sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Carry this sailing navigation super tool for safety!
Carry this sailing navigation super tool for safety!


'Choose a navigation protractor that you find easy and intuitive to use for drawing courses or plotting bearings. I believe nothing tops the Weem’s plotter (lower plotting protractor) for simplicity, speed, accuracy, and practical sailing navigation in all sailing weather.'    Captain John Jamieson

In my mind, nothing beats simple and fast when it comes to plotting on a small sailboat. After all, you are short handed, on a heel, and want to spend minimum time in the cabin (if that's where you are plotting).

Enter the tool I use and have used for over two decades. And it comes not from the marine world--but that of the aviation world. I wouldn't sail without one or two aboard. Read on to discover this 'gotta-have-it' navigation magic tool!

I navigated big ships and small boats in the US Coast Guard in the days before push-button navigation. And navigation was anything but a relaxed environment as it often will be when sailing. Fixes in inland piloting waters were taken and plotted every one to three minutes, set and drift of current determined at each fix, course and speed to maintain track computed, and a recommendation given to the conning officer for new course, time to turn to next course, and so forth.

With ships drawing 12 to 17 feet (draft), there's not a lot of room for error. We needed fast, accurate, 'works-every-time' tools. You may have read my recommendation to use a drafting compass (also called a 'plotting compass') for most practical chart work in navigation. Matter of fact, I rarely ever use dividers except in the planning stages of a trip.

The same goes for parallel rules. I believe they are a challenge to use on any but the most stable of platforms. Take a bit of roll or pitch and they will often slip and slide, which can result in navigation errors of several degrees.

Line up the center crosshair (red arrow) with any vertical line or meridian on your nautical chart. Read the course or bearing direction where the vertical line intersects the half-circle. Take care to note the direction you want to travel (two directions are shown). -  Captain John Jamieson  
Do I use parallel rules? You bet--they make a great planning tool (before you depart), serve as a good straight edge, and are a superb backup tool in case your other tools break or fail. But they will never be my primary plotting tool.

Enter the Weem's plotter. This tool was first used by aircraft navigators. The Weems looks like a clear rectangular shaped protractor with a small bar on rollers attached to the bottom. The wheels enable you to roll the protractor across any flat surface.

An engraved half circle with a cross-hair has been placed in the center. Degrees on the outside of the half circle are for directions from north through east to south.

Degrees on the inside of the half circle are for directions from south through west and back up to north. Quarter circles are engraved at each end to use with parallels of latitude if desired (rarely used, but nice to have).

The top edge has convenient distance scales that can be used on three common coastal and harbor chart scales : 1:80,000; 1:40,000 and 1:20,000.

Follow these easy steps along with the illustrations to learn how to use the Weems plotter. Five minutes of practice and you will be a pro with this super navigation tool for sailing!

1. Draw the course line with the Weems onto your nautical chart. Or, you can skip this step if you want to plot a specific pre-determined course or bearing (illustrations). Go to step 2.

2. Roll the Weems over to any convenient vertical line nearby (use a meridian of longitude or other vertical line).

3. Line up the center cross-hair of the half circle with the line.

4. Read the direction where the vertical line crosses the half circle. Notice that each direction will be a reciprocal of the other. Take care to read the direction you are going.

Look at the illustrations and note that the vertical line intersects the Weem's half circle at 110° and 290° (the reciprocal). If you are sailing to the southeast your course will be 110°. If you are sailing to the northwest your course will be 290°. Use this same logic when taking bearings to prominent objects ashore or afloat.

5. You can also use the Weems plotter to determine the direction of a pre-plotted course line. Lay one part of the straight edge along the line. Slide the Weems over to any convenient vertical line. Read the instrument as described in the steps above.

How to Use the Weems Plotter with a Compass Rose
You may prefer to continue to use compass roses. Use the Weems and you will slice 50% or more off your plotting time compared to parallel rules. Line up the long edge of your Weems with a plotted course line. Slide the Weems over to the closest compass rose. Read the direction indicated on the compass rose (use the same cautions described earlier to be sure you read the correct direction).

Or, to start with the compass rose and find direction, line up the straight edge of the Weems with the center cross hair on the compass rose. Read the direction on the compass rose. Roll the Weems over to the departure point, draw the new course line and label with the direction.

What are the drawbacks?
The Weems was not built in a robust fashion. The plastic protractor part may seem a bit flimsy. And, you want to store it out of direct sunlight to prevent warping. I made a simple case for mine out of scrap cardboard. Cut two rectangular pieces two inches larger than the instrument all around. Use packing or wrapping tape on the long edges and one short edge. You can now insert the Weems into the case to protect it when packing for a trip or aboard your boat.

Boost your sailing navigation accuracy with the power of the Weems plotting protractor. This will give you the confidence to navigate your small sailboat faster and easier--wherever in the world you choose to sail or cruise!

John Jamieson (Captain John) with 25+ years of experience shows you the no-nonsense cruising skills you need for safer sailing worldwide. Visit his website at website! Sign up for the Free, highly
popular weekly 'Captain John's Sailing Tip-of-the-Week'. Discover how you can gain instant access to hundreds of sailing articles, videos, and e-Books!


by John Jamieson

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=111609

12:59 PM Fri 5 Jul 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World

Little Traverse Yacht Club (Harbor Springs, Michigan) won the Yacht Club Challenge in the 106th Running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. ... [more]  

Bidding is now open in the auction to join the Volvo Ocean Race as a part of Team Alvimedica and support heart charities around the world! Team Alvimedica supporters have the unique chance to bid on two experiences that will take place at each stopover throughout the race. ... [more]  

AWT Severne Starboard Aloha Classic 2014 - The day started early with a traditional Hawaiian blessing, welcoming everyone to the beach and setting the wheels in motion for a fantastic contest. As the ceremony continued the wind started to blow and straight after the skipper's meeting it was straight on with the pro men competition. ... [more]  

Want to see 40 great sailing champions in action in stunning Nassau in the Bahamas? The Star Sailors League, an emerging international circuit, is offering the chance to win a four-day holiday for two people with accommodation at the luxury Atlantis resort and water park. ... [more]  

The seventh edition of the St Barth Cata Cup is set to be thrilling. Sixty teams will go head to head aboard the last generation of F18 boats: Hobbie Wild Cat, Nacra Infusion MKII, Cirrus R, Phantom and C2. It is a high-speed, tactical, technical and spectacular discipline! ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - After 19 days of Leg one, the leaders are still within sight of each other, something we don’t think we’ve ever seen at such a stage between Alicante and Cape Town. It’s the ultimate inshore race, staged hundreds of miles offshore. Abu Dhabi, Team Brunel and Team Vestas Wind are locked against each other with Dongfeng Race Team just 17NM further adrift. ... [more]  

The Taiwan 2014 Kitesurfing Open & Green Tourism Miaoli proved to be an interesting event for the Kiteboard Tour Asia (KTA) to get involved with at the Longfong Fish Harbour beach front in Jhunan. As the KTA had been wanting for some time to bring an event to the renowned high wind shores of Taiwan, which is famous for its windy conditions 300 days a year. ... [more]  

Best possible conditions are expected when 2014 World Championships in ISAF-class Kona One is about to start in Islamorada, Florida on Saturday, November 1. A total of 115 sailors from five continents will line up making it the largest Kona event ever. The outcome is very open with a number of high-profiled sailors with multiple international championship wins in different windsurfing classes. ... [more]  

2015 U.S. Youth Sailing Championships - The dates for the 2015 U.S. Youth Championships, hosted by Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead, Mass., have been changed to July 6-10 from the traditional second week in August ... [more]  

'It is no less important to the Commodore as air or water,' said Staff Commodore of the San Diego Yacht Club Chuck Nichols. The Lipton Cup is arguably one of the most iconic regattas in the sailing community. This three-day regatta is an invitation-only event where the best sailors from around the country compete to represent their yacht clubs. ... [more]  

Year in and year out, the U.S. Disabled Championships is one of the most fascinating sailing events in the world. A strong collection of the top sailors in the country are in Galveston, Texas preparing for this week’s three-day championship, which begins Thursday, October 30 and concludes Saturday, November 1. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas back-slams both race leaders *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
The Chris Nicholson skippered Team Vestas Wind, has made a big gain in the last 12 hours in the Volvo Ocean Race, and is now positioned between the two lead boats. The Danish flagged entry had been positioned to the west of the leaders, who were in the fringe of the St Helena High. ... [more]  

Last night all the American Windsurfing Tour riders, and some of the top PWA sailors, enjoyed a fantastic opening party and registration for the Aloha Classic at Adventure Sports Maui. Food, drinks, photos and lots of chat was the order of the evening, and this morning all with gather again at 9am for the official opening blessing. ... [more]  

Many know Bill Erkelens as a former rigger, team manager for the Maxi Sayonara and subsequently Campaign manager for Oracle Racing during the IACC efforts and a really good sailor with a solid Rolodex of connections in the yacht racing world. When the opportunity to manage a Volvo team arose, Bill did not hesitate, and in late 2013, the Bay Area Native accepted the roles as COO for Team Alvimedica ... [more]  

Team Alvimedica OBR Amory Ross reports on the crew’s progress in the Volvo Ocean Race. Even in the 'straight-line' sailing that has dominated the last portion of the race, the dynamic of our fleet position has been in a state of constant change. ... [more]  

Team SCA OBR Corinna Halloran reports on day 18 for the crew in the Volvo Ocean Race. We are fighting. We are determined. We are focused. Yes, today was not easy, but we did not allow ourselves to slow down-- we sailed with the conditions given and sailed at 100% performance. ... [more]  

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) published its 2015 Anti-Doping Code on Wednesday (29 October), which will apply to all Member organisations, Paralympic Games and IPC recognised International Federations, from 1 January 2015. ... [more]  

Sailing legend Sir Robin Knox-Johnston hopes to inspire greater French participation in ocean racing through his entry in the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe. 'France is a nation of sailors with excellent role models; legends in their own right,' said Sir Robin. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - The big news of yesterday was the introduction of an ice gate by Race Director Jack Lloyd. Designed to take away the temptation for the teams to dive deep south in the search for better pressure and a better angle to Cape Town. The Ice Gate is placed at 42 deg South between 20W and 10W, seen on the screenshot below. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - Up until now the comment from the boats to the east has been that Team Vestas Wind had made a bad move by digging west. But now, with the high pressure to the east expanding, perhaps Wouter on the Danish boat has read the future a little better and has set his team up for a comeback. ... [more]  

Optimist World Championship 2014 - Six races were made last week and the fleet was divided into Gold, Silver and Bronze. Each fleet has 70 sailors. This first part of this championship had light winds, lot of current and little waves but today it changed completely: The wind gauge marked 23 Knots on the race area, the waves were high and short. ... [more]  

2014 - 15 Volvo Ocean Race - Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing have finally given ground to Team Brunel after almost exactly a week at the head of the fleet but the new leaders’ thin advantage may well be very short-lived as the Volvo Ocean Race Leg 1 turned into a game of hunt-the-breeze. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Ice Gate laid in Southern Ocean on Leg 1 *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Volvo Ocean Race have specified an Ice Gate in the Southern Ocean of which all competitors must stay to the North, or pass on their starboard side. The gate has been set along the line of 42degrees South and runs for 10 degrees of longitude. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - Reality for Team Vestas Wind by Brian Carlin, Team Vestas Wind
The Volvo Ocean Race is an event that you get to watch unfold as something real. What happens on these boats day-to-day, what’s sent, what’s written about, what’s photographed, what’s on video is REAL. When you wake at 3am, it’s dark, really dark. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. Team Alvimedica OBR Amory Ross reports on the crew’s progress. It’s beginning to feel a bit like Groundhog Day onboard! Our straight-line progress south continues without significant change and after 48 hours of port tack bliss we’re still free running in the South Equatorial Current at steady speeds in excess of 20 knots. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. Team SCA OBR Corinna Halloran reports on day 17 for the team as they enter the Southern Ocean. Entering the Southern Ocean and racing to Cape Town is not as easy as sailing a straight line South. Currently, we are heading west in order to catch a Low pressure that spins out of the South. ... [more]  

Jim and Kristy Clark’s newly launched Comanche, a 100-foot supermaxi is aim for the Rolex Sydney to Hobart as her first major outing. The first video is of a training run from Newport, RI to Charleston, SC on Oct 24-26, 2014.The second video is of earlier trials off Newport. ... [more]  

La Torche only produced one day of wind over the nine days for the PWA Grand Slam, but the one day of competition was one to remember as La Torche produced some of the best conditions of the year, for the wave sailors, with 20-30 knot winds and powerful, peeling, clean waves, providing the perfect platform for the world’s most radical sailors to throw themselves skywards. ... [more]  

The 2014 ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year Awards will be held in one week’s time at a glittering awards ceremony in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. After an exciting year of sailing across multiple disciplines of the sport, five male and three female nominees make up the 2014 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year shortlist based on their achievements from 1 September 2013 to 21 September 2014. ... [more]  

Clipper Race - Is this the toughest job on the ocean? by Clipper Round The World Yacht Race
Recruitment is well underway for what could be the toughest job on the ocean: A Clipper Race skipper. We are currently searching for twelve highly skilled sailors for this challenging role and recently took the press out on the water for an insight into the tough three-day trial that all prospective skippers must undertake. ... [more]  

This year’s PIC Insurance Brokers Coastal Classic proved beyond doubt that New Zealand weather can be a fickle beast. After the long-range forecast was read at last Monday’s race clinic, there was an audible groan from competitors at the prospect of a long, slow slog of a race in a light and ever-lightening breeze. ... [more]  

Artemis Racing has announced its seventh Olympic gold medalist with 2008 Laser Olympic Champion Paul Goodison joining the sailing team. Paul brings a wealth of Olympic experience to Artemis Racing, having competed at the 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Games. He is also a former Laser World Champion claiming the 2009 title in Halifax, Canada. ... [more]  

Racing for the GC32 foiling catamarans will be taken to a new level in 2015, when at least seven boats will compete on a five event European circuit, managed by a new organisation with racing run by world class officials. 'Now that we have established the class and it is growing, it is time to bring on additional people with specific areas of expertise,' says Laurent Lenne. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Behind the numbers
Volvo Ocean Race: Front runners open gap for Cape Town *Feature
AWT - PWA Finale 2014: Severne Starboard Aloha Classic - One day to go
2014 International Masters Regatta - Augie Diaz takes the trophy
Volvo Ocean Race - Supreme sailing for Team Alvimedica
Volvo Ocean Race - Team SCA, united by one
A big shift for Pumpkin Pursuit in Richmond
ISAF Annual Conference to take place in Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15: Latest position report: October 27, 1700 UTC
Oakcliff Ocean Racing Team to race RORC Transatlantic Race
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - The search for skippers is on
China Cup Int'l Regatta - Windier weather brings victory for Vanke
Argo Group Gold Cup - Stena Sailing Team wins in Bermuda
GC 32 Foiling Cat Argo sets Mount Gay Rum Around Jamestown Record
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15: Latest position report, October 27, 0630 UTC
2014 RS:X Youth Worlds - Going out with a bang! + Video
2015 Flying Dutchman World Championships - Winners will be Grinners!
RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup - Denmark’s Christian Spodsberg wins
Argo Group Gold Cup 2014 - Berntsson joins sailing’s elite
Sand Flies versus Foiling Moths - Moth World Championship 2015 *Feature
2015 International 14 World Championship - Frasch leads German team   
Ian Williams and GAC Pindar set up an exciting AWMRT finale   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 Leg one – South Atlantic tactics   
Volvo Ocean Race: Steady run to the finish at Cape Town   
18ft Skiffs: Club Championship - Race one   
2014 Optimist World Championship - Race started with a clear day   
2014 - 15 Volvo Ocean Race - Fernando de Noronha   
2014 - 15 Volvo Ocean Race - The longest route   
Argo Group Gold Cup - Semi Final matches set for Sunday   
Argo Group Gold Cup - Light air drama in Bermuda   
Renaissance Re Jr Gold Cup - Searching for breeze on the race course   
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - Radical wave tow-in on day 8   
Rolex Middle Sea Race - 35th edition one to remember + Video   
Volvo Ocean Race - How eight on Team SCA became Shellbacks   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica rounds Fernando de Neronha   
RS:X Youth World Windsurfing Championship - All to play for on day 4   
Rolex Middle Sea Race - Prize giving ceremony in Valetta   
China Cup International Regatta - Dominant start for Dongfeng   
Sailors honored for distinguished service at US Sailing Awards Dinner   
Volvo Ocean Race: Heading for the speedway to Cape Town *Feature   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL VIR US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT