Originally Posted by RobGallagher
Although I appreciate your effort to warn others, I have to wonder about the scientific method you applied by stuffing it in the wife's purse.
I'm gonna ass-u-me that your wife's purse may have been down below, or stowed somewhere, or that there could have been other things in the purse that may have effected the GPS antenna like getting lodged under a cell phone, etc. That antenna needs a line of sight to the sky to work properly.
I would say this is not a very scientific method of judging a GPS unit. Again, I think you had the best intentions.
Like many assumptions, it is a little off the mark. It wasn't actually a purse (I was trying to keep my wording simple) - it was her canvas beach bag that held hats, sunscreen, snorkels, etc., and was sitting in the cockpit the whole time. The GPS signal was perfectly fine - 8 or more satellites at all times. This GPS is extremely sensitive, and even gets a reliable signal in the middle of my house. I have no reason to doubt the reliability of the tracks.
Even if the track was a little off, it was exactly the same track on all three examples that I showed above, which means that the disagreement between the three charts can only be attributed to the charts. If you look at the track from the whole day trip, where we passed close by Cooper, Norman, Peter Islands, etc., it is clear that the NGA chart was significantly more accurate. The Garmin and NOAA charts showed us going over ground on numerous occasions, and the NGA chart agreed completely with our DR positions.
I believe that NGA makes the intelligence maps that guide our Navy vessels and cruise missiles, so I'm betting on them to have the best chart.