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post #52 of Old 02-10-2007
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The Loran system should be maintained and upgraded if possible. The reasoning behind this is that you should have more then one means of navigation. Only a fool will rely on a single system.
I have had GPS receivers go down on me and had to use other means to navigate. There are to many yachtsmen/women who can only use the GPS and don't have any idea on how to navigate otherwise. At least with LORAN you can have another magic box to help give you your position. Plus there are many fishermen who plant their pots along a Loran TD line and when they return to pick up the pots, They can go down that line no matter what the weax is, Fog, rain or sunshine.
Another reason is that GPS is military controlled and can put a broad dither the GPS any time they feel that it necessary for national security... Do you want to rely on a system that one day may have you hundreds of yards/meters far off course? Gives you false positions as you sit there in the same place?
Also just for your own peace of mind, you should really practice your coastal navigation. Using bearings and ranges of charted objects. Doing a proper DR on your charts.
So I pray that they keep the LORAN system. One as your main nav system or as a back up to your GPS.
I have a C Plath Sextant and do practice with it, even while using a GPS or LORAN on the work boats that I've sailed on. All methods of navigation does require practice in order to be proficent at it.
I now teach People who want to up grade to 100/200 ton mate/master licenses. And try to get them to use Coastal piloting as much as possible when working offshore. So if their GPS does goes belly up, they will have knowledge of where they are really at.
So as you sail out there in waters you know or not... Have fun and practice at least one other means of navigation... Or be teaching your children in the art of navigation.
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