Originally Posted by flomaster
Wow--all this high-speed, low-drag equipment. I must live in the sailing dark ages. I still prefer to use a handheld unit and plot my positions on a good, old-fashioned chart.
You're not wrong in that and if all you have to remember beyond basic pilotage is keeping your chart datum correct and your Notice to Mariners corrections up to date, you'll be fine, of course.
Unfortunately, chartplotters and super-duper, Star Trek
-style displays are favoured in part by people who can't understand or maintain such information. I find that the more seasoned navigators are less enthusiastic about turning navigation into a whiz-bang video game than are the newer-to-boating crowd.
I am fairly pleased that I bought a 1973 boat first (complete with state of the former art Seamaster III cathode tube "fathometer"...still working!) and that my 1993 Trimble GPS still gives me just lat/lon. It forces me to keep tabs on the chart and avoids the sort of errors that an incomplete understanding of navigation can present.
I HATE seeing people at the helm staring into the display of some chartplotter and making seven knots into a crowded bay with nary a glance upward.