Join Date: Jun 2007
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We're in a shallow lake, full of hazards, and connected rivers, creeks and canals with wildly varying depths. We have 5' of draft. So, yeah, we depend greatly upon GPS/chartplotter + depth sounder. (I've got the sonar for the GPS/chartplotter, but have yet to install it. We're using the plain old depth sounder that came with the boat.)
Charts are wonderful. Charts are great. Charts are essential. So is the ability to navigate by dead reckoning and piloting. I know how to do these things. And, in fact, I have to do them on the little stink-boat, cuz she's got no electronics.
But I wouldn't be w/o our GPS and depth sounder on Abracadabra.
Btw: You don't steer your boat by staring at the GPS/chartplotter and other electronic aids, like playing a video game. You check them occasionally to verify. Same with wind instruments.
Well... except for the depth sounder when things get marginal... or the other instruments when racing... Or in heavy fog (I imagine). But most of the time you're just sailing, and scanning the instruments as you do the dashboard of your car.