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post #20 of Old 12-19-2012
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

Originally Posted by noelex77 View Post
Why switch it off then?

It provides a position a fix. A couple of independent position fixing methods , more if possible are always helpful. As well you have information about currents leeway etc.
I can only see drawbacks in not having the information.

Everyone should be able to navigate without GPS, but deliberatly loosing information does not seem sensible to me.
OK so each person manages information differently. Here's my rationale - it may not work for you.

If I'm out at sea, there is really no need to stare at a GPS, I know where I am going, I know there is nothing in my way that the GPS is going to tell me about anyway and from my last known position, I have set a course which I will sail until it is no longer relevant. So what benefit do I derive from having a GPS on all the time? None that I can see. a twice-daily position is all I need.

If I'm coastal, all I need to do is look around me and I can see anything that I'm going to hit. My GPS doesn't tell me of a reef under my keel. My chart on the other hand does. Once again I know where I am going and if I can identify the stuff that's on my chart, of what value is it to know my position? If I can't follow a coastline without a GPS running in my hand, I shouldn't be in charge of a vessel (my opinion).

Let's clear up a possible misconception. I am not anti-GPS, in fact I consider it by far the best navigational aid one can have. But I don't need the security/comfort of being able to see my exact position every 5 minutes. I get a far greater pleasure out of looking around me and absorbing my surroundings and if you do that correctly, using a GPS once in a while is all that is required - it doesn't have to be on all the time. If you want to see how much leeway you're making, just look at your wake - it's unmistakable. If you want to know how much current you should expect (more important than knowing what you're experiencing right now), just look at your chart - it's all right there (assuming you have a chart).

In truth, it is far easier to place a dodgy go-to waypoint into you GPS than it is to misinterpret a course on a chart.

Just my process/habits, you no doubt have different methods.

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