# NavList:

## A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

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Re: Course to steer at a given speed.
From: John Huth
Date: 2012 Nov 29, 17:02 -0500
Lu   -

Yes, I see the point.   I think it's just because leeway is so idiosyncratic - it varies from boat to boat, and depends on wind conditions: direction and speed.   I have one text at home that I think might give data for some classic sailboats, however.   Let me take a look.

Best,

John H.

On Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 1:18 PM, Lu Abel wrote:
Respectfully, I think you've missed my point.

The original problem was figuring out a course-to-steer given a pre-specified set and drift.  It was expanded by someone asking about doing this for leeway (which, as several pointed out, is actually easier to do because it's specified as an angular change from Course to CMG, rather than a separate vector of Set and Drift).

While it's true that there are many ways to determine Set and Drift and/or Leeway while under way, my observation was simply that while every navigation text tells you how to use Leeway in pre-computing a course to steer to make a desired Track, none that I'm aware of give a way of PRE-computing its expected value.

From: Thomas Sult <tsult@me.com>
To: "NavList@fer3.com" <NavList@fer3.com>
Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 1:14 PM

Subject: [NavList] Re: Course to steer at a given speed.

It seems to me that you have really answered you own question. The issue of drift in the deep blue is based on fix vs DR. In costal waters with more varying currents one must use pilotage.  The last fix and DR may have nothing to say about the current conditions. But the current observation of relative Bearing to destination or intermediate object will.

Tom Sult
Sent from my iPhone

On Nov 28, 2012, at 13:02, Lu Abel <luabel@ymail.com> wrote:

Ah, but how does one "calculate leeway" to adjust course?  Every single text I've seen, from Bowditch to something like Sweet's "Weekend Navigator" all assume you know that leeway will be and then simply tell you to subtract or add it to course steered to get CMG (or vice versa).     Leeway depends on one's point of sail -- maximum when close-hauled, non-existent when going downwind.   More important, it also depends on the boat's underwater configuration.   Sailboats are supposed to go straight ahead and not sideways, so I suspect this has been an issue for naval architects ever since they started doing scientific design of boats.

As a long-time navigation instructor, I've always found current calculations a bit like a solution searching for a problem.  While potentially appropriate while well offshore, in coastal waters current will shift with the tide.  So if I do the standard calculation for set and drift based on the difference between my DR and Fix, how is that relevant except as determining an average value over the exact period of time and tidal conditions for the calculation?   If I'm trying to determine course-to-steer (Track) as in Sean's problem, how do I know what value to use for Drift (speed of current) when it's changing minute-by-minute over a current cycle?

Let me make it clear that, as someone with a graduate degree in engineering, vector math (which current calculations are) do not intimidate me, they were part of my education from my freshman year onward.  So my comments above are absolutely not because I can't do the problems, it's just that magic number called Drift that's the problem.   And its cousin Leeway.

Lu

From: Andrew Seligman <captandrew@comcast.net>
To: "NavList@fer3.com" <NavList@fer3.com>
Cc: "NavList@fer3.com" <NavList@fer3.com>
Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 8:18 AM
Subject: [NavList] Re: Course to steer at a given speed.

You need to determine Speed Through the Water to obtain a Course Made Good;  You also have to calculate Leeway and compensate for it.  If the sailboat is on a Starboard Tack, then you Add the Leeway Angle to the boats heading;  Conversely,  if the sailboat is on a Port Tack, you subtract the Leeway Angle from the boats heading.

Andrew F. Seligman
ASA Sailing Instructor

On Nov 28, 2012, at 11:01 AM, "Greg Rudzinski" <gregrudzinski@yahoo.com> wrote:

Sean,
Sailboats do not have the luxury of scheduling :( If you have a sloop then you can point 30* off the apparent wind which complicates making a mark, waypoint, or destination. Then there are tidal currents which in some cases will be resulting in a negative headway. To avoid this a sailor needs to time arrival for slack water or have the tidal current directed toward the destination.
Greg Rudzinski

[NavList] Course to steer at a given speed.
From: Sean C
Date: 28 Nov 2012 04:10
A while back, I was reading the chapter in Bowditch dealing with dead reckoning. I was especially interested in the section dealing with course and speed made good. Well, last night on my lunch break (I work nights), I decided to solve a quick problem I made up:
"If I were on a ship which was 10nm due East of port, with a set of 360° and drift of 3 kts., and I needed to arrive in port in exactly one hour, what course and speed should I use?"
I figured the answer to be 253° ---5 kts. But then I started to wonder: That's all well and good for a vessel under engine power, but what about a sailboat? I know the way to figure course to steer at a given speed, but wouldn't turning a sailboat into the current (as in my example) actually slow the speed through the water enough to change the necessary course to steer? Or is this error so small as to be negligible? Or is there some other way to factor that in?
Regards,
Sean C
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