Is Reliance Upon Electronics Killing The Art Of Seamanship?

clanky

War Hero
Re: Is Reliance Upon Electronics Killing The Art Of Seamansh

I see in last months Navy News that the sail training element of Pt 2 seamanship training has been binned as irrelevant. Standing by to see some Foxterrier 22s for sale.
 

oldseadog

War Hero
Re: Is Reliance Upon Electronics Killing The Art Of Seamansh

Lingyai said:
I would hardly call seamanship an art...... the basics of nav can be taught in a few days, of course, to be proficient requires experience.
As far as GPS goes, it is alway used on the vessels I work on, we output the navigation screen for the marine crew, however the bridge team always confirm all coordinates with a compass reading and plot on a chart, this way any error can be double checked. Sure it is not as accurate as diff GPS but it get's you home.
GPS always has the chance to give you errors anyway, all depends on your shipboard equipment, receivers / decoders etc.
Belt and braces is the order of the day of course.
Please do not confuse Pilotage with Navigation. If you can confirm your coordinates using compass bearings, could it possibly be assumed that you are within sight of land? If so, then you would be able to see where you want to go. That is Pilotage.

On the other hand, if you are out of sight of land - say mid-Atlantic - you will need Navigation skills to bring your vessel to the 'target port'. OK, you would use the GPS or DGPS, and plot your course with that by entering lat/long waypoints. Without a chronometer and a sextant, how do you run a crosscheck on the electronics?

Presumably, by using the compass for stand alone confirmation, there are two definite probabilities:-
1/. head east and you will eventually hit either Europe or Africa ...
2/. head west and you should hit one of the Americas

As for the basics of navigation being taught in a few days, I am still excited at learning new techniques after almost 40 years spent at sea, in the desert and everything in between.

Navigation is a fascinating subject, and the ability to work out your position from a fleeting glance at a couple of stars, and from that manage to get the team back home, brings in an excitement that is all too often, sadly missing in the services today.

All-round seamanship is I believe, an art. It is an Art of Survival, where the tools may be all that's left after an incident. Yet the combined skills of the artisan will manage to bring the team home.

A simple octant is quite easy to cobble up, as is a simple compass. Many wear waterproof watches which are as accurate as most chronometers.

I also believe that basic traditional navigation skills (not GPS-related) should be taught to all branches.

All it takes is for someone to ask the right questions of the instructors, so that they will have to learn the subject before they can teach it! :twisted:

OSD
 
Re: Is Reliance Upon Electronics Killing The Art Of Seamansh

Lingyai said:
I would hardly call seamanship an art...... the basics of nav can be taught in a few days, of course, to be proficient requires experience.
As far as GPS goes, it is alway used on the vessels I work on, we output the navigation screen for the marine crew, however the bridge team always confirm all coordinates with a compass reading and plot on a chart, this way any error can be double checked. Sure it is not as accurate as diff GPS but it get's you home.
GPS always has the chance to give you errors anyway, all depends on your shipboard equipment, receivers / decoders etc.
Belt and braces is the order of the day of course.

Basic seamanship, navigation and pilotage are not arts as such but good seamanship , pilotage and navigation is.

As a matter of personal choice I would prefer to go to sea with people who have mastered the arts.
 
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