Re: Real Life Coastal Cruising - First Time - Bent Rudder
Sorry to hear about your troubles. Look at it this way, you are paying for an education like no other!
About chart plotters, I've got the spiffiest, gee-whiz plotter money can by and the darn thing has me going across land when I operate in the Mississippi Delta, Port Aransas, and Tampico. They're nice but don't trust them, or anything else exclusively. A good rule of thumb is to have three ways of fixing your position when operating nearshore or inshore....I typically use visual, radar, and GPS.
Best of luck!