Forum > General Discussion > Gadget World
Member since: 3 Mar 2020
Last post: 6 Jan 2021
Forgive me, but. I used to navigate with pencil, dividers, charts and compass. ok until my next boat had a gps chartplotter. crossing the Irish Sea out of sight of land I think I knew where I was with boat shown on screen.time, heading speed. I have not mastered the waypoint thing yet. but my Grandchildren have no problem.However! I have taught the older ones to navigate the Old way. should have bought one years ago.
Member since: 4 Jan 2013
Last post: 6 Jun 2015
Dead reckoning, dead in the water more like. My chartplotter tells me everything I want to know. Paper Charts, compasses, pencils, in the bin. Just turn it on, put in some waypoints and turn on the autohelm.
What does everyone else think?
Member since: 6 Oct 2012
Last post: 20 May 2015
A Solent Cruise Without A Chart Plotter?
Joshua Slocum set out from Boston in April 1895 in his sloop Spray to circumnavigate the world. He bought a 1 dollar alarm clock, which he boiled as it didn’t work properly to act as his chronometer. He navigated by dead reckoning (DR) and the stars.
Now whilst that is quite beyond my capabilities the current emphasis on setting to sea with a boat bristling with the latest electronics in order to get from the Hamble to the IOW is unnecessary. Sailing magazines supported by advertising are forever producing articles about every conceivable gadget, and whilst they all have their merits, most are not really needed.
The problem that reading these articles gives me, and I’m sure others is that of inadequacy. My first offshore trip was from Yarmouth, IOW to Alderney. GPS was not around then and navigation was by DR. It was no modern yacht and poor windward performance meant that it took us 22 hours to sight land. That’s a lot of time without knowing precisely where you are, and there was much discussion about whether helmsman A or B or C for that matter had steered the more accurate course.
Eventually it was possible to identify landmarks on shore and take bearings in order to plot a position on the chart. We made it!
In later years GPS really made it easy to know exactly where you are. My point is that with a chart, compass, GPS and a depth guage, you can go anywhere. There is no substitute for observation and common sense.
Or am I wrong?