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Old 05-23-2013
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Re: Don't read this unless you have time . .

I very much agree and disagree with many people here.

I have only been doing this since 95 on my own fixed keel boat so there are many here with more experience. However, many of the additions to cruisers are wonderful additions and i include them into our safety gear category.

First, if asked between a chartplotter and a radar and handheld gps, i would take the radar a thousand times over. I actually read that someone on here is ripping it out? Why? That may be one of the best pieces of equipment ever granted to yachties!! How much offshore time do you have? Passages? Why the hell rip it out? Radar doesn't show you what should be there. It shows you what IS there. Huge difference. God, please reconsider your decision.

I admit the newest and latest and greatest gadgets have gotten a little silly. Instead of improving functionality and longevity, they come out with a new product every year that in my opinion often isn't better (or worse) than its predecessor. Touch technology sucks in my opinion... And i type this from a i5! Unfortunately, you don't make the quick money anymore by making things last longer. Design in failure and woo them back with flashy ads and pretty buttons. But i degrees...

The electronics of today have made sailing and cruising much safer and more accessible to many more people. The failure is not the electronics. It is the people who use them and come to depend on them over good seamanship. It is people who have used the advances as a source of dependency instead of as another tool or aid in otherwise good seamanship. Therein lies the problem.
My favorite example is an old partner of mine from my company. He went out and bought a new sea ray 380. He had all the electronics put on it. He sat off for a restaurant many miles away on the ice at a half plow. For those that don't know, on the 380, at a half plow you cannot see anything but clouds in front of you. He did many nm like that, no kidding. He steered through the icw staring at his chartplotter and radar. Guess what- the chartplotter was off and he parked the 380 on the beach. He called sea tow and they walked to his boat and told him it was a hard grounding at $3000 to pull him off... But not till high tide tomorrow. Left him and his wife on a shoal with nothing but a 5th of vodka and a single bear claw for 24 hours. They did get him off the next day, but the morale is that electronics don't replace basic seamanship. However, they can augment it. It is up to the captain do decide which it is.

Even slokum took the latest electronics (chronograph). Didn't make his journey any less remarkable. It augmented already good seamanship.

So use the tools to make you better and keep you safer. Not safe, but safer. Not a replacement, but another tool.

My opinion.

Brian
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