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Old 10-30-2014, 04:53 PM   #221
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Marin, I do not think anyone was saying that people without APs are ignorant, incompetent,etc. like I said before and like psneeld said above, an AP is a resource. And used properly, it can enhance safety. Used improperly, just like anything else, can cause problems.

Guess what. I am in your camp. My boat has no autopilot. I cruise inland waters and I generally cruise up on plane in the 16-20 range. I Don't feel the need for an autopilot. Would I use it if it were installed???....you bet but probably not while up on plane. I would use it when I need an "extra hand". Other th an that, I generally day cruise in very familiar waters. So while I am in the camp that APs can make boating safer, I choose not to incur the expense when my boating situations generally don't merit its use.
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Old 10-30-2014, 04:56 PM   #222
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This is a great example of a rude and confrontational post. Far better would be something like "I cruise the same water as you and that has not been my experience."
There are quite a few of those in this thread and they are not limited to either side of the discussion. Insulting each other serves no purpose and those who think somehow they raise themselves up by putting others down are sadly mistaken. In fact, I chose to back off this discussion and not give further input as to autopilots simply because it was no longer something I wanted to be a part of.

I hope the OP got the information and opinions they sought on sailing at night and especially on blue water with emphasis of single handling. I believe there are many different ways in which skilled, experienced, and good boaters approach various conditions. I hope many pages ago I stated how I would and my opinions without choosing to insult another member who did it differently. Honestly I can't remember what was posted in this thread and sure don't want to read through it again.

And this post is not aimed at any specific individual.
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Old 10-30-2014, 04:56 PM   #223
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Rudeness begets rudeness Ron.

On a lighter note, I got a lot of laughs amongst some ultra-experienced professional delivery captains today on this discussion, conversation was regarding seas like I posted pictures of. As one said, more seriously, "never assume anything... you try to out-guess the ocean she's gonna have a new question for you every damn time!"
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Old 10-30-2014, 05:15 PM   #224
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As one said, more seriously, "never assume anything... you try to out-guess the ocean she's gonna have a new question for you every damn time!"
Another astute post and observation. The air is the same way. The first time we stalled the 777 in a clean cofiguration it rolled completely upside down before heading for the ground. Despite thousands of hours of wind tunnel testing, nobody saw that coming.

They fixed the problem, by the way.
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Old 10-30-2014, 05:18 PM   #225
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Another astute post and observation. The air is the same way. The first time we stalled the 777 in a clean cofiguration it rolled completely upside down before heading for the ground. Despite thousands of hours of wind tunnel testing, nobody saw that coming.

They fixed the problem, by the way.
Leave it on AP?
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Old 10-30-2014, 05:29 PM   #226
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Which would go a long ways toward proving that people on autopilot are asleep at the switch if someone wanted to make that point, which I don't since it's not true.

Dude, do you ever look down from that high pilothouse at what your big steel boat is actually running through? To us down at a lower altitude, the eelgrass mats and tide and current rip debris lines are obvious as hell, to say nothing of the occasional log, branch, wood chunk, etc.

Or perhaps you make the short run between Anacortes and Port Townsend at night, in which case your believing that our waters are pretty debris-free makes sense. And you don't have to worry as much about what your hull hits as most of the rest of us.

I find that pretty amazing, however, that someone with as much experience as you claim to have could have such a poor picture of the water their boat is running through. To use your own expression..... wow.
What on earth gives you the fantasy that I can't see what is ahead of me? My pilot house is only about 8 feet above the water for heavens sake, and I think I have pretty good visibility from there. As I said, the idea that one has to constantly dodge debris in PNW waters is just not my experience, nor I would think anyone's experience here. During crab season coming around Guemes Island, yes, I might have to dodge a crab pot a couple of times. But you make it sound like the waters are full of logs that only a heroic and experienced hand at the wheel could possibly avoid, perhaps steering with his feet as all experienced mariners do. This notion is as I said, rubbish. In fact, I don't know why you would make such a statement other than as an excuse buttressing your contention that an AP can't be used effectively up here, justifying why you don't have one.

But if you feel it makes your case to pretend that we power along without regard to what is in front of us, feel free to indulge yourself. The fact is that since I'm not slaved to the wheel (what with having an AP and all), I probably have better situational awareness than I would without because I can step out on the top deck with binocs and have a good gander what is going on.

Really, Marin, I have no clue why you have turned so hostile and defensive on all of this, but I'm done responding. Enjoy your helm and stay away from logs.
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Old 10-30-2014, 05:30 PM   #227
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Leave it on AP?
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Old 10-30-2014, 05:32 PM   #228
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Mr D.

At first I was peeved at the inference of the " toy boater" remark...

The Admiral questioned why I was in such a sour mood this am...

Showed her your post... she quickly produced a pic of me she took last year...

I guess I am guilty of being the aforementioned "toy boater"


HOLLYWOOD
Perhaps we can start a club -"Toy Boaters who can't see ahead, and couldn't care less."

I kind of like the sound of that.
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Old 10-30-2014, 07:09 PM   #229
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I have operated alone, in thick fog and at night in boats and airplanes with and without an autopilot. There is no doubt in my mind that an autopilot, when properly operated, can and does make these activities safer and reduces workload for the crew. That's the reason the FAA requires autopilots for commercial single-pilot instrument flight operations.

When I bought my current boat, it came with an autopilot. This was a bonus to me at the time since I never had one on a boat and had not considered its usefulness essential. Today, I wouldn't own a boat without one. Furthermore, I certainly would never remove an operating autopilot from my boat unless I was replacing it with a better one.
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Old 10-30-2014, 08:29 PM   #230
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I have operated alone, in thick fog and at night in boats and airplanes with and without an autopilot. There is no doubt in my mind that an autopilot, when properly operated, can and does make these activities safer and reduces workload for the crew. That's the reason the FAA requires autopilots for commercial single-pilot instrument flight operations.

When I bought my current boat, it came with an autopilot. This was a bonus to me at the time since I never had one on a boat and had not considered its usefulness essential. Today, I wouldn't own a boat without one. Furthermore, I certainly would never remove an operating autopilot from my boat unless I was replacing it with a better one.
One of the tools I surprised myself in enjoying as much as I have is the ability to slave the AP to a route on the mapping program. For the first couple of years after launch, I never figured out how to do that, and distinctly remember thinking that allowing the AP to auto turn a course was somehow careless. Au contraire. When I began using this function, I realized that the ability to plot out a course in advance and before leaving the dock while taking into account current action during ebbs or flows, crossing angles to shipping lanes, buoys, etc. was a significant enhancement to safety. We literally now simply intersect a pre-plotted course with up to 60 turns, slave the AP to the course and then spend our time watching for vessels, crab pots, etc. Far more relaxing and safer IMO. And remarkably, and contrary to some of the comments on this thread, never once have I felt the urge to go below and play Scrabble waiting to arrive at our destination, nor, like HAL in Space Odyssey 2001 has the autopilot ever perversely taken over and decided to steer me into an island.

To each his own.
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:17 AM   #231
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Furthermore, I certainly would never remove an operating autopilot from my boat unless I was replacing it with a better one.
In our case the ancient Benmar autopilot that was on our boat didn't work when we bought it and the estimate to fix it was some $1,000 plus. So we removed it to give better engine room access, and our previous charter experience with the same type of boat showed us that we really didn't need one. So we have seen no urgent need to replace it.
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:23 AM   #232
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In our case the ancient Benmar autopilot that was on our boat didn't work when we bought it and the estimate to fix it was some $1,000 plus.
I had an Wood Freeman, a real old one with actual relays (remember what those things were? haha). Unfortunately the relays weren't covered so when my mechanical oil gauge started dripping it knocked out the AP. In heavy seas - what timing!

In any case, it did work, although since the AP was mechanical not computer controlled, my path was an elongated "S" even in smooth water. I didn't replace it because my boat was cable steered and I couldn't muster the cost for a new AP with electro-hydraulic pump.
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:26 AM   #233
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Another astute post and observation. The air is the same way. The first time we stalled the 777 in a clean cofiguration it rolled completely upside down before heading for the ground. Despite thousands of hours of wind tunnel testing, nobody saw that coming.

They fixed the problem, by the way.
Thank God. Pleased to hear that Marin. I've flown to the UK and back in one of those. My bum would have been puckered if I'd heard about that without the reassuring addition of those last few words.

waddaya mean Brissy is hot - it's only 32C outside at the mo..? But a nice 25 inside with the aircon on. Have to admit I couldn't live here without air at home, air in the car, & air at work. Actually, we have just had a 6KW solar - (ok, photovoltaic), system installed up on the roof recently - already halved the power bill. Now today, just had the hot water system changed to a heat pump type which will also tap into the solar power. The old electric storage one finally ruptured after 14 yrs, so not bad. Not all a downside having lots of sun.
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:30 AM   #234
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just had the hot water system changed to a heat pump type which will also tap into the solar power. The old electric storage one finally ruptured after 14 yrs, so not bad. Not all a downside having lots of sun.
eV panels on boats are fully accepted nowadays. Anyone ever thought about putting a solar water panel up on the cabin top of their boat? The small 12v pump to circulate the water to it could be powered by one of those eV panels and not even need a battery to do so.
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Old 10-31-2014, 03:02 AM   #235
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Thank God. Pleased to hear that Marin. I've flown to the UK and back in one of those. My bum would have been puckered if I'd heard about that without the reassuring addition of those last few words.
We do our best to fly 777s on all our business trips and vacations. For example our shoot in Malaysia the other week was 777 just about the whole way, and Emirates at that (business class). Seattle-Dubai (14 hrs), Dubai-Kuala Lumpur (6 hrs) and then Malaysia up to Alor Setar (45 minutes). Went home the reverse of that route.

The 777 is the best airplane program in Boeing's history.
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Old 10-31-2014, 04:27 AM   #236
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Another astute post and observation. The air is the same way. The first time we stalled the 777 in a clean cofiguration it rolled completely upside down before heading for the ground. Despite thousands of hours of wind tunnel testing, nobody saw that coming.

They fixed the problem, by the way.
Didn't the same thing happen to a loaded 727 near the great lakes back in the 70's?

As I recall, it stalled on ap at about 40k'
seasoned pilot finally recovered by lowering landing gear below 10k'
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Old 10-31-2014, 05:43 AM   #237
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eV panels on boats are fully accepted nowadays. Anyone ever thought about putting a solar water panel up on the cabin top of their boat? The small 12v pump to circulate the water to it could be powered by one of those eV panels and not even need a battery to do so.
On the surface to it a good idea. Certainly where you are based as well. But in reality, the heating provided by a good well-insulated water cylinder in a boat via heat-exchanger, (totally in our case - added to by generator on many boats), is just so effective and simple that the extra complexity and deck space taken up to do what you suggest doesn't seem to stack up as worthwhile. I have a couple of panels topping up my batteries however. That I do agree with. However, if I had a sedan cruiser with no flybridge, which is a current trend, then there is so much flat top not walked on, one could really go to town on systems like that.
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Old 11-02-2014, 10:16 PM   #238
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However, if I had a sedan cruiser with no flybridge, which is a current trend, then there is so much flat top not walked on, one could really go to town on systems like that.
I guess someone is way ahead of us. Heliatos Solar
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Old 11-03-2014, 04:14 AM   #239
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I just got around to reading the article on page 27, Shop Talk, A Boat, a Whale and Fate, by Devin Zwick in the October 2014 issue of PassageMaker. He has managed to say in one page what I thought I had been trying to say for the last two months: it’s not about one particular thing, it’s about a system.

During my Passage, I had a plan for every conceivable contingency and it fact the issues I had, I dealt with and these systems got me to my destination.

I am continuing to harp on this because as I read the many passionate responses to the initial question, there are some here who in their response seem to believe that if they do one thing right, they will be OK. On watch, instead of one eye, we use two, instead of two, we use four, etc., therefore we’re safe and anything less is not.

So this article hit home because here was a paranoid owner who did far more than most and still … Stuff happens.
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:10 AM   #240
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On watch, instead of one eye, we use two, instead of two, we use four, etc., therefore we’re safe and anything less is not. … Stuff happens.
You have stated the essence of the thread and question. When you were sleeping for extended hours no one was on watch. Which is obviously the question solo passages provokes. Personally I like the concept of solo passages provided one's affairs are in order and those relatives and friends who matter have accepted the increased risk solo passages imbue.
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