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Safe boat navigation calls for GPS chartplotter and nautical compass and paper map

by Rus Abz 2011-10-18 14:13


Nautical ancient compassEffective use of marine navigational technology, including GPS solutions, depends on a mariner having a solid foundation in the fundamentals of coastal navigation. Traditional arsenal of navigational instruments such as compass, divider, and paper map and chart are widely used by boaters. The experienced captains always remember that the use the GPS navigational equipment, the chartplotters and electronic charts only facilitate, not replace, the use of authorized, government approved marine charts. Old school and traditional navigation methods are not archaic, because they work even after the power batteries or electrical generator fail. Reliance on a single source for navigational data can lead to severe consequences for boating safety if the GPS antenna, gpsmap chartplotter or electronic course compass unit fails. Safety calls for the weighted balance between fully electronic global positioning system navigation technology and the alternative traditional methods as a dependable backup readily available to verify the marine vessel position at all times. A vessel's position and track should be regularly plotted not only on the chartplotter's screen, but also on on a paper map chart and a backup navigation system must be employed during an offshore passage.

Safety helicopter and resque boat

Safety aware boaters learn to be a more professional mariners by taking a course in basic coastal navigation. The course teaches how to plot vessel positions on a paper map chart and carry onboard a most current version of the chart covering operational areas in the surrounding waters. The U.S. Coast Guard  offers safety guidelines and coastal navigation training for mariners. The Chartplotter Simulator applications are also available to master the use of electronic charts, the sonar, radar overlay and dual range, weather screens and "where to" waypoints and tracks navigational and directional techniques to adhere to marine safety standards.  

Ancient nautical instruments and mapMembers of the search and rescue organizations and the coast guard community are maintaining the safety guidelines for the boaters. The navigational technology offers new generation of marine simplified sailing systems, such as an advanced sailboat autopilot system. It is of great help to the marine enthusiast. Simplified autopilot system gives an extra set of hands aboard marine vessel. It is helpful when the mariner is operating in normal or even in heavy weather conditions. The wind sensor interfaces with GPS navigational and vessel network electronics. The safety on the water system can support heading hold, wind hold, step turns, tack and jibe and much more. This allows marine enthusiast to safely attend to the vessel's sails, lines, winches and engine controls. Most innovative autopilot products in the sailboat market are optimized for use on power boats and sailboats. They are designed with safety in mind for effective operating of boat steering systems and can automatically receive timely updates of the newest sailing-specific software. 

Marine Chartplotter Simulator

Modern GPS navigational systems for boaters incorporate safer chartplotters that utilize electronic versions of navigation charts, the BlueCharts, and provide a wealth of navigation critical data for the marine enthusiast during a voyage. At the same time the vessel's crew should not solely depend on a single GPS navigation unit for position information. In very rare cases some older models of GPS chartplotters could incorrectly or incompletely draw areas of marine charts in a way that makes land or shallow water areas appear to be navigable water. The newer GPS chartplotters are using the real time software which checks for the latest and greatest versions of the chartplotter's firmware, software and topographic maps and performs the automatic update of the critical information immediately as it becomes available. The latest GPS systems support safety-of-life applications for mariners, effectively acquire civilian safety-of-life signals and provide improved availability and accuracy. 

Radar Combination Screen - Chartplotter Simulator

Safety requirements are incorporated in the NMEA 2000 data and electrical nautical network that enables communication between marine electronic equipment, such as chartplotters, and GPS devices. Thoroughly tested in severe weather conditions the NMEA 2000 network installations support a multiple-talker, multiple-listener data network. To ensure high safety standards each GPS navigational product and services, to become NMEA 2000-certified undergo a rigorous certification process established by National Marine Electronics Association. Marine vessel captain armed with knowledge of both GPS navigational technology, mastered via real time Chartplotter Simulator training, and the traditional compass and paper map navigational methods as a backup to verify and maintain the marine safety and vessel position at all times is armed with a weighted balance of safety techniques to ensure safe and quality time on the water.

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