The Beacon

Volume 29 Number 1 February, 1999

The Official Newsletter of the Saanich Peninsula Squadron


Commander Cdr Helen Louwerse 655-3532
Past Commander P/Cdr Glenn Gallins 656-4904
Executive Officer Lt/Cdr Ken Reeves 655-3602  
Training Officer Lt/Cdr Greg Nutt 656-5684 nutz@
Assistant Training Officer 1st Lt Arthur Scott 656-7010
Training Aids Officer P/Cdr Cliff Cunningham 656-7120
Treasurer 1st Lt Bill Morrow 656-7826
Secretary 1st Lt Paulette Nutt 656-5864
Membership Officer 1st Lt Diana McBratney 656-4590
Supply Officer 1st Lt Gay Miller 656-5190
Editor, Beacon 1st Lt Carol Sidwell 656-4590
Publisher, Beacon 1st Lt Agnes Simpson 652-1291
Communications Officer P/Cdr Stephen Denroche 656-6177
Marep Officer P/R/C Ray Berry 656-2790
Computer Officer 1st Lt Colin Gallins 656-4904
P.R. & Entertainment Officer 1st Lt Cliff Kachaluba 652-2359
Social Cruise Captain 1st Lt Barry Levi 727-8417
Student Cruise Captain 1st Lt Martin Pepper pgr388-1727
Port Captain 1st Lt Hank Louwerse 656-9587
Environment Officer 1st Lt Leslie Head 655-4656
Archivist P/Cdr Giles Perodeau 656-4525
Auditor ***** Brenna Litwack 656-0084
********************** ****** ************** ********** ********************

Meetings of the Bridge will be held on the third Thursday of each month (except in July and December) at 1930 in the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club. All members welcome. Information, advertisement requests and articles for publication in The Beacon are due by those dates.

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Commanders Comments

Happy 1999. My wish list for the new year is still the same as last year - wish volunteers for Bridge positions, proctors and new instructors would call, and I wish I could learn to dock the SeaNote!!

1999 is going to be an active year for our squadron. The student cruise to Otter Bay will be Sunday, February 28th. The Kelowna squadron enjoyed taking part in our last cruise and have decided to join us again. Our new display booth manned by squadron members will be participating at the Sidney Boat Show in April. The Boat Show has proved to be successful in creating interest in our courses and CPS in general. District's AGM is being hosted by Saltspring Island May 7 - 9. This will be a weekend event

with meetings as well as social functions. A great opportunity to spend the weekend on our boats and socialise with other members from our District. Our Annual General Meeting and Change of Watch will be held May 3rd at the North Saanich Yacht Club. The 2nd Annual Vancouver Island South District "Gathering" is scheduled for August 13 - 15 at Otter Bay. Plan now to come along and join in on golfing, breakfast cooked and served by members of the Bridge, swims in the pool, games and pot luck dinners. This year National is holding the AGM in Niagara Falls October 15 to 17. All of you creative members - plan to enter your painting, photograph or sculpture in the national competition.

Our Training Department is hard at work with classes in Basic Boating, Piloting and Marine Maintenance. District has offered to hold a Instructional Techniques course in Sidney (sometime in February) if there is enough interest. I would like to take this course and need a minimum of 6 others to make it happen. Call me - 544-4358.

Our Squadron merit mark report has been completed and sent on to the District Commander for his input. 55 members will be receiving a merit mark for hours volunteered last year. The total hours are 3395!! Volunteers are important (and necessary) to our Squadron and your dedication is greatly appreciated.

Helen Louwerse,


We ought neither to fasten our ship to one small anchor or our life to a single hope.


Page 3 -


February Instructional Techniques course will be conducted by District in Sidney if there is enough interest. Call Helen Louwerse at 544-4358 if you would like to take this course.

February Marine Maintenance Course. Call Greg Nutt, 656-4212

Feb. 3-7 Vancouver Boat Show.

Feb. 18 Piloting Course final exam

Feb. 23 Student Cruise preparation for Skippers and Proctors at Parklands School Auditorium.

Feb. 28 Spring Student Cruise to Otter Bay. Phone Martin Pepper, 388-1727 if your boat is available, if you want to be a proctor, or if you can assist in any way -- for example -- WE NEED FLARES. All Squadron members are welcome, not just students -- come along and check out your skills. Our friends from the Kelowna Sqn will again be joining us, so we will need extra boats and proctors. Please consider coming along and joining in the exercise. It will be instructive and fun!

A more complete list of coming events will be published in the next Beacon -- including the Cruise Schedule for 1999.

South Island District Web Page is Off Line

As of the middle of November, due to unforeseen circumstances, the District Web Page

is no longer available on the Net. New arrangements are in progress.

Make sure that someone else on board knows the basic operation and systems of your boat. In the event of your disablement as skipper, it might make the difference between life and death if someone else can operate the radio and get the boat to shore.

Page 4 -

A warm WELCOME is extended to the following:

Peter Andrews, transferring from Saltspring Sqn; John Hudson, transferring from Winnipeg Sqn; Dick Cotton, transferring from Brentwood Bay Sqn; Gerard Bernhoff, Sandy Irwin, Rick McCall, Fraser David, Christina Sterling, Maureen Dawson, Tamara Nutt and Les Keith who completed the Boating Course in December, and to Murray Mickleborough.

CONGRATULATIONS to Barry Levi, our new Social Cruise Captain, and Hank Louwerse, our new Port Captain, both sworn in by District Executive Officer Ken Clarke at the January meeting of the Bridge. Our thanks and best wishes go to Gordon McAninch who is now dealing with other problems, and to Bob Parkinson who, we hope, will now be able to enjoy a much needed rest from the hassles of cruise arrangement.

BON VOYAGE to Doug Goodwin who returned from the South Seas last September and instructed the fall boating class. Doug is now off to Malaysia where he will rejoin his boat and head off on the next leg of the trip to Sri Lanka, and then to points west.

MAKE A NOTE: our Training Officer and Secretary, Greg and Paulette Nutt, have moved off their boat and "onto the hard" and have a new phone number: 656-4212.

Did you know there is a CPS NATIONAL ART COMPETITION? National HQ offers prizes (usually a gift certificate from national stores) to a judged painting, photo, sculpture, training aid, poster (Boat Wise, etc.), publication. Our publication "Travelling in US Waters" (Ray Berry did a few years ago) won. Mary Hunter, who entered a painting and a photo, won first prize recently.

Do you use the Internet? Perhaps you might like to HELP SAVE A TREE. The Beacon is only a couple of clicks away. Email the Membership Officer, Diana McBratney,, and let her know you if you decide that you don't need a copy of the Beacon if you are satisfied by reading it on the internet. (Unfortunately you would miss our great graphics!)

Don't assume ferries always see you. In poor visibility, or, mist, or rain, a ferry's radar may not detect a small vessel.

Page 5 -


Our most recent boating courses have not been fully subscribed. The most recent class is less than half the usual size despite extensive local publicity and some very hand work by our Public Relations and Entertainment officer, Cliff Kachuluba. It is possible that some boaters are waiting for the new licensing requirements to be finalized and also waiting to see if this will result in less expensive courses being offered. It may not be understood by some that our boating course goes beyond the minimum requirements for licensing to produce a more knowledgeable and competent boater. As members of the Squadron, we should all try to educate our friends and young people concerning the advantages of the Basic Boating course.

The Training Officers would also like to hear from any and all members who would be willing to serve as proctors for the course. The current roster is small and I am sure many of you would enjoy working with the students, having a bit of a refresher of the basics, and having the satisfaction of helping neophytes to make the waters safer for all of us. Just call Gregg Nutt at 656-4212.

Just remember - we need to encourage enrolment in the course among our friends and we need volunteers to proctor.

Arthur Scott, Assistant Training Officer


The announcement about licensing -- the new Pleasure Craft Operator's Certificate -- has now been made. Looks like ALL of us will require the certificate. Earlier drafts had indicated that those over 55 years of age would not need it; the new announcement omits that bit however. For a complete text of the announcement go to the following website:


In 1993 and 1994 there were 264 recreational boating and related drowning:

of those who drowned 15% were canoeing; 21% could not swim; 31% were in motor boats; 38% were sport fishing; 93% were males.

of all drownings 44% occurred during the good weather (June/July); 62% occurred on lakes; 90% were not wearing a personal floatation device or lifejacket; 27% of all those over 15 years of age who drowned had blood-alcohol levels over the legal limit.

Page 6 -

District Doings

As you read this, your Squadron Commander is busy completing the Past Commanders Challenge for your squadron. What is the Past Commanders Challenge? It is an inter Squadron contest within our District focusing on activities during the past year, and dealing with a whole host of topics: Courses taken, Timeliness of reports, PR activities, Merit Marks, Training, District or National Awards won, Percentage Membership growth . . . topics that try to define how active the squadron has been over the past year. This Challenge has only been in use over the past two years, and many people don't really know what it is... but now YOU know !! Victoria Squadron won it the first year, and last year Saanich Peninsula Squadron took the honours.

Boat Pro. As this is being written our National organization is wrestling with the question of the degree in which CPS should be active in presenting Boat Pro Courses. To help them come to some conclusions, a questionnaire has been sent to all 18 District Commanders. Within our District, all Squadron Commanders have been copied as well as all other members of the District Bridge. For reasons known only to National, the

time to complete and return this Questionnaire was only a matter of days, allowing no time for proper group consideration of some very fundamental questions. We await developments.

Can the year be nearly over ? One sure sign is the fact that Nominating Committees, both Squadron and District, are geared (gearing?!) up to propose the slate of Officers for our respective Bridges. This is oftentimes a difficult job especially when people who are interested in serving on the Bridge are unknown to the Nominating Committee, and at the same time are reluctant to tell the members of the Committee that they would be interested if asked. So do it ! Pick up that 'phone, or mention to a current Bridge member that you are interested. Or attend a Bridge meeting. They are open to all, and the meeting dates are published in the Squadron Newsletter.

And what better way to start the new `Bridge Year' off than by attending a one day training session where you will learn more about the Power Squadron in general, and about the various Bridge positions in particular. Though open to all, the Officer Training Day, as it is called, is of special benefit to new Bridge members (or about-to-be new Bridge members). It is also very useful to current members who have not yet attended. It will be held on Sunday May 21st from 0930 to 1630. dress is casual, and

there is no charge. It will be held at the Commissionaires Building on Glanford St. Bring a bag lunch.

(continued on page 7)

Page 7 -

Letter from the Editor,

You know, periodically the Membership Officer puts a notice in the Beacon asking members to be sure to advise her if their name, address, etc. change. And does anyone ever phone? No, she tells me, I'm afraid not. But what DOES happen is something like this - I deliver the Beacon to someone who takes it and says "I really wish they wouldn't address me as Miss; I prefer Ms." Well, my response is, why, for goodness sake, don't you phone the Membership Officer and TELL her! Or I get a phone call from another Bridge member who says "so and so is upset because you always spell his name incorrectly." And this time I can only grit my teeth and think, why, for goodness sake, didn't he phone the Membership Officer and TELL her! (The Membership Officer produces the labels for mailing the Beacon).

Please, folks, I can only produce what I'm told. If something we're doing isn't right, don't complain to someone else or just let it fester, TELL US!

The Membership Officer is Diana and she can be reached at 656-4590 or

Phone and let her know if anything is wrong with the information we have about you. And if it's a "bigger than that" situation and you want to start members thinking about something that perhaps you think needs changing, write a letter to me for publication.

And while I'm at it - would anyone like to volunteer to assist with the production or delivery of the Beacon?

1st Lt Carol Sidwell, Editor

District Doings (continued from page 6)

And for those of you interested in the sea and ecology, I highly recommend HEART OF THE RAINCOAST by Alexandra Morton and Billy Proctor. It is available in the Library or can be bought for $15.95. Publisher is Horsdal and Schubert, Victoria. It is a fascinating true story of one man, Billy Proctor, born and brought up in the Echo Bay - Broughton Archipelago area. A fisher, hand logger, and latterly a highly respected and knowledgeable person , his comments on how our ocean and fishery got to be the way it is now are insightful to say the least. He should know; he has been making his living in that area since early in the century, and has been consulted by Glen Clark and staff. Mind you, they paid little or no attention! Wonderful reading.

D/Lt/Cdr Ken Clarke, District Executive Officer

Page 8 -

Power Boat Trim (First of Two Parts)

(Condensed from an article by Steve Sandler in "Power Boating Canada")

Rules of thumb:

1. To come onto plane, trim the drive(s) in and tabs down.

2. To get speed, trim the drive(s) up and tabs up.

3. Trim the drive(s) in and tabs down in head seas.

4. Trim the drives out and tabs up in following seas.

5. Level the boat by trimming the tab opposite the high side down.

The same forces that create lift - the lift we want to get the boat on plane - also create drag or, as it is sometimes called, "pressure drag". Herein lies a problem for the power boater. He must minimize drag while maximizing lift. The answer lies in the boat's attitude. A small change in the attitude of the boat can be significant in its effect on the lift/drag ratio.

But things keep changing on a small boat. Passengers move about. Things are stowed differently. Fuel is burned. Sea conditions change. Changes in speed are called for. Changes of this sort mean changes in trim must be made. Sandler's article introduces the concept of the Centre of Pressure, the CP, similar to the concept of Centre of Gravity. When a boat is at rest, the CP is located at the geometric centre of the wetted surface. As the boat gathers speed, though, the location of the CP changes and the exact location, though hard to specify, depends on the design of the boat, the attitude or angle of attack, and the speed. Physics tells us that a boat at rest has a CG in line with the CP. If the CG is moved forward of the CP, the bow will pitch down until equilibrium is reached and the two points are again in alignment.

If thrust is applied to the hull lengthways and horizontally, the hull will accelerate forward through the water until such time as the drag force is equal to the thrust force and at that time a constant speed is reached with no further acceleration. A planing hull will rise up thus reducing the wetted area.

(continued on page 9)

Page 9 -

Power Boat Trim (continued from page 8)

The boat will assume an attitude such that the CG and the CP align. If they do not align, the boat is unstable and will porpoise or chine walk as the CP moves around the CG.

Trim tabs effectively change the shape of the hull just as an aileron changes the shape of a wing on an airplane. This means there will be a change in the location of the CP and the attitude of the boat will change (i.e., the bow will drop or rise) as will the magnitude of the lift and drag forces acting on the hull. For example, lowering the tabs will move the CP aft and allow the bow to drop until the forces acting on the hull are once again in balance. Trim tabs may, of course, be used asymmetrically to level a moving boat. Lowering the port side trim tab will raise the port side of the boat. A very slight adjustment to one trim tab will have a rather dramatic effect on a fast moving boat!

To be concluded in the next issue of the Beacon.

Website of Interest

New member Bruce Campbell invites us to take a look at his website:  for Hiking Trails in British Columbia for Boaters or Where to Walk Your Dog. Bruce says: While cruising in my boat this past summer with my dog (a schipperke called Sailor) I realized there was a need for places to exercise him. So I started making a list. I have compiled this list, still ongoing, from many books and talking to other boaters. Some of the listings could be outdated. It is divided into the following areas:

A. Gulf Islands

B. South East Vancouver Island (Victoria to Nanaimo)

C. Lower Mainland and Howe Sound

D. Sunshine Coast, Pender Harbour, Jervis Inlet, Northern Georgia Strait

E. Desolation Sound and Discovery Passage

F. North of Desolation Sound (to Cape Caution)

G. West Coast of Vancouver Island

H. North Coast and Queen Charlotte Islands (north of Cape Caution)

Take a look and send comments, additions etc. to . By the way, this is a page that is up-to-date. We see it was last modified Jan. 25, 1999.

Page 10 -

What is MAREP?

The MARINE REPORTING PROGRAM was created in 1971 as a cooperative program between CPS and the Canadian Hydrographic Service. You don't need to register; Just Participate! Get copies of the Report forms from our MAREP Officer, Ray Berry (656-2790). The form tells you how and what to report. These hydrographic reports are submitted to District and the information is verified before the data is charted and/or added to the Sailing Directions and Small Craft Guides. The Dist MAREP Officer passes the information along to Sqn MAREP Officers who can then advise members of newly charted hazards, etc.

Of particular interest to us at this time are the areas on (1) chart 3473 (Active, Porlier passes and Montague Hbr), (2) Chart 3476 (Tsehum Hbr. Approaches), (3) Chart 3419 (Esquimalt Hbr.), and (4) Chart 3606 (Juan De Fuca Strait). These charts are being upgraded for printing in 1999 and 2000 and any help from CPS members will be appreciated.


CHS will be incorporating changes into new editions of some publications. The Chart Catalogue will have a numerical listing of all charts depicted, the small craft charts will be shown in a separate compartment. Sailing Directions are being reformatted into four booklets, two for the south coast and two for the north coast, with the divisional line at Cape Caution. The Tide Tables will be a three volume set: #5 - Barkley Sound to Desolation Sound; #6 - Barkley Sound north to Campbell River; and #7 - Cape Caution to Stewart. Price increases are anticipated.

D/Lt Peter Browning, Hydrographic MAREP Officer

Last Words of Famous, Infamous and Ordinary Seamen

Epitaph in Center Cemetery,

Cambridge, Mass.

Erected in memory of Capt. Thomas Stetson

who was killed by the fall of a tree November 28,

1820, aet. 68.

Nearly 30 years he was master of a vessel and left that

employment at the age of 48 for the less hazardous

one of cultivating his farm.

Page 11 -

Environment Report

On November 10, 1998 the VISD Environmental Officers met with Marc Pakenham of the CCG Office of Boating Safety at the CCG building in Victoria. This meeting provided a forum for Marc Pakenham to express his desire for the assistance of Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons here in BC to assist in the promotion of the Green Boat Program that he has created within the Dept of Fisheries and Oceans. He was extremely pleased that our group was able to attend his office to hear his proposed plans for this program. The focus of this program is on the use of the boaters guide "Protecting BC's Aquatic Environment", the use of the Green Boat Check Book, Green Boat Decals, and the development of a demo kit to be provided to students who are fortunate enough to hear the Green Boat lecture. All of this information is necessary to initiate the need and use of holding tanks, garbage management and smart boating practices within both inland and coastal waters.

At this point in time over 100 areas in BC have been designated marine protected areas. What this means to us as boaters is that there will be a schooling program, as well as boat check procedures put into place to encourage us to outfit our boats with holding tanks and pump out systems in the near future. The marine protected areas are "no pump out areas". The ministry has a program in place to first provide shore side toilets and secondly pump out stations in as many areas as possible on the BC coast. The ministry also asked for assistance from the business community to develop for commercial sale, products that are biodegradable and readily available to the public for use on oil and fuel spills as well as for cleaning and general purpose cleaning.

As a member of the committee I have volunteered to draft a course curriculum that could be used in both a CPS classroom as well as in schools and private enterprise. It is our feeling that with impending certification of all boaters that 30 minutes on this topic in each boat-licensing course would enlighten the prospective boaters. It was the hope of Marc Pakenham that this would occur. Tonya Wilts (Youth Initiatives Program) would also be using the course outline to present to schools and youth groups.

1ST Lt Lesley Head, SPS Environment Officer

Know the routes and schedules of the ferries in areas where you boat. Schedules are available at 1-888-BCFERRY or on the internet at . Ferries may not always be running as scheduled, so be alert to the possibility of an encounter whenever you are operating on an established ferry route.

Page 12 -

Re: "Debt to the Navy" (part three)

With respect to the above article in the November 1998 issue of "The Beacon", and the reference to swing the lead, the explanation given for his phrase is incorrect. Swinging the lead is used to describe someone who is avoiding assigned work, by claiming to be ill or otherwise unable to work, merely in order to not work. The term for taking soundings by hand lead line is heaving the lead, as the procedure requires one to heave the lead forward, ahead of the vessel. This is done so that the lead is on the bottom and the lead line is perpendicular to the water's surface by the time the leadsman passes over the position of the lead, the depth being read at the point that the water cuts the lead line.

As to markings, the traditional hand lead line, which is 25 fathoms long, is marked as follows:

Marks, at - 2, 3 ,5, 7, 10, 13, 15, 17 and 20 fathoms (plus at 25, 30, 35, 40, etc. when using a long line).

Deeps, at - 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19 fathoms, etc.

Markings - 2 fathoms two strips of leather

3 " three strips of leather

5 " a piece of white duck

7 " a piece of red bunting

10 " a piece of leather with a hole in it

13 " a piece of blue serge

15 " a piece of white duck

17 " a piece of piece of red bunting

20 " two knots

On another point, I believe that the reference to "plain sailing" is to the weather conditions and mount of sail that could be set in such conditions, rather than to any navigational technique.

Going back to the October 1998 issue, reference is made to flogging and it is stated that the theoretical maximum punishment was 12 strokes. This is true to a point in that the Admiralty instructions to ship's Captains limited their authority to ordering a maximum of 12 strokes of the cat as punishment to a member of their ship's company, although this limit was exceeded from time to time. However, the punishment handed out by a Court Martial usually exceeded this limit by considerable amounts. One such case resulted in 600 lashes being ordered, and another case brought 200 lashes to bear on the offender.

Mike Ball, Fall Boating Course

Page 13 -

MAREP Weather Program Update

As Vancouver Island South District representatives, P/Cdr David Struthers

and I attended the meeting of the Local Marine Advisory Committee in

November and raised concerns recently expressed by CPS members regarding the MAREP weather program. Some members have experienced slow or no response when transmitting MAREP weather reports to Vancouver Coast Guard Radio and there was also a rumour that the Coast Guard were closing down designated MAREP radio channels.

The rumour first. It is untrue and may have sprung from the fact that the Canadian Coast Guard installed and tested automated equipment at four light-stations for a three month demonstration period in the summer of 1997. A formal, expanded MAREP service was the focus, and was instituted at the Comox Marine Communications and Traffic Services Centre. It provided a continued human presence and opportunity for interaction by mariners (and aviators) in the northern Georgia Strait area. During the thirteen weeks of the demonstration 3489 weather observations were either obtained from or provided to users (average of 37 "client" contacts each day), approximately two thirds of which were pleasure and fishing craft. There was strong support for the program but due to financial restraint and staffing conditions it was not possible to continue the program in 1998. This, and perhaps other program restrictions may have led to the rumour that "MAREP program stations are closing down."

Secondly, slow or no response to proffered MAREP reports by CPS members. It is understood by all of us that CCG has been hard hit, like other services, by serious budget reductions and resulting constraints on staff. Coast Guard Radio, especially in the Vancouver area, is often very busy due to large traffic activity and, unless there is serious deterioration in the weather, MAREP reports will not take precedent over other communication. None-the-less MAREP reports are important and wanted both by CCG and Environment Canada so be patient and persist.

At the meeting the Canadian Coast Guard representatives indicated

their full support of the program and encouraged us to continue.

P/R/C Ray Berry, N MAREP Officer

Collision Regulations. Here are some time honoured rhymes to assist you: Red over red the Captain is dead. Two red lights vertically indicates vessel Not Under Command(NUC). Also: Two black balls or red on red, then you know her rudder's dead.

Page 14 -

Loran Update . . .

The following may be of interest to those using LORAN or GPS. John Kabel, Training Officer with the London Power and Sail Squadron (and Instructor in Navigating With GPS) provides the following information:

Allow me to quote extensively from an article which appeared in the Summer 1998 newsletter (page 9) of the Institute of Navigation (ION), of which I am a member. ION is a scientific body which acts as a vehicle for research into methods of navigation. In recent years this organization has become recognized as the prime source for scientific and mathematical information relating to the Global Positioning System (GPS).


"Hundreds of thousands of long-time land, sea and air users of Loran-C were elated over news that the U.S. DOT apparently has decided to extend the life of the ground-based radio navigation system beyond 2000. While no new termination date has been officially announced, Loran backers say the government is planning to operate the system through 2008 or longer."


"The report on a House bill authorizing FAA spending for FY99 mandated some extension of Loran life: 'The Secretary (of DOT) shall maintain and upgrade Loran-C navigation facilities throughout the transition period to satellite-based navigation.' This, in turn, reflects findings of the Presidential Commission for Critical Infrastructure, which recommended in 1997 that it would be unwise to rely on any one system for essential navigation-timing services."


"The Coast Guard, which operates Loran, is prepared to continue operation until 2008, two years of transition beyond the 2006 date for withdrawing Selective Availability from GPS, or even longer."


"In a paper at the ION Annual Meeting in Denver in June, results of tests with integrated receivers found "significant improvements in both accuracy and availability."

"The paper, authored by US Coast Guard Academy personnel, among them , immediate ION past president Capt. Ben Peterson, presented results from two different approaches, one using a tightly coupled Kalman filter to synchronize GPS and Loran timing, the other using Kalman filter with GPS pseudoranges and the Loran TOA inputs and a time constant . . .

(continued on page 15 )

Page 15 -

Loran Update (Continued from page 14)

"The paper said that 'the optimum design for an integrated receiver combines the absolute accuracy of GPS averaged for an hour or two, with the repeatable accuracy of Loran over that same period. Besides these improvements in accuracy, other studies have found that integrated GPS/Loran can provide much better fix availability in urban canyons and much better system availability/integrity for non-precision approaches

in aviation.' The paper also outlined several methods to improve stand-alone Loran accuracy, from the much advertised 0.25 nm (2drms) to 7-20 m in many cases."

While all of this material applies to the American situation, it shows two things:

1) Loran is definitely not dead, especially south of the border.

2) The Canadian government might yet be persuaded to relent on its decision to abandon Loran as stated repeatedly in recent Notices to Mariners, if American boaters and pilots have had success.


There were 2.7 million boats in Canada reported in surveys done in 1997. Of these over half a million were here in British Columbia. BC has shown a steady growth in boat numbers since 1990 despite economic slow downs both in this province and the rest of Canada. BC also retained a higher portion of power and sailboats than the rest of Canada where Ontario, for example, included a large number of canoes and other non-powered vessels in their numbers. (Ontario reported 50% of all the boats in Canada).

With so many boats on the water it is estimated by the CCG that there are over 8 million people handling these vessels throughout the course of each boating season. Only an extremely small percentage of these people have completed any type of boat safety training. Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons, Canadian Yachting Association and International Sail and Power Association and an increasing number of private individuals are providing these courses.

1st Lt Lesley Head, Environmental Officer

Nothing is fool-proof to a sufficiently talented fool.