Originally Posted by ArmyDaveNY
I certainly don't let technology control me nor do I think most on this thread do. Even those who don't use paper charts appear to have put some thought into what they are doing. Unfortunately I am pretty sure that most of us do know people who let it control them even if it is unintentional.
I feel that GPS should be used to confirm what I have plotted and not as a primary method of plotting. This creates a much better situational awareness. I was in the Army for many years have have seen what happens when people rely too much on technology. If it can go wrong, it will and it will usually at the worst possible time. I have seen people drive into kill zones because they were so busy watching their waypoints and weren't paying enough attention to the burning vehicles around them (That's a good clue that something bad is happening in that area). Yes, this is an extreme example but it applies to us too.
Airbus makes some of the most technologically advanced aircraft around but there have been a number of crashes due to this automation. The pilots didn't have enough situational awareness. The most recent example is the Air France
crash off of Brazil
. Conversely, most people who drive carry a spare yet the odds of them needing one are probably lower than the odds of having a glitch.
I was in the technology business for ten years and I love technology. I do however recognize that it is a tool. If it is used to supplement the greatest tool (the brain) then it is good. If it is used as a crutch or to let us be lazy, then there will likely be a problem at some point. Electonic navigation is great but if there is a problem, electronic backups can take time to boot up, plug
in, etc. They may also not work for various reasons. Even if they do, they may not have the plots on them that you worked out earlier. A paper chart can be ready almost immediately (assuming you didn't bury it in some locker) and should be readily available.
"I certainly don't let technology control me nor do I think most on this thread do. Even those who don't use paper charts appear to have put some thought into what they are doing. Unfortunately I am pretty sure that most of us do know people who let it control them even if it is unintentional."
I know a guy who put his sailboat on autopilot
and then went to sit by the companionway
while his wife was below. His autopilot
over-reacted to a wave -- they can do that -- just has he was sailing MUCH too close to me -- he had a LOT of other water
(he was overtaking, by the way) and went right across the stern of my boat. He flipped the dinghy
we were towing, chewed up the plastic sleeve over my split backstay (thank goodness for the sleeve; you can see where the anchor
rolled off it instead of catching the wire) an left his bottom paint
across my stern -- not to mentioning he completely terrorized the friend of mine who was at the wheel
at the time. We were very close hauled. If she'd fallen off he would have hit my boat much worse. If she'd pointed up we would have luffed and slowed down and he would have hit us worse. There was nothing we could do.
Incredibly, two weeks later I was leaving a marina. My friend poked me and pointed behind us. There was the same guy, JUST outside the channel markers, already on autopilot in a very crowded boating
area. He was standing on his cabin
top, bent over and untangling lines (can't do that from behind the wheel
, doncha know ...) -- and gaining on us, this time overtaking us under engine
power. We just steered away and he plowed right through where we had just been. He would have done AGAIN if we hadn't been paying attention!
It's not just electronics that can be used badly, but I think this guy would be just as dangerous "sailing" the boat himself.