How useful are the navigation charts from the GPS systems that supply them? For example, the Garmin with the 10-inch display that gets advertized in Sail magazine every month. What level of detail is avaiable with that?
Sue & Larry respond:
The navigation charts available for todayís GPS chartplotters provide the navigator with a stunning amount of information and we feel that they're a welcome addition to virtually every nav station. There is sometimes so much data on the chart that some systems allow the user to subtract selected layers of info from the display screen at the push of a button. Programming features like this allow the GPS unit to display only the pertinent information for a particular journey. This simplifies the display and lets you focus on just the navigational information that you require at that particular time.
Keep in mind that a chartplotter is just another type navigational tool. We believe that itís best to incorporate your usage of electronic charts into your existing routine of paper navigation. By plotting on paper and then confirming your plot and course with your GPS chartplotter, youíve provided yourself with an important back-up means of navigation.
Good luck to you and fair winds.