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post #1 of 9 Old 12-24-2006 Thread Starter
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Relative value of Admiralty Pilots

We are planning to circumnavigate in 2009 and hope to be out for five years or so on a 41 foot steel pilothouse cutter. I would welcome opinions on the relative merits of buying Admiralty or other pilot charts. By pilot charts, I mean the large scale maps of the world's traditional sailing routes, with month by month average wind directions and speeds and so on.

Space is not, as such, an issue.

As I see it, the pilots are good for specifics (when the tramonta comes off Spain, and so on) and general route planning. We understand that the recent warming trends and cyclical phenomena like El Nino can skew the averages (ask me about the crazy amount of easteries on Lake Ontario the last few years...), but are pilots still worth the expense and the space they take up?

U.S. versus British pilot comments are also welcome.
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post #2 of 9 Old 12-25-2006
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Yes, I think that the pilots are still a good resource to have aboard. But, I'm a bit of a traditionalist and think that having a sextant aboard and the nav tables needed use one are also a good idea.

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post #3 of 9 Old 12-25-2006
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Probably good long term investment. The Brits were printing their charts on substantially better stock than US charts as well. Not aware of similar product in US chart catalog.
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post #4 of 9 Old 12-25-2006 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailaway21
Probably good long term investment. The Brits were printing their charts on substantially better stock than US charts as well. Not aware of similar product in US chart catalog.
I think it's called "Sailing Directions" in the U.S. books, which are slightly smaller. I didn't look too closely at them at my chart dealer's place, because they are awkward to deploy.

As for "traditional", I have an Astra IIIB, a Freiberger Yacht Drum Sextant from the '70s and already own the 2007 tables. I also have a working Tayana NC-77 and the table mods to make it predict star positions to mid-07.

I even possess a lead line

I am going to be doing sights and reductions this winter with a liveaboard going south in '08, so I guess I'm traditional enough. I plan to go all-celestial on passage with two sights a day and GPS as a confirmation. If the GPS seems off, I'll rely on celestial, as the stars (so far) can't be turned off by executive order.

Thanks for the suggestions.
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post #5 of 9 Old 12-25-2006
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You can download for free any one or all of the Atlas of Pilot Charts at www.nga.mil/portal/site/maritime and itís worth the time. I think they are just as valid today as they were 50 years ago and they are great for route planning. If you can itís also worth getting a copy of Ocean Passages of the World published by the British government.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-25-2006
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Kewl link! Thanks Robert!!
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post #7 of 9 Old 12-28-2006 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tartan34C
You can download for free any one or all of the Atlas of Pilot Charts at www.nga.mil/portal/site/maritime and itís worth the time. I think they are just as valid today as they were 50 years ago and they are great for route planning. If you can itís also worth getting a copy of Ocean Passages of the World published by the British government.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
Excellent advice! I get some almanac info here; I forgot that I could d/l pilots as well.

Certainly helps to decide what to print.
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Valiente,
How are you getting your Tamaya calc to work-assume you have one from the last century?
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I use the correspondence tables listed here:

http://www.tamaya-technics.com/nc77user.htm

It makes the NC-77 a true almanac-calculator for only the next six months or so, but as that's when I'm both practising and teaching another cruiser celestial sight reductions, that's better than nothing!

Truth be told, we have the commercial almanac already, but the calculator is illustrative of the steps you'd need to take in the absence of a current almanac or other aids.
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