Join Date: Mar 2011
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Re: Does anyhbody still navigate?
Oh boy, this one will generate some strong opinions! :-)
I have been sailing 35 years. There was no GPS and Loran was way to expensive. So I navigated just fine with a paper chart, handbearing compass, steering compass, and dead reckoning in currents and sometimes fog. As you can imagine I still don't go anywhere without a paper chart at the helm. Finally "went over to the darkside" and got a chart plotter app on the iPhone. It Is NOT to be trusted, used as a backup and additional info.
We have been cruising full-time now for six years. Many cruisers we meet who are new to sailing only use electronic charts, some don't even have a magnetic compass or paper chart aboard! Without GPS and a plotter they are lost and could not navigate or even pilot the boat visually. They call the Coast Guard to report they are lost and need assistance when in clear view of Miami!!! I, of course, have a strong opinion and think they are nuts! They follow the course the chart plotter gives them and run aground when if they had only looked up for a moment they would have seen that the markers were moved due to a shifting shoal.
I, of course, believe that all sailors should know how to navigate and pilot without electronic aids but certainly embrace the new technologies as useful and convenient aids. I guess using my leadline (most new cruisers we meet don't know what that is) since my depth sounder quit 10 years ago qualifies me as a Luddite! :-)