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Old 08-02-2010, 09:59   #16
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Yes, a handheld is stupid not to have in this technological day and age. Get another glass of wine!
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Old 10-02-2010, 16:01   #17
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I've just returned from 3 months in the Exumas. It is one thing to try to save money, it is another thing to save money at the expense of your safety. A good chartplotter with a depth gauge is a must in these water. Trying to "sail the old way" is just foolish. Having up to date charts and the corresponding electronics to sail safely is what it is all about. I certainly don't consider any of my electronics "video games", this just shows your inexperience with blue water cruising.
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Old 10-02-2010, 16:44   #18
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I would agree that a good chart and a depth sounder (or sounding lead) are nescessary. A gps is a very accurate and reliable way to fix your possition, no doubt, but not nescessary by any stretch of the imagination. People have sailed those same waters for hundreds of years without and in fact if you are depending solely on that piece of equiptment for navigation then it is a liability. Having and knowing how to use a paper chart, I would argue, is nescessary. Having a gps and a chrt plotter is an addition. A good one and certainly convenient.
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Old 10-02-2010, 19:09   #19
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Lief! Put that silly astrolobe away and look at the stars and birds. Norsemen have been sailing these waters for hundreds of years without relying on that new technology!
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Old 11-02-2010, 05:48   #20
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and their sunken remains support it.
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:03   #21
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"Sailors of old" used the best technology available to them -- paper charts, sextent, volumes of sun/star data, etc. It seems that the most seaman-like thing to do is to equip yourself with the best technology available that you can afford. Magellan would have killed for a gps receiver.

To NOT take advantage of such a reliable and cost effective aid to navigation because of some ludite notion of sailing "purity" or anti-electronics prejudice is lubberly. There is no more danger of a gps receiver malfunctioning than there was/is of dropping and damaging a sextent. In fact, for the price of one good sextent, you could have three or four handheld gps receivers and a case of AAA batteries on board as back-up.

Paper charts? Of course. But to not spend $189.95 on the best technology available? Why? It's like an eighteenth century mariner saying, "I don't need that fancy clock. Sailors have been sailing the oceans without knowing their latitude for thousands of years. I trust the old ways."

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Old 11-02-2010, 06:49   #22
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I consider my GPS to be one of the most valuable pieces of equipment on board.

However -
In the Bahamas, prior to the advent of Explorer Charts, the best available charts were often inaccurate from a lat & long standpoint, anywhere from 100 yards to over a mile. There are the sunken remains of vessels in the Bahamas, wrecked by their captains placing all their faith in the GPS rather than opening their eyes to their surroundings.

I would consider it unwise to not take advantage of technology in order to operate your vessel safely. I would also consider it unwise to not hone one's skills so as to be able to operate safely without modern devices.

I have never seen a captain's license issued to a computer.
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Old 11-02-2010, 12:12   #23
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Well said. FSMike
A gps is an invaluable aid to navigation. An increadibly accurate and a very reliable piece of equiptment. They are relatively cheap and it seems to me it is a good idea to have one. As an addition to your aides to navigation. Not as your sole means of navigation.
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:09   #24
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the best navigational aid in the bahamas has always been...YOUR EYES!!! the water is gin-clear and you can see everything in front of you (o.k., i'll admit i'm 15 ft. up on my bridge, but still...) have a blast..
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