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alanporter 03-26-2002 12:15 PM

Most important electronic equipment
I was shocked to see in last weeks Poll that 48% sailors claimed that a GPS was the most important electronic device for cruising, while only 38% voted for the depthsounder. I wonder how many cruisers actually go without a depth sounder, and how many of those who have a sounder, actually bother with a GPS. I have cruised for fifty years without a GPS, but I would never cast off without a depthsounder. When GPS''s can tell me how deep the water is below my keel, I may buy one, but even if I do, I shall still navigate with compass, pencil and parallel rule. Alan, SV Te Tiaroa, Victoria, Canada

Denr 03-26-2002 12:29 PM

Most important electronic equipment
Don''t look at me, I voted for the depth sounder as well. No one is going cruising if you''re aground in skinny water!

SHIMSHON 03-26-2002 05:04 PM

Most important electronic equipment
I absolutely agree!! You have to wonder how much cruising experience the respondents actually have.

ndsailor 03-26-2002 08:39 PM

Most important electronic equipment
I don''t have much cruising experience (North Dakota) but even I voted in favor of the depth sounder., after all, what did we do before GPS? GPS is a good way to quickly find out where all your cuising buddies are anchored, thats what they were thinking I guess...

halyardz 03-26-2002 09:16 PM

Most important electronic equipment
My choice was the depth sounder too, given that it''s an accurate unit with the key functions. Maybe I''m different but I consider the GPS a safety device and backup to piloting/nav skills.

Fran49829 03-29-2002 02:06 AM

Most important electronic equipment
I cruise about 1000 miles per summer around Lake Michigan in a Freedom 21 and have been sailing for 40 years. I believe my 2 handheld GPS''s are my most important electronic devices closely followed by my VHF and autopilot with the depthsounder coming in last place. However I don''t leave without everything working and view a depthsounder as very important especially if the GPS network went out as it can be invaluable in navigation.

colehankins 03-29-2002 05:16 AM

Most important electronic equipment
I think that with a GPS you could easily look on a non elecrtonic chart and determine about how much water you should have. A depth finder is fine but try to find your way back in the fog or at night with out a gps or(my fav) loran. If i took the time to answer the Q in the first place, I would think a radar is the most important of all the electronic equippment on a boat. Not only could you determine how far the bank is but you should see all the other ships trying to run you down.

kimberlite 03-29-2002 07:07 AM

Most important electronic equipment
i voted for the gps.
i think it really depends on the cruising you do.
if it is near land then i would go for the depth sounder.
but if you sail blue water the gps is used much more.

Peter_pan 03-29-2002 05:23 PM

Most important electronic equipment
Me too! I''ll not leave home with out my GPS. No matter where I go. Vhf Too. Nothing like waking up in the morning to find the anchor has come loose and your in the middle of nowhere. Now what? Just fire up the ole GPS and head home. Didn''t happen to me but heard of it happening to some folks off Catalina Island. They woke up 60 mile off shore and no landmarks. Too far for a radio and 3000 feet of water. Sounder won''t help you there.
Ole Pete

Pangaea 03-30-2002 02:07 AM

Most important electronic equipment
Good morning,
Radar,gps, depth and vhf. I wouldn''t go coastal without any one of these! There isn''t any ONE most important unit.
As for being blown offshore...compass. I love electronics also,but what if, just mabey, their not working?
kimberlite, what about when you make land fall in a strange place?
Dennis L.

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