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Old 10-07-2009
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Books on Navigation and Rules of the road

I am brushing up on my rules of the road and navigation in preparation for upcoming summer chartering. You do not have to tell me its almost winter there is already snow on the ground here but I am getting an early start in preparing. I am mostly looking at just brushing up on my pilotage skills, chart reading and rules of the road skills and knowledge.

I have Chapmans (20 years old)
Annapolis Book of Seamanship (10 years old)

First question is Loran really the latest and greatest in sailing technology (according to my version of Chapmans)?

Has anything significant changed since these books been published that might get me into trouble if I rely on these texts?

Are there better books to have for this information?
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Old 10-07-2009
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Well, I guess most of young sailors never heard about Loran C.
This is really out-of-date.
Go to a bookstore and grab an up-todate Annapolis Book of Seamanship. Everything has changed.

One thing still remain the same. Celestial navigation. Sun and stars are still there.

Best of luck
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Electronics have changed, GPS has supplanted Loran almost entirely, and E-charts and AIS have somewhat overtaken old-school plotting and lead pencils.

Rules haven't changed much, unless you're on the Western Rivers (crossing vsl yields to all vessels, for example).

Others can suggest new texts. If you know the rules from 20 years ago in Chapman's, you're still way ahead of 90% of the people you'll meet and (hopefully) pass.
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Really Loran is not the way to go.

I guess I should have put some sarcasm marks in my Loran comment. The 20 year old Chapmans is mine and I learned how to use Loran back then. It was a cutting edge one that told you your lat and long as opposed to the older ones that just had some Loran lines or something like that.

I already know GPS well have owned and operated them for 9 years and instructed others in their use. I am not looking at these books to teach me how to use a GPS, as long as it says Garmin on the front I am confident in my abilities to figure out any GPS as long as I have the manual. I have found most all GPS do the same thing, some just have better maps. The hardest part of GPS navigation is knowing which buttons to push in which order to get it to do what you want.

As much as I am enamoured with the GPS technology I also feel primary navigation skills are important and would like to stay sharp with those. My biggest concern is the basics of boating, pilotage, rules of the road, etc. Have these changed any since these books were written? I'd rather not buy newer copies of these books if nothing major has changed in these subjects but would rather buy different specialized books. Maybe something cutting edge like Bowditch first edition. Every so often I do add a celestial navigation book to my collection just in case i get a sextant or bigger boat soon.

Actually just looked at the books online and the new Chapmans talks about VHF/DSC and new mayday procedures. It may be worth upgrading for such important info. I will take a look at the bookstore when I get back in the big city this weekend. Turns out my Annapolis book of Seamanship is the most up to date.
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Last edited by jephotog; 10-07-2009 at 06:25 PM. Reason: More info
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