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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation > The danger of GPS as the sole means of navigation.
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


Thread: The danger of GPS as the sole means of navigation. Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-03-2013 12:50 AM
JonEisberg
Re: The danger of GPS as the sole means of navigation.

No Polish jokes, please...

Quote:

"The ship was using an unapproved electronic chart plotter, which is a bit like your GPS for the car.

"The Danio, from the time he sailed from Perth to the time he went aground, had two positions on his chart... he was relying solely on his GPS.

"They [the crew] basically said 'we'll draw a line and we'll go the quickest way possible' without really thinking about 'do I need to go that close to the Farne Islands?'"

BBC News - Farne Islands grounded ship: MV Danio's lookout 'asleep'

09-02-2013 11:54 PM
jackdale
Re: The danger of GPS as the sole means of navigation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninefingers View Post
My iPhone is a whole lot easier to understand than my chartplotter, which I have given up on.

I would love to know how to use paper charts better, but I don't believe there is any formal teaching in my area.
There are several locations to get Sail Canada (was Canadian Yachting Association) training in Toronto.

Sail Canada Member's Area

Humber College has a big program.
08-31-2013 10:11 PM
flandria
Re: The danger of GPS as the sole means of navigation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chamonix View Post
Was at a local anchorage yesterday getting ready to return to the marina. Pulled up the anchor, settled behind the wheel, and went to turn on the GPS. Then I thought, " you've been here numerous times, you know the route, you know what buoys to look for, where they are, and where the hazards are, you don't need the GPS ". I turned the GPS on anyway. How's that for being a gutless wonder.
Yeah, Steve, and you're not alone!
08-31-2013 10:09 PM
flandria
Re: The danger of GPS as the sole means of navigation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninefingers View Post
My iPhone is a whole lot easier to understand than my chartplotter, which I have given up on.

I would love to know how to use paper charts better, but I don't believe there is any formal teaching in my area.
Since you are in Toronto, Ontario, I heartily recommend a Power & Sail Squadron, during winter. We learned everything we needed to know about reading and working with paper charts in their piloting course (or whatever it is now called). It will teach you so much, with good materials and in-class practice!

Good luck
08-12-2013 03:21 PM
nolatom
Re: The danger of GPS as the sole means of navigation.

A little more here about relying on GPS and not using your eyes:

Why We Still Need Lighthouses | Featured | Lighthouse News
08-12-2013 02:53 PM
Minnewaska
Re: The danger of GPS as the sole means of navigation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chamonix View Post
Was at a local anchorage yesterday getting ready to return to the marina. Pulled up the anchor, settled behind the wheel, and went to turn on the GPS. Then I thought, " you've been here numerous times, you know the route, you know what buoys to look for, where they are, and where the hazards are, you don't need the GPS ". I turned the GPS on anyway. How's that for being a gutless wonder.
On the contrary, it would be poor seamanship not to have available what is at your disposal, should a sudden need arise for it. I know a familiar anchorage is probably a stretch to make my point, but I do not give extra credit for skippers that just try to prove a point by going dark.
08-12-2013 02:01 PM
MedSailor
Re: The danger of GPS as the sole means of navigation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninefingers View Post
I would love to know how to use paper charts better, but I don't believe there is any formal teaching in my area.

I think there are a couple things you could do in leu of formal training on marine charts.

1: Buy the charts or at least a chartbook and keep it in the cockpit, open to the page where you're at. Continue to rely on your current methods but start practicing looking around and spotting islands and buoys and seeing them in relation to your chart. "That island must be this one on the chart, and my iphone says we're here, so if I come around the corner I should see a red buoy. Lets look for it."

2: Take an orienteering or land navigation course from your local hiking/backpacking/mountaineering club. About 90% of the skill you need to be a good marine paper chart navigator crosses over to orienteering. Once you get good at reading land maps you can look at your chart, and look around, and just know "you are here."

I was never trained on marine charts, but grew up in the scouts and my school did orienteering competitions every year. The transition to marine charts was nearly seamless. The only issue is that I didn't buy "chart 1" which is the chart's legend of symbols. Ask me some day how I found out what "green" means on the chart.

MedSailor
08-12-2013 01:02 PM
jackdale
Re: The danger of GPS as the sole means of navigation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolatom View Post
Yeah, let us not overlook the effectiveness of that low-cost navigation aid:

"E--yeball"

Works great!! Only trick is using it to look out the friggin' window, or under the jib, or outside the hatch dodger, and not just to stare at all the radars, echarts, Gps interface, AIS interface, knotmeter, and even the lowly compass.
Using your really helps to see the stuff that does not show up on those devices: logs and other debis, kayakers and other small vessels, etc..

That way you can also enjoy the view.
08-12-2013 12:40 PM
nolatom
Re: The danger of GPS as the sole means of navigation.

Yeah, let us not overlook the effectiveness of that low-cost navigation aid:

"E--yeball"

Works great!! Only trick is using it to look out the friggin' window, or under the jib, or outside the hatch dodger, and not just to stare at all the radars, echarts, Gps interface, AIS interface, knotmeter, and even the lowly compass.
08-12-2013 10:54 AM
chamonix
Re: The danger of GPS as the sole means of navigation.

Was at a local anchorage yesterday getting ready to return to the marina. Pulled up the anchor, settled behind the wheel, and went to turn on the GPS. Then I thought, " you've been here numerous times, you know the route, you know what buoys to look for, where they are, and where the hazards are, you don't need the GPS ". I turned the GPS on anyway. How's that for being a gutless wonder.
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