Piloting with a plotter

On the face of things, an electronic chart plotter delivers all the answers to inshore pilotage. You can actually watch the boat as she jinks among the rocks to a safe haven. Very nice in theory. One danger is that an over-zoomed electronic chart may be a fool's paradise, and it is easy to over-zoom without noticing because without doing so there may be insufficient scale to see what's really going on. Furthermore, while you can rely on a set-up transit because it was put there by pilots who certainly knew what they were about, trusting the plotter is putting your faith in everything on the chart. Among the reefs, it is possible that the survey may be less complete than a zoomed chart suggests. In any case, if the GPS is a couple of boat's lengths out or there is some issue with the datum (which there shouldn't be, but which I have certainly seen), following the silver screen could lead to your Nemesis.

If you do decide to use the plotter, make sure you have a ready exit strategy in case of sudden failure.

Having delivered such a catalogue of dire warnings, I must say that I often use a portable plotter in the cockpit to back up what I am seeing with my own eyes. Very reassuring it can be, too.

How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.

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