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post #11 of 23 Old 07-10-2016
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Re: On Board Wireless Communication - any one want it?

Every time foredeck comms comes up, the ludites poo poo the idea of modern communication. You also navigate with compass, sextant and paper charts and denigrate chartplotters right? You use oil lamps for nav lights because you dont have any of those stupid batteries with all their charging nonsense like solar panels. And of course you dont have an alternator because you dont have an engine.

Having headsets brings much more capability to communicating. Yes, I have used hand signals. Verbal communications have evolved quite a bit since og first used grunting and jestures a few years ago. And tell me how I am supposed to signal back to the cockpit when I have one hand on the washdown hose and one hand on the manual windlass? Perhaps I should drop trou before and wave my weenie for instruction?
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Re: On Board Wireless Communication - any one want it?

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Originally Posted by bart_of_the_sea View Post

Would you use a device like that? What do you use now? How about communication between couples who sail?

Happy Sailing

Gary
We've never been too fond of docking as a couple and family. We don't do it a lot and take it very cautiously. With the engine at dead slow, it's usually easy to communicate with soft voices.

The only times I can think that we'd need the extra volume on our 38' boat, is if the wind was high. In that case, we'd probably not be docking. At any rate, I can't think of much we could say that wasn't said before we headed in. We don't have any hand signals but do eye signals like rolling them at each other.

But on a larger boat or one that often sees new crew, I think a headset communication would be a helpful system.

Tom Young sailing a 1961 38' Alden Challenger, CHRISTMAS out of
Rockport, Maine.
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Re: On Board Wireless Communication - any one want it?

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Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
No.

For communication off the boat, the boat should speak with one voice. I don't want to hear from the foredeck and the cockpit of a boat I'm trying to communicate with. Practically, if things are busy and I'm on the foredeck I'll have a handheld VHF so I can listen to what Janet is saying to others and what others are saying to us.

For communication within the boat using the limited resource of marine VHF frequencies is not considerate to those you share those frequencies with.

There are lots of alternatives for communication within the boat: wired headsets, GMRS, FRS, and Bluetooth come to mind. Most commercial ships use GMRS UHF frequencies. For recreational boats a little FRS radio on your hip and earbuds work. That is essentially what the "marriage savers" are.
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Every time foredeck comms comes up, the ludites poo poo the idea of modern communication. You also navigate with compass, sextant and paper charts and denigrate chartplotters right? You use oil lamps for nav lights because you dont have any of those stupid batteries with all their charging nonsense like solar panels. And of course you dont have an alternator because you dont have an engine.

Having headsets brings much more capability to communicating. Yes, I have used hand signals. Verbal communications have evolved quite a bit since og first used grunting and jestures a few years ago. And tell me how I am supposed to signal back to the cockpit when I have one hand on the washdown hose and one hand on the manual windlass? Perhaps I should drop trou before and wave my weenie for instruction?
Personally, I find that the right technologies, done correctly, can serve to effectively augment my situational awareness. I also fly and I have seen a dramatic evolution from the old steam gauges to modern glass cockpits in small planes. I wouldn't mind some of that stuff in my sailing life. On the other hand, I get the purist point of view - just me, my crew, and the elements. That's part of what's appealing about sailing.
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Re: On Board Wireless Communication - any one want it?

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Originally Posted by bart_of_the_sea View Post
Personally, I find that the right technologies, done correctly, can serve to effectively augment my situational awareness. I also fly and I have seen a dramatic evolution from the old steam gauges to modern glass cockpits in small planes. I wouldn't mind some of that stuff in my sailing life. On the other hand, I get the purist point of view - just me, my crew, and the elements. That's part of what's appealing about sailing.
Just to be clear, my comments are not about being "pure", or about some luddite perception of the old ways being the best ways. I carry lots of technology on board, and would not want to be without.

What I, and others of like experience are telling you (and xort) is that the use of radios to communicate on a typical cruising boat is both unnecessary, and in most cases, a worse option than more direct approaches. I'm sure there are those who come to the opposite conclusion, but most long-term cruising couples I know of usually end up with some combination of pre-planning/verbal/hand-signal approach to managing anchoring and docking.

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post #15 of 23 Old 07-10-2016
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Re: On Board Wireless Communication - any one want it?

this guy also hit Sailing Anarchy... he's spamming, or whatever this kind of thinly veiled advertisement is called.
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Re: On Board Wireless Communication - any one want it?

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Just to be clear, my comments are not about being "pure", or about some luddite perception of the old ways being the best ways. I carry lots of technology on board, and would not want to be without.

What I, and others of like experience are telling you (and xort) is that the use of radios to communicate on a typical cruising boat is both unnecessary, and in most cases, a worse option than more direct approaches. I'm sure there are those who come to the opposite conclusion, but most long-term cruising couples I know of usually end up with some combination of pre-planning/verbal/hand-signal approach to managing anchoring and docking.
Thanks for pointing that distinction out Mike. An experienced couple should indeed be able to manage the boat as you describe. As others have pointed out, there are times when other folks who are on the boat less often are on board and while nothing takes the place of good briefings for the crew, I wonder if this time of comms would be helpful in those situations.

I also have mentioned that part of my thought process is focused on handsfree communication while using the VHF radio. I can also see tying a cell phone in for music or handling phone calls, which in my opinion should be ignored for the most part, but I'm certain others may need to be reachable.

Thoughts on that aspect?
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Re: On Board Wireless Communication - any one want it?

^After you've been out awhile there are less surprises. The helmsmen knows what to expect, the deck crew know what to do. Not rocket science anymore. Tried the little radios, wind noise usually made the things worthless. If we don't like the look of things we'll go around for another try. No dramas. Hardly a word spoken anymore when anchoring or docking.


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Re: On Board Wireless Communication - any one want it?

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this guy also hit Sailing Anarchy... he's spamming, or whatever this kind of thinly veiled advertisement is called.
ad28, while I did post the same question there, I am not spamming nor is this a thinly veiled ad, I am not in the business and I have no product to sell. My sailing buddy and I have been debating the usefulness of this idea and have had some lively discussions with others in our marina. I thought the topic was interesting - that's it.
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Re: On Board Wireless Communication - any one want it?

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Originally Posted by bart_of_the_sea View Post
Thanks for pointing that distinction out Mike. An experienced couple should indeed be able to manage the boat as you describe. As others have pointed out, there are times when other folks who are on the boat less often are on board and while nothing takes the place of good briefings for the crew, I wonder if this time of comms would be helpful in those situations.

I also have mentioned that part of my thought process is focused on handsfree communication while using the VHF radio. I can also see tying a cell phone in for music or handling phone calls, which in my opinion should be ignored for the most part, but I'm certain others may need to be reachable.

Thoughts on that aspect?
I'm sure there are scenarios where unobtrusive radio communications tools could be effective. Certainly as vessel size goes up (say into the 50-foot+ range), and temporary crew come into the picture, then sure ... it might be useful there. I just don't think there is much of a market in the sailing couple world.

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post #20 of 23 Old 07-10-2016
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Re: On Board Wireless Communication - any one want it?

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Originally Posted by xort View Post
Every time foredeck comms comes up, the ludites poo poo the idea of modern communication.
Oh man. If you think I'm a luddite you are barking up the wrong tree. *grin* I definitely err toward the "more cool stuff" side of the technology equation. Add a radio to the options mix and I want it, whatever "it" is. I've been a ham radio operator since I was a kid. Heck, I have a wireless doorbell with a portable plaque for the button that hangs on my lifelines or on a dock piling. I see wireless comms for intra-boat communications as technology for its own sake.

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Originally Posted by xort View Post
Having headsets brings much more capability to communicating. Yes, I have used hand signals. Verbal communications have evolved quite a bit since og first used grunting and jestures a few years ago. And tell me how I am supposed to signal back to the cockpit when I have one hand on the washdown hose and one hand on the manual windlass? Perhaps I should drop trou before and wave my weenie for instruction?
I disagree with your assessment. Just how much instruction do you need on the foredeck? The task is straightforward and the same every time. Even the failure modes are generally predictable.

On the other hand, adding wireless comms adds complexity and additional failure modes: dead batteries, wind noise that means using your hand to press the headset against your ear(s), dropping the headset overboard, dropping the headset on deck and stepping on it, dropping your VHF or belt device, snagging the headset wire (if there is one) on something, catching the belt device on something, .... This is not Luddism or purism. It is a thoughtful cost-benefit analysis (mostly non-financial costs) that concludes that there is little value.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bart_of_the_sea View Post
Personally, I find that the right technologies, done correctly, can serve to effectively augment my situational awareness. I also fly and I have seen a dramatic evolution from the old steam gauges to modern glass cockpits in small planes. I wouldn't mind some of that stuff in my sailing life.
I absolutely agree. Thus chartplotter, AIS, radar, autopilot, WiFi, cellular booster, HF/SSB with Pactor, satellite phone, computer network, and more on my boat. Generator, air conditioner, refrigerator, freezer, electric toilet, Electroscan, multi-source TVs. I have what may be the highest tech holding tank level indicator you have ever seen because I liked the technology.

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What I, and others of like experience are telling you (and xort) is that the use of radios to communicate on a typical cruising boat is both unnecessary, and in most cases, a worse option than more direct approaches.
Exactly. There are certainly some people who describe "marriage savers" as wonderful technology (thus the name) but the number of people who buy them to end up leaving them in a drawer somewhere is more significant. I see piles of them at marine flea markets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bart_of_the_sea View Post
As others have pointed out, there are times when other folks who are on the boat less often are on board and while nothing takes the place of good briefings for the crew, I wonder if this time of comms would be helpful in those situations.
In my delivery work I get a lot of crew I haven't sailed with before. Establishing baseline expectations and hand signals takes a couple of minutes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bart_of_the_sea View Post
I also have mentioned that part of my thought process is focused on handsfree communication while using the VHF radio. I can also see tying a cell phone in for music or handling phone calls, which in my opinion should be ignored for the most part, but I'm certain others may need to be reachable.
I can see some benefit to hands-free with VOX for VHF as either a supplement to a remote mic. There is value to everyone in the cockpit hearing radio traffic so I don't think it makes a good replacement for a remote mic. Taking handsfree comms forward is more likely to cause trouble than avoid it. See above. *grin*

I definitely do not take my phone out of the cockpit. If something were to happen to it (comms, to-do, contacts, back-up nav, ActiveCaptain and other databases, and utility apps) I'd really be in a bind. Not worth the risk to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aeventyr60 View Post
Tried the little radios, wind noise usually made the things worthless. If we don't like the look of things we'll go around for another try. No dramas. Hardly a word spoken anymore when anchoring or docking.
Agree about wind noise. Standing ovation for going around.

sail fast and eat well, dave S/V Auspicious

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