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Old 30-05-2008, 20:06   #1
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Navi usage for Boat is not like the Car

A complete Newbe here. When I put in an address on the car navigation system, it get me there, step by step, turn here and there.

I'm felling really dumb now that I expected the boat gps to work the same way.

When I set it up from point A to B, it tracked me across 20 miles of land.

You've got to put in each turn, etc as a way point right??? Thanks,
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Old 30-05-2008, 20:31   #2
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Liz,
Don't feel dumb, its an easy mistake for a beginner to make.

Boat GPS units must be different than car GPS's simply because there are no streets. Although, it is possible to load nautical charts in some automobile type GPS units. Generally though, the resolution you need for boat GPS systems is much greater than that for car units although many do get away with car type GPS units on boats.

What you do with a boat GPS/chart plotter is you have to create a route. A route is a series of waypoints from point A to point B with straight lines between the waypoints. Of course, you could set a route right across a coral reef if you chose to do so. There is no artificial intelligence to prevent you from making an impossible or dangerous route for the boat to follow. You will need to learn how to read nautical charts in order to create a safe route, along with a few other nautical skills such as understanding tides for example.

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Old 30-05-2008, 20:43   #3
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Quote:
You've got to put in each turn, etc as a way point right???
Boat navigation requires a little bit more technical experience. Accounting for a lot of things adds to the complexity. Winds currents and tides all change how you move. It's not that it's hard but it's not like a car. More like hiking in the mountains without a trail. You can still use a GPS but you use it a little bit different.
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Old 30-05-2008, 21:19   #4
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United States Power Squadron

I strongly suggest you contact your local United States Power Squadron. The USPS is a volunteer organization that teaches safe boating and navigation. They offer classes to learn just about everything you could want to know about boating.

The Navigation classes cover GPS but you can also just take the shorter GPS only seminar.

Goto United States Power Squadrons® [Boating Education: Public Classes + Member Courses = Safe Boating] to learn about the organization.

Goto Locate a USPS Squadron or District to find a squadron (group) near you.

They can also do volunteer inspection of your vessel to make sure you meet all Coast Guard regulations and help you get prepared BEFORE you ever get boarded or inspected.

Great organization, all volunteer, non profit, and yes I am a member.
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Old 31-05-2008, 07:12   #5
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Old 31-05-2008, 10:26   #6
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Thanks all. Will definitely look into those classes. Bought a chart for the local area we'll be cruising and I think I'll use it together with the GPS/chart plotter so I don't have to zoom in and out, etc. We almost went aground the other day, we got distracted and veered just slightly out of the channel.
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Old 31-05-2008, 13:30   #7
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We almost went aground the other day, we got distracted and veered just slightly out of the channel.
There you have it. All the lessons to learn about navigation sum up to that. You now have the experience to motivate your better navigation skills. It's not all technical but a fair amount of watching and paying attention. In that way it is like driving. It is uncanny how there can be only one thing to block your path within a mile and you almost hit it when you drop your guard. I can't explain why but it is how it is.

Uisng the chart with the GPS is just a great idea. It's nice to have two things to compare. You can study it and find things you may have overlooked before. You eventually learn to see more too.
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