Originally Posted by ronspiker
A GPS tells you where you are and where you have been, not where you are going. You need to know how to use a compass to figure out where you are going. I was on a 7 day passage a few years ago. We had 2 handhelds and a chart plotter. One handheld went over the side in a storm, the other had the batteries go dead and we didn't have enough extras, and the chart plotter shorted out during the storm. Without a paper chart and a compass we would mad landfall at the wrong destination.
So you dead reckoned for 7 days at sea and hit the island you wanted? Crap, I couldn't do that. 7 days and I would be lucky to hit the continent of North America (snicker).
I have only dead reckoned once and not for very long on a trip from Tortugas. Crapping electronic cables on my ST6000 (E80 autpilot) came out and just a word of warning, when that happens, the whole system basically goes haywire. Oops. They didn't mention that in the manual.
I finally got the handheld up (which saved a mutiny) and tracked down our issue and got the GPS up, but I found it VERY hard to dead reckon and keep a course. Also requires constan steering. Had my butt puckered. incidentally, we were obviously well outside of sight of land.
Great job if you dead reckoned at sea for 7 days and hit your target. I assume you also used a sextant?