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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    482

    Default Get your position right...

    Lifeboats around Cardigan bay had a busy night on 8 September. We were passing the area that night and heard the desperate attempts of the CG to get their positions (the yacht was out of our VHF range, never heard their answers).
    Apparently four teams didn't get much night sleep and quite a few gallons of fuel were burned on that bouncy, wet night. The boat seems quite OK to me, Genny furled - there was plenty of wind that night to sail if the "mechanical failure"
    was the engine, not the fridge that cooled the beer...

    https://rnli.org/news-and-media/2019...n-cardigan-bay
    Last edited by GTom; 18-09-19 at 08:06.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    22,871

    Default Re: Get your position right...

    I am always surprised at the readiness of people calling for assistance to rely on lat and long alone. If I am at the helm, or even at the plotter, I have little chance of remembering the numbers accurately, and even if I write them down, it takes a while to find the position on the chart or plotter. A simple 'three miles southwest of Beachy Head' or similar would cause me to prick up my ears if I knew that it was nearby.
    Far away is near at hand in images of elsewhere

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    6,921

    Default Re: Get your position right...

    Quote Originally Posted by johnalison View Post
    I am always surprised at the readiness of people calling for assistance to rely on lat and long alone. If I am at the helm, or even at the plotter, I have little chance of remembering the numbers accurately, and even if I write them down, it takes a while to find the position on the chart or plotter. A simple 'three miles southwest of Beachy Head' or similar would cause me to prick up my ears if I knew that it was nearby.
    The CG insist on lat and long positions. There are at least two reasons for this.
    1. Simple lack of local knowledge.
    2. Possible confusion due to multiple places having the same name.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    482

    Default Re: Get your position right...

    Quote Originally Posted by NormanS View Post
    The CG insist on lat and long positions. There are at least two reasons for this.
    1. Simple lack of local knowledge.
    2. Possible confusion due to multiple places having the same name.
    This case they didn't seem to get any bearing and distance kind of information or at least a rough idea apart from being somewhere in Cardigan bay...

    Regarding GPS: I do understand that someone can loose all means of positioning when e.g. jumping out of a burning boat. But this case I see a more or less intact yacht being towed, meaning at least a smartphone on board. Not to mention, carrying a paper chart you do have time to cough up at least an estimate, based on where and when did you left from. Again, you probably can't do this when the water reached the navigation table on a sinking boat, but this wasn't the case here.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    22,871

    Default Re: Get your position right...

    Quote Originally Posted by NormanS View Post
    The CG insist on lat and long positions. There are at least two reasons for this.
    1. Simple lack of local knowledge.
    2. Possible confusion due to multiple places having the same name.
    I am entirely happy for the CG to insist on lat and long, but a distress call or other urgent call needs to reach other stations such as ships and yachts that may be in a position to assist or provide more information. If/when I am in this position myself, I would want to give myself the best chance of getting help as soon as possible.
    Far away is near at hand in images of elsewhere

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    South Devon
    Posts
    331

    Default Re: Get your position right...

    Quote Originally Posted by GTom View Post
    This case they didn't seem to get any bearing and distance kind of information or at least a rough idea apart from being somewhere in Cardigan bay...

    Regarding GPS: I do understand that someone can loose all means of positioning when e.g. jumping out of a burning boat. But this case I see a more or less intact yacht being towed, meaning at least a smartphone on board. Not to mention, carrying a paper chart you do have time to cough up at least an estimate, based on where and when did you left from. Again, you probably can't do this when the water reached the navigation table on a sinking boat, but this wasn't the case here.
    I sail with family. In honking weather the wife is much more likely to be looking after the (young) kids than steering. And anyway, I know for a fact that she'd would only agree to be on the helm in bad weather in the direst of dire emergencies (say I was dead or completely incapacitated). And I don't have any form of self steering. So unless I was able to heave to there's no way I could get to the chart table.

    In good weather its perfectly fine. The boat is balanced enough for me to leave it to sail itself for a few minutes and keep an hourly position fix marked on the chart, fill in the log etc. In really bad weather that's not gonna happen, so if it comes to it I'll be reading lat & long off my phone or using distance and bearing.

    I suppose I really ought to buy a DSC radio...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Solent
    Posts
    1,370

    Default Re: Get your position right...

    This thread does highlight the value of DSC.
    But if I was Balbas with a good nonDSC radio I might be inclined to get a tiller pilot..........lots of reasons for being able to leave the helm

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    South Devon
    Posts
    331

    Default Re: Get your position right...

    Quote Originally Posted by FairweatherDave View Post
    This thread does highlight the value of DSC.
    But if I was Balbas with a good nonDSC radio I might be inclined to get a tiller pilot..........lots of reasons for being able to leave the helm
    A tiller pilot wouldn't be much use - I have a wheel!

    Honestly, this is my first 'big' (ie not a dinghy) boat and I don't know how long I'll be keeping her. I could easily chuck £20k at her for things like updated electrics, wheel pilot/sea feather, new sails, new rigging, solar, hot water, new engine etc etc etc. I have to draw a line somewhere and that line is before self steering. But anyway, we digress. DSC would solve the problem highlighted in the OP very neatly.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    6,921

    Default Re: Get your position right...

    Quote Originally Posted by johnalison View Post
    I am entirely happy for the CG to insist on lat and long, but a distress call or other urgent call needs to reach other stations such as ships and yachts that may be in a position to assist or provide more information. If/when I am in this position myself, I would want to give myself the best chance of getting help as soon as possible.
    I fully agree with you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Greenwich
    Posts
    7,591

    Default Re: Get your position right...

    Quote Originally Posted by Balbas View Post
    A tiller pilot wouldn't be much use - I have a wheel!

    Honestly, this is my first 'big' (ie not a dinghy) boat and I don't know how long I'll be keeping her. I could easily chuck £20k at her for things like updated electrics, wheel pilot/sea feather, new sails, new rigging, solar, hot water, new engine etc etc etc. I have to draw a line somewhere and that line is before self steering. But anyway, we digress. DSC would solve the problem highlighted in the OP very neatly.
    Agreed it’s a big expense but an autopilot will change your sailing so much for the better if short handed. Whether hoisting sails or just trimming them as you go along the boat will go better and quicker. It’s an added bonus that you can pop downstairs for a minute or two as needed.

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