Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Swarthmore, PA
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I see no mention of AIS in any of this. How is AIS affecting navigation practices? It would seem to me that having commerical traffic broadcasting their location every 2 seconds could be useful for line-of-sight navigation in coastal waters. You may not be able to see that buoy 2 miles away, but that freighter that pops up on your chart plotter has now become a useful aid to navigation since you can see him from further away than the buoy. While it's true that the position he broadcasts is only as good as his own GPS, it is an additional one to the one you may have.
So how have navigation trainers incorporated AIS into their training?
I ask this partly because I have an AIS receiver on order. I think it will be useful for staying out of the way of the "big boys" on the Delaware River.
FWIW, in my one year of sailing with a Garmin Oregon 400c handheld (with pre-installed charts), I've never had a time when its position disagreed with what my own senses and compass were telling me. The Garmin charts where I sail seem to exactly duplicate the NOAA charts - depth soundings and contour lines are exactly the same - and my depth readings seem to agree well when adjusted for the large tidal swings. Buoy locations are occasionally off by up to a hundred yards, but I attribute that to the scope needed to chain them down in the 40' deep channel. I have seen significant disagreement with "base maps" that were included in MapSource, where tracks that I had transferred out of my GPS showed that I had been sailing down I-95.
But I attribute that to lousy base maps, which I never use for real-time chart plotting or even planning.
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1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (at Anchorage Marina, Essington, on the Delaware River)
1994 Mason 44 Firefly on loan from my BFF (West River, Galesville, MD)
1991 15' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
1985 14' Phantom (Lake Wallenpaupack)
Last edited by TakeFive; 01-16-2011 at 08:58 AM.