Topics

Forward looking Sonar - Amel 54 - Echopilot FLS 2D frequency vs B&G Sonic Speed Sensors or Depth Sounders


Stefan Schaufert
 

Dear Amelians,

thx a lot for your numerous helpful responses.

For the Amels with the Echopilot 2D units AND the B&G Sonic Speed Sensors and/or Depth Sounders (Standard on the AMEL 54):
  1. Are there problems or something needs to be considered because of the working frequency (200 kHz) of the Echopilot unit - used at the same time as the B&G devices (interferences)?
  2. Where is your Echopilot transducer situated on the bottom? Echopilot recommends to install it „alongside the keel and perhaps 60cm or 2 feet out“. 
I do not find any informations for this in the B&G & Amel manuals.
Thus I am looking forward for your answers.

Best regards
Stefan
A54 #119 Lady Charlyette, Aruba


Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Hi All, I say all because this thread has certainly created interest. We have the Interphase FLS. Like radar and  it seems many other FLS units it needs experience and interpretation. I find it useful and last year in Fiji it saved us from a serious situation. The biggest problem is surface clutter caused by the turbulence of choppy water but with experience it is possible to get useful interpretation. It needs to have all the parameters set right. In talking to other owners with the same unit it is clear that many have not persevered and have given up.

Regards

Danny

SM 299

Ocean Pearl

On 01 October 2020 at 08:58 Stefan Schaufert <mail@...> wrote:

Dear Amelians,

thx a lot for your numerous helpful responses.

For the Amels with the Echopilot 2D units AND the B&G Sonic Speed Sensors and/or Depth Sounders (Standard on the AMEL 54):
  1. Are there problems or something needs to be considered because of the working frequency (200 kHz) of the Echopilot unit - used at the same time as the B&G devices (interferences)?
  2. Where is your Echopilot transducer situated on the bottom? Echopilot recommends to install it „alongside the keel and perhaps 60cm or 2 feet out“. 
I do not find any informations for this in the B&G & Amel manuals.
Thus I am looking forward for your answers.

Best regards
Stefan
A54 #119 Lady Charlyette, Aruba


Patrick McAneny
 

As I said in a previous post ,I have a new B&G FLS and have not found it useful , the bottom is depicted in a brown color and moving forward I have brown spikes appear in front of the boat as well as elevated bottom depictions that disappear as quickly as they appear. Frustrated I just stopped even ever turning it on ,forgot to even use it once in six months while in the Caribbean. But before this thread goes away ,I have one question. Is it important to keep your SOG very slow to get good results from a FLS ? I think I have tried to use it going less than a 4 or 5  kts. , but maybe that is too fast. It would be great to have in the Bahamas some day ,if it worked.
Thanks,
Pat 
SM Shenanigans


-----Original Message-----
From: Danny and Yvonne SIMMS <simms@...>
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Oct 1, 2020 3:33 am
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Forward looking Sonar - Amel 54 - Echopilot FLS 2D frequency vs B&G Sonic Speed Sensors or Depth Sounders

Hi All, I say all because this thread has certainly created interest. We have the Interphase FLS. Like radar and  it seems many other FLS units it needs experience and interpretation. I find it useful and last year in Fiji it saved us from a serious situation. The biggest problem is surface clutter caused by the turbulence of choppy water but with experience it is possible to get useful interpretation. It needs to have all the parameters set right. In talking to other owners with the same unit it is clear that many have not persevered and have given up.
Regards
Danny
SM 299
Ocean Pearl
On 01 October 2020 at 08:58 Stefan Schaufert <mail@...> wrote:

Dear Amelians,

thx a lot for your numerous helpful responses.

For the Amels with the Echopilot 2D units AND the B&G Sonic Speed Sensors and/or Depth Sounders (Standard on the AMEL 54):
  1. Are there problems or something needs to be considered because of the working frequency (200 kHz) of the Echopilot unit - used at the same time as the B&G devices (interferences)?
  2. Where is your Echopilot transducer situated on the bottom? Echopilot recommends to install it „alongside the keel and perhaps 60cm or 2 feet out“. 
I do not find any informations for this in the B&G & Amel manuals.
Thus I am looking forward for your answers.

Best regards
Stefan
A54 #119 Lady Charlyette, Aruba


Petaris
 

Pat,
I believe someone further up the thread mentioned a max SOG of 2.5 kts.  Maybe that is part of the issue for you?
Regards,
- Justin
Hopeful future SM/SM2k owner


On Thu, Oct 1, 2020 at 6:57 AM Patrick McAneny via groups.io <sailw32=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
As I said in a previous post ,I have a new B&G FLS and have not found it useful , the bottom is depicted in a brown color and moving forward I have brown spikes appear in front of the boat as well as elevated bottom depictions that disappear as quickly as they appear. Frustrated I just stopped even ever turning it on ,forgot to even use it once in six months while in the Caribbean. But before this thread goes away ,I have one question. Is it important to keep your SOG very slow to get good results from a FLS ? I think I have tried to use it going less than a 4 or 5  kts. , but maybe that is too fast. It would be great to have in the Bahamas some day ,if it worked.
Thanks,
Pat 
SM Shenanigans


-----Original Message-----
From: Danny and Yvonne SIMMS <simms@...>
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Oct 1, 2020 3:33 am
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Forward looking Sonar - Amel 54 - Echopilot FLS 2D frequency vs B&G Sonic Speed Sensors or Depth Sounders

Hi All, I say all because this thread has certainly created interest. We have the Interphase FLS. Like radar and  it seems many other FLS units it needs experience and interpretation. I find it useful and last year in Fiji it saved us from a serious situation. The biggest problem is surface clutter caused by the turbulence of choppy water but with experience it is possible to get useful interpretation. It needs to have all the parameters set right. In talking to other owners with the same unit it is clear that many have not persevered and have given up.
Regards
Danny
SM 299
Ocean Pearl
On 01 October 2020 at 08:58 Stefan Schaufert <mail@...> wrote:

Dear Amelians,

thx a lot for your numerous helpful responses.

For the Amels with the Echopilot 2D units AND the B&G Sonic Speed Sensors and/or Depth Sounders (Standard on the AMEL 54):
  1. Are there problems or something needs to be considered because of the working frequency (200 kHz) of the Echopilot unit - used at the same time as the B&G devices (interferences)?
  2. Where is your Echopilot transducer situated on the bottom? Echopilot recommends to install it „alongside the keel and perhaps 60cm or 2 feet out“. 
I do not find any informations for this in the B&G & Amel manuals.
Thus I am looking forward for your answers.

Best regards
Stefan
A54 #119 Lady Charlyette, Aruba



--
Justin Paulsen
IT Professional

"The world is open, are you?"


Jose Venegas
 

Hello all,

I have had a good experience with the FLS from B&G which can be displayed on the B&G Zeus chart plotters together with radar, GPS, AIS, and navigation data.

I installed the sensor using the through hull of the old B&G (Hydra 2000) depth sensor which was a perfect fit. The FLS signal does not seem to interfere with the B&G ultrasonic speed sensor or the old depth sensor.

Also, I am also happy to report that I was able to install the old depth sensor to its back of it, without the need to open a new through hull, by fitting it into a water filled cylinder silicone glued to the hull.

When I installed the FLS first, there were issues with the signal and its interpretation but the most recent updates have taken care of much of it. Also, I noted that it is very important to enter the proper angle of the sensor. As we all know our SM tend to have the stern deeper in the water and that means the angle needs to be adjusted.

Once this is done, the signal is by enlarge OK unless there are waves that affect the angle of the sensor.

Jose Venegas
Ipanema SM2K 278
Curacao


Ken Powers SV Aquarius
 

All,

When I was in the Tuamotus we were crossing the interior of Makemo Atoll from the main town to the East anchorage.  We were going 6kts in 50m and we saw the reef come straight out of the blue and we were able to stop Aquarius.

If we didn't have the Echo Pilot 2D Professional onboard we would have hit.

Ken


James Alton
 

Ken,

   That is a heartstopping event to even ponder!  I can see why you appreciate the Echo Sounder as much as you do.  One question.  Is there an alarm on this unit or do you have to be watching the screen to be alerted to a coming depth change?  

James
SV Sueno
Maramu #220


-----Original Message-----
From: Ken Powers SV Aquarius <ken@...>
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Oct 1, 2020 1:27 pm
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Forward looking Sonar - Amel 54 - Echopilot FLS 2D frequency vs B&G Sonic Speed Sensors or Depth Sounders

All,

When I was in the Tuamotus we were crossing the interior of Makemo Atoll from the main town to the East anchorage.  We were going 6kts in 50m and we saw the reef come straight out of the blue and we were able to stop Aquarius.

If we didn't have the Echo Pilot 2D Professional onboard we would have hit.

Ken


Wolfgang Weber
 

Jose,
That is a great news to use the FLS transducer in the B&G through hull and use the B&G inside the hull.
I would like to have the B&G FLS and use it as a second chartplotter with navionics charts.
This could also bring wind and speed to the system with navigation tools.
I have cmap on my Furuno Navnet and Maxsea and discovered some places where navionics on my tablet helped a lot at the US-eastcoast and Bahamas .
Greetings from home in germany to everyone, Boat is still in Fort Lauderdale, borders to US are closed for people from EU/Schengen
Wolfgang Weber SY Elise Amel 54#162


Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Hi Ken, until you have sailed the Tuamotus you cant imagine how uncharted reefs and bommies can appear, rising vertically from very deep water. The FLS is useful there. Fiji has its own specialties with vertical reefs and no warning. Like all navigation aids, the FLS is one but not to be the only.one used; Charts, eyes, chart plotters too. In  those waters all my senses are on high alert all the time.

Regards

Danny

SM 299

Ocean Pearl

On 02 October 2020 at 06:27 Ken Powers SV Aquarius <ken@...> wrote:

All,

When I was in the  Tuamotus we were crossing the interior of Makemo Atoll from the main town to the East anchorage.  We were going 6kts in 50m and we saw the reef come straight out of the blue and we were able to stop Aquarius.

If we didn't have the Echo Pilot 2D Professional onboard we would have hit.

Ken


Patrick McAneny
 

Justin, I must have missed that post ,came into this thread late. Just read that with new downloads their B&G FLS is working well, so maybe I need to keep my speed down and update my downloads.
Thanks,
Pat 
SM Shenanigans


-----Original Message-----
From: Petaris <petaris@...>
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io Group Moderators <main@amelyachtowners.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Oct 1, 2020 9:27 am
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Forward looking Sonar - Amel 54 - Echopilot FLS 2D frequency vs B&G Sonic Speed Sensors or Depth Sounders

Pat,
I believe someone further up the thread mentioned a max SOG of 2.5 kts.  Maybe that is part of the issue for you?
Regards,
- Justin
Hopeful future SM/SM2k owner

On Thu, Oct 1, 2020 at 6:57 AM Patrick McAneny via groups.io <sailw32=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
As I said in a previous post ,I have a new B&G FLS and have not found it useful , the bottom is depicted in a brown color and moving forward I have brown spikes appear in front of the boat as well as elevated bottom depictions that disappear as quickly as they appear. Frustrated I just stopped even ever turning it on ,forgot to even use it once in six months while in the Caribbean. But before this thread goes away ,I have one question. Is it important to keep your SOG very slow to get good results from a FLS ? I think I have tried to use it going less than a 4 or 5  kts. , but maybe that is too fast. It would be great to have in the Bahamas some day ,if it worked.
Thanks,
Pat 
SM Shenanigans


-----Original Message-----
From: Danny and Yvonne SIMMS <simms@...>
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Oct 1, 2020 3:33 am
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Forward looking Sonar - Amel 54 - Echopilot FLS 2D frequency vs B&G Sonic Speed Sensors or Depth Sounders

Hi All, I say all because this thread has certainly created interest. We have the Interphase FLS. Like radar and  it seems many other FLS units it needs experience and interpretation. I find it useful and last year in Fiji it saved us from a serious situation. The biggest problem is surface clutter caused by the turbulence of choppy water but with experience it is possible to get useful interpretation. It needs to have all the parameters set right. In talking to other owners with the same unit it is clear that many have not persevered and have given up.
Regards
Danny
SM 299
Ocean Pearl
On 01 October 2020 at 08:58 Stefan Schaufert <mail@...> wrote:

Dear Amelians,

thx a lot for your numerous helpful responses.

For the Amels with the Echopilot 2D units AND the B&G Sonic Speed Sensors and/or Depth Sounders (Standard on the AMEL 54):
  1. Are there problems or something needs to be considered because of the working frequency (200 kHz) of the Echopilot unit - used at the same time as the B&G devices (interferences)?
  2. Where is your Echopilot transducer situated on the bottom? Echopilot recommends to install it „alongside the keel and perhaps 60cm or 2 feet out“. 
I do not find any informations for this in the B&G & Amel manuals.
Thus I am looking forward for your answers.

Best regards
Stefan
A54 #119 Lady Charlyette, Aruba


--
Justin Paulsen
IT Professional

"The world is open, are you?"


Ken Powers SV Aquarius
 

Hello James,

As Danny wrote in his comment above, the FLS is not the only thing used to provide information about the dangers in front of you.  Good maps, eyes on the bow, are also helpful.  But, good maps are not good everywhere, and eyes on the bow get tired.   I have also noticed that many US sailors don't know about OpenCPN.  Download OpenCPN for your computer, connect to a GPS device, and you have a back up chart plotter ..... FOR FREE.  Get the maps from your sailing friends.... I also download all the Google overlays for areas and add to my map folders in OpenCPN before I take off.  This gives me one more input to keep Aquarius from touching anything.   Another thing about OpenCPN.....  You can connect to a Vesper 8000 AIS over WIFI, and now if you're going into a tight place and other boats are in front of you, you can plot their path.  I used this method in Fiji, and Malaysia entering marinas.  I didn't know the exact path in so I just plotted the path of a few larger boats going in and out and just followed their path.  This also helps in shipping lanes you can see which boat are moving and where they're going.  All for free.  If you have two computers loaded with OpenCPN, 2 Pads with charts, and 2 Smart Phones with Charts,  spending money on the standard chart plotter might be a waste of money?

For the question.  I set the alarm on the Echo Pilot for 5 meters.  And though it's annoying, it works.  If I am entering a marina, and it's 4 meters deep for a 100m the alarm will constantly beep.  Someone might say, "turn it off", but it's my reminder to keep my scan going.  The scan is just like flying a plane, you're constantly looking for an display/device/person that may not giving you correct information.  And, another good thing about having a FLS.  Most of us are carrying spares if something goes wrong.  How important is your depth sounder?  I would say VERY.  But, many of the SM's are getting older, and everything is not always working 100%.  If your depth sounder goes out, it's really nice to have a back up...  And the FLS is also my backup depth sounder... 

My 2cents, as someone else on this channel would say.  

Ken
Aquarius
SM2K#262
Aquarius is currently in Thailand getting her mani-pedi.


Ken Powers SV Aquarius
 

Danny,

I also could not believe that the reefs/bommies came straight up from 50M. Amazing!  And, I would be moving along at 6kts and was able to see them 80 meters in front of me.  80 meters gives me plenty of time to stop Aquarius.

Best,

Ken
Aquarius SM2K262


Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Yes Ken. Ypu3 have to see it before you believe it. I dont know how supercharged my senses are  in those circumstances until there is an unexpected bump noise on the boat. Boy do I jump.

Danny

SM 299

Ocean Pearl

On 03 October 2020 at 18:43 Ken Powers SV Aquarius <ken@...> wrote:

Danny,

I also could not believe that the reefs/bommies came straight up from 50M. Amazing!  And, I would be moving along at 6kts and was able to see them 80 meters in front of me.  80 meters gives me plenty of time to stop Aquarius.

Best,

Ken
Aquarius SM2K262


James Alton
 

Ken,

   Thanks for the response.  To me a good Depthsounder has always been very important and I will usually leave  one on even while we are anchored as additional confirmation that all is well when doing the nightly anchor checks.  Sueno currently has two Depthsounders and I am really glad to have a backup of this instrument.  FLS will actually give me another backup.   We also carry a depthstick for checking channels and or some anchorages by dinghy when the situation dictates though maybe there is a better way using modern tools to handle these mini surveys.  With good conditions and water clarity such as in the Bahamas, I think that it is pretty hard to beat having a good lookout when navigating in shallowish water so under those conditions my eyes are not normally looking at an instrument very often.  The FLS concept really appeals to me for those times when there are issues with water clarity, sun angle etc.  and chart data is iffy or even non-existent.  

   I have been reading about OpenCPN and it’s functionality with Google overlays etc. but I have not used it so far.  I agree, dedicated chart plotters are expensive but they can have super bright daylight viewable screens, can be really waterproof etc.   I currently have a B&G Zeus3 plotter,  a smaller back up plotter,  1 tablet, (want to add a back up tablet).  Also a weatherproof, daylight viewable ToughBook laptop with built in GPS that I intend to use for OpenCPN.  Can you comment on how much data storage is sufficient given the storage of the Google map data and full time cruising?  

    The idea of using AIS information from other vessels to plot a path on a chart into a channel or anchorage is new to me and I appreciate you mentioning this option.  That does sound like a very useful tool!  So if I understand correctly, you can ask OpenCPN to plot the track of an AIS target on a chart just as it can plot your own GPS track?   I agree to the concept of having many tools to keep our boats in safe water and especially for those times that I am literally running blind, FLS sounds very appealing.  I will try the 5 meter setting of the alarm as you suggested and consider the value of a pretty constant alarm to remind me to dedicate attention to the FLS.  Constant alarms can certainly be annoying to me so we will see!  

 Thanks for the helpful input,

James Alton
SV Sueno
Maramu #220

   

   

On Oct 3, 2020, at 1:39 AM, Ken Powers SV Aquarius <ken@...> wrote:

Hello James,

As Danny wrote in his comment above, the FLS is not the only thing used to provide information about the dangers in front of you.  Good maps, eyes on the bow, are also helpful.  But, good maps are not good everywhere, and eyes on the bow get tired.   I have also noticed that many US sailors don't know about OpenCPN.  Download OpenCPN for your computer, connect to a GPS device, and you have a back up chart plotter ..... FOR FREE.  Get the maps from your sailing friends.... I also download all the Google overlays for areas and add to my map folders in OpenCPN before I take off.  This gives me one more input to keep Aquarius from touching anything.   Another thing about OpenCPN.....  You can connect to a Vesper 8000 AIS over WIFI, and now if you're going into a tight place and other boats are in front of you, you can plot their path.  I used this method in Fiji, and Malaysia entering marinas.  I didn't know the exact path in so I just plotted the path of a few larger boats going in and out and just followed their path.  This also helps in shipping lanes you can see which boat are moving and where they're going.  All for free.  If you have two computers loaded with OpenCPN, 2 Pads with charts, and 2 Smart Phones with Charts,  spending money on the standard chart plotter might be a waste of money?

For the question.  I set the alarm on the Echo Pilot for 5 meters.  And though it's annoying, it works.  If I am entering a marina, and it's 4 meters deep for a 100m the alarm will constantly beep.  Someone might say, "turn it off", but it's my reminder to keep my scan going.  The scan is just like flying a plane, you're constantly looking for an display/device/person that may not giving you correct information.  And, another good thing about having a FLS.  Most of us are carrying spares if something goes wrong.  How important is your depth sounder?  I would say VERY.  But, many of the SM's are getting older, and everything is not always working 100%.  If your depth sounder goes out, it's really nice to have a back up...  And the FLS is also my backup depth sounder... 

My 2cents, as someone else on this channel would say.  

Ken
Aquarius
SM2K#262
Aquarius is currently in Thailand getting her mani-pedi.


Gerhard Mueller
 

Using OpenCPN with Google overlays does not help a lot. Such maps are usually georeferenced pictures of Google Earth. So they have no depth information and are raster charts only (bitmaps, called *.kap), no vector charts with additional informations. However there are also professional charts available for OpenCPN and most circumnavigators uses the old CM93 v2 vector charts even when the latest available version is from May 2015 for free.

--
Gerhard Mueller
Amel Sharki #60
Currently Kalamata, Greece


Matt Salatino
 

We used OpenCPN extensively on our previous boat. Even though there are no depth numbers on a google overlay, it is easy to see depth differences in the color of the water, and in many instances, a google map overlay helped immensely to avoid shallows when entering an anchorage, sometimes even better than a standard chart.
The last OpenCPN update made their free software a major contender to most chartplotters. We appreciate the efforts of the developers and would make a minor donation to them every year we used the app. It’s a great piece of kit, and does handle AIS target information better than many chartplotters. Weather overlays and Radar overlays are seamless, and it also has split screen capabilities. 

~~~⛵️~~~Matt

On Oct 3, 2020, at 8:08 AM, Gerhard Mueller via groups.io <carcode@...> wrote:

Using OpenCPN with Google overlays does not help a lot. Such maps are usually georeferenced pictures of Google Earth. So they have no depth information and are raster charts only (bitmaps, called *.kap), no vector charts with additional informations. However there are also professional charts available for OpenCPN and most circumnavigators uses the old CM93 v2 vector charts even when the latest available version is from May 2015 for free.

--
Gerhard Mueller
Amel Sharki #60
Currently Kalamata, Greece


Gerhard Mueller
 

Matt
Not anybody is able to read tea leaves. I cannot and so I better use a depth sensor...
--
Gerhard Mueller
Amel Sharki #60
Currently Kalamata, Greece


Matt Salatino
 

I’m going to guess you haven’t used google map overlays. That’s OK.
We have, and they are very helpful.
In fact, openCPN, with google overlays is used by quite a few cruisers in the South Pacific, where charts have questionable accuracy. Some charts are 1/2 nautical mile off.

~~~⛵️~~~Matt

On Oct 3, 2020, at 11:09 AM, Gerhard Mueller via groups.io <carcode@...> wrote:

Matt
Not anybody is able to read tea leaves. I cannot and so I better use a depth sensor...
--
Gerhard Mueller
Amel Sharki #60
Currently Kalamata, Greece


Germain Jean-Pierre
 

Hello James,

I’d like to add some ideas about OpenCPN... I use it for plotting long trips and it’s functionality is very good.  IMO, it is an essential backup tool to your other navigation system.  It has also become useable on Apple computers in the last few years.  

For external GPS support, I chose GPS/GLONASS U-BLOX 7 available for GBP 7-8 on eBay.  Got 3 ... just in case... and they all work from the Nav station.  It is a reliable friend with ok charts.  Navionics with their incorporated Sonar charts are better.

In Fiji, I doubt any amount of concentration will keep you from touching bommies at some point; but if you navigate slowly, our boats help us stay safe.  Enjoy!

Jean-Pierre Germain, Eleuthera, SM007, Opua, NZ


On 3 Oct 2020, at 22:54, James Alton via groups.io <lokiyawl2@...> wrote:

Ken,

   Thanks for the response.  To me a good Depthsounder has always been very important and I will usually leave  one on even while we are anchored as additional confirmation that all is well when doing the nightly anchor checks.  Sueno currently has two Depthsounders and I am really glad to have a backup of this instrument.  FLS will actually give me another backup.   We also carry a depthstick for checking channels and or some anchorages by dinghy when the situation dictates though maybe there is a better way using modern tools to handle these mini surveys.  With good conditions and water clarity such as in the Bahamas, I think that it is pretty hard to beat having a good lookout when navigating in shallowish water so under those conditions my eyes are not normally looking at an instrument very often.  The FLS concept really appeals to me for those times when there are issues with water clarity, sun angle etc.  and chart data is iffy or even non-existent.  

   I have been reading about OpenCPN and it’s functionality with Google overlays etc. but I have not used it so far.  I agree, dedicated chart plotters are expensive but they can have super bright daylight viewable screens, can be really waterproof etc.   I currently have a B&G Zeus3 plotter,  a smaller back up plotter,  1 tablet, (want to add a back up tablet).  Also a weatherproof, daylight viewable ToughBook laptop with built in GPS that I intend to use for OpenCPN.  Can you comment on how much data storage is sufficient given the storage of the Google map data and full time cruising?  

    The idea of using AIS information from other vessels to plot a path on a chart into a channel or anchorage is new to me and I appreciate you mentioning this option.  That does sound like a very useful tool!  So if I understand correctly, you can ask OpenCPN to plot the track of an AIS target on a chart just as it can plot your own GPS track?   I agree to the concept of having many tools to keep our boats in safe water and especially for those times that I am literally running blind, FLS sounds very appealing.  I will try the 5 meter setting of the alarm as you suggested and consider the value of a pretty constant alarm to remind me to dedicate attention to the FLS.  Constant alarms can certainly be annoying to me so we will see!  

 Thanks for the helpful input,

James Alton
SV Sueno
Maramu #220

   

   
On Oct 3, 2020, at 1:39 AM, Ken Powers SV Aquarius <ken@...> wrote:

Hello James,

As Danny wrote in his comment above, the FLS is not the only thing used to provide information about the dangers in front of you.  Good maps, eyes on the bow, are also helpful.  But, good maps are not good everywhere, and eyes on the bow get tired.   I have also noticed that many US sailors don't know about OpenCPN.  Download OpenCPN for your computer, connect to a GPS device, and you have a back up chart plotter ..... FOR FREE.  Get the maps from your sailing friends.... I also download all the Google overlays for areas and add to my map folders in OpenCPN before I take off.  This gives me one more input to keep Aquarius from touching anything.   Another thing about OpenCPN.....  You can connect to a Vesper 8000 AIS over WIFI, and now if you're going into a tight place and other boats are in front of you, you can plot their path.  I used this method in Fiji, and Malaysia entering marinas.  I didn't know the exact path in so I just plotted the path of a few larger boats going in and out and just followed their path.  This also helps in shipping lanes you can see which boat are moving and where they're going.  All for free.  If you have two computers loaded with OpenCPN, 2 Pads with charts, and 2 Smart Phones with Charts,  spending money on the standard chart plotter might be a waste of money?

For the question.  I set the alarm on the Echo Pilot for 5 meters.  And though it's annoying, it works.  If I am entering a marina, and it's 4 meters deep for a 100m the alarm will constantly beep.  Someone might say, "turn it off", but it's my reminder to keep my scan going.  The scan is just like flying a plane, you're constantly looking for an display/device/person that may not giving you correct information.  And, another good thing about having a FLS.  Most of us are carrying spares if something goes wrong.  How important is your depth sounder?  I would say VERY.  But, many of the SM's are getting older, and everything is not always working 100%.  If your depth sounder goes out, it's really nice to have a back up...  And the FLS is also my backup depth sounder... 

My 2cents, as someone else on this channel would say.  

Ken
Aquarius
SM2K#262
Aquarius is currently in Thailand getting her mani-pedi.


Porter McRoberts
 

We’re a Mac family. To download google map or bing map overlays, previously we needed a windows machine for creation of Kap files. Ge2kap I believe was the “program.”  Www.Venturefurther.com allows creation of kap files for Mac users.  FYI for others. Does anyone know of any additional methods for Mac only folks?  
And what a help opencpn and the google maps have been!
Thanks

Porter
Porter McRoberts 
S/V IBIS A54-152
WhatsApp:+1 754 265 2206
Www.fouribis.net

On Oct 3, 2020, at 6:09 AM, Germain Jean-Pierre <jp.germain45@...> wrote:

Hello James,

I’d like to add some ideas about OpenCPN... I use it for plotting long trips and it’s functionality is very good.  IMO, it is an essential backup tool to your other navigation system.  It has also become useable on Apple computers in the last few years.  

For external GPS support, I chose GPS/GLONASS U-BLOX 7 available for GBP 7-8 on eBay.  Got 3 ... just in case... and they all work from the Nav station.  It is a reliable friend with ok charts.  Navionics with their incorporated Sonar charts are better.

In Fiji, I doubt any amount of concentration will keep you from touching bommies at some point; but if you navigate slowly, our boats help us stay safe.  Enjoy!

Jean-Pierre Germain, Eleuthera, SM007, Opua, NZ


On 3 Oct 2020, at 22:54, James Alton via groups.io <lokiyawl2@...> wrote:

Ken,

   Thanks for the response.  To me a good Depthsounder has always been very important and I will usually leave  one on even while we are anchored as additional confirmation that all is well when doing the nightly anchor checks.  Sueno currently has two Depthsounders and I am really glad to have a backup of this instrument.  FLS will actually give me another backup.   We also carry a depthstick for checking channels and or some anchorages by dinghy when the situation dictates though maybe there is a better way using modern tools to handle these mini surveys.  With good conditions and water clarity such as in the Bahamas, I think that it is pretty hard to beat having a good lookout when navigating in shallowish water so under those conditions my eyes are not normally looking at an instrument very often.  The FLS concept really appeals to me for those times when there are issues with water clarity, sun angle etc.  and chart data is iffy or even non-existent.  

   I have been reading about OpenCPN and it’s functionality with Google overlays etc. but I have not used it so far.  I agree, dedicated chart plotters are expensive but they can have super bright daylight viewable screens, can be really waterproof etc.   I currently have a B&G Zeus3 plotter,  a smaller back up plotter,  1 tablet, (want to add a back up tablet).  Also a weatherproof, daylight viewable ToughBook laptop with built in GPS that I intend to use for OpenCPN.  Can you comment on how much data storage is sufficient given the storage of the Google map data and full time cruising?  

    The idea of using AIS information from other vessels to plot a path on a chart into a channel or anchorage is new to me and I appreciate you mentioning this option.  That does sound like a very useful tool!  So if I understand correctly, you can ask OpenCPN to plot the track of an AIS target on a chart just as it can plot your own GPS track?   I agree to the concept of having many tools to keep our boats in safe water and especially for those times that I am literally running blind, FLS sounds very appealing.  I will try the 5 meter setting of the alarm as you suggested and consider the value of a pretty constant alarm to remind me to dedicate attention to the FLS.  Constant alarms can certainly be annoying to me so we will see!  

 Thanks for the helpful input,

James Alton
SV Sueno
Maramu #220

   

   
On Oct 3, 2020, at 1:39 AM, Ken Powers SV Aquarius <ken@...> wrote:

Hello James,

As Danny wrote in his comment above, the FLS is not the only thing used to provide information about the dangers in front of you.  Good maps, eyes on the bow, are also helpful.  But, good maps are not good everywhere, and eyes on the bow get tired.   I have also noticed that many US sailors don't know about OpenCPN.  Download OpenCPN for your computer, connect to a GPS device, and you have a back up chart plotter ..... FOR FREE.  Get the maps from your sailing friends.... I also download all the Google overlays for areas and add to my map folders in OpenCPN before I take off.  This gives me one more input to keep Aquarius from touching anything.   Another thing about OpenCPN.....  You can connect to a Vesper 8000 AIS over WIFI, and now if you're going into a tight place and other boats are in front of you, you can plot their path.  I used this method in Fiji, and Malaysia entering marinas.  I didn't know the exact path in so I just plotted the path of a few larger boats going in and out and just followed their path.  This also helps in shipping lanes you can see which boat are moving and where they're going.  All for free.  If you have two computers loaded with OpenCPN, 2 Pads with charts, and 2 Smart Phones with Charts,  spending money on the standard chart plotter might be a waste of money?

For the question.  I set the alarm on the Echo Pilot for 5 meters.  And though it's annoying, it works.  If I am entering a marina, and it's 4 meters deep for a 100m the alarm will constantly beep.  Someone might say, "turn it off", but it's my reminder to keep my scan going.  The scan is just like flying a plane, you're constantly looking for an display/device/person that may not giving you correct information.  And, another good thing about having a FLS.  Most of us are carrying spares if something goes wrong.  How important is your depth sounder?  I would say VERY.  But, many of the SM's are getting older, and everything is not always working 100%.  If your depth sounder goes out, it's really nice to have a back up...  And the FLS is also my backup depth sounder... 

My 2cents, as someone else on this channel would say.  

Ken
Aquarius
SM2K#262
Aquarius is currently in Thailand getting her mani-pedi.