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Author Topic:   Virgin Voyage and first Scratch
Boboe posted 04-22-2005 06:28 PM ET (US)   Profile for Boboe   Send Email to Boboe  
While I got my 160 Dauntles more than a month ago, I have not found the time to take her out. Today, after dealing with the Delaware DMV (apparently you need two forms of residence if your licsence is out of state), registering my boat at a designated dealership, and carefully placing my registration numbers on my boat, I was ready to float. Incidently, on a prior boat, I actually recieved a ticket in PA because my numbers were not the proper distance apart from one another. Dillweeds.

Launching was a snap. The boat skid right off the trailer into the water. I screwed up my start as I forgot to choke the engine by depressing the key. I thought the neutral button was the choke (lesson 1). I turned on my GPS and was surprised because my Garmin 178C plotter had me still on land. Actually, it kept me on land through most the voyage even though the GPS said I had only an 8 ft error. I'm hoping when I put out the $160 for the detail map, it will get it right.

I should also mention that I loaded up the wife and 4 year old to take a spin with me. We ventured through some back bays and hit some shallow water as I went out during low tide. I simply raised the trim and everything worked fine. Basically the running of the boat was non-eventful as everything worked nicely.

I took the boat back to the dock, put the trailer in for my drive on, drove the boat on perfectly first try, shut the motor off, raised it up the trim, climbed over the bow to finish her of and the boat slid right back into the water. The current then proceeded to pull her down river.

I then got back into the boat started all over, only this time it must have taken me 5 times befor I found the trailer. Once on, I decided to leave the motor running in forward until I hooked the boat. Once hooked I shut her down and pulled her up.

Once up, I noticed the boat was not quite centered on the trailer and while one bunk was flat the other was not. Thinking I'm close enough I left well enough alone. Hope that was smart.I pulled her out of the water and took her home.

I keep her in a garage so after a good flushing, I lowered the VHF antenna and backed her in. BANG!!! I left a net in one of the vertical rod holders and amazingly it did not fit through the garage. The net did not break, however, left a nice scratch on the gel coat. I always said you need to get that first scratch before you can really treat the boat properly, but did not expect it so soon.

All in all not too bad, I'm just pleased nobody was there to watch me at the ramp.

Later...

Boboe

Knot at Work posted 04-23-2005 07:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for Knot at Work  Send Email to Knot at Work     
Every paycheck a fortune, Every meal a feast, evry time you take your Whaler out is experience.

Enjoy your boat. My 4 year old thinks it is the Titanic. Building memories to last 2 lifetimes.

bigjohn1 posted 04-23-2005 08:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
Boboe, easy fix for that scenerio where your plotter shows you still on land - apply a "map shift" and manually move your boat on the chart where it actually is relative to land. Read your manual as it should tell you all about it.
I am still running without an electronic plug-in chart and that worked for me.

On your trailer loading scenerio...I am not a fan of what some here call power loading with a small "relatively" light boat like yours. Many swear by it and have it down to a science but if you are launching and retrieving solo (or with people who can't help) why not scratch the power loading gig and simply do it by hand? If you don't have a courtesy dock, I can see where you have no choice but if you do, simply tie the boat up, dunk your trailer, and then manually "pull" the boat via the bow line over to the trailer and winch her up. Yes, you do have to get your feet wet and stand in water up to about 1-2ft but its not that hard. If you have slime on your ramp though, here is where manual laoding can get tough. Still, in those situations, I keep a tight hold on the trailer and, knock on wood, have not "busted my tail" in quite a long time. It only took one slip/fall on the ramp to teach me that. Just a couple of ideas to float your way.

fno posted 04-23-2005 09:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for fno  Send Email to fno     
Boboe, I had the same boat until a year ago. Two things about loading. Only pu the trailer in the water until the front of the bunks are barely sticking out of the water. The other is that if you do load off center (1"-2" max) it will drop in place after the first pothole. I worried over mine a few times until I found that it was sitting pretty after a 15-20 min drive. Enjoy the new toy.
Boboe posted 04-23-2005 07:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Boboe  Send Email to Boboe     
Thanks for the thoughts….

I sat down with my GPS book for about an hour but failed to fine the Map Shift option. I'll keep reading. I took a 6 hour course on GPS, but no one mentioned it there either. I will buy the data card only because I would really like to see the detail, buoys and depths that the basic maps do not provide. Very cool technology for sure and well worth figuring out.

I also turned on my VHF radio for the first time and scanned the manual a bit. I have no idea what to do with this devise as it seems the options are endless. I guess I'll need a class in this as well. All I want to know is once I turn it on, what should I do next. I only want to eavesdrop on others.

I hear everyone telling me my boat is small and I should have no problem manually loading it, however, I’m hell bound on mastering this technique as it demonstrates an ability to maneuver the boat in a multitude of situations. I just don’t want to destroy the hull or the trailer in the process.

Yesterday when I went out I took the bimini top off the boat and laid it in the garage. Thinking it is better on the boat than on the garage floor, I asked my wife to help me place it back on the boat. Short story, second scratch, second lesson.

…Boboe


Royboy posted 04-25-2005 01:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
Boboe, ask an experienced boater to go with you and work out a good method of launch and recovery with you. Work on different scenarios, such as courtesy dock, or none, steep ramp, shallow ramp, etc. You'll give them an opportunity to help a fellow boater, and it'll speed up your learning curve in the process. Win - win.

Roy

davej14 posted 04-25-2005 09:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
Boebo,

fno has it right. Leave the front part of the bunks slightly out of the water and this should keep the boat in position after driving on. You shouldn't leave the motor in gear as you exit the boat, things can go wrong and this is dangerous. I also highly recommend you get a set of guide ons. They will be a great help in aligning the boat to the trailer and are indespensible in a cross wind or current. You will also appreciate them when backing the empty trailer.

I'm way ahead of you on scratches.

cmarques posted 04-25-2005 09:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for cmarques  Send Email to cmarques     
I dinged mine the first time out on the sea trial with my salesman on board- duh. I leave my trailer fenders about 2 inches above water and load fine every time. Like davej14 said, get some guide poles and makes things much easier both backing the trailer and loading even if windy. If my Dauntless loads a little off center it will drop between the bunks usually pretty quick with a good thump.

Chris

bigjohn1 posted 04-25-2005 11:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
Bobee,

I assumed the 178C Garmin had map shift capability, I guess it does not. On my unit (a Navman), when small differences exist between the boat's charted position and actual position, you move the cursor to where the boat actually is on the chart. The unit then re-draws the chart with the boat correctly positioned on the chart. There is a big warning note in the manual stating to use extreme caution when applying map shifts becuase if its incorrectly applied, it might cause your plotted course (or navigation to a waypoint) to pass over land.

Sorry for the confusion...

Boboe posted 04-26-2005 04:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Boboe  Send Email to Boboe     
Big John,

Thanks for the tip on how the Navman works. I will try that with mine. I just can't find any reference to it in the manual. Not the best manual I've ever read and I'm a software developer by trade. So I've both written and read a lot of bad manuals.

Now about the VHF radio. That manual makes the Garmin look great.

The problem with both these manuals is they’re written as reference manuals not as user manuals. You got to read through a lot of stuff you’ll never use or care about to get to the thing you might care about. Your never really sure if you should care or not because reference manuals don’t have any context.

I did find a Web site or two that better explains usage of my VHF radio, but hate to admit I’m still a bit lost. I understand I need to monitor Channel 16 or 9. I do not understand how I can communicate with another boat nor perform a radio check to ensure my radio is actually performing correctly. All I see is a bunch of warnings saying I’ll be fined big time if I do something wrong. I understand Hi/Lo frequencies but cannot seem to find out what mine is set at or being able to change it on my transmitter. My transmitter seems like it’s not even on. I want to be able to transmit my location to other boaters when I run into a big school of Weakies and vice-a-versa, but not sure how to go about it and/or if this is even legal.

I know I must sound like Brad Pitt’s brother Stu, but I’m waiting for that big AH-Haw and it’s just not happening. Maybe we need computers on board with instant messaging as a better way to communicate. That I understand.

Thanks for listening….

Boboe


Sheila posted 04-26-2005 11:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sheila  Send Email to Sheila     
Hi Boboe,
We just covered use of the radio in my USCG Auxiliary boating class.

When you're out on your boat, you should be tuned to channel 16. To call another boat, follow this procedure. In the example, I'm going to pretend that you're out in your boat, the Boboe and I'm out in my boat, Tohora Iti

(I'd use the actual name of your boat if I knew, it, sorry.)

If you wanted to talk to me, you would first hail me on Channel 16.

First, you listen to make sure no one else is talking. If someone else is talking on that channel, wait. When the channel is free, press the button on the side of your microphone, hold it, and say, "Tohora Iti, this is Boboe." Release the button and listen. You won't hear anything if you continue to press the button. If I don't answer you, then repeat the call after 2 minutes. If I continue to not answer, wait 2 minutes and call me again. If after three attempts I don't answer, then you wait 15 minutes and start over.

But hopefully I'm maintaining a radio watch on my boat and I hear you. I would then listen, to make sure no one else was talking. Then I would push the button on the side of the microphone, and while holding it, I would say, "Boboe, this is Tohora Iti." I would then release the button, because I can't hear transmissions while I'm holding the button down.

You would then listen, then hold the button on the mic and say, "Tohora Iti, this is Boboe. Switch and answer on channel 68." You could choose some other channel designated as a working channel for recreational boaters.

Next you and I would each switch our radios to channel 68. You would press the button and say, "Tohora Iti, this is Boboe." I would answer, "Boboe, this is Tohora Iti." Then we'd have our conversation.

For a lot more information, go to:
http://wireless.fcc.gov/marine/fctsht14.html

Scroll down a bit and you'll find the section about using your radio.

Best of luck, and if this explanation was too basic, I apologize.

Boboe posted 04-27-2005 08:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for Boboe  Send Email to Boboe     
Thanks Sheila,

Just the type of info I was looking for. Typically I would try through experimentation, but afarid I may end up in jail. I'm still thinking about a name for the boat so for now I will just use my registration numbers. Right now when I monior I don't hear much but I'm sure that will chage as more boats hit the water. Anyway thanks for taking the time to help me understand.

Over.

bsmotril posted 04-27-2005 09:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
Boboe,
It will only get better. You need to get a routine down, and those kinds of problems will go away with practice. The way you get the routine nailed down is with lot's of launchings and boat usage. Checklists help too ! So, get out there as much as you can, and it will all start to come naturally with your new rig. BillS
Sheila posted 04-27-2005 01:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sheila  Send Email to Sheila     
You're welcome, Boboe.

What make and model is the radio?
And, are you new to boating, or just to this particular boat?

Phil Tyson posted 04-27-2005 07:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Phil Tyson  Send Email to Phil Tyson     
One suggestion on hailing. Repeat the boat you are calling 3 times.

Boboe...Boboe....Boboe...this is the Sheila on Channel 16.

Remember to speak in a clear, firm and strong (don't whisper) voice.

The reason this calling proceedure works is the first time the name is called, one thinks, it that me. The second and third allows the person to confirm they are being called and gives them time to slow down, turn off stereos, etc.

Knot at Work posted 04-27-2005 08:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Knot at Work  Send Email to Knot at Work     
Boboe,

On US Navy ships, we sometimes have to respond to queries and challenges on B-T-B. To ensure we are all standard to to prevent miscommunications we have standard canned statements and responses posted at each transmitter and the Sailors will read off those check list statements.

I recommend you make a small 5x7 card with a call and response line and then laminate it. You can use a grease pencil to fill in pertenent data. Location, Channel, Ship name etc...

just a thought.

Sheila posted 04-28-2005 03:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sheila  Send Email to Sheila     
Thanks, Phil, for adding that.

Knot at Work, that's a good idea.

JohnJ80 posted 04-28-2005 04:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnJ80  Send Email to JohnJ80     
Boy, I sure wouldn't use the 'map shift' technique. That is totally asking for trouble! If you move it wrong and then want to depend on the shoreline being where the GPS says it is in, say, a fogbank - we will be reading about you in the papers. In addition, what if the shoreline on the internal map is just plain flat wrong? Man, you could be cooked.

Take a chart - a real one - and verify the lat/lon from the GPS against that. That should be dead on and should show you in the right place. If it doesn't, then your GPS is bad.

Why don't you give Garmin a call and talk to their tech support. My bet is that the built in map doesn't have enough detail for you - and they are notoriously bad on the shape of shorelines but very good on highways etc... I also bet that when you put in the cartridge, all will be ok.

But DON"T use that shift option if you have no way of verifying it against a good NOAA or equivalent chart. You could kill yourself, literally. There is NO WAY I would do something like this. Unless you can shift in 2 axis, and rotate around a point - this is a very bad deal. If that is all the confidence Navman has in their charts - then buy another unit or don't ever use their charts. Verifying charts for accuracy is no small thing!

Wow.

J

Chuck Tribolet posted 04-28-2005 04:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Map shift is a rare feature in GPSs. Check that the GPS and
the map are set to the same Datum (WGS84 most places -- that's
what the GPS system uses internally). And all will be well
when you put in the cartridge, as John says.

GPSs are never off a little bit. If they are off, they are
WAYYY off. I once had mine tell me I was a thousand miles
away, 8000' below the surface, and going at jet speeds.


Radio protocol gets cut a bit shorter when you know who you are
dealing with. For example my buddy Kawika ("Rapture") and
me ("Black Dog"):

Me: Rapture, Rapture, Rapture, Black Dog on one-six.
Kawika: Black Dog, Rapture. Six-seven.
Me: Six-seven.

makes the call and shifts to the working freq with a minimum
of chatter.


Chuck

Sheila posted 04-29-2005 03:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sheila  Send Email to Sheila     
Thanks for that elegant shortcut, Chuck.
bigjohn1 posted 04-29-2005 08:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
JohnJ80,

While I see your point as to potential danger, I do agree with Chuck in that when GPS is off, its WAY off and not a little. Before we go painting this entire issue with a broad brush, lets recall that some charts often have slight position errors...to think all charts are spot-on is not correct. While I was never a professional navigator or Quartermaster (as the Navy calls them), I stood my fair share of bridge watches on Navy combatants (read that really big ships) in years past. Many charts have position errors as they are derived from a variety of sources. If you believe all charts are 100% accurate, I have some beach front property in Idaho to sell you. I can also show you a multi-billion dollar submarine that has been sitting in drydock since late January right here in Guam which had her front end sheared off from impact with an un-charted seamount in the Caroline Islands in January. Her name is the USS SAN FRANCISCO and she will likley be de-commissioned as the damage is so severe.

Can applying map shift if you don't know what you are doing be potentially dangerous? Sure! But so can driving down a wet I-95 at 80mph. My point is, done correctly, it can and does correct minor offests on some charts - even charts in WGS84 datum. I do agree though that Boboe should "check the block" and call Garmin just to be sure.
I also agree that chances are his error will disappear when he installs his chart card....if it does not, and his unit had the capability (which it does not) of applying a map shift, it would be totally prudent to do so.

Your statement that, "If that is all the confidence Navman has in their charts - then buy another unit or don't ever use their charts" is off. Navman (and other manufacturers I can think of) does not manufacture their own nautical charts...they take them from NOAA and other governmental agencies worldwide who perform bottom mapping and coastal surveys of the world. The accuracy of Garmin, Navman, Furuno, and Raymarine "charts" is only as good as their original source document.

I totally agree that verifying charts for accuracy is no small thing but don't place blind faith in them either.
Judiciously applied, map shift is a good thing which I have only had to use twice thankfully but it worked as stated. It DID NOT shift the entire world basemap inside my unit though and only applied to the particlaur point I wanted to shift. My bet is this particular feature is one that you'll find more on higher end units.

The following is quoted from the map shift section of my owners manual:

"Some charts have consistent position errors. To correect this, apply a map shift. After a map shift:

-The positions of a cartographic features (such as land, rocks, buoys, and depth contours move on the unit display where they should be.

- The position of the boat, waypoints, tracks, and lines of latitude and longitude on the unit's chart display remain unchanged.

WARNING: Map shift is for eliminating minor offsets. Use map shift with caution. Incorrect application will cuase incorrect boat positions.

JohnJ80 posted 04-29-2005 09:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for JohnJ80  Send Email to JohnJ80     
I think we are loudly agreeing.

I also think that using a chart that shows me on land is more than a 'little' off and it probably isn't a shift problem. The base maps in GPS's are typically not very good on shorelines etc... My Garmin 12Map is the same way.

So, I'm not saying that the GPS isn't working, I'm saying the map is probably garbage in the unit - or at least not very good - but certainly too large a scale or insufficient detail to be used for navigation.

That all being said, do the math. The projection, the linear (in whatever dimension) distortion, the rotational error (of the chart to the point) etc... will introduce error even on a good paper chart, but it is substantially less than what is being described here. Certainly it is much better to take the lat/lon info from the GPS and apply it to high resolution chart.

I also agree with you about GPS errors. It either works or it doesn't - unlike the Loran days were land interferences and station positioning relative to you could introduce error from a little to a lot (and vary with the terrain).

With pretty much any of the consumer GPS units out that are commercially available, the resolution is probably not adequate to be making these sorts of 'shifts'.

This just goes back to the whole thing that a careful navigator has more than one means of determining position. All you have to do is read the fine print on most charts to find out that it has been years, decades and not uncommonly centuries since many of the world's waterways (even some of those heavily travelled) have been surveyed. If that isn't a sobering reality, I don't know what is.

FYI, my background is years of offshore sailing and racing in all sorts of weather conditoins going back to Loran days. I'm also an engineer so I get the math part of all of this too (not to mention the tech part of GPS).

So, I still think that for the vast, vast majority of GPS users, doing this sort of map shift is far more likely to create problems and introduce massive error than it is to be beneficial.

J.

bigjohn1 posted 04-30-2005 08:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
John, fair point - after thinking on this, I must agree that map shift is probably not a good thing for the masses to do in practice for the reasons you state.
Boboe posted 04-30-2005 11:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for Boboe  Send Email to Boboe     
I'll keep you all posted on my progress. I ordered the Mapsource map for my area but have not yet received it. My first step will be to see if the new chart fixes the problem. If that doesn’t work, I'll give Garmin a call. Someone at worked suggested my time may be off, however, my understanding is that stuff is all updated from the satellites and nothing I should need to fool with. I noticed my accuracy said to within 8 feet so must have had a fairly good signal. My map was probably a good 300 yards off. I‘ll check the Map Datum setting as well as I guess it’s possible this is causing the problem.

I'm going to use the unit to help me navigate through the Indian River Inlet in Delaware, which has its share of shoals and shallow water so accuracy is important.

Not new to boating but new to all these electronics and the Whaler family. Used to run a 16-foot Sea Nymph with a 25 on it with no electronics other than a fish finder. Frequently took this bass boat in the ocean and was always the smallest boat out there. I've hit my fair share of sand bars but with a tiller motor the engine simply pops up out of the water before any real damage occurs. Certainly don't want to do this with my new Dauntless.

Went and bought the trailer guides in hopes it improves my loading abilities. Will see.

Printed of the VHF instruction you all provided and will keep it on my boat until it becomes second nature. Not sure why they can’t include the simple scenarios you all provided in the manual. They make it so complicated when it’s actually quite easy. My unit is an ICOM-M302.

Sure have a lot to learn, but so far loving every minute.

It's raining here today so looks like another weekend of no boating. My four year old is bugging me to go trout fishing and I saw them loading up the stream down the street from my house so it shouldn't be too bad a day. Nothing better than honey brined smoked trout.

Thanks again everyone for your help.

Boboe

kamie posted 04-30-2005 02:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for kamie  Send Email to kamie     
Boboe,

Go to Garmin site and send their tech support an email. It takes them a day or two but they have sent back very accurate instructions to me and I have and older unit.
www.garmin.com/contactUs/techSupport.jsp

Woodee posted 04-30-2005 03:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Woodee  Send Email to Woodee     
Hey, Boboe, What's this about honey-brined smoked trout? Might we have more details?
Woodee
Boboe posted 04-30-2005 04:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Boboe  Send Email to Boboe     
It's a recipe that I found on the Internet about 5 years ago that is absolutely fabulous. You can fool with the brine a bit but make sure to always include the honey. I make this every year for my annual Boboe 4th of July celebration and it goes like candy.

By the way, took the boy out and we caught 4 beauties, 1 16 inch rainbow, 2 brookies-15 and 13 and a small brown about 12. I load all my catches up in the freezer from now until smoking time making sure to fillet and freeze them with the skin on. I also use mesquite wood for the smoking, as I don't have any cherry or alder wood.

I've tried this with Blue fish and it was bad, but great for fresh water trout.

If you’re into smoking trout, you got to try it.


44. Jon Carter's Famous UTAH Smoked Trout Recipe

Famous Utah Trout 5-6 lbs. (i use Pa. Trout)
Brine: Soak fish in a 5 gallon bucket for 18 hours
Brine contents:
2 large bottles of soy sauce
2 large bottles of teriyaki sauce
2-4 cups salt
2-4 cups sugar
secret ingredient: 2 quarts of Miller's Honey

Brining tip: Keep trout ice cold. If you can't keep it
in the refrigerator
add ice every couple of hours.
Remove fish from brine. Lay on wax paper. Take paper
towels and soak up all
moisture. Then do it again. The drying process begins
here so moisture at
this stage is bad. Let the filets dry for approx. 6
hours and you're ready to
smoke.

Smoking Process:
I use a Lil Chief smoker available at Sportsmans
Warehouse or most KMarts,
Walmarts or Super Targets.
Spray your smoking racks with Pam. Lay fish on racks
skin down. I prefer to
smoke my trout over a 24 hour period (depending on how
hot it is outside)
with a combination of cherry wood and alder wood.
Check fish once or twice
during smoking process. When finished remove from
smoker, invite friends over
and munch away!

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