Saturday, March 30, 2013

Frugal Sailor's Chart Plotter

We have a Chart Plotter aboard Easy Go. This is not new technology and has been around in many forms for a number of years. Electricity is a new addition to Easy Go after so many years of cruising without an engine. Sliding down the slippery slope of technology is tempting and I have fallen.

Utilizing an old Acer Computer with OpenCPN charting software and the addition of a GlobalSat BU-353-S4 GPS unit has given us the power of International Charting and Plotting position.

I find this addition will be useful in planning of routes and the finding sea buoys at the entrances to harbours. Will I use it all the time? No, I still prefer paper charts to navigate with. I can print out harbours from the software, I can use the GPS and computer in the fog to locate my position when near hard places.

It is a nice and inexpensive addition to the boat that will become just one of many aids to navigation that we use every day while sailing.

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