How far from land before your offshore vs coastal sailing?

Whaup367

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OK, so this must be a stupid question... :)

How do you get tidal predictions into your electronic planning?

eg I referenced in another thread a potential MoK passage over the Easter w/e. From comments like @RupertW's above, I'm assuming I'm missing something b****y obvious! This isn't even a complex cross-tide passage, AIUI, unless heading for Port Ellen and needing to factor it in to set a heading... just a simple tidal gate timing to depart and arrive in daylight.
 

Supertramp

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You can get some info in Navionics via the tide flow symbols looking forwards. And I use Absolute tides instead of Reeds for times.

The plan on paper comment from me was about assembling the key points about distances, tidal gates and flow directions, weather forecast, pilot guide notes and even drawing out a rough course plan on paper (or tracing paper). While it's all available electronically, I find the act of writing it down helps me consider what the possible hazards, complications and adjustments might be. Especially the impact of tide flows and timings. Not all of the details and pitfalls are covered in pilot guides It makes for a less stressful passage if you know the time window of favourable tide at key points on route, and particular hazards like overfalls in certain wind/tide conditions.

I don't do it in that detail for "routine" passages because you learn what the key points to check are. It helps for long trips in new areas. And it can change or adjust the plan from the obvious one provided by electronics.
 

dunedin

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OK, so this must be a stupid question... :)

How do you get tidal predictions into your electronic planning?

eg I referenced in another thread a potential MoK passage over the Easter w/e. From comments like @RupertW's above, I'm assuming I'm missing something b****y obvious! This isn't even a complex cross-tide passage, AIUI, unless heading for Port Ellen and needing to factor it in to set a heading... just a simple tidal gate timing to depart and arrive in daylight.
You really don't need to - or I would suggest want to - delegate the tidal planning for a passage round the Mull of Kintyre to an electronic route planning tool.

All you need are the HW times for Greenock - or Campbeltown if you prefer - both available on EasyTides app, or tide tables of preference.
Then refer to one or both of
- Clyde Cruising Club Sailing Directions - for timings and tidal flow diagrams; and / or
- Campbeltown Sailing Club guidance - Rounding the Mull of Kintyre or Heading for N.Ireland – Campbeltown Sailing Club

It ain't rocket science, and you can work out now the dates when the tides are likely to be suitable and when unsuitable (if want to do first rounding and arrive Gigha or Islay in daylight) based upon recommended departure times. Just takes 5 minutes. As noted previously tends to be better on alternate weeks.
Then it is wait till nearer the time and see if the weather gods are favourable.
Reading the CCC and CSC in detail is much more useful than plugging stuff into Navionics or similar for a theoretical route.

PS There ain't that many UKHO tidal diamonds around, which is all that most route planning tools can use. But these are not detailed enough for the MoK tides. The CCC tidal flow diagrams much better. And I have some access to more detailed tide planning software - but my experience is that the Scottish tides don't always bother to adhere to theoretical models (wind, pressure etc, or perhaps fickle spirits, can change substantially in practice)
 

RupertW

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Maybe you haven't done any sailing in the Irish Sea around Isle of Man? Boats with small engines may not be able to stem spring tides in some areas and calcs much easier and most likely more accurate on chart.
Not the Irish Sea but North Brittany and West Brittany in a 24 footer means plenty of fast tides and tidal gates that seem much easier to me when I stopped paper planning after many years and started using an app.
 

Daydream believer

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Not the Irish Sea but North Brittany and West Brittany in a 24 footer means plenty of fast tides and tidal gates that seem much easier to me when I stopped paper planning after many years and started using an app.
It is in those areas that I definately revert to paper & have all the tides plotted on my paper sheets so I can work out best departure/arrival times & target times. Once written up, they last for several trips because I photo copy them & I only need HW Dover. Having sailed the course I then write the results in my notes . ie best time to leave a particular port relative to HW Dover.
Being, what my wife calls a "control freak" I like to know, when I am going, where I am going, where & am at any particular time & finally, what the hell I am doing :unsure:
If the route is down to some chart plotter that may well fail me - as they have on more than one occassion- I cannot feel safe. One can always use one as backup.
Besides, knowing what one is doing, allows one to make mental decisions "on the hoof" in an emergency.
That, to me is important in all walks of life.
 
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Whaup367

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Thanks, @dunedin ... that's pretty much what I'd concluded so far, particularly with the lack of detail.

Comments about it being easier on a tablet were leaving me thinking I was missing something but in my limited experience the lack of contextual information and limited display capabilities of the electronic tools available make them substantially poorer than the "old skool" alternatives.

QQ- do the regional tide atlases provide more detail than the ones in Reeds? Assuming so, does one need NP222 as well as NP218?

Thanks.
 

dunedin

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Thanks, @dunedin ... that's pretty much what I'd concluded so far, particularly with the lack of detail.

Comments about it being easier on a tablet were leaving me thinking I was missing something but in my limited experience the lack of contextual information and limited display capabilities of the electronic tools available make them substantially poorer than the "old skool" alternatives.

QQ- do the regional tide atlases provide more detail than the ones in Reeds? Assuming so, does one need NP222 as well as NP218?

Thanks.
Unfortunately I don’t carry Reeds so no idea what tidal flow information it has. But you NEED to carry the CCC Sailing Directions for Mull of Kintyre to Ardnamurchan, which does have a series of tidal flows for Mull of Kintyre area.
These look similar to the Admiralty tide table books, but my copies are on board so can’t be sure. Buying the Admiralty books on eBay, like I did, is useful anyway.

The bit about “easier on a tablet” is clearly a matter largely of personal preference, and to a degree the complexity of the sailing waters. As an ex-IT professional I use tablets a lot (particularly for Antares Charts), and indeed typing this now on an iPad. BUT in rocky waters isolated rocks are very difficult to spot on Navionics et al, Not perhaps an issue in the Solent etc, but a real issue in Scottish and Scandinavian waters, Hence I like to check my planned route on a paper chart, putting rings round isolated dangers in red pen. Underway I use plotter and/or tablet, but have paper handy to remind and recheck if divert to new destination.
 

RupertW

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It is in those areas that I definately revert to paper & have all the tides plotted on my paper sheets so I can work out best departure/arrival times & target times. Once written up, they last for several trips because I photo copy them & I only need HW Dover. Having sailed the course I then write the results in my notes . ie best time to leave a particular port relative to HW Dover.
Being, what my wife calls a "control freak" I like to know, when I am going, where I am going, where & am at any particular time & finally, what the hell I am doing :unsure:
If the route is down to some chart plotter that may well fail me - as they have on more than one occassion- I cannot feel safe. One can always use one as backup.
Besides, knowing what one is doing, allows one to make mental decisions "on the hoof" in an emergency.
That, to me is important in all walks of life.
I still use a paper log and put a lot of that sort of info in it pre-passage.

I’m not bothered by the possibility of my iPad app breaking as I tend to have paper charts around still for the passages as a fall back and we must have at least 5 different devices on board capable of a GPS position, with 2 of them having the Navionics app. If GPS itself failed for that world region then for most of our passages that would be only a mild inconvenience as we have sailed for many years now in non-foggy places, although I really wouldn‘t like to go back to pre-GPS 100 mile plus cross-tide passages in misty or foggy conditions.
 

Whaup367

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Unfortunately I don’t carry Reeds so no idea what tidal flow information it has. But you NEED to carry the CCC Sailing Directions for Mull of Kintyre to Ardnamurchan, which does have a series of tidal flows for Mull of Kintyre area.
These look similar to the Admiralty tide table books, but my copies are on board so can’t be sure.

I've ended up with two copies of the Clyde directions, so one at home & one on the boat: your timely reminder to review the stream excerpts highlights that they are from NP222... and I'm pretty sure there's more detail there than in Reeds (boat only, atm).

Buying the Admiralty books on eBay, like I did, is useful anyway.

Good idea, thanks: I'll set up a search! :)

...and If anyone has a copy of NP218 they no longer need, please drop me a note!
 

DownWest

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I see that this has drifted of the origional question, but 'Offshore' to me is out of sight of land, so one needs to navigate by other than sight lines. Now it is all GPS based, but when I did it, lottsa guess work and dead reconing. Dragging myself up to date, (not quite.. )I have a Yeoman , but not often out of sight now.
 

RupertW

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I see that this has drifted of the origional question, but 'Offshore' to me is out of sight of land, so one needs to navigate by other than sight lines. Now it is all GPS based, but when I did it, lottsa guess work and dead reconing. Dragging myself up to date, (not quite.. )I have a Yeoman , but not often out of sight now.
I got a boat with one of those in 2004 - it sat in my loft for 12 years and I tried once or twice to give it away on here.
 

geem

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That’s just 100m offshore in some of the place I sail including in the Med. I think out of sight of land is the best working definition, but 60nm from the nearest point of refuge is pretty good too.
Where you can't see land, but best when you cross the continental shelf.
When we were sailing off the South Coast of Cuba, it was 2km deep just 4nm off the coast.
I tend to think of offshore as something like a Biscay crossing or European mainland to Madeira or the Canaries. Anything else is just coastal
 

Daydream believer

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When we were sailing off the South Coast of Cuba, it was 2km deep just 4nm off the coast.
I tend to think of offshore as something like a Biscay crossing or European mainland to Madeira or the Canaries. Anything else is just coastal
Parts of the Thames estuary you can be out of sight of land & you can get out & go for a paddle 🤣
 
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