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  #1  
Old 04-12-2014
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NEED gear

Hi.

I will be sailing a 27ft boat on the shores of Lake Huron, Ontario.
Is there any electronic navigation gear that is a MUST have; not the nice toys that one wants, but only what one needs. (except VHF radio and 2 compasses which are included).

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Old 04-12-2014
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Re: NEED gear

draft is 4'6
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Old 04-12-2014
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Re: NEED gear

Many of us sailed long before GPS was available..and we managed not to get too lost.. So I can't think of anything that you MUST have other than the required safety equipment..and your radio and compass. A handheld GPS and Paper charts, wouldn't set you back too much..and provide a little more certainty to where you are and perhaps what's under your keel.
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Old 04-12-2014
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Re: NEED gear

About the handheld GPS, if you have an iPad with a built in GPS you can get a chart package very cheap and you have a chartplottter of sorts. I assume you can do the same with an Android tablet but you might need to get an external GPS for it.
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Old 04-12-2014
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Re: NEED gear

Handheld GPS and local charts. Maybe a depth sounder, but, even with a depthsounder the rocks come up pretty quick. More important to know where you are (and should not be).
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Old 04-12-2014
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Re: NEED gear

Thanks for the input. That is what I was thinking.
Any recommendations on where I would buy both items (handheld GPS and charts)?

on the gps all I really need are coordinates and not necessarily a map...is that correct?

Last edited by KejaGrad; 04-12-2014 at 07:26 PM.
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Re: NEED gear

Yes, that's what I was thinking. Coordinates and a chart, if you're looking for very basic info.

You can also check a place like the GPS store to see what's in your price range.
As has been mentioned..there are also navigation apps out there that work with IPADS et al. as well, if you have GPS built in.


Handheld GPS: The GPS Store, Inc.

Great Lakes NOAA Nautical Charts

Traditional Paper Charts
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Old 04-12-2014
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Re: NEED gear

I would say the only electronic gear you need is a FLASHLIGHT so you can read the paper charts at night.

If you stay in sight of land, all you need is a paper chart and the skills to pilot your boat with it. And you should have those skills with or without any fancier electronics.

Oh, and working nav lights on the boat, assuming you'll be out after dark. Otherwise...no need for the flashlight either.
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Old 04-12-2014
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Re: NEED gear

If you want to go minimalist--and the wording of your question suggests that you do--you might want to consider getting a free navigation app for a smart phone, and a paper chart to go with your compass. In my opinion, a paper chart and compass are sufficient provided you're sailing in good weather and have some basic navigational skills. Binoculars also help (for spotting navigation aids and landmarks.)

Sailboats have been around for several millenia; GPS has only been around for a couple decades. No way can a GPS be considered mandatory. My opinion.
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Old 04-13-2014
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Re: NEED gear

If you think you will be wandering far from home on Lake Huron you should consider Richardson's chart book instead of individual charts, which can rapidly get expensive. Richardson's is about the cost of three charts. It is also easier to use on a boat that does not have a large chart table.
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