradys of today...



Another recommendation for you, one of the best books I've read in recent months... A MAN AND HIS SHIP, the story of William Francis Gibbs and the creation of the UNITED STATES, which we all know was the most beautiful ship ever built... A fascinating book, very well done...

Book Review: A Man and His Ship - WSJ.com


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Re: Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Perhaps if we ever reach the point when a private individual can purchase a $350K airplane, and immediately begin flying it without any demonstration of prior experience or competence whatsoever, then such analogies between aviation and recreational boating might have a bit more validity... Hopefully, it will never come to that, nor hopefully will I ever wind up in an airplane being flown by someone with a level of flying experience equivalent to a sailor who has never docked a boat without resorting to the use of a joystick docking system... (grin)
I am in complete agreement that any skipper should be properly trained. Further, a good skipper would be committed to lifetime learning as well. I will bet many of us look forward to attending a seminar or two at various boatshows, for example.

However, there has been a noted distain for anyone to even have the modern conveniences of sailing today: lines led aft, plotters, auto pilots, thrusters, etc. It shocks me that some are ridiculed for buying safety equipment too. These are not related to whether the skipper is competent without them. In fact, the Skipper is often convicted as incompetent for simply having them.

I remain with the aviation analogy. We are as well trained as you are at the helm, but would never consider an aircraft without modern navigation and electronic assistance to be as airworthy as an old DC3, despite how much fun they were to fly.
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  #139  
Old 03-27-2013
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Re: Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?

Prudence to me is making sure that I can keep myself and others as safe as possible. That means a lot of "what if" thinking, and it also means I do have safety equipment, I don't scorn at people for having roller furlers, lines led aft or anything of the sort. I too was shocked at having to defend making use of tethers and harnesses.

It doesn't mean I have every possible thing known to man. I mean, the next boat I'm getting won't have stanchions and lifelines around the perimeter, but it will have roller reefing, an assymetric spinnaker on a roller and I will be carrying an EPIRB, as well as my PLB, and use harnesses and tethers as much as possible. Especially when single handing.

I'll also have an autopilot with a remote to help me tack and to relieve me at the helm to tend to other things.

Need I say I will also continue to use GPS, a VHF, and my cell phone?

Also - because I'm scared shitless about fires - I only have the bare minimum of old-style flares on board (as defined by the law), but instead rely on laser "flares" from Greatland and I just ordered a "handheld" laser flare from odeoflare.co.uk. I hope it will soon be possible to do completely without gun powder flares.

I like some old things, as is evidenced by my choice of the next boat (old in style), but I really have no desire to do everything like in the "good old days". I don't think they were that good, nor safe. I will make use of anything within reason if it can make me more safe, or make it easier to single hand, or make it more comfortable (without taking too much of the fun out of it).

There are places I wont go without my depth sounder. Should I do everything by lead line like in the "good old days"? Hell, no, it takes longer, and its not as safe or even possible at times to do that when out and about alone.

Last edited by One; 03-27-2013 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 03-28-2013
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Re: Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Stern thrusters can be pretty nice on larger yachts, expecially when running something like the Erie Canal shorthanded... Always seems to blow hard up there in the fall, and with the windage most motoryachts present at the top of the lift, handling the boat with lines alone can often be a bit of a stuggle..
Agreed. Motor yachts are just big sailboats with no sail controls.

I have been seeing more boats with two or three electric winches which make horsing the boat around easier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
However, there has been a noted distain for anyone to even have the modern conveniences of sailing today: lines led aft, plotters, auto pilots, thrusters, etc. It shocks me that some are ridiculed for buying safety equipment too. These are not related to whether the skipper is competent without them. In fact, the Skipper is often convicted as incompetent for simply having them.
At least for my part I do not hold modern conveniences or those who buy and use them in disdain. I happily use plotters and other electronic navigation tools. I am reluctant to head offshore without an autopilot. Generators and aircon (and diesel heat) extend the sailing season for many. I'm dropping my liferaft off for recert next week. My EPIRB is registered and up to date; I have had a discussion with the people on the notification list about what a call from an RCC means.

I'm not personally a fan of thrusters, especially on sailboats, as I feel they are generally underpowered and cause undue resistance underway. I'm not big on the black dust thrown off by the motor on most units. Still, a thruster is a personal choice and if someone chooses to make an educated decision to fit one that is their choice.

I feel similarly about lines led aft. Given that someone understands the issues of friction and water intrusion if you want to take that approach then fine. Saying that measurable implications (friction and water) don't exist is not a service to those that follow in our wake who make their decisions on the basis of statements that cannot be substantiated.

You can measure the load increase resulting from friction in lines led aft. You can see the water that enters the cockpit (and sometimes the cabin) from both seas and rain in most installations of lines led aft. Ignoring observables is not useful.
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