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post #9 of Old 03-04-2014
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Re: GPS Accuracy - how much is actually needed

Good God! If you need your GPS to be more accurate than 1000' you are doing things wrong. If you are in a situation needing better than that you better be using sights on objects using a hand compass cuz GPS can be seriously wrong at times. If you cant take sights then you shouldnt be there or should be dead stopped until visibility gets better. A prudent navigator relies on what he sees, not something a black box tells him.
For those who say charts are wrong, well, even with gps they would be wrong and you are still screwed.
OK, fishermen need gps to get coords of good spots and I use mine to give me good speed measurements and a position measurement when out of sight of land but I tend to rely more on my dead reckoning first and if they don't agree, somethings wrong.
In 27 yrs of extensive sailing, I've never needed "waypoints" and still dont get why people do. Instead, for example exiting Sea of Abaco near Little Harbor, I get to where the "white house" lines up at X degrees and follow the reciprocal course until my GPS Lon. reads zz.zzz to indicate that I am well clear of all the hazards. Then I can head on a course of 170 to Spanish Wells. Waypoints? Why?
Even going from Marsh Harbor down to Little Harbor where there are numerous turns, reefs and other hazards, I better be using my compass to sight on known points cuz that also alerts you to stuff that isn't on the chart. Why would waypoints help?
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