Wednesday, January 17, 2018

London Boat Show: Navigation Tips with Stokey Woodall

My chat with Conrad Humphreys touched on navigation techniques but later there was to be a whole talk about it from Pete "Stokey" Woodall (above).

I'd seen him at a previous London Boat Show when he'd described the star clock (below) for which the answer was not 42 but 41.5. I'd even gone off and done a bit of maths to work out that it was really 41.58 which I guess is close enough.

It was a very entertaining talk, including such gems as rolling up a chart into a cone and using it to locate fog-horn directions to within a few degrees (apparently that really works). Also a metal frying pan can be used to shield an AM radio so that the direction of the transmitter can be identified from the two possible directions 180 degrees apart.

There was also some more celestial navigation tips based upon one of the stars in Orion, Mintaka, that rises or sets due East / West:

Fun and informative!


Anonymous said...

The fog horn thing I definitely get. But does the AM radio trick work? We should know, right?!

JP said...

It makes sense given its AM as the signal strength should be lower if there is a clutter loss between tx and receiver and hence it would be audible.

The attenuation loss for a metal frying pan would benefit from further study, potentially with measurements ;)