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Old 12-18-2014, 11:05 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Wxx3 View Post
I really liked those two stories.

And even I've taken the Whittier train.
So sad to see it go. I wonder who paid for it :-)
I was in Whittier working when the tunnel got converted. Actually I was the very first "civilian" vehicle they let through the tunnel, long before it opened to the public.

I rescued several of the tunnel workers using my companies ARGO during a blizzard. That provided "friends" on the construction crew. My pickup is diesel so they let me go through as long as I was following another truck.

Back in the day I had to take my ARGO to work at the landing station at the head of the bay. With my 6:30 AM to 6:30 pm 7 day a week shift babysitting the llanding station I could sometimes go a week and not see another human being. Thats errie
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Old 12-21-2014, 02:47 AM   #42
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TwistedTree...I agree about MARPA. It's a great tool. Missing from all of this is discussion of a good heading sensor. This makes all things work together; the AP, radar overlay and ARPA tracking. Some of the issues the OP experienced can be frustrating at slow speeds due to GPS heading calculation causing a delay. In this scenario, it's best to stick to the compass for steering corrections.

I have to echo (pun here?) all others that also run radar during the clear days. That helps to take the added stress off during the night time or foggy conditions. I run a bunch at night and can pick out ice very well on the Furuno DRS4. However, it's stressful, so I added some huge lights and now it's no problem. I trust that radar because I use it every time the boat moves.

Headed into Whittier on a Saturday morning about 8am, clear blue above a hard deck of fog to about 100 ft, all I could see on the plotter screen were several radar returns making swerving tracks generally in my direction. I would let them get to about 100 yards and blast the horn, at which point they would turn, in some direction. I'm guessing these were the the boats with GPS only. It was amazing and frightening all at the same time. I suppose they knew where they were.

In pilot training we would use "foggles" to simulate instrument flight. Don't cheat, just have a crewman stand watch with you while you use instruments only and do more night cruising when you get more familiar. The more you do the more confident and comfortable you will become.

FWIW, the lowest free-board skiffs do not show up well unless you are manually tuning the radar. Almost all other boats I see floating show up with the set in AUTO tuning mode.
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Old 12-21-2014, 10:04 AM   #43
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Yes, a good heading sensor is among the best $500 you'll even spend on your boat. It will improve AP performance, show your heading accurately at all times on your chart plotter, provide alignment of radar overlay on charts, transmit more accurate AIS data, and enable MARPA.

I think Garmin still does MARPA based on COG if you are running over a certain speed, but Furuno and Simrad insist on heading or the function is disabled. I heard their was a law suit so they stopped allowing COG as a proxy for heading.
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Old 01-09-2015, 04:46 PM   #44
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To travel after dark or in the fog without a well functioning auto pilot is both foolish and dangerous to yourself and others. Without a horizon to judge your heading and rate of swing you are at a huge disadvantage.
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Old 01-09-2015, 05:25 PM   #45
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To travel after dark or in the fog without a well functioning auto pilot is both foolish and dangerous to yourself and others. Without a horizon to judge your heading and rate of swing you are at a huge disadvantage.
It was done safely for centuries before autopilots were invented and is still done by many today, but I agree with taking advantage of the best available tools for the job at hand.
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Old 01-09-2015, 08:45 PM   #46
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It was done safely for centuries before autopilots were invented and is still done by many today, but I agree with taking advantage of the best available tools for the job at hand.
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Old 01-09-2015, 11:20 PM   #47
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I find it interesting that this thread went on 17 posts until someone (Marin)mentioned a compass as a required instrument for running in the fog.. How times have changed. Boaters have become desperately reliant on electronics even when the simplest device can make your life so much easier.
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Old 01-10-2015, 12:31 AM   #48
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We use the compass when running in good visibility, too. We have two stand-alone plotters, Echotec and Furuno NavNet, but they have to wait until a change has occurred before they can show it. So you can easily get into a constant state of chasing the line and over-correction.

A compass shows a change as it is occurring. So we use the compass to hold a heading and the plotters to confirm it's the correct heading to stay on course, or to change the heading if current changes require it, a never-ending occurrence in our islands with strong currents, tide rips, and the effects from islands and channels.

We don't have an autopilot, so using the compass makes for much more consistent means of holding a desired heading than chasing the plotters.

It's not an either/or procedure, it's an all-the-tools-together procedure.
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