I'd like to thank Capt. Douglas Abbott for his excellent post. The fact that he and I seem to agree 100% notwithstanding, he has laid out some of the real world problems faced by cruising sailors today as they attempt to fathom the increasingly complex world of navigation electronics.
Bottom line: the Mark #1 Eyeball rules! Radar and fathometer and paper charts -- or exact reproductions thereof, i.e., raster charts -- are next.
GPS is an incredibly wonderful and useful tool, but in the wrong hands can be a tool which helps you toward disaster. Dedicated GPS/Chartplotters can help give you a feeling of confidence sometimes that you know where you are, while you speed on toward disaster.
Climbing down from my high horse, now :-)
Last edited by btrayfors; 08-11-2009 at 01:53 PM.