Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-28-2014, 08:15 AM   #101
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
Quote:
Originally Posted by manyboats View Post
I'd rather enjoy the scenery and spend more time looking at the water ahead or the clouds and sky and hence the weather ahead the traffic and all else around me/us and how it's changing. Is the surface of the water on the horizon dark and well defined or does it blend w sky? Where'd that little blue troller go? Is that a ferry dead aft? ect ect. So one's style probably chooses wether or not to have AP and how we use it.
That's as good an explanation as I've seen for why we removed the autopilot from our boat and feel no need to put one on again.
__________________
Advertisement

Marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2014, 08:19 AM   #102
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 15,887
Absolutely amazing...how people think an AP actually REDUCES looKing outside....amazing...

Oh well......
__________________

psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2014, 08:37 AM   #103
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
If you want to use an autopilot and stay at the helm keeping watch, that would be fine. Leave to use the head or fix lunch? You're putting yourself and other boaters at risk.
A major part of the fun of boating for both my wife and I is driving the boat. Just as a major part of why I like flying an airplane is flying an airplane. Which is a big reason why decades ago I stopped flying landplanes and from then on have flown only floatplanes.

To just sit and let an autopilot drive our boat while we look for logs and crab pot floats sounds very boring to both of us. We would rather be driving the boat while we look for logs and crab pot floats.

To both of us the journey is far more important than the destination. And a major element of that journey is driving. Be it a vehicle, aircraft, or boat.

I don't want to be on a boat that is going to Desolation Sound, I want to be involved in every possible way with making that boat go to Desolation Sound. And that includes steering it.

An autopilot would reduce the experience we want out of the journey. So we don't have one (anymore).

But that's just us. Someone else may view running a boat completely differently.
Marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2014, 08:39 AM   #104
Guru
 
caltexflanc's Avatar
 
City: North Carolina for now
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Small Incentive
Vessel Model: Boston Whaler 130 Sport
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,792
Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Absolutely amazing...how people think an AP actually REDUCES looKing outside....amazing...

Oh well......
Ditto that! One of the many major benefits of an AP to me is that it vastly increases my ability to look all around me, near and far, use the binocs, keep an eye on these guys:



But again, in my case, the AP has a remote with a long cord on it and a knob for adjusting/steering. I never set it to a GPS waypoint in anything but wide open water. When having to steer the boat with the big wheel, that's when i really like having an extra set of eyes to check out the surroundings as those will be times I am very focused on what is straight ahead.

I got a chuckle about the crab pots. I swear my AP was networked into the pots in the Keys and SW FL, every time I set it, a pot would seemingly pop up directly in our path 200 yards ahead.
__________________
George

"There's the Right Way, the Wrong Way, and what some guy says he's gotten away with"
caltexflanc is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2014, 08:56 AM   #105
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
What I liked about Eric's post was not any implication that an autopilot reduces one's ability to look outside. Of course it doesn't, and I don't think he was trying to say it does. What I liked about Eric's post was his description of what his priorities are.
Marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2014, 09:09 AM   #106
Grand Vizier
 
Delfin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,487
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marin View Post
Most of the most experienced, most knowledgeable boaters I've met in this area (PNW-BC-SE Alaska) did not or do not have or use an autopilot. And they would probably laugh at the notion that having and using an autopilot in these waters is "the only way to go." Or in some cases, even beneficial.

These are people with far, far more experience, some of it for fun, some of it for work, than just about anyone I'm aware of on this forum with the exception perhaps of psneeld.

Which only goes to show that what one boater may view as a necessity and the only smart way to do something may be viewed by another boater with equal or greater knowledge and experience as perhaps "nice but not necessary to have," or in some cases, not necessary at all.

None of these viewpoints are wrong. The only thing that matters is that the boater be comfortable, confident and safe with whatever manner they choose to operate their boat.

I would be far more willing to go on a boat with one of these folks who's been running this coast successfully for four or five decades without an autopilot -- in one case a fellow who does the entire Inside Passage still today with only a depth sounder, a compass, a vhf radio, and a full set of charts---than someone with every piece of marine electronics known to man but with but a fraction of the experience and skill set. Or worse, with the belief that having all the electronics makes up for the lack of experience or skills.

The fact a boater does not feel an autopilot is a necessity for how he or she uses their boat does not make them wrong or foolish or dangerous. It only means they don't feel an autopilot is necessary to the way they use their boat.

Eric Henning probably has more real-life, all-weather, all-season experience operating a boat in the waters from Puget Sound on up through SE Alaska than 99 percent of the PNW boaters on this forum. And so far as I know, and certainly with regards to Nomad Willie, he's done it all without an autopilot.

So does that mean he's been doing it wrong all these years? Not in my book. And if he decides to install an autopilot in Willie and start using it, well, that won't be wrong either.
Not sure what you thought I wrote, Marin, but I merely made the modest observation that if you have an AP, or better yet one that can be slaved to a chartplotter, it seems strange not to use it. Nothing "right" nor "wrong" suggested. But I must say that the idea that experienced skippers in the PNW disdain the use of APs is pretty laughable since I don't think I know anyone who doesn't use an AP who travels more than a few miles at a time. We visit Port Townsend 15 times a year or so, and I'd rather watch paint dry than hand steer that 5 hour, 6 turn course. If it makes you feel salty hand steering, have at it, but we've put 1,000 - 1,500 miles on our boats annually for 30 years and if I have hand steered more than 150 of those in 30 years I'd be shocked. In and out of the marina; dodge the occasional log, around crab pots, of course, but once clear of anything to hit within a mile we set the AP and watch the scenery go by. And other than a whale in the Pacific and a rock 1/4 mile off Namu (no damage) I've never hit anything in those 30 years.

While slaving a course to the AP allows automatic course correction for current, safe plotting around obstacles and the shortest route, not standing in front of the wheel also allows me to do other worthwhile things - like know where people are on the boat (reassuring to know they are still there), or do an engine check, or get a glass of water, take a leak or whatever.

I'll give up my AP when they pry it out of my cold dead hand. The one not holding my Glock, that is.
__________________
Delfin
"Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis." - Jack Handy
Delfin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2014, 09:28 AM   #107
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delfin View Post
But I must say that the idea that experienced skippers in the PNW disdain the use of APs is pretty laughable since I don't think I know anyone who doesn't use an AP who travels more than a few miles at a time.
Depends on who you know, obviously.
Marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2014, 09:34 AM   #108
Guru
 
caltexflanc's Avatar
 
City: North Carolina for now
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Small Incentive
Vessel Model: Boston Whaler 130 Sport
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,792
[QUOTE]
Originally Posted by manyboats
I'd rather enjoy the scenery and spend more time looking at the water ahead or the clouds and sky and hence the weather ahead the traffic and all else around me/us and how it's changing. Is the surface of the water on the horizon dark and well defined or does it blend w sky? Where'd that little blue troller go? Is that a ferry dead aft? ect ect. So one's style probably chooses wether or not to have AP and how we use it.[/quote}

Quote:
That's as good an explanation as I've seen for why we removed the autopilot from our boat and feel no need to put one on again.
Quote:
What I liked about Eric's post was not any implication that an autopilot reduces one's ability to look outside. Of course it doesn't, and I don't think he was trying to say it does. What I liked about Eric's post was his description of what his priorities are.
Then what are Eric and you trying to say? Now I'm confused. How does an AP not support those priorities, especially to the extent of going so far as removing one? We have a lot of newbies and wannabees on this forum, so my questions are as much for them as me. My priorities are very much in alignment with that snip you posted from Eric, and the AP greatly enhances our ability to attain those priorities.
__________________
George

"There's the Right Way, the Wrong Way, and what some guy says he's gotten away with"
caltexflanc is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2014, 09:57 AM   #109
Senior Member
 
Capecodder's Avatar
 
City: Cape Cod, MA or Fort Myers, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Osprey
Vessel Model: Her Shine. Newburyport
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 266
Question, how do you hold your binoculars and hand steer?
Capecodder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2014, 10:13 AM   #110
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
I can't speak for Eric, but i think I answered your question with regards to me in post 103. I don't want to steer our boat with an autopilot. I want to steer it myself because steering a boat is a big part of what I and my wife enjoy about having and operating a boat.

Pushing buttons and turning knobs is not how we want to control a boat. We like the driving for the driving's sake. It's as simple as that.

It's why both of us prefer manual transmissions to automatic transmissions. It's why we both prefer multi-engine boats to single-engine boats. I in particular like running engines, and the more or the merrier. It's why our boat in Europe has three of them. It's one reason why we will never own a single engine boat. Operating multiple engines is something I want out of my boating experience.

And for me and my wife, hand-steering our boat enhances the value of what we get out of what surrounds us, the things Eric talked about. Doesn't mean people who drive on automatic don't have an equally rewarding experience. What we do works for us. What other people do is what other people do, and as such, it has no relevance to us.

My involvement in this discussion stems only from my reaction to the implication that if one isn't using an autopilot, then one is operating in a less safe manner or is "doing it wrong," or whatever. I don't believe that is a valid implication.
Marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2014, 10:20 AM   #111
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capecodder View Post
Question, how do you hold your binoculars and hand steer?
Don't know about your boat, but if we let go of the wheel of our boat, nothing much happens. It doesn't go careening off to the side and pile into a rock. It simply keeps plodding ahead in a straight line. Eventually--- maybe in a couple of minutes or sometimes less depending on the wind and waves--- it will start to ease to one side or the other. But even that is a very gradual thing, and it takes only a second or two to put the boat back on heading.

So the boat will continue to track just fine for far longer than we need to study something through binoculars. After all, it's not a PT boat and we're not having to be on constant lookout for attacking aircraft.

Plus there's always two of us on board. So if there's some reason that something needs to be looked at through binocularos for three or four or fifteen minutes, there's someone to do that.
Marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2014, 10:22 AM   #112
Guru
 
City: Carefree, Arizona
Country: usa
Vessel Name: sunchaser V
Vessel Model: DeFever 48
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 6,363
Back to keeping watch 24/7 when blue water cruising, do people go solo because they are introverts, they are no fun to be around, others perceive them as ill prepared or dangerous, they are delivery skippers to cheap to hire crew or ???

Surely there is more to the OP's question than an AP debate. How many sailors attempt blue water work without a self steering mechanism?
sunchaser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2014, 10:41 AM   #113
Grand Vizier
 
Delfin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,487
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capecodder View Post
Question, how do you hold your binoculars and hand steer?
And what about the martini glass?
__________________
Delfin
"Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis." - Jack Handy
Delfin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2014, 10:42 AM   #114
Grand Vizier
 
Delfin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,487
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunchaser View Post
Back to keeping watch 24/7 when blue water cruising, do people go solo because they are introverts, they are no fun to be around, others perceive them as ill prepared or dangerous, they are delivery skippers to cheap to hire crew or ???

Surely there is more to the OP's question than an AP debate. How many sailors attempt blue water work without a self steering mechanism?
None.
__________________
Delfin
"Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis." - Jack Handy
Delfin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2014, 10:43 AM   #115
Grand Vizier
 
Delfin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,487
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marin View Post
I can't speak for Eric, but i think I answered your question with regards to me in post 103. I don't want to steer our boat with an autopilot. I want to steer it myself because steering a boat is a big part of what I and my wife enjoy about having and operating a boat.

Pushing buttons and turning knobs is not how we want to control a boat. We like the driving for the driving's sake. It's as simple as that.

It's why both of us prefer manual transmissions to automatic transmissions. It's why we both prefer multi-engine boats to single-engine boats. I in particular like running engines, and the more or the merrier. It's why our boat in Europe has three of them. It's one reason why we will never own a single engine boat. Operating multiple engines is something I want out of my boating experience.

And for me and my wife, hand-steering our boat enhances the value of what we get out of what surrounds us, the things Eric talked about. Doesn't mean people who drive on automatic don't have an equally rewarding experience. What we do works for us. What other people do is what other people do, and as such, it has no relevance to us.

My involvement in this discussion stems only from my reaction to the implication that if one isn't using an autopilot, then one is operating in a less safe manner or is "doing it wrong," or whatever. I don't believe that is a valid implication.
Who said not using an AP was wrong?
__________________
Delfin
"Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis." - Jack Handy
Delfin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2014, 11:09 AM   #116
Senior Member
 
Capecodder's Avatar
 
City: Cape Cod, MA or Fort Myers, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Osprey
Vessel Model: Her Shine. Newburyport
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 266
It's my opinion that everyone use their boat the way they like. Oars paddles, sails one or three motors (like read about a 3 motor boat) self steer, Oto assistant or hired captain. I don't have the luxury of an Admrial to help. Since March 2014 a new chartplotter I have traveled over 3200 miles mostly solo and I personally was glad to have and use autopilot. Lots of challenges finding part time Crew.
Capecodder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2014, 11:29 AM   #117
Guru
 
BandB's Avatar
 
City: Fort Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 13,142
We all use them differently as we boat at different speeds on different waters and we have different backgrounds. No different than other issues such as electronic vs paper charts or use of radar or sonar or night vision. When we first started our coastal boating we were on boats with a high level of technology, we're technology oriented individuals, and we're on the younger side. So we never went outside and up the coast not having the option of AP and never did the ICW without having one available. I'd add too that they've been current level of technology which is far different from some of the older AP's. Especially different in allowing adjustment of sensitivity and in quickly switching to manual steering.

There isn't a right or wrong. It's like all technology. It can do wonderful things for you and you also have to recognize it's limitations.

And back to the keeping watch issue. Having an AP is not something to replace maintaining a watch. Not a free pass to not pay attention. On an ocean cruise perhaps enough to allow a trip to the head if you are going slow. But one still needs to be at the helm, or what I'd call the extended helm. By extended helm, I mean you can move around with the remote in hand or can go to other stations if you have them. Just a simple thing as when on a boat with upper and lower helm, we normally start the day from the lower helm, but at some point of the morning, if it's warm out, we'll move up. We use AP for that move when at sea. When on the ICW we generally will move one person up before the other one follows.
BandB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2014, 11:37 AM   #118
Senior Member
 
mahal's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 436
I used to cruise between 16 and 20 knots on my previous boat and enjoyed hand steering it. Now, I run at 8 knots and find hand steering difficult to do. I found this out when I was 3 hours from home port when the AP crapped out and I had to hand steer. It was tedious work. I understand why some long distance cruising boats have 2 autopilots. I considered my boat unusable until the AP was fixed. Luckily it was just a broken in-line fuse-holder. So to me, it's "different strokes for different boats". And those irresponsible captains that got into accidents due to letting AP's take over full control, AP or not, those types are bound to get into trouble.
mahal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2014, 12:08 PM   #119
Senior Member
 
SaltyDawg86's Avatar
 
City: Carrollton, Va
Country: USA
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 393
I won't leave the bridge, I'll sit back and enjoy the view which is the same thing as looking it. Like I've done on every ship I've sailed on.
SaltyDawg86 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2014, 12:16 PM   #120
Guru
 
City: Doha
Country: Qatar
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 663
[QUOTE=mahal;279240]Now, I run at 8 knots and find hand steering difficult to do. I found this out when I was 3 hours from home port when the AP crapped out and I had to hand steer. It was tedious work. I understand why some long distance cruising boats have 2 autopilots. I considered my boat unusable until the AP was fixed. /QUOTE]

Sounds like your vessel does not track well. Is it squirrely and need constant attention to keep in a straight line?
__________________

makobuilders is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:40 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012