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Arriving at a Waypoint

Old 02-21-2015, 03:41 PM
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Default Arriving at a Waypoint

So, I motor along 10kms (in open blue water) to my set waypoint with my outboard.

I come within 100m of my waypoint and slow down.

what is the best and most effective method to arrive at this waypoint and remain there?

I have the ipilot MK electric motor on the bow and I try to use this but, i cannot reach this waypoint exactly (even within 5-10m) because of the current, waves and just trying to steer the boat with all it's jerkiness.

I do not have the hummingbird link setup but i do have the HDS12T.

Help?

Thermocline
Old 02-21-2015, 06:23 PM
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how do you guys do this?
Old 02-21-2015, 06:34 PM
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I fish offshore, so might not apply in your situation. But I run right over the spot to see what I mark, then make a turn to what I think is downstream then make a circle. When I get to what I think it is upstream of the mark I stop and drift. At times I get the drift perfect the first try and go right over the spot, at other times I miss. But I get a drift line one the gps then can motor up and set up perfect for a drift right over the spot.
Old 02-21-2015, 06:58 PM
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offshore: run over the mark and assess tide / current and determine if i'm going to anchor or motor fish.

inshore: run over the mark and hit the remote on my mind kota trolling motor. it does a really good job of keeping me on a spot so long as it's calm / little wind. On my next offshore boat i hope to have the skyhook system.
Old 02-21-2015, 07:15 PM
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thanks guys.

when in open bay fishing, i find approaching the waypoint with the MK is hard, because the boat ends up moving sideways, etc with waves and/or tidal flow, i then readjust the MK with turn left or right and the attack line line is all messed up. I then overshoot the mark and need to try again. Frustrating...

Any tips on working with the MK in open bay work for this application to try and accurately approach the waypoint without messing up the line of attack approach?
Old 02-21-2015, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Thermocline View Post
thanks guys.

when in open bay fishing, i find approaching the waypoint with the MK is hard, because the boat ends up moving sideways, etc with waves and/or tidal flow, i then readjust the MK with turn left or right and the attack line line is all messed up. I then overshoot the mark and need to try again. Frustrating...

Any tips on working with the MK in open bay work for this application to try and accurately approach the waypoint without messing up the line of attack approach?
i find my MK on my bay boat takes a few passes to get locked up on the spot. wind and tied play a role. usually after 3-4 passes it hooks up pretty well. I use it only on bait spots and usually next to a buoy. It works well and after a few minutes locks in just fine.
Old 02-21-2015, 07:38 PM
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I pull up to the way point and observe my drift off the waypoint. Look at my heading back to the waypoint and deploy my trolling motor work my way back into the current and wind if both are effecting my boat. The ipilot always seems to be off by about 5 to 10 ft for me too. So as I creep up on the heading from my gps I go slightly past the spot and then hit spot lock. Some times I have a few tries to get it right but found this works the best also best way to anchor as well. Just have to go past much further to get the anchor to hang. Just remember to stay on the same heading past the waypoint as your drift of it that's the important part and don't drop lines till you are satisfied with your position.
Old 02-21-2015, 08:11 PM
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thanks - how do you get the MK to stay straight as you closely approach the waypoint? when i observe the gps tracking, the arrow representing the boat on the screen also tends to skew off the straight line of approach...?
Old 02-22-2015, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Thermocline View Post
thanks - how do you get the MK to stay straight as you closely approach the waypoint? when i observe the gps tracking, the arrow representing the boat on the screen also tends to skew off the straight line of approach...?
I use my boat to dive shipwrecks and we grapple the wrecks from the boat,being directly over the wreck is essential. If I am reading your post correctly, what I think you are saying is the data on your plotter gets a little goofy as you get next to your waypoint. I would describe it as a GPS cone of confusion, as the plotter attempts to update position while being essentially on top of the target.

What you may find helpful in dealing with this is to note what the heading is on your wet compass when you are still a couple of hundred feet out from the fix and hold that heading over the waypoint even if conflicts a bit with your plotter.

I am assuming you are looking for some sort of structure on the bottom? If you do not like what you see on the 1st pass, rather then turning circles around the fix, I find heading away for a few hundred feet and then making a 180 back to the fix works best. This allows enough distance to get the boat on a straight course giving both the GPS and the wet compass a chance to settle down on a new course to the waypoint. This works a whole lot better then attempting to circle around the fix with all your navigational gear playing catch up and your bottom machine having to see through all the cavitation of your own wake.

Matching up bottom structure with GPS Coordinates, depending upon size of your target and the wind,sea and current state can be challenging and to be competent at it takes practice.

Finding a big reef, no problem but a 50 foot tug boat even with accurate #s, can take a bit of time and the more you practice the better you get.

I think you will find incorporation of your wet compass heading into the process when in close to the fix will help.

When I am searching for a target, I find the slowest speed that the boat can be controlled at to over come wind and current works best. I also try not to make any speed corrections as I get in close to the fix as it tends to disrupt the course that I am trying to hold very steady and the speed changes can also produce images on the bottom machine that could be mistaken for changes in bottom structure.

Hold her steady that last 100 feet or so or for you metric types 30 meters....

Last edited by Mpellet; 02-22-2015 at 05:36 AM.
Old 02-22-2015, 06:15 AM
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Mpellet is spot on with a ton of good advice. Being able to get exactly on a spot is absolutely key, and anchoring on top of the right place on that spot is vital. It takes practice, patience and learning the drift of the day.

I use a marker bouy a visual reference to me is extremely important. Nothing fancy, I carry a few milk jugs that I wrap heavy mono around and tie a weight on the end of the line. I fish mostly in the Gulf of Mexico so I carry a 50' , 100' and 150' pre-rigged jugs with me.

As I approach a spot I try to line up into where I think the current is and follow a compas track through the mark watching my depth finder for the structure I am looking for. If see the structure I toss the bouy. I will then come back around a drift back past the bouy to verify the direction and most importantly look at where the fish are in relevance to the structure. That way when I anchor I know where I want to come to rest relative to the buoy and structure.

Like I said it takes practice, but it is not too hard.

Bo

Last edited by woodytoofl; 02-22-2015 at 06:35 AM.
Old 02-22-2015, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by woodytoofl View Post

I use a marker bouy a visual reference to me is extremely important. Nothing fancy, I carry a few milk jugs that I wrap heavy mono around and tie a weight on the end of the line. I fish mostly in the Gulf of Mexico so I carry a 50' , 100' and 150' pre-rigged jugs with me.
Bo,

I am too lazy to have to retrieve yet another piece of gear so I do not drop a buoy all the time but I have seen the technique you mention above used with excellent results by others and done it myself on occasion. A couple of years ago ,while looking for a very small tug boat with #s that were off a bit, on a hot day and becoming increasingly frustrated, I rigged up a buoy and deployed it. The buoy was extremely helpful in maintaining orientation and marking drift. We eventually located and hooked the small chunk of wreck I was wanting to dive and the buoy was key...

PS: I approve of your choice in boats......
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Old 02-22-2015, 07:00 AM
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Zoom in set your GPS to course up. Lastly if your gps is an older model get a newer machine that updates much faster. But all the gps machines will drift a little when running slower or if current is pushing you different ways. Practice makes perfect. ..
Old 02-22-2015, 07:26 AM
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I find it maddening to maintain a spot with course up. North up seems to help me orient everything. I hate for the picture to spin when I am over or near to the mark.
Old 02-22-2015, 11:14 AM
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thanks guys - you describe exactly my pain. some great pointers to consider.

Mpellet - what do you mean "heading on a compass"?
Old 02-22-2015, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Thermocline View Post
thanks guys - you describe exactly my pain. some great pointers to consider.

Mpellet - what do you mean "heading on a compass"?
Your chart plotter is giving you course information to get to waypoints and I assume that is what you are steering, in addition to the electronic nav aids on your vessel you have a wet compass, no ??

The magnetic reading on your wet compass will likely not match exactly what your chart plotter is indicating for the course to your waypoint but it will be constant and unlike your GPS, the behavior of the wet compass will not be effected by the proximity to the waypoint you are approaching.

Example: Chart plotter says course to your waypoint is 90 degrees when you are 500 feet from the fix, you look at your wet compass it indicates your boat is currently on 110 Mag Heading, with variations and interference it is not uncommon to have that sort of split.

As you get close to your waypoint, as in under 100 feet, the heading the GPS is calling for to the way point is going to start changing, because you are passing along side the fix. If you start turning hard towards the GPS course, you will likely never reach the waypoint and find yourself turning in never ending circles with the needles flopping around. You will be close but unless you get lucky your not gonna pass directly overhead and your bottom machine is gonna be getting all sorts of cavitation interference.


To avoid this ,when you are a few hundred feet from the waypoint and have your GPS centered with the boat not in a turn, note your heading on the wet compass and when you get close to the fix do not turn hard on the GPS course, stay on the wet compass heading as the boat moves SLOWLY to and hopefully OVER the way point.

The key to all of this is get on as stable of a course as possible when you are still a few hundred feet out and make minimal, smooth heading changes. You will find if done correctly your GPS will also stay on track.

Increased sea state, current and winds all make this more challenging.

SLOW & Steady is paramount with minimal speed and course corrections.

When I am in close to the waypoint, I travel at the slowest speed allowed to maintain steerage against current and wind.

I have literally spent HOURS trying to hook a shipwreck that did not wanna be hooked. It can be both time consuming and AGGRAVATING but practice, patience & persistence is the key.
Old 02-22-2015, 11:22 PM
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WOW - thanks for that.

I do not have a wet compass - perhaps i should install one.

You have all given me a lot of pointers to master this activity.

I guess the i-link setup with the hummingbird sounded woudl have been the thing to get - instead on my HDS12T.....:-(

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