The exact navigation requirements as per the book are:
type, properly installed and adjusted and current
- suitable for steering
(may be handbearing)
Note - A GPS
is not a acceptabel compass
and plotting equipment
including NZ almannac, local tide tables
- Recommended only but this conflicts with another rule
later in the rules
plus one or more hand held GPS
Lead line or echo sounder
Log or distance measureing instrument (gps not a substitute)
day shapes - recommended
Thats all folks under navigation equipment
- not 3 gps's but you must have 2 which is fair enough.
My experience having done 2 yachts now through Cat 1 is that it is not a problem as long as you have a plan for everything even if don't have exactly what the book says - for instance it made no sense carrying a dan bouy on my single
trip to Fiji
as I was going to be unable to throw it to myself!! however the inspector tried to insist it was required!! We had a great discussion about that!
I've got no problem with people not wanting to comply with Cat 1 and I agree that it should be free will to comply for cruising yachts, however dont' expect my tax's to pay for your pick up out of the drink when the sh1t hits the fan, and don't carry an EPIRB
because you want to be independant - remember!
Cat 1 is a start and yes it could be improved but generally it's a good idea in my humble opinion, otherwise we would have bloody trailer sailers trying to leave NZ for the islands! How many yachty's do you hear moaning about unprepaired yachts heading to the islands every year when 1 or 2 yachts get capsized - heaps is the answer.
I agree that at the end of the day it comes down to your yachts structural ability and most of importantly how tough you are mentally. It has been proven time and time again that while seamanship is important it is not the most important thing - mental toughness is what needs to be measured for Cat 1.