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Old 23 August 2012, 07:03   #21
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Intesting reading what happended and other views...

Have to say playing it through in my head - all was 100% the correct course of action .

Not even really anything to 'confess' ....no one hurt , nothing damaged - shows things happened that should have happened.

I think its fair to say everyone has somehting liek this happen at least once if you drive boats long enough - especially at night.

I used to be nervous of night passages , but now having done more and more they dont 'worry' me - just give them more focus than the same trip in daylight. Things are very differant at night thats for sure.

Not sure I'd want to have paper charts on a RIB going out where this happened...or be able to get a bearing on a hand compass in the dark on a rolling boat , stern to sea , with water coming in etc etc .........
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Old 23 August 2012, 07:53   #22
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Not sure I'd want to have paper charts on a RIB going out where this happened...or be able to get a bearing on a hand compass in the dark on a rolling boat , stern to sea , with water coming in etc etc .........
Nor me Think I'll stick with GPS and a GPS back up.
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Old 23 August 2012, 08:05   #23
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If GPS & chart plotters are so unreliable then why do we rate having DSC radios so highly?
I have never managed to get my head around the idea these days that anyone would rate paper charts over a plotter on a fast open boat with find a spray to contend with is no place for paper charts, one glance at a plotter will well you where you are & where you are going simple!
Yes if you are going out of sight of land then some passage planning should come in with course to steer if you loose the GPS! But for me in waters I know & in sight of land Iím happy to rely on my plotter.
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Old 23 August 2012, 09:16   #24
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Magnetic error on a compass fitted to a fiberglass boat with only the engine and nearby electronic equipment for it to be affected by is of minimal consequence when navigating in local waters.
That's exactly what I'm saying. The difference is usually negligable when navigating in local waters.

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In 20+ years at sea so far i have rarely seen a GPS unit read incorrectly...i have however seen the readings misinterpreted which is something completely different though.
I not suggesting they read incorrectly, I'm suggesting that it's not unknown for the units to fail from dodgy wiring and/or corrosion etc. which is not unheard of in the marine environment.

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Trusting your own navigation skills over modern electronic equipment i feel is foolhardy, if anything they should complement each other. There is nothing wrong with using chartplotters and other GPS equipment.
I disagree and would say that not trusting your own navigation skills over GPS is foolhardy. I think you should reevaluate where you go boating if you're not completely confident in your own ability to navigate without the aid of GPS.

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You say to keep up to date charts on board? OK, but would you be able to plot a position on these charts, at night time, without using a GPS LAT/LONG readout?
Yes. In the area that the OP was boating in on this occassion, easily. In the middle of the channel, not so.

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Its true that experience counts for an awful lot but learning to navigate 'properly' ('safely') takes a long time but even the most experienced of sailors will still use electronic aids to help them on their way.
It may take a long time but I think it's a valuable skill to learn before taking to the water.

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Johnny I'm not suggesting for a minute that any one system is better than the other in all situations or that either system isn't much better if applied with a significant dose of scepticism and "Can that be right" when you look at the 'result'.
Nor am I. 99 times out of a hundred I will use GPS over chart nav, but that doesn't mean to say that you should "always trust your GPS". It would be foolish to go to sea (especially at night) in the knowledge that you're relying solely on the reliability of your GPS. You must be the special type of person who never has any equipment fail on them - in which case lucky you.

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of course it is a good system. of course the more you do it the better you get, but it doesn't eliminate the possibility that you mis identify the mark (or can't find it), or mistransfer the information to the chart (especially on an open boat rather than the comfort of a chart table).
I don't disagree.

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....you appear to have an undue faith in paper navigation as though it will be 'more correct'. I assume you've never had a chart blow away?
When did I say that? I have never said paper charts will be "more correct". I'm saying that you shouldn't rely solely on your GPS.

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Interesting - so if you plotted a point and it put you 1 mile out from the gps location you would assume your results are correct (and the GPS has suddenly developed a random malfunction) or you would go back and check your plotting and bearings? Personally even if after checking a hand plotted position I was that far off the GPS (and in any area where it mattered) I'd be proceeding with extreme caution as the likelihood of human error is far greater than the GPS getting an error that causes a positional error (which it doesn't report or 'trap') - its much more likely that your GPS just stops working than gives you massive position errors without warning.
EXACTLY! I'm not suggesting it gives you dud readings. I'm suggesting you might hit a huge wave you can't see in the dark, take a lot of water onboard that might short your electrics and/or break the waterproofing seal on the unit, and then it dies completely. Standard rib net user - jumping to massive conclusions the moment someone disagrees with their view point.

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GPS can, and does give wrong readings, and charts can be wrong, as well as electronic charts also! combine all your skills, and make sure they all agree!
That's exactly what I'm saying Gary. But some people suddenly think I'm suggesting never to use GPS!!

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Not sure I'd want to have paper charts on a RIB going out where this happened...or be able to get a bearing on a hand compass in the dark on a rolling boat , stern to sea , with water coming in etc etc .........
It's part of the RYA Advanced powerboat sylabus to go out and conduct a night passage, often with the use of "paper" charts. Ever heard of tough charts? I was asked by the examiner on my commercial endorsement exam to find an unlit mark without the use of GPS.
If you can't take a simple bearing in the dark, maybe you shouldn't be going out in the dark. It's pretty basic stuff.

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I have never managed to get my head around the idea these days that anyone would rate paper charts over a plotter on a fast open boat with find a spray to contend with is no place for paper charts, one glance at a plotter will well you where you are & where you are going simple!
Please show me Nick where I have insinuated that I rate paper charts over a plotter? So say your plotter fails, you haven't got a back up GPS (as a lot of people don't) and you have no charts on board. What's your plan?

I think a lot of you have misunderstood the point I'm trying to make here. I have never and would never say that paper charts are better than GPS. I wouldn't refer to my charts until my GPS pretty much fails completely. But the point is, that in that situation, I then have the skills and equipment to get myself safely to my destination. Someone with no charts or knowledge however, does not. They are best used together, the GPS primarily but with the charts as a back up.

Last time I checked, man kind has been using charts and stars to navigate for far longer than he has been using GPS.
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Old 23 August 2012, 09:34   #25
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Not so sure about the "always believe your GPS" comment.
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I think a lot of you have misunderstood the point I'm trying to make here.
You're probably right - I understood it to mean that you were suggesting that we shouldn't always believe our GPSs, which I think people took issue with while I, on the other hand, had a good laugh.
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Last time I checked, man kind has been using charts and stars to navigate for far longer than he has been using GPS.
Yes, and paddles long before there were engines. Your profile doesn't mention a kayak?

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Old 23 August 2012, 10:22   #26
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Standard rib net user - jumping to massive conclusions the moment someone disagrees with their view point.
Johnny take a deep breath and go back and read exactly what you wrote again. Then read the above statement and see if you can construct a well known phrase using the words Kettle, Pot, Black, Calling, The.

I think you'll see that your original post response implied that your hand bearing compass and paper charts were more accurate than your GPS. Since you seem to be back tracking clarifying to now say that complete GPS failure rather than inaccuracy was your main concern I think I'll let it drop. Your failure argument is largely negated by the many people on here who cary a second GPS, as failure of the total system is very unlikely.

Although I personally carry charts in a locker both for a backup and for 'large scale' planning that is not possible on a tiny screen. Realistically in normal navigation though its in a locker and not in regular use because the practicalities of navigating a small fast rib (something you can't learn about before going on the water as you suggest) make it useless in routine use.

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Last time I checked, man kind has been using charts and stars to navigate for far longer than he has been using GPS.
aye and he's been sailing into things all that time too - you'd have thought we might have perfected it or invented modern means to make human error less likely?
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Old 23 August 2012, 11:05   #27
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Please show me Nick where I have insinuated that I rate paper charts over a plotter? So say your plotter fails, you haven't got a back up GPS (as a lot of people don't) and you have no charts on board. What's your plan?
Jonny this was not directed at you, more that in any training I have taken I have been told do not rely on plotters & use paper charts but this has tended to come from rag & stick type that it suits much more than a fast wet open boat!
I do have a back up GPS But I have to admit to not using my plotter when charging around the Solent as Iím out in the light & can see where Iím going or have a good sense of direction as to where Iím going!

As to what I would do if the plotter failed, well just carry on the bearing I have already set to follow.

Years ago I was out on our club boat diving out of Bovysands, I was just along for the ride on a second hired rib any way one set of divers down (including me) second set down & the fog comes in, club boat dies & could not get it going so I jumped ship to get it started wile the hire rib stays with the divers! Lost each other in the fog, but I get the club rib started again!
So asked the dive leader for the lat & long back to Bovy silence he did not have them! (Bearing in mind this was a GPS not a plotter so if you did not know where you wanted to go it was useless, if he had a chart we could have plotted our position & our course home! Any way radio decided to pack up too, but I know we came out of Bovy & headed west so no problem head north till we reach the coast turn east till we get back in to Plymouth sound & cut across back to Bovy simple and it worked! Just an example of using a bit of common cense!
So this is a long winded way of an example of what I would do if I find myself on a boat with out nav aides!
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Old 23 August 2012, 11:05   #28
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End of the day whatever type of navigational you use you have to have Full confidence and trust in it ,
When the fog closes in thick and you can only just see a few metres in front it's then when full faith and trust in your compass / gps prevails ,

With regards to compass deviations on small boats it's surprising what innocent things can have an effect ,,,mobile phone ,,,cases with magnetic clasps , other compasses such as nearby hand bearing ones , spare aux outboards stored in the bow & the classic torch left on the console ,, even known compass mounted consoles that have switches for the Nav lights / bilge pumps having an effect .
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Old 23 August 2012, 11:10   #29
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I think you'll see that your original post response implied that your hand bearing compass and paper charts were more accurate than your GPS.
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....Not so sure about the "always believe your GPS" comment. Unfortunately there will always be times when the technology lets us down right when we need it the most....
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At the end of the day there is no replacement for having paper charts and a hand bearing compass onboard, and arming yourself with a sound understanding of navigation.
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You have far more control over the accuracy of your navigation equipment than you ever will over the reliability of your GPS.
Where in any of the above have I implied that a hand bearing compass and paper charts are more accurate than a GPS? An assumption on your part maybe? I was never questioning the accuracy of GPS, it's the reliability of it. Notice the subtle difference. In many small RIBs, GPS units are mounted on top of the console with the backs of them exposed to the harsh salty environment. In many cases (not all though (just to clarify)) it's only a matter of time before the marine environment will take its toll on electronics.

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Your failure argument is largely negated by the many people on here who cary a second GPS, as failure of the total system is very unlikely.
I'm afraid the "people on here" represent a fraction, at best, of the kind of numbers of people that take to the water in the UK.

Total system failure is indeed unlikely. Does that rule it out completely though?

At the end of the day ask yourself this question: should people go to sea relying solely on their GPS? I think we both know what the answer is.
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Old 23 August 2012, 11:24   #30
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I think at the end of the day you should not rely on your plotter in the same way people get them selves stuck in a field because the followed there Sat nav!
But then we are not all borne with common sense.
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