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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation > Deciphering what I need in a GPS chartplotter
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


Thread: Deciphering what I need in a GPS chartplotter Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-13-2007 02:43 PM
TrueBlue No sweat, right SD? That was actually taken in your cruising area - in Nantucket Sound.

My second mate never left his post on the pilothouse roof - his S/O (my daughter), acting out her figurehead role at the bow pulpit, wife/first mate watching the radar screen and me at the aft helm. We made a good team, fortunately anticipating all invisible boat traffic

It finally cleared as we entered Edgrtown Harbor - where we enjoyed clear skies for the remaining week.
03-13-2007 02:27 PM
sailingdog But TB, you've got plenty of visibility there...at leat 10 or 15 feet..
03-13-2007 02:25 PM
christyleigh
Quote:
Originally Posted by flomaster
Wow--all this high-speed, low-drag equipment. I must live in the sailing dark ages. I still prefer to use a handheld unit and plot my positions on a good, old-fashioned chart.
Yup... that's exactly what I was doing in my earlier post on the way back from MV. I knew exactly where I was and exactly where I was going - Problem is without Radar I didn't know if there was a boat stopped dead in the water in front of me or worse - heading for me at 10kts I want to at least be able to do some last minute avoidance or brace for the crash by electronically seeing whats ahead of me. The paper charts are still next to me with a reasonable amount of DR plotting going on but at least in the NE the GPS/Chartplotter is accurate enough to hit bouys - a hell of a lot more accurate than I ever could be, especially when trying to stare through the totally dis-orienting fog. I've worked in IT for 30 years so I'm used to having my forgetful little pea brain dwarfed by computers. The 'mark I eyeball' is great if you can keep the lenses clear of fog condensation on your - Needed - glasses. I'll take and use every tool I can afford.
03-13-2007 01:54 PM
TrueBlue We rely on our chartplotter and radar when sailing beyond sight of land, but when cruising closer to shore or remote islands, eyesight sometimes needs a backup . . . especially under conditions such as these:

03-13-2007 01:35 PM
sailingdog
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valiente
You're not wrong in that and if all you have to remember beyond basic pilotage is keeping your chart datum correct and your Notice to Mariners corrections up to date, you'll be fine, of course.

Unfortunately, chartplotters and super-duper, Star Trek-style displays are favoured in part by people who can't understand or maintain such information. I find that the more seasoned navigators are less enthusiastic about turning navigation into a whiz-bang video game than are the newer-to-boating crowd.

I am fairly pleased that I bought a 1973 boat first (complete with state of the former art Seamaster III cathode tube "fathometer"...still working!) and that my 1993 Trimble GPS still gives me just lat/lon. It forces me to keep tabs on the chart and avoids the sort of errors that an incomplete understanding of navigation can present.

I HATE seeing people at the helm staring into the display of some chartplotter and making seven knots into a crowded bay with nary a glance upward.
Amen to that... I prefer the Mark I eyeball as my primary navigation tool.
03-13-2007 01:26 PM
Valiente
Quote:
Originally Posted by flomaster
Wow--all this high-speed, low-drag equipment. I must live in the sailing dark ages. I still prefer to use a handheld unit and plot my positions on a good, old-fashioned chart.
You're not wrong in that and if all you have to remember beyond basic pilotage is keeping your chart datum correct and your Notice to Mariners corrections up to date, you'll be fine, of course.

Unfortunately, chartplotters and super-duper, Star Trek-style displays are favoured in part by people who can't understand or maintain such information. I find that the more seasoned navigators are less enthusiastic about turning navigation into a whiz-bang video game than are the newer-to-boating crowd.

I am fairly pleased that I bought a 1973 boat first (complete with state of the former art Seamaster III cathode tube "fathometer"...still working!) and that my 1993 Trimble GPS still gives me just lat/lon. It forces me to keep tabs on the chart and avoids the sort of errors that an incomplete understanding of navigation can present.

I HATE seeing people at the helm staring into the display of some chartplotter and making seven knots into a crowded bay with nary a glance upward.
03-13-2007 01:15 PM
flomaster Wow--all this high-speed, low-drag equipment. I must live in the sailing dark ages. I still prefer to use a handheld unit and plot my positions on a good, old-fashioned chart.
02-27-2007 02:33 PM
sailingdog Stan-

It just seems like your radome is a Fog magnet... really...they don't cause the fog to form around your boat much....
02-27-2007 02:29 PM
Valiente [QUOTE=christyleigh]
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
What looks like clouds in my Avatar is a fog bank rolling over BI with 50' visibility at the entrance that lasted all the way back to NGBay. Maybe the Radome is a fog magnet -
Someone once commented that you need charts, a radar and an EPIRB. The EPIRB was for situations caused by the inability to read the radar...

Seriously, while radar is a nice thing to have, and in some areas and cruisng grounds quite necessary, it's a very good idea to take a radar course that tells you not only how to read the damn thing, but how to make use of all those sub-menus and options. Most people seem to leave the thing on 16 mile range and some "guard" range related to their fear factor, but you can do a great deal with even an old radar if you learn how to tweak the controls. My personal favourite is finding entrances in seawalls to basins during fog and land-side power outages
02-27-2007 01:29 PM
christyleigh [quote=sailingdog]
Radar is nice to have in NE but not really a necessity. Garmin has a small radar unit that is supposed to be quite good.
quote] SD - I got away without it for quite a few years but never again. After getting totally socked in on the way back from M.V. I put in on my previous boat about five years ago. Although I have been doing more cruises to BI, MV, Nantucket, and LI Sound then I used to I have gotten socked in at least once or twice every year since. What looks like clouds in my Avatar is a fog bank rolling over BI with 50' visibility at the entrance that lasted all the way back to NGBay. Maybe the Radome is a fog magnet -
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