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Old 17-01-2009, 05:57   #16
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To me it's not a choice between markers or GPS. Use both.

The markers should be primary. Then glance at the GPS.

The charts on the GPS may be "new", but when was the survey done? How accurate was the positioning back then? The GPS is totally accurate, but the charts often aren't. Even on the ICW I have had the GPS showing me over land when I was dead in the channel.

But when the markers get confusing, the GPS can help you orient yourself. I use both markers and GPS and the amount of information I use from both is about equal.

When you are at a place you will be going again, save waypoints at the critical points. Sometimes you are too busy piloting, but you can go back and do it later this way: Keep paper charts handy. Put marks on the paper charts when you are at a point where you think a waypoint will come in handy. After the trip, download the tracks from the GPS to your computer. Look at the chart you marked up, find the same place on your computer track and make a waypoint somewhere on the track. That waypoint will be accurate. But a waypoint made on the basis of the chart alone is questionable at best.


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Old 17-01-2009, 06:36   #17
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On the ICW the chartplotter is only a guide. This you have to remember all the time. Keep an eye on the depths and slow down when you get close to your draft. Of course some shoals come up like the face of a cliff, then it's a helluva shock.

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Old 17-01-2009, 07:00   #18
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Been there and done that, and without reverse because our transmission was out and the guy that would work on it wouldn't come to Alligator River Marina and requested that we go to Dowry Creek (without reverse). If you want a little comfort reading, read my blog about finding higher ground, we find it everywhere we go. Of course, we draw 6'6".
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Old 17-01-2009, 07:19   #19
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That is no fun!

(I too would push on past belhaven to oriental if you are looking to get hauled out... wasn't real impressed with the guys at river forest.)
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Old 20-01-2009, 02:00   #20
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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post

Before attempting to go any further, you might want to study the postings on your proposed route available at Cruisers Net your best source for up to date information on the Waterway - Home . There is a very exhaustive discussion of the problems in the Alligator River at Cruisers Net your best source for up to date information on the Waterway - ICW, Alligator River to Pungo River (Statute Mile 65 to 145) together with posts by cruisers that have recently transited the area; and, locals that know where the snags are. With that information you can annotate your paper charts or, better, a chart book that you can keep by your side in the cockpit which, together with a hand bearing compass and local titde tables, can help you avoid many of the pitfalls.

Frankly, the Garmin isn't the problem so I wouldn't go there. In future, it might be worth towing a dinghy or keeping one partially inflated on deck. With that and a laundry basket filled with 200' of rode and a Fortress FX 16, you can set a kedge in no time and get yourself off.

Something eles you might want to look at is a remote control depth sounder that can be run out ahead of the yacht (see fishsweeper the remote control boat wireless fishfinder ). While it may sound silly, a friend of ours has his wife sit out on the foredeck with one of these, scoping out the water ahead of the yacht, and calling directions back to him whenever they are entering a questionable area and he swears by it.


s/v HyLyte
i have a setup for fishing with a radio controlled boat and an internal fish finder,never thought to use it as a "forward sonar" what a great idea

i dont have the ICW to contend with,i do have the sand banks and tidal rivers of the UKs east coast,even with a 15 inch draught ive ran out of depth,the advantage being if you get stuck in 15 inches you can jump in and push yourself off

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