Originally Posted by bcn
AIS perhaps? Or the radar
Is that needed at the helm
in the sunny daytime? Set up guard rings on radar
at the nav station, or even on a swing-out monitor
in the companionway
. If it's under 20 NM away... *BEEEEPPP!*: "Dear, go below and check the bearing of that cargo ship and its closest approach...thanks..."
If you need an active and continuous radar/AIS overlay at night, whatever monitor
you have is going to be dialled right back to 1 so you can make out the kerosene lanterns the fishermen may or may not have.
A daylight-visible monitor at the helm
is a nice thing to have. I don't think of it as essential. One thing I've thought of that would be useful ...and which I've never seen...is an "audio navigator" of the type that shouts "PULL UP" on passenger jets if you're too close to the unscheduled ground.
Imagine you set a waypoint you need to reach, but you are in an opposing tidal set of unknown strength. There is no buoy to see, or it is night or its foggy. The waypoint gives you a clear offing from a reef or shelf or whatever. Why not set that waypoint, and the desired heading, and have "instructions" actually spoken on deck
? Like "5 degrees to port...on course". Your eyes are on the sea, as is proper, but you are getting a running plot, so to speak, and if you have to steer 15 to port by compass
to get on course, you have useful current
or tidal information.
I'm no software
expert, but I can think of a couple of cheap
ways to make this happen off-the-shelf that don't involve "Siri".