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  #51  
Old 05-24-2013
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Re: Don't read this unless you have time . .

Here's the point of view from a novice:

There isn't a big sailing culture where I grew up(um, North Dakota). I first set foot in a keelboat in the fall of 2009, so I have never sailed without a GPS and up-to-date weather.

The technology made sailing seem very accessible. Now that I've done it, I love running a parallel ruler across a chart and looking up the symbols in chart 1 to see what's going on, but if that was my first exposure to sailing it would have made it seem very finicky and less fun.

I finally got my wife out last fall and the GPS on the iPad made her feel safe. And useful, in that she could help with navigation.

I can see how all the tech could cause false confidence and cause someone to take risks they shouldn't, but I have to imagine that those instances are outweighed by the added margin of safety given to all sailors, novice and experienced.

And by making it seem safe and accessible the tech will bring more people in the sport/hobby/lifestyle.

(Side note: In 2010 we chartered a boat that had a LORAN receiver. Out of the six of us, only one had any clue what it was, the rest of us thought maybe The Loran was a character from a Dr. Seuss book…)
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  #52  
Old 05-24-2013
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Re: Don't read this unless you have time . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
I agree with that, except here for having an unlimited boat licence (needed for sailing without restrictions) the schooling time and needed amount knowledge is not very different than the one to have a flying licence. On many European countries it is similar even if there is not a uniform legislation about that.

Paulo
That is interesting but I am not sure how I feel about it. It would be nice to know that others on the water have a basic level of knowledge and training, but having to go through numerous schooling and testing just to reach the next level of certification myself would be a pain Are you able to challenge the courses and tests through the levels or must you attend school? Are these certifications needed for the general public or just professionals?

I know the JAA license testing the European equivalent of the FAA is much more rigorous. I hate to think of having to go through all that just to go sailing, but I'd be glad others on the water knew what they are doing.
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  #53  
Old 05-24-2013
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Re: Don't read this unless you have time . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by jephotog View Post
That is interesting but I am not sure how I feel about it. It would be nice to know that others on the water have a basic level of knowledge and training, but having to go through numerous schooling and testing just to reach the next level of certification myself would be a pain Are you able to challenge the courses and tests through the levels or must you attend school? Are these certifications needed for the general public or just professionals?

I know the JAA license testing the European equivalent of the FAA is much more rigorous. I hate to think of having to go through all that just to go sailing, but I'd be glad others on the water knew what they are doing.
For amateurs. Professionals have other line of licences, more demanding.

Some years ago you could purpose yourself for being tested. In fact I took my first three licences that way but than the law changed and it become mandatory a given number of lessons (according to the level) before you could stand testing and only a school could purpose you to testing if they find you fit for that.

I don't know if on the other countries you can still purpose yourself to examination. I think it was a good thing but the fact is that almost all that purpose themselves to testing failed, at least on the more demanding levels.

Regards

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  #54  
Old 05-24-2013
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Re: Don't read this unless you have time . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScuzzMonkey View Post
I'm a little curious about this too... only time I have ever had one, it looked pretty bullet-proof. But they happen; often the reported coordinates coincide with a marina!

I guess by that definition of "accident" there are no accidents... call it "non-emergency" if you like.
If you have an EPIRB you need to periodically test to see that the batteries are still well. On mine this requires the flip-over toggle to be lifted to 90 degrees at which point the strobe flashes, a loud bleep is heard and that is the indication that all is still well.

Accidental activation happens when the flip-over switch is accidentally flipped all the way. Which is why, as has already been pointed out, many false alarms come from marinas.

I'm not justifying it - just pointing out that it isn't that "impossible". In fact it's actually quite easy (no I haven't )
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  #55  
Old 05-24-2013
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Re: Don't read this unless you have time . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
>Broken Record Alert<

Again it is not the electronics which is the fault but the individual operating the boat and the lack of training or experience. Most of this discussion is in the hypothetical and personal ASSUMPTION category.

What is interesting is there is no basis in facts that in fact there have been more injuries or incidents created by the " electronic revolution" In previous threads there have been claims and counter claims about the actual incidents showing a downward trend over the last 5 years.

If we were to believe the posters that this is becoming a more prevalent issue you would have expected to see a dramatic upsurge of incidents with the obvious increase in use of electronics to justify the claim that this is an increasing problem. Facts don't support that. Pointing to a few isolated incidents like Rule 62 and others doesn't prove that use of or increased electronics on a sailboat has a direct correlation to people having less navigational prowess.

>Broken Record Alert<

The increase in electronics on sailboats has led to a general increase in the lack of navigational abilities of sail boat operators. The consequences of this are an increase in the number of incidents

>Broken Record Mode OFF

This is a nice theory. Almost logical and believable, but the facts just don't bear this out.

Incidents are cased by operators ( people) and their mistakes. Electronics has added the availability of increased information at the disposal of the modern sailing captain. Electronics does not increase common sense. Electronics does not increase experience. In most peoples hands electronics will not increase the risk factor either, in fact it may help mitigate it.
I remain perpetually mystified by my inability to make myself understood on this subject... Perhaps I need Paulo and capta to express better than I can, what I'm trying to say:

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP

Of course, modern electronics are great in what regards navigation and I have them as everybody else but I agree they had induced a sense of easiness that was not previously existent. when people ventured on a voyage on a boat they had already mastered navigation and that would take necessarily many years where seamanship was being acquired.

The electronics make the life easy in what regards navigation and some people now buy a boat and without previous experience go on long cruises and voyages.... but the sea and the wind are as they have always been and the seamanship on those cases had not been acquired and is nonexistent. A recipe for potential disaster.
Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post

...as pointed out on this forum many times, that this equipment enables so many more people to be out there on the water far from where they should be, knowledge wise. A reliance on this equipment without a proper knowledge base, can get them in trouble and potentially jeopardize those who encounter them.
Of course it's the individual, and not the equipment, that are "at fault" in the sort of mishaps we're discussing... I'm simply saying that many people are now 'outsailing' their level of experience, due to the fact that the ability to navigate to a destination by traditional means is no longer a requirement, is a very real occurrence today... The ability to navigate has, until the advent of GPS, always been the determining factor of the pace of one's learning and ability to venture further and further afield... Finding your own way has traditionally served as a sort of a 'check' against getting too far out of one's comfort zone before gaining an appropriate level of experience and skill to match...

Naturally, I cannot 'prove' this, such is simply my opinion formed by what my eyes and ears have told me over the course of 35 years in the delivery business, and almost 20 years of cruising aboard my own boat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
Here is an obvious example of how electronics and technology has made some things safer.:

Many modern cruisers have the availability through SSB or Pactor Modem to download GRIB or weather forecast files which without these "modern Electronic Marvels" were not available maybe 20 years ago. Many digital radars can help you avoid storm cells and squalls when passaging. Even simple weather "apps" on phones and IPads help in predicting T storm cells on smaller bodies of water like the Chesapeake or Lakes.

The advent of electronics have made this available to the Long Range Cruiser, as well as the weekend cruiser and made predicting the weather imminently around you more exact. In the old days ( I am from the old days too ), you didn't have any information at all. You were sailing blind. Do I want to go backwards. Not me. Which is the greater risk, sailing blind
or having more information. No brainer. Does the use of this electronics make me take a greater risk.....quite the contrary it PREVENTS me from taking a risk on the weather.

I maintain the issues are the OPERATOR not the electronics.
Well, I view that sort of thing as often being a double-edged sword, with many of today's sailors sometimes placing undue faith in the precision of such information, and eschewing more cautious traditional seamanship... The clowns who thought they could beat the coming weather around Cape Hatteras in that Island Packet a couple of months ago are a perfect example, seizing a very narrow weather window that happened to be slammed shut half a day before their iPhone said it would...

I see it all the time, especially in a place like the Bahamas, people taking foolish risks based upon the incredible accuracy of the Explorer Charts, and modern position fixing... Running at night, transiting tricky coral-strewn waters in poor light, and so on.... People making the same sort of foolish decisions as those made aboard RULE 62 are far more common than you might imagine today, most folks are simply lucky enough to get away with them, is all... But really, in my observation, the sort of blind faith many are putting in today's gizmos, it can be pretty spooky...

We'll just have to agree to disagree, I suppose - but I'll stick with what my own lyin' eyes and ears are telling me...



Last edited by JonEisberg; 05-24-2013 at 05:33 PM.
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  #56  
Old 05-25-2013
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Re: Don't read this unless you have time . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScuzzMonkey View Post
I'm a little curious about this too... only time I have ever had one, it looked pretty bullet-proof. But they happen; often the reported coordinates coincide with a marina!

I guess by that definition of "accident" there are no accidents... call it "non-emergency" if you like.
Bet people were doing an annual main thence test and did it Wong.
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  #57  
Old 05-25-2013
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Re: Don't read this unless you have time . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
I remain perpetually mystified by my inability to make myself understood on this subject... Perhaps I need Paulo and capta to express better than I can, what I'm trying to say:



Of course it's the individual, and not the equipment, that are "at fault" in the sort of mishaps we're discussing... I'm simply saying that many people are now 'outsailing' their level of experience, due to the fact that the ability to navigate to a destination by traditional means is no longer a requirement, is a very real occurrence today... The ability to navigate has, until the advent of GPS, always been the determining factor of the pace of one's learning and ability to venture further and further afield... Finding your own way has traditionally served as a sort of a 'check' against getting too far out of one's comfort zone before gaining an appropriate level of experience and skill to match...

Naturally, I cannot 'prove' this, such is simply my opinion formed by what my eyes and ears have told me over the course of 35 years in the delivery business, and almost 20 years of cruising aboard my own boat...



Well, I view that sort of thing as often being a double-edged sword, with many of today's sailors sometimes placing undue faith in the precision of such information, and eschewing more cautious traditional seamanship... The clowns who thought they could beat the coming weather around Cape Hatteras in that Island Packet a couple of months ago are a perfect example, seizing a very narrow weather window that happened to be slammed shut half a day before their iPhone said it would...

I see it all the time, especially in a place like the Bahamas, people taking foolish risks based upon the incredible accuracy of the Explorer Charts, and modern position fixing... Running at night, transiting tricky coral-strewn waters in poor light, and so on.... People making the same sort of foolish decisions as those made aboard RULE 62 are far more common than you might imagine today, most folks are simply lucky enough to get away with them, is all... But really, in my observation, the sort of blind faith many are putting in today's gizmos, it can be pretty spooky...

We'll just have to agree to disagree, I suppose - but I'll stick with what my own lyin' eyes and ears are telling me...


We actually really agree more on this than you think. I shudder also when I see what are unacceptable risks taken because of false senses of security.

While the electronics has has increased safety for many, it has the opposite and equal reaction predicted by Newton with others who use it as their starting point.

I am sure many incidents have been prevented with GPS as well as radar, EPIRBS, as have been caused by over dependence. When a new coral head was discovered the old way think how long it took to get on charts etc, when now it can be uploaded and updated by many, quickly. How many people carry around old charts?

The consequences of this electronics is not always positive. So what is the alternative? It's not going away. Maybe there should be time devoted in ASIC seamanship courses. Paulo's system of progressive certifications is great, but would be hard to institute in today's US with the non govern,ent intrusion hysteria.

Teaching the limits, false securities on relying solely on electronics is an issue which should be addressed.
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  #58  
Old 05-25-2013
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Re: Don't read this unless you have time . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
Bet people were doing an annual main thence test and did it Wong.
In fact if the EPIRB ha s a check system that can lead (even if by bad use) to an accidental deployment while testing the batteries it should be taken out of the market. Those accidental deployments cost money to the contributors and contribute for a less safe system (if most deployments are accidental sailors will care less).

I had two and the check system had nothing do with the deployment system (just a button that had to be pressed).

Regards

Paulo
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  #59  
Old 05-25-2013
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Re: Don't read this unless you have time . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
For amateurs. Professionals have other line of licences, more demanding.

Some years ago you could purpose yourself for being tested. In fact I took my first three licences that way but than the law changed and it become mandatory a given number of lessons (according to the level) before you could stand testing and only a school could purpose you to testing if they find you fit for that.

I don't know if on the other countries you can still purpose yourself to examination. I think it was a good thing but the fact is that almost all that purpose themselves to testing failed, at least on the more demanding levels.

Regards

Paulo
Unfortunately, outside the US a USCG Master's License (500 ton or less) is pretty much a joke. In reality, with absolutely no experience and never having set foot on a boat, a person could get a 50 or 100 ton license to carry passengers without much problem. The licensing courses that are required do not teach what it is necessary to know to safely operate a vessel, they only teach how to pass the tests, sitting in front of a compute screen. Most sections of the test are multiple choice, thereby showing the right answer if one is aware enough to see it. I passed my original test (pre-computer) for 100 ton Ocean Operator/Aux Sail (5 sections) in less than 5 hours, whereas my British exam was 25 hours, with the last 5 hours being oral, in front of a panel of 5 captains, who could ask anything from the syllabus. That's five days of examinations, two hours each morning and three each afternoon.
From discussions with friends who have gotten recreational boating certificates from various states, those seem to be mainly to generate revenue for the states and not so much true educational and safety courses.
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Old 05-25-2013
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Re: Don't read this unless you have time . .

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Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post

... The failure is not the electronics. It is the people who use them and come to depend on them over good seamanship. It is people who have used the advances as a source of dependency instead of as another tool or aid in otherwise good seamanship. Therein lies the problem.
This, for me, is the ultimate summary of this whole conversation. Each of us finds his/her own comfortable balance between technology, and return to basic principles (DR and paper charts and OMG, sextants), flavored with other considerations like cost and power requirements.
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