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post #8 of Old 11-18-2006
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I agree with Faster that you don't usually need a GPS for coastal cruising, if you can use a compass and read a chart. But, when visibility is bad, such as at night or in fog, it can be indispensable. I'm colorblind, and can't distinguish between red and green lights, and, with a gps, night sailing is a snap. I tell it where I want to go, and it tells me what course to steer to get there. It also helps getting into a narrow channel. If you are familiar with your cruising grounds, you don't need one often, but when you need it, it's worth it's weight in gold. When you're sailing down a very long leg of a racecourse, a gps will keep you on course, so you don't travel any greater distance than necessary.
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