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Hi All,

I've made this video to make sailors aware of the issues with modern, digital navigation. The sail training organisations promote traditional navigation, and nobody is really teaching the use of gps.

Most navigation accidents are due to failure to navigate, but it's important to understand the possibility of chart errors, and the need for multiple devices. Traditional navigation is a good basis, but most of use only use gps now. Are we just getting lazy, or is the modern way safer?

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4 hours ago, El Boracho said:

Your premise is false. I gave up at the 30 second point when you started talking down to me. Thanks, Mid, I'll take two bags of popcorn.

Maybe you are not the target audience. I know plenty of people would benefit from watching it.

The 'is electronic - is good' people who have been around since the days of Transit with its 'electronic DRs'.

Transit - BTW - probably put more yachts on reefs in the SW Pacific than any other form of navigation... on an annualised basis... if that is the right term.

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That was a fairly primitive bit of kit on Royal Majesty.

Back in the Transit days the person I sailed with who had the poorest grasp of the concept of 'electronic DR' was an ex RAN commander who had found his way into the merchant service - using a 'certificate of service'..

He was convinced that the numbers in the window were gospel... even if there hadn't been an actual fix for hours.... sigh.

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i went to sea as a cadet at 16yrs of age. It was drilled into me that at least 2 methods of position fixing had to be used. Back then in early 80s GPS was a huge boxy thing that didn't work very well in lower latitudes for lack of satellites

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3 hours ago, Golfo said:

my first post here on Anarchy but been lurking and decided to register.

For those who rely on GPS and chart plotters, here is a remarkable negligence event.

 

Grounding of the Royal Majesty.pdf

Good story about the Royal Majesty. The GPS antenna failed, but the unit still gave inaccurate DR positions for 28 hours without the crew realising. Modern GPS units tell you really quickly if they lose their fix. Too much reliance on one device, as you say, it's really important to have multiple ways to establish your position.

Amazingly, the radar display was centred on the false DR position, and gave what looked like a correct view of their approach to the channel. Way too much automation, even in those early days! We will all be fighting automation in the coming years, not with yachting but with autonomous cars.

Their dead reckoning position was 14 miles out. This was my experience with celestial navigation, many years ago. At night, with no means of fixing your position, your DR position could easily be that far out. A ship should be better, but it's harder on a small yacht, easily affected by variable winds, and with a difficult view of the horizon in a heavy sea.

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In much of the world looking at a chart to know where the rocks are is a fool's mission. Newbies need to know that those soundings on the charts were often made at just one random place. A rock some distance away, depending on chart scale, would be completely missed.

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1 hour ago, El Boracho said:

In much of the world looking at a chart to know where the rocks are is a fool's mission. Newbies need to know that those soundings on the charts were often made at just one random place. A rock some distance away, depending on chart scale, would be completely missed.

I’m sure many of the soundings in the chart pic I listed were done by guys with a lead line in a rowed longboat a few centuries ago.

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On 1/17/2020 at 2:17 PM, Cisco said:

Maybe you are not the target audience. I know plenty of people would benefit from watching it.

The 'is electronic - is good' people who have been around since the days of Transit with its 'electronic DRs'.

Transit - BTW - probably put more yachts on reefs in the SW Pacific than any other form of navigation... on an annualised basis... if that is the right term.

I agree - I can think of people who’d benefit from watching this.  There’s often something new to learn for anybody.  

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Before the last boats are launched on the coast of Maine in the spring, the first ones that have crashed into granite ledges start limping into the slings for repairs.

Unlike the olde days of paper only, I'd wager nearly every casualty today, has at least 2 screens onboard (more likely a half a dozen screens), showing the boat as an icon on the e-chart, crashing into the granite ledge - within a few feet of the lead skid mark -  at the actual location on planet Earth and at the exact moment, the grounding occurred. 

In the olde days, someone may have been navigating actively and the boat was not where the navigator thought it was (that never happened!!!). 

Today, at least around here, in the hands of someone with a basic understanding of screens and 'zoooming', there isn't the above - navigator error - excuse anymore. 

So why do we still hit the same rocks (I know the answer)? 

1971601961_KeeldamageEmail..jpg.201e414d58080ffd7da81b887af7d729.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Kris Cringle said:

So why do we still hit the same rocks (I know the answer)? 

And the answer is, Tom?

The rock in my way, way, way zoomed out pic (below) was (is) about 160 feet from shore, in Lama Passage.  Well charted. Stopped me dead in my tracks.  (Fortunately on a rising tide.)

2009, with one small chart plotter at the nav station (cockpit/mobile back ups like iPhone/Pads didn’t exist, of course), and a very large stack of paper charts for the whole BC/Alaska coast, in a very deep (nearly 200m/600’), fjord-like inlet about .5nm wide.  Rainy, misty, challenging visibility (can somehow affect your concentration/space perception?), the constant drone of motor, so a bit “distracted/numbed”. Thought (assumed) the entire inlet was very deep basically everywhere —as they all basically are here.  I don’t recall, but we may very well have been overly relying on the little plotter and also not zoomed in enough, and hadn’t looked over the paper chart fully - can’t recall now, but don’t think that was the issue.  Overall, was a sense of, you’re motoring through sinuous, twisting, very deep inlets and passages, you look things over often as you go, not necessarily plotting an actual course ahead of time, but you are aware of the obvious hazards and “keep motoring, keep in the deep water, toward the middle” and “all these inlets are REALLY deep.”  Simply not careful enough - didn’t use the plotter to its full potential (very easy to plot a course on it compared to paper, and check your position on it as you go, compared to paper.) 

Bit of a convoluted story, but I can’t recall 100% what happened. Shit happened.  Overall, I think we didn’t have a solid procedure to follow, and got a bit lazy with the plotter - first time ever having used one for long distance navigation.  It was our lack of procedure: we should have actually plotted a very specific course to follow despite the navigation being largely straightforward. 

There are lots of opportunities for shit to happen, in various forms, human and machine!

8C5498FA-C1C7-4F45-8D54-D31C28448827.jpeg

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32 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

And the answer is, Tom?

 

Asleep at the wheel. No watch. 'Close to home complacency' is a personal one I use, because, around here, most of the accidents happen on the same rocks, year after year, by boats that sail these waters regularly. The hazards are well charted. 

The rest (as you mention - but you're not sure which), incorrectly zooming out details, are user error, and way down the list of causes from what I can see. 

The spot (my keel, above) that I left several pounds of lead on a granite ledge not far from here was right under my icon on my first CP. I remember what I was doing, helping my (then) young daughter make an entry in her 'log' that she kept on our family vacations, while motoring through a rock lined channel. . 

These days, I use at least 3 separate devices with different chart ware, all set at different screens, on and off. I think that displays the 'evolving' e-chart navigator getting better with the tools. But damned if I don't still make the same mistake of not paying enough attention when I need to.

 

In fact, these days, I've discovered to my horror, that I've gone nearly over hazards that where submerged at HW. The horror discovered as I see my track on plotters. Why? I wasn't paying attention to the tools. But the tools I have are as good as it gets (speaking from years of paper piloting). 

 

   

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45 minutes ago, Rasputin22 said:

Because those same rocks and still there?

 

Nasty tide rips on this coast...one now gone.

The gargantuan explosion happens at 6:00 in the video (largest manmade, non-nuclear peacetime explosion at that time), but it’s well worth watching the whole vid for the background.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, Rasputin22 said:

Because those same rocks and still there?

 

Winner! 

The same ones seem to catch the most keels. Around here the worst ledges completely cover by tide. The longer they remain under, the more keels they catch. And there are too many to stick a marker into, although I think tremendous $$$ and blood would be saved by a few more day markers around here. 

I confess that I didn't watch the video in question, so I probably shouldn't be posting. I assumed it was the old paper vs e charts argument. If it isn't sorry, disregard my post. :)

 

 

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22 hours ago, El Boracho said:

In much of the world looking at a chart to know where the rocks are is a fool's mission. Newbies need to know that those soundings on the charts were often made at just one random place. A rock some distance away, depending on chart scale, would be completely missed.

Something I find amazing is that people will focus entirely on their chart plotter or paper chart and just not look around at the land and water that they can see. In southern Indonesia we found the charts to be almost useless when it came to things like anchoring. In one place we anchored at a place that was shown a quarter mile inland. When we left in the morning it still showed us on land when our dept sounder lost the bottom - something over 470 feet I think. In another bay that was about a mile by a mile in size there was one sounding and it was completely wrong. In all cases though the water is very clear and you just can ignore your chart and eyeball it.

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I think that the problem is navigation appears to have got so simple that it's easy not to give it the required attention. I'm sure that many who should know better have been guilty of this at some point. I know I have.

 

In the days when navigation was more challenging it was given the attention that it demands and deserves.

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A few years ago we were chartering in Greece. We spent one evening in a reasonably large town with lit entrance marks and a sheltered anchorage.

The next evening we'd intended to spend the night in a small bay just down the coast, where we'd been moored Med style, anchor out and two lines to the shore, since mid afternoon. About 9pm a big thunderstorm kicked off, with very strong guests, and our anchor dragged.  The bay was unlit, and in the conditions I didn't feel able to moor again. Most other boats were having the simmilar problems and it was getting quite sketchy.

In the daylight I'd picked a couple of key features to enable me to leave the bay safely, which we did. We then set off for the place we'd been the night before. It was only a couple of hours away, with a properly lit approach, and acknowledged bad weather holding.

By the time I got shit sorted and had time to look at the instruments it was blowing low 40s, not sure I completely believed, that but there was a shit load of wind.  We had 2 families aboard, with 5 kids, and if it came to it I was going to trust my 11 year old daughter to drive before anyone else aboard. So we were a little light on talent.

My wife was explaining to the other family that everything was fine, and we'd just follow the GPS in.  I didn't have the heart to tell anyone that when I'd looked at our GPS track from the day before it was shown as straight across the land and through the town...

When it all goes to shit it always goes completely to shit. Still it all turned out nice in the end.

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1 hour ago, Bristol-Cruiser said:

Something I find amazing is that people will focus entirely on their chart plotter or paper chart and just not look around at the land and water that they can see. I

This. Leaving Quahog Bay here there are two ledges to port that eat boats that are not paying attention.  One day exiting we noticed our GPS position was substantially west of our visual position.  I understand it was a General Dynamics test of some kind. We watched a big fancy Sabre drive up onto the first ledge at speed. Dropped in the dinghy leaving crew on our boat and went to assist. The chart plotter at the helm had the boat in the channel, despite breakers around us.  Helped get the guy off and returned to my boat. Watched another guy go up on the same rocks. He got off. 

Look. Outside. The. Boat. 

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On 1/17/2020 at 12:10 AM, RichMac said:

Hi All,

I've made this video to make sailors aware of the issues with modern, digital navigation. The sail training organisations promote traditional navigation, and nobody is really teaching the use of gps.

Most navigation accidents are due to failure to navigate, but it's important to understand the possibility of chart errors, and the need for multiple devices. Traditional navigation is a good basis, but most of use only use gps now. Are we just getting lazy, or is the modern way safer?

I found time to watch the posted video. It's brilliant!

I don't have the authors experience but totally agree with his philosophy. I've navigated both ways over decades and I am so happy to have the advantage of todays e-nav systems.

"Most navigation accidents are due to failure to navigate". So true. 

Nice work, Rich. 

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Early into my relationship with keelboats I was taught to NEVER 100% trust any single aid to navigation. A few groundings later it started to sink in. GPS driven chartplotters have taken a lot of the fear out of piloting and navigating, which is good news/bad news. It's hard NOT to trust the pretty glowing chart, and the magic triangle of our boat dancing along the chart, with SOG, ETA, projected course, waypoints, Lat/Long, etc. right there. I'm going to continue use the hell out of the technology, but you have to think "We're probably pretty close to where the chartplotter says,"  not "That's where we are." I think it's a little like defensive driving on a motorcycle at speed - you simply can't wait and try to react to bad shit that happens... you have to be scanning the road ahead continually and thinking "What might go wrong here?"

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Mud and gravel aren't so bad but rocks really tell you something.  First time sailing with the wife on our last boat nailed a well charted Pinnacle of Shaw island. Full sail shook the shit out of the boat and my pants.  Ended up being a tiny scratch on the bottom but sure felt like more.  We were heading out of Ganges under the sisters and heard before we saw somebody run over money maker reef onstep in a 30ish ft sedan.  The electronic stuff is definitely keeping pace, we have been surprised at how accurate some stuff is, when you add the user generated open cnp on it there is a lot of pluses out there.  In the short time we have been cruising we have seen huge improvements in electronic charts for the same given area.  It is interesting that you can get a free open source user generated chart that is a whole lot more accurate than a spendy admiralty chart of the same area.  I do think people from more northern areas with pokey bits that will ruin your day are more cautious in general.

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We were on a can at Union Island in the Grenadines after clearing into SVG. As we were sitting enjoying a cold one when a very nice Oyster came into the harbour at too much speed for a very crowded harbour. He ran into Roundabout Reef which is right in the middle of the harbour and marked clearly on any and all charts.. You can also see it quite clearly. Got off with the help of about a zillion boat boys. To top it all off, the name of the boat was Roundabout. Seemed something that had to happen although it never should have.

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2 hours ago, Bristol-Cruiser said:

We were on a can at Union Island in the Grenadines after clearing into SVG. As we were sitting enjoying a cold one when a very nice Oyster came into the harbour at too much speed for a very crowded harbour. He ran into Roundabout Reef which is right in the middle of the harbour and marked clearly on any and all charts.. You can also see it quite clearly. Got off with the help of about a zillion boat boys. To top it all off, the name of the boat was Roundabout. Seemed something that had to happen although it never should have.

I have only once twice run aground with a witness. Maybe three.

OK, call it a dozen, if you include deliberately stopping for lunch.

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I can proudly say I have never run aground - which I define as being stuck to the point of needing assistance or having to wait for the tide to get off.

I have felt the bottom 4 times in 45 years

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I’m often amazed by how fast people move in tight quarters. It must be the confidence of their chart plotter and “local knowledge”. 

More than once going slow-ish has given me time to figure out that I fcuked up and given me a chance to fix it before something bad happened.  Ok, sailboats are very slow, so maybe I’m just really slow. 
 

 

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2 hours ago, Elegua said:

I’m often amazed by how fast people move in tight quarters. It must be the confidence of their chart plotter and “local knowledge”.  
 

If you're going to hit something - make sure you hit it really slowly!

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With paper it is a simple matter ( BA or AU at least ) to ascertain the quality of the survey - side scan sonar , lines of soundings taken from a ship's boat , or the work of HMS Beagle in the 1840s......

 

With electronic not so much....

I have always, since it first appeared, used CM93... its not perfect but it is OK. Run a track into an anchorage in good conditions... you can use that track later  to enter in the dark even when it goes cross country over the yellow bits.

A few years ago... having aquired an Ipad ... I decided to get the I-Sailor app and dropped a few bob on  a Chilean portfolio.

 

Its first outing was north from Pto Williams in '18 and I was impressed... even if detail in some areas was no better position accuracy was now 'spot on' ... until.....

About 6 weeks later ... closing the land west of Cabo Tres Montes all looked good until it didn't.... the track tells its own story.

Inward track is the broken one... a flat battery event on the way in....

Luckily we arrived in daylight - anchored on the red '+'.

Image-1.thumb.jpg.b548aebcf7d29124b7d3b1530b490568.jpg

CM93 detail...

Barossa.thumb.jpg.86b19720c8c5bb9690aeea5dccf42236.jpg

 

The next evening we entered Estero Cono in the dark... a place I had been often enough before... similar amount of error... luckily able to run down an old CM93 track.

Lessons learned... just because it is electronic does not mean it is right... just because you have paid good money for it does not mean it is correct...

A short vid such as that put together by RichMac is in my opinion a valuable resource that *all* navigators should watch...

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Hopefully related enough to this topic and not too stupid of a question.  People talk of using OpenCPN, or CM93, as Cisco noted above (C Map, I think?) on laptop computers.  How do you get a GPS signal to show on the chart? 

I get that if you’re using a tablet, you use one with an internal GPS (some have, some don’t).  But running OpenCPN or CM93 on, say, a Panasonic Toughbook? (I don’t have one, just as an example, since these laptops are commonly used on boats). Or any other laptop?

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Failure to zoom may be "navigational error", but it does point up the disconnect between electronic vector charting and human cognition. On a large area paper chart, important navigational hazards will still be depicted (even if perhaps 100x their real size) because the human cartographer wants to draw your attention to a hazard that may require inspection on a smaller area chart ("zoomed in" for you Millenials :-)). Even now in 2020 this does not occur to any useful extent on vector charts. It could be done, but would require different decluttering algorithms than are currently used, and some human intervention to tag the important hazards. Paper charts (I include paper charts rasterized and displayed on a screen) match human cognition better, because they were drawn by humans and not silicon. 

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9 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

I can proudly say I have never run aground - which I define as being stuck to the point of needing assistance or having to wait for the tide to get off.

I have felt the bottom 4 times in 45 years

That is truly remarkable. Not sure pride is merited: Kinda like bragging you have never upset a woman. I've been dragged onto charted rocks by a flailing spinnaker. Pulled out of the mud by the local cruiser dinghy navy while first-time navigating an entrance charted only by folklore. Banged coral heads dozens of times. Left long trenches in broken coral bottoms. Mushed into sandbars that took some trying to wiggle out of. Never lost a boat. Never anything that a little epoxy couldn't fix. Can we say Slooper is not an experienced sailor? :-)

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2 minutes ago, DDW said:

Failure to zoom may be "navigational error", but it does point up the disconnect between electronic vector charting and human cognition.

Yup. That is my frustration with all the offerings. The graphical interface is neanderthal. Small scale (large area) paper charts are normally specified to "show some ink" for any and all obstructions no matter how small. So minuscule rocks far offshore, no matter how huge the chart area, always show. Current plotters delete entire nations on zooming out. With the processing power available today there is no excuse for that lameness in the graphics. They could do well by playing with Google Earth type apps to get a feel how a skilled engineer might create a plotting app.

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54 minutes ago, El Boracho said:

That is truly remarkable. Not sure pride is merited: Kinda like bragging you have never upset a woman. I've been dragged onto charted rocks by a flailing spinnaker. Pulled out of the mud by the local cruiser dinghy navy while first-time navigating an entrance charted only by folklore. Banged coral heads dozens of times. Left long trenches in broken coral bottoms. Mushed into sandbars that took some trying to wiggle out of. Never lost a boat. Never anything that a little epoxy couldn't fix. Can we say Slooper is not an experienced sailor? :-)

Glad you have had fun going aground, hitting bommies, and so forth. I too have touched bottom but have always managed to get off by myself - its called good seamanship versus salvage. I'm am also sure that anyone who has been sailing for 45 years is, by definition, an experienced sailor. It sound like Sloop is a more cautious sailor than you.

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8 hours ago, RichMac said:

If you're going to hit something - make sure you hit it really slowly!

That's the first rule of docking - never approach a dock faster than you're willing to hit it.

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10 minutes ago, Jim in Halifax said:

Glad you have had fun going aground, hitting bommies, and so forth. I too have touched bottom but have always managed to get off by myself - its called good seamanship versus salvage. I'm am also sure that anyone who has been sailing for 45 years is, by definition, an experienced sailor. It sound like Sloop is a more cautious sailor than you.

Having done most of my sailing around here I put it down to luck as much as good management.

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Luck is a big component. Its rocky on my part of the east coast too. In 27 years of boat ownership, I have lodged the forefoot of the keel on gravel ledges, gotten stuck on mud banks and kedged off of sand but, until last summer, never felt the full wrath of granite. During Hurricane Dorian the boat dragged two anchors on 250 feet of chain rode and ended up a total loss on the rocks. But I was lucky as I was not aboard at the time.

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5 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Having done most of my sailing around here I put it down to luck as much as good management.

Deep water and steep-to shorelines help, as do a couple centuries of meticulous charting. Different experience  in the shallow, coral-encrusted archipeligos of East Asia,  where charts exist in Grandfather's head and your first inkling of that new underwater volcano is when your keel hits it.

Anyone who stuffs their boat into a shoal off western Florida has my sympathy rather than my mockery. 

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I got a wry chuckle from that boat years back that was following a train as a navigational aid and went up the breakwater.
 

I don't remember all the details, but that one was unique.

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5 hours ago, Diarmuid said:

Deep water and steep-to shorelines help, as do a couple centuries of meticulous charting. Different experience  in the shallow, coral-encrusted archipeligos of East Asia,  where charts exist in Grandfather's head and your first inkling of that new underwater volcano is when your keel hits it.

Anyone who stuffs their boat into a shoal off western Florida has my sympathy rather than my mockery. 

And the less you draw, the more you run aground. 

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When I started sailing I read a comment about a design to the effect that the draft was kept to 6' so it would be safe outside the one fathom line on charts.

It stuck in my mind and I've always tried to use it as a navigation "rule"..

Admittedly it's a lot easier here than places like the east coast but it seems to have worked pretty well.

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12 hours ago, Blue Crab said:

And the less you draw, the more you run aground. 

I'm sure for me, chart plotters with accurate charts in New England, have me sailing many more miles and much closer to the ledges and hazards than I used to sail with a paper chart and pencil.

In fact I know I sail more miles now as unless I was in familiar water along the coast before chart plotters, I was more often under power. How could you possibly keep an accurate location on the paper chart in the cockpit, juggling parallel rules, pencil and bearings as you trim sails?

I remember, I couldn't and when I did - with a finger on a bunched up paper chart that was my hopeful location - the stress took it's toll. 

Am I safer now, threading my way between well marked rocks, often these days under sail?

I'm not sure but I wouldn't go back to staying outside or lowering sails long before arrival instead of sailing into many anchorages and harbors these days. No, I wouldn't go back even though I've nicked a ledge or two (on a rising tide), sailing through a thin thread into an anchorage to drop the hook in the peace and quiet.

 

On a rising tide I can be a little bold going into thin water, under sail,  knowing the accuracy of my location on a chart with no surprises. This wasn't possible on paper, not with my paper piloting accuracy. 

 

Here, I placed pins where I bottomed out in the mud at LW swinging on the hook. Now I know the limits of this spot for another day, even on a falling tide,....

 

1595062698_Navionics(1of1).thumb.jpg.eb73890f475ac4b2d94036dd7cd3b42d.jpg

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Kris Cringle said:

I'm sure for me, chart plotters with accurate charts in New England, have me sailing many more miles and much closer to the ledges and hazards than I used to sail with a paper chart and pencil.

In fact I know I sail more miles now as unless I was in familiar water along the coast before chart plotters, I was more often under power. How could you possibly keep an accurate location on the paper chart in the cockpit, juggling parallel rules, pencil and bearings as you trim sails?

I remember, I couldn't and when I did - with a finger on a bunched up paper chart that was my hopeful location - the stress took it's toll. 

Am I safer now, threading my way between well marked rocks, often these days under sail?

I'm not sure but I wouldn't go back to staying outside or lowering sails long before arrival instead of sailing into many anchorages and harbors these days. No, I wouldn't go back even though I've nicked a ledge or two (on a rising tide), sailing through a thin thread into an anchorage to drop the hook in the peace and quiet.

 

On a rising tide I can be a little bold going into thin water, under sail,  knowing the accuracy of my location on a chart with no surprises. This wasn't possible on paper, not with my paper piloting accuracy. 

 

Here, I placed pins where I bottomed out in the mud at LW swinging on the hook. Now I know the limits of this spot for another day, even on a falling tide,....

 

1595062698_Navionics(1of1).thumb.jpg.eb73890f475ac4b2d94036dd7cd3b42d.jpg

 

 

 

Like any tool, I think it really depends on your approach. How much blind faith, if any, do you give the information provided? If you approach the better data with the same caution that you do an RNC, but use it to get a little closer, you’re probably just as safe, if not safer. Google earth is a great tool to get a visual on where your going the first time and the contours underwater are pretty spot on. But your post reminds me of anchorages like the little pocket at the head of Winter Harbor where I’ve watched people steam up past those ledges at 5 or more knots. That doesn’t make sense to me no matter how good your computer breadcrumb trail is.  If you’re just ghosting along under sail or at idle, that’s one thing, but fast enough to cause mayhem is another. 

Some places look much scarier on a raster chart than they do in real life and 4’6” has helped me avoid some trouble. 

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On 1/19/2020 at 9:26 AM, Kris Cringle said:

Asleep at the wheel. No watch. 'Close to home complacency' is a personal one I use, because, around here, most of the accidents happen on the same rocks, year after year, by boats that sail these waters regularly. The hazards are well charted. 

The rest (as you mention - but you're not sure which), incorrectly zooming out details, are user error, and way down the list of causes from what I can see. 

The spot (my keel, above) that I left several pounds of lead on a granite ledge not far from here was right under my icon on my first CP. I remember what I was doing, helping my (then) young daughter make an entry in her 'log' that she kept on our family vacations, while motoring through a rock lined channel. . 

These days, I use at least 3 separate devices with different chart ware, all set at different screens, on and off. I think that displays the 'evolving' e-chart navigator getting better with the tools. But damned if I don't still make the same mistake of not paying enough attention when I need to.

 

In fact, these days, I've discovered to my horror, that I've gone nearly over hazards that where submerged at HW. The horror discovered as I see my track on plotters. Why? I wasn't paying attention to the tools. But the tools I have are as good as it gets (speaking from years of paper piloting). 

 

   

 

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Dunno if it's been previously mentioned, but I've had some disturbing adventures* this year with the chart plotter due to interference with the fluxgate compass.  I suppose it's something that can happen with a regular compass as well, but somehow the electronic one seems more susceptible to interference from Stuff On Board.  (The "real" compass is out in the cockpit, away from Stuff.) Need to find a new quiet location for it - not easy to do on a small boat that's packing too many toys.  Sometimes the course shown on the plotter has been up to 30 degrees off!  I think the iPad I was previously using computed its heading from the GPS track, instead of the ship's instruments, so I guess I never previously noticed.  It's going to be hard to trust the video game for a while... 

I imagine this also produces wacky results on the AIS display of passing tubgoats. :unsure:

*(Not really, nothing "happened," except puzzlement and frustration.)

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3 minutes ago, toddster said:

Dunno if it's been previously mentioned, but I've had some disturbing adventures* this year with the chart plotter due to interference with the fluxgate compass.  I suppose it's something that can happen with a regular compass as well, but somehow the electronic one seems more susceptible to interference from Stuff On Board.  (The "real" compass is out in the cockpit, away from Stuff.) Need to find a new quiet location for it - not easy to do on a small boat that's packing too many toys.  Sometimes the course shown on the plotter has been up to 30 degrees off!  I think the iPad I was previously using computed its heading from the GPS track, instead of the ship's instruments, so I guess I never previously noticed.  It's going to be hard to trust the video game for a while... 

Heading data from the fluxgate compass should not ever be used in the plotting of a course. So your remarks confuse me. I do agree that placement of a fluxgate compass is problematic on a boat. And the resulting errors can be confounding and dangerous.

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Being old enough that I have a lot of experience cruising in the days pre-Loran (nevermind GPS), I will say that a major difference now... with all the tools we have and how easy they are to use... is that I do far far far less passage planning than I used to.  And commit far less to memory as a result.  Be it extended cruising or day sailing now I just fire up the plotter and go whereas in the past I would pour over charts for hours and hours.  For my local waters I recently had a chance to realize what this means at a practical level.  I found myself sailing a friend's boat in what used to be - 40 years ago - our home waters.  It was stunning how much I remembered.  Didn't need to look at the plotter as I could recall all the danger spots.  That I remembered was interesting to me.  But realizing that I don't have nearly as good a mental picture of my new home waters - after so many years here - was an interesting realization.  The plotter tells me what I need to know at the time for my current home waters but because its so easy the bigger picture of the area and its hazards has not been committed to my memory the way my old stomping grounds of 40 years ago were.  All I had then was paper charts and my brain.  If it wasn't stored up there I was in trouble.  Now I rely on the plotter for that.  Made me really rethink how I am sailing now especially as we have a fairly big and fast multihull.

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2 hours ago, Wess said:

Being old enough that I have a lot of experience cruising in the days pre-Loran (nevermind GPS), I will say that a major difference now... with all the tools we have and how easy they are to use... is that I do far far far less passage planning than I used to.  And commit far less to memory as a result.  Be it extended cruising or day sailing now I just fire up the plotter and go whereas in the past I would pour over charts for hours and hours.  For my local waters I recently had a chance to realize what this means at a practical level.  I found myself sailing a friend's boat in what used to be - 40 years ago - our home waters.  It was stunning how much I remembered.  Didn't need to look at the plotter as I could recall all the danger spots.  That I remembered was interesting to me.  But realizing that I don't have nearly as good a mental picture of my new home waters - after so many years here - was an interesting realization.  The plotter tells me what I need to know at the time for my current home waters but because its so easy the bigger picture of the area and its hazards has not been committed to my memory the way my old stomping grounds of 40 years ago were.  All I had then was paper charts and my brain.  If it wasn't stored up there I was in trouble.  Now I rely on the plotter for that.  Made me really rethink how I am sailing now especially as we have a fairly big and fast multihull.

And now all the phone numbers I need are in my phone I don't know anyone's phone numbers...

The kids have never seen a road map, so they've no idea which roads go where.

You might be into something.

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6 hours ago, toddster said:

Dunno if it's been previously mentioned, but I've had some disturbing adventures* this year with the chart plotter due to interference with the fluxgate compass.

I always had problems with my Raymarine fluxgate, it would lose it's marbles and require swinging, very hard at sea to get the autopilot going again!

Now, with B&G, it's reliable but never very accurate. The autopilot doesn't care, I just set my course to the target. But if you overlay the radar plot onto the chart, there is an angular displacement due to the incorrect heading info.

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18 hours ago, Wess said:

The plotter tells me what I need to know at the time for my current home waters but because its so easy the bigger picture of the area and its hazards has not been committed to memory.

Interesting anecdote by the author of the book “The Hand”, by an anatomy prof at Stanford Med School, about the importance of the human hand to human cultural/technological development.  He says that, teaching young kids basic anatomy, he’d refer to the heart as a pump with valves.  Increasingly, he feels, kids do less and less hands-on stuff, like rebuilding cars, servicing or fixing a faulty lawnmower at home, home plumbing/electrical etc. and can’t relate to that metaphor for the heart.  If they need to know something in the moment, they pull it off the server/cloud...no sense in committing it to memory when it’s already been “remembered” somewhere else  Scary future (?).

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15 hours ago, Elegua said:

I think there is an increasing body of cognitive science that shows tools like GPS have a negative impact on our ability to generate metal maps.  

Here’s some cognitive science from yesterday to back that up. I do a lot of driving for my work.  I need fast, reliable navigation data, as I sometimes cover a large area.

Last night, after coming home from work to the small island I live on, I needed to go pick up a nice marble chessboard that someone sold me for cheap through the local buy/sell page. I’d arranged with the lady selling it to go pick it up.  I knew more or less right where her address was —it’s a small place!— but it’s not a place I go frequently, and I instantly plugged it into the phone map, even pushing the button for step-by-step driving directions (!) - justifying it to myself that (a) it was a bit late, I was tired and it had been a long-ish day at work and I didn’t feel like “working”; and (b) it was dark and rainy.

As soon as I plugged it into the phone, I honestly thought to myself, “WTF?!?”  

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16 hours ago, Elegua said:

I think there is an increasing body of cognitive science that shows tools like GPS have a negative impact on our ability to generate metal maps.  

Here’s some cognitive science from yesterday to back that up. I do a lot of driving for my work.  I need fast, reliable navigation data, as I sometimes cover a large area.

Last night, after coming home from work to the small island I live on, I needed to go pick up a nice marble chessboard that someone sold me for cheap through the local buy/sell page. I’d arranged with the lady selling it to go pick it up.  I knew more or less right where her address was —it’s a small place!— but it’s not a place I go frequently, and I instantly plugged it into the phone map, even pushing the button for step-by-step driving directions (!) - justifying it to myself that (a) it was a bit late, I was tired and it had been a long-ish day at work and I didn’t feel like “working”; and (b) it was dark and rainy.

As soon as I plugged it into the phone, I honestly thought to myself, “WTF?!?”  

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I make it a point to try to visualize a route before I start driving. Don't want to lose those brain cells...And then I put the address into google maps since it accounts for traffic.

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5 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Here’s some cognitive science from yesterday to back that up. I do a lot of driving for my work.  I need fast, reliable navigation data, as I sometimes cover a large area.

Last night, after coming home from work to the small island I live on, I needed to go pick up a nice marble chessboard that someone sold me for cheap through the local buy/sell page. I’d arranged with the lady selling it to go pick it up.  I knew more or less right where her address was —it’s a small place!— but it’s not a place I go frequently, and I instantly plugged it into the phone map, even pushing the button for step-by-step driving directions (!) - justifying it to myself that (a) it was a bit late, I was tired and it had been a long-ish day at work and I didn’t feel like “working”; and (b) it was dark and rainy.

As soon as I plugged it into the phone, I honestly thought to myself, “WTF?!?”  

I sometimes have the navigation turned on locally (very small town) if I’m on my way to an unknown place in the city.  The directions it gives in our little town are very weird and wrong. E.g. sending you down tiny residential streets and back for no apparent reason.  When I’ve had AirBnB guests, at least a third of them can’t follow the directions (drive up the road until you come to the address) because the phone tells them to stop a mile early. It’s like they don’t even understand the concept of an address. 

For years (not sure if still) Google had one of the local roads (US west coast) labeled as “Quebec Rt. 1,” with little maple leaf symbols. :blink:  Sometimes I think it’s all just bored kids in Google’s basement having fun... 

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On 1/19/2020 at 8:17 PM, SloopJonB said:

I can proudly say I have never run aground - which I define as being stuck to the point of needing assistance or having to wait for the tide to get off.

I have felt the bottom 4 times in 45 years

It is the best way to get the barnacles off the bottom of the keel.

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3 hours ago, SemiSalt said:

Freedom 12M rocks 3.png

Gone is the day that you could do this, and maybe nobody would find out. Most boats go aground softly, the tide goes out, comes back in, and you snuck off.

Today you're on Youtube before the tide goes out. The guy in blue is probably looking at himself online on his phone. 

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2 hours ago, MauiPunter said:

It is the best way to get the barnacles off the bottom of the keel.

My last haulout, I forgot about where the blocks were. The yard crew picked me up and did I want to paint the bare spots? I did but it would have been a hassle. Then I remembered touching bottom in the ICW on the way to the yard and said: "Fuggitaboutit!"

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9 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Interesting anecdote by the author of the book “The Hand”, by an anatomy prof at Stanford Med School, about the importance of the human hand to human cultural/technological development.  He says that, teaching young kids basic anatomy, he’d refer to the heart as a pump with valves.  Increasingly, he feels, kids do less and less hands-on stuff, like rebuilding cars, servicing or fixing a faulty lawnmower at home, home plumbing/electrical etc. and can’t relate to that metaphor for the heart.  If they need to know something in the moment, they pull it off the server/cloud...no sense in committing it to memory when it’s already been “remembered” somewhere else  Scary future (?).

Not really - just the advance of the human race.

How many people know how to make their own soap? My wife's grandmother did. Who could operate a telephone switchboard now?

There's no need to know how to fix a lawnmower anymore - they are disposable like most everything else. If they weren't then people would continue to know how to fix them.

If you doubt me about the progress part - what happens when the electricity goes out? Basically we sit in the dark and wait for it to come back on.

Our society is very fragile because it has been built on continuing advancements rather than on fundamental individual foundations - there's only so much that a person can know.

BITD a 4 year old could learn how to use a phone in a few minutes - now they come with a manual 1/2 the size of an old phone book for a small town.

I saw a very interesting observation some years ago - after WW II our societies could have been completely recreated by about 1000 carefully chosen people - that was the extent of human knowledge at the time.

Now I doubt if a smartphone could be recreated by only 1000 people.

Buckminster Fuller estimated that up until 1900 human knowledge doubled approximately every century, but by 1945 it was doubling every 25 years, and by 1982 it was doubling every 12-13 months. IBM now estimates that by 2020 human knowledge will be doubling every 12 hours.

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4 hours ago, DDW said:

Maybe he's just beaching that to clean the bottom.

That's what people here do when they ground on Spanish Bank (very wide sand flats) - they jump off and start scrubbing the bottom.

"I meant to do that". :D

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39 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Not really - just the advance of the human race.

How many people know how to make their own soap? My wife's grandmother did. Who could operate a telephone switchboard now?

There's no need to know how to fix a lawnmower anymore - they are disposable like most everything else. If they weren't then people would continue to know how to fix them.

If you doubt me about the progress part - what happens when the electricity goes out? Basically we sit in the dark and wait for it to come back on.

Our society is very fragile because it has been built on continuing advancements rather than on fundamental individual foundations - there's only so much that a person can know.

BITD a 4 year old could learn how to use a phone in a few minutes - now they come with a manual 1/2 the size of an old phone book for a small town.

I saw a very interesting observation some years ago - after WW II our societies could have been completely recreated by about 1000 carefully chosen people - that was the extent of huma