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SanderO wrote the first reply?

Seriously? This guy needs to look out the ******* window more, and consider a lead line and a lump of tallow as a "backup depth sensor". But more realistically, the author is a marine electronics reviewer who uses his own boat as a floating (or occasionally motoring) test bed, so it makes a sort of sense that he would view a flat-water voyage as a battle of the digital screens.

Any engine sensing technology that can cripple the engine until it gets turned off isn't worth a damn in my mind, however. The Maretron "see your engine water temp even as you are checking bilge strokes and apparent wind angle" multi-function displays SOUND good, until you really think of the havoc you would have with a single frayed wire in the mix.

If I must install a few more analog dials and live without GPS mated to the AP, I will somehow struggle on...
 

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Irwin 38 CC
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IMO you shouldn't have any equipment on your boat you don't fully understand. If you have an electronic engine monitor, make sure you can troubleshoot it! Bring spares! Frayed wires? Really? Maybe you should make sure your boat is up to snuff before you venture out to sea!
 

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What was that Scotty of Star Trek said? Oh yah! The more complex the vessel becomes, the easier to bollex it up. And you also have Murphey's law in effect... If anything can go wrong. IT WILL.
 

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██▓▓▒▒░&
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"IMO you shouldn't have any equipment on your boat you don't fully understand."
Ask the pilot on a 747 if he knows how to change the oil on his engines. Or the brakes. Don't expect so.
And while commercial aircraft have generally gone from 4 engines to 2 because they gain reliability by having fewer redundant systems to fail (catch 22) complexity is not necessarily a problem, if you have reliable systems.

A sextant may be more reliable than a GPS--but drop either one and it is offline.
 

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IMO you shouldn't have any equipment on your boat you don't fully understand.
Well, that ought to clear the waterways!

I'm OK. I like kayaking just fine.

________________

Actually, I kind of agree with the exception of equipment I'm willing to do without (ie., if my GPS goes out I have other means).
 

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"IMO you shouldn't have any equipment on your boat you don't fully understand."
Ask the pilot on a 747 if he knows how to change the oil on his engines. Or the brakes. Don't expect so.
And while commercial aircraft have generally gone from 4 engines to 2 because they gain reliability by having fewer redundant systems to fail (catch 22) complexity is not necessarily a problem, if you have reliable systems.

A sextant may be more reliable than a GPS--but drop either one and it is offline.
I totally agree with the self reliance sentiment in Scotty's post but Hello is right. Realistically, both diesel engines and most electronics are beyond the abilities and/or knowledge of most sailors. Basic troubleshooting and maintenance is about as far as any of us will ever get with those systems. How many of us are capable of, or equipped for, rebuilding a high pressure fuel pump? Similarly for the circuitry in a plotter?

That's the reason behind backup systems, alternate systems and careful maintenance.

I'm no gadget freak but I will definitely have a big plotter on my next boat - the first time I used a Ray C80 was an epiphany. :cool:
 

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If anybody thinks a sextant is "more reliable" than GPS has not HAD to use one.
It takes a considerable amount of practice and talent to get a fairly accurate LOP, especially on a small craft at sea, let alone the several it takes to get a good fix. Once one has mastered the sextant, mother nature and Neptune still have to condescend to allow you to get a "sight". A 4 second error in time can produce a one mile error in navigation, so exact time is critical as well.
On my circumnavigation in the 70's, it was overcast and I could not get a single sight on the sail from New Caledonia and Bundaberg, Oz, until I had already passed through the passage north of Frazer Island. I'd have given anything for any form of electronic navigation, had any existed in those days.
Sailing today with all the electronics I can afford has diminished the value of Rolaid's stock and allows me to sleep more and work much less, especially on passages.
I love my chartplotter and other than the ICW, it has been perfect everywhere I been, but of course, I don't know if will be perfect where I haven't gone yet.
IMO one should concentrate on learning to read the water, the colors, the ripples caused by currents and underwater obstructions and let the sextant die a dignified death. GPS is a gift and a boon to those of us who venture out on the water and redundancy is the key to continuous navigation. And common sense!
 

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My friend with the C80 once crewed a boat from Van. to S.F. in the days before GPS - 12 days and they never got a single sight. They had to dead reckon the entire trip.

The Pardeys described their voyage from Japan to Victoria B.C. - 45 days with only 2 iffy sights through overcast.

I'll take the plotter first as well. :)
 
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IMO you shouldn't have any equipment on your boat you don't fully understand. If you have an electronic engine monitor, make sure you can troubleshoot it! Bring spares! Frayed wires? Really? Maybe you should make sure your boat is up to snuff before you venture out to sea!
ScottyIrwin is right.

Equipment should permit a wise sailor to sail better, not define his ability to sail at all.
 

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I was tracking speed & distance with a Garmin 76 while driving in open territory when all the satellite signals were gone? (No position)This went on for a few hours then suddenly they reappeared.
Why? I don't know.
That's one reason my primary are these:




Dick
 

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I was tracking speed & distance with a Garmin 76 while driving in open territory when all the satellite signals were gone? (No position)This went on for a few hours then suddenly they reappeared.
Why? I don't know.
That's one reason my primary are these:




Dick
And I suppose you were able to get at least 2 LOP's for a fix in 2 hours and have as good a position as when the GPS came back on?
 

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Idk I've been using GPS for years and its pretty dam reliable. Redundancy is I have navionics in my iPad for primary navigation, I have it in my cell phone for backup or for just days ailing, most of the people I sail with have a chart plotter on their phones and there are even ais transmit and receive apps for coastal navigation! Short of some massive solar event, nuclear bomb caused emp, or space war with the Chinese, I'm not that concerned about losing GPS navigation.

Of greater concern is the irregular updating of the charts themselves IMHO, esp after sandy...
 

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I'm a Merchant captain and my (young) Mate is always on about the latest gadget or spiffy new chart plotter program.

It's funny how guys just love to have the latest and greatest new wizbang thing regardless of whether it works well or is useful.
 

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KNOT KNOWN
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Even My cabin light has a gimbling oil lamp as a back up. I remember waking to the smell of burnt rubber crossing to the Bahamas in 1978 with Grandpa. An electrical fire in the pannel. We lost all electronics. Of course back then that meant lights and a vhf, which is all I still have on the same boat today. My gps is a hand held that uses AA batts. I turn it on a couple of times a day to check my D.R.'s.
 

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. My gps is a hand held that uses AA batts. I turn it on a couple of times a day to check my D.R.'s.
Why not leave it on all the time? Surely the safety aspect of a continuously updated position is worth the cost of a couple of AA batteries?
You will also gain a far more accurate idea of currents, leeway etc.

If the cost of the batteries is a concern use some rechargeables. The cost will cents a day.

There seems to be a perception that doing without GPS information is some how virtuous. To have ready access to the information, but to deliberately ignore it seems rather unwise. A good navigator uses all the tools available, in my estimation.
 

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My gps is a hand held that uses AA batts. I turn it on a couple of times a day to check my D.R.'s.
Yep, that's how we do it too. Garmin 76 ;)

I guess there is a fascination with watching the bread-crumb trail grow longer - I don't have a need for that. On a voyage I plot a position twice a day. Switch on, get a fix, switch off. When I'm sailing local (coastal) the GPS almost never goes on.

And it's not about batteries.
 

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And it's not about batteries.
Why switch it off then?

It provides a position a fix. A couple of independent position fixing methods , more if possible are always helpful. As well you have information about currents leeway etc.
I can only see drawbacks in not having the information.

Everyone should be able to navigate without GPS, but deliberatly loosing information does not seem sensible to me.
 

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Why switch it off then?

It provides a position a fix. A couple of independent position fixing methods , more if possible are always helpful. As well you have information about currents leeway etc.
I can only see drawbacks in not having the information.

Everyone should be able to navigate without GPS, but deliberatly loosing information does not seem sensible to me.
OK so each person manages information differently. Here's my rationale - it may not work for you.

If I'm out at sea, there is really no need to stare at a GPS, I know where I am going, I know there is nothing in my way that the GPS is going to tell me about anyway and from my last known position, I have set a course which I will sail until it is no longer relevant. So what benefit do I derive from having a GPS on all the time? None that I can see. a twice-daily position is all I need.

If I'm coastal, all I need to do is look around me and I can see anything that I'm going to hit. My GPS doesn't tell me of a reef under my keel. My chart on the other hand does. Once again I know where I am going and if I can identify the stuff that's on my chart, of what value is it to know my position? If I can't follow a coastline without a GPS running in my hand, I shouldn't be in charge of a vessel (my opinion).

Let's clear up a possible misconception. I am not anti-GPS, in fact I consider it by far the best navigational aid one can have. But I don't need the security/comfort of being able to see my exact position every 5 minutes. I get a far greater pleasure out of looking around me and absorbing my surroundings and if you do that correctly, using a GPS once in a while is all that is required - it doesn't have to be on all the time. If you want to see how much leeway you're making, just look at your wake - it's unmistakable. If you want to know how much current you should expect (more important than knowing what you're experiencing right now), just look at your chart - it's all right there (assuming you have a chart).

In truth, it is far easier to place a dodgy go-to waypoint into you GPS than it is to misinterpret a course on a chart.

Just my process/habits, you no doubt have different methods.
 
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