Is it advisable to use Road Maps to navigate? - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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Old 05-02-2010
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Is it advisable to use Road Maps to navigate?

I saw this story on Yahoo News, and thought everyone would get a kick out of it. Apparently this gentleman was using a road map to circumnavigate England.

Story HERE

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While stationed on Nantucket Island with the USCG in 1976, we did a SAR case on 3 guys in a runabout who were trying to go from Chatham to Nantucket using a Texaco roadmap. In the fog, They pretty correctly steered due south from Chatham, but the big boombox radio to the left of the compass introduced deviation and steered them more southeasterly, and they were on their way out into the Atlantic when they ran out of fuel. Luckily, when the fog lifted they were able to call us on Channel 16 and we towed them in.
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Old 05-02-2010
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Some fellas did this some years back. They left the PNW, and the C.G. rescued them off Mendicino.....Darwin Awards material........i2f
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Old 05-02-2010
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I guess road maps are no worse than using place mats from waterfront restaurants. On the other hand, I've seen some pretty detailed place mats.

Further than that deponent sayeth not.
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Old 05-02-2010
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At a young age, anybody remember the filling stations like Esso and Atlantic gave free roadmaps, well i used them sucessfully to navigate.... Sounds dumb to the average unworldly sailor, but look at Chris oh his last name, Columbus don't think he even had that

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I would bet that the average diner place mat, and certainly a modern road map, would be far more accurate than only the most recent (200 years? +/- ????) nautical charts.

So, yeah there is some justification to it, but the nautical skills required to sail without all the information on a modern chart, would be significant. No?

I especially like the part about sailing around the island, thinking he was sailing along the coast. It's hilarious, and it reminds me of my level of navigation knowledge.
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Old 05-05-2010
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Where I come from it is illegal to be out there without a paper nautical chart, electronic charts do not count. I have run into the odd bonehead using a road map on the river, one of which was grounded in mud only ten feet from the launch dock on an ebb tide with his freind and two girlfreinds with them. It was just a few feet too far to jump for it and if they did they may have sunk into mud over their waist or head and perished so they had to stay put and wait for the ebb to finish then wait for the flood to get them out. They were in a small powerboat and by the looks on the girls faces that would be their last date with those two boneheads. I went away laughing at their predicament, also told them it was illegal to be without a chart and that if they had one they would not be stuck in the mud. They just went the wrong direction when they pulled away and the trip ended right there.
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Nice little boat.
Seems well equipped.

edit:

I can't get the pic to show up.

???:?????

Last edited by therapy23; 05-05-2010 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 05-05-2010
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Nice little boat.
Seems well equipped.

edit:

I can't get the pic to show up.

???:?????
The image posting thing is somewhat troublesome (to say the least). Best thing is to upload image to e.g Photobucket and then link bank. Works well although Photobucket seems to be down right at the moment.
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Old 05-05-2010
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Though I don't use road maps to navigate, as a coastal cruiser I find my Rand McNally to be a good tool, as it gives me info not on my charts, as well as an overall perspective of the area I'm in.
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