Navigation_system_on_a_merchant_ship

How to navigate With a GPS Chartplotter

A Chartplotter is a device that fulfills GPS satellite navigation with charts on water and the coastline to accurately place you on the map and track your speed and direction. Most chart plotters can store hundreds of custom routes, each with their waypoints and route information. Chartplotters and navigational charting apps visualize your boat's position superimposing the chart on the screen, making it easy to watch where you are.

With this message, you can, in some cases, watch your destination and route and follow your progress safely over the chart. With the arrangement of GPS task and embedded maps, Chartplotter has become a vital navigational tool which is cheaper and easier to install and use on any craft.

Today's Chartplotter has overcome a long way from usual paper charts, and they often feature a range of extra functions, including man overboard markers, zoom abilities, and much more. Manufacturers, however, continue to recommend the boat owners to carry paper charts for important areas, in case of power malfunction.

The Basics of Navigation

This article describes the basics of navigation in your boat using either traditional paper charts or a Chartplotter or charting app. Navigation skills are vital for sailors and other boaters to keep away from problems with underwater obstructions and to reach the proposed destination safely and competently.

Many boats and lives have been missing due to weak navigation, even though there are modern electronics with them. So, attention and navigation skills are crucial for boaters.

Traditional Navigation with Paper Charts

The safest thing is to continually carry and know how to use paper charts, even if you use a GPS-enabled Chartplotter or app. Contain new maps at the proper scale. Purchase new plans locally or download NOAA paper chart booklets and print them out yourself.

When you stay on land, maintain an idea of your present position at all times by watching aids to sailing (such as green and red buoys or the flash of a lighthouse or lighted buoy).

Moreover, you can take compass bearings to visible shore features. For example, you might scrutinize a water tower at 270 degrees and a tiny island at 40 degrees.

Three lines of a bearing are more accurate. To plan your course, pencil in a route from your current position to your destination, or to point out where you need to turn to avoid an obstruction.

Navigation with Chartplotters and Apps.

Chartplotters and navigational charting apps exhibit your boat's position superimposing the chart on the screen, making it natural to get a sense of where you are. With this message, you can, in some cases, watch your destination and route and follow your progress safely over the chart.

With more remote or problematic destinations, you can enter waypoints into the Chartplotter or app and build a course, which will typically show you a line on the chart screen to guide along. As long as you always observe your position on the chart and steer properly, you will be able to avoid hazards.

Many boats still fall in trouble by going the wrong direction, less perfect steering, or a side current. Even when using chart plotters, many boaters have got into a hazard situation.

Furthermore, many boaters do not think to plot route lines that visibly show whether they are still on the straight line to the next waypoint.

Sometimes, overconfidence can cause many problems, especially in the minutes immediately following an electronics malfunction when you may need to act speedily to keep away from a hazard.

Other Aids to Navigation

It is a good idea to become aware of other aids to navigation, as used by conventional mariners for hundreds of years. It can be effortless to estimate existing speeds by observing the activities of the movement of water on the nearby buoy or lobster or crab pot float.

When you are intimate with your boat's motion and speed, you can estimate the rate of the ship by the appearance of water flowing past your hull.

Another navigational assistance is the boat's depth finder. Merely comparing your measured depth with the depth shown on the chart helps ensure your estimated position when using traditional paper charts. This article completely describes how to use your depth finder for navigation.

If you don't contain a depth finder on your boat, you can easily set up an inexpensive one yourself. A depth finder is often essential for safe navigation.

What is a Chartplotter?

A Chart-plotter is an electronic navigation system that combines a GPS receiver to display electronic charts/maps. It also helps the boat's owner to regularly watch the position and movement of his craft concerning the surrounding, physical environment, above and below the water.

With its integral processor combining GPS data with electronic charts, a Chartplotter identifies the location of the vessel and can use the GPS data to estimate boat speed and direction. It can also calculate the time and distance of the destination or next waypoint. It shows all this data in real-time so that a navigator can know precisely where his boat is and where it's heading.

Boat owners often use chart plotters to preload routes so that they can edit those at any time before or during the voyage. Some Chartplotters permit the navigator to store hundreds of ways at a time for future use.

Each route consists of several waypoints to support navigation and evade hazards, such as shallow rocks or reefs.

With the arrangement of GPS task and embedded charts, Chartplotter has become a vital navigational tool which is relatively cheap and easy to install and use on any craft. Manufacturers, however, continue to recommend the boat owners to carry paper charts for important areas, in case of power malfunction.

Quick tips to remember

  • When navigating in shallow or risky waters, zoom your Chartplotter as far as it will go. It is because the graphic demonstration of your boat often won't change size when you climb to different levels. When zoomed way out, your ship may look the same size as you've zoomed in, so you won't be able to identify where the edges of your boat lie precisely.
  • It's always a good idea to have a compass and paper charts on board even when you contain a Chartplotter. If the device ever fails, the hard copies onboard will prove vital.          
  • One of the problematic uses for a Chartplotter is recording the favorite fishing spot of yours. Many Chartplotter, including the Garmin units, have the facility to set a waypoint at the boat's current position. So if you're unconfident of the exact coordinates, you can only record the position in your system's memory while you're there.

Final Verdict

From the above description, we can come to the point that Chartplotter is essential for GPS satellite navigation with charts on the water and the coastline to know the exact location and speed of your vessel. It can also calculate the time and distance of the destination or next waypoint.

It shows all the data in real-time so that a navigator can know precisely where his boat is and where it's heading. Boat owners should use chart plotters to preload routes so that they can edit those at any time before or during the voyage.

Some Chartplotters permit the navigator to store hundreds of routes at a time for future use. As long as you always observe your position on the chart and steer properly, you will be able to avoid hazards. Many boats still fall in trouble by going the wrong direction, less perfect steering, or a side current.

Even when using chart plotters, many boaters have got into a hazardous situation. Sometimes, overconfidence can cause many problems, especially in the minutes immediately following an electronics malfunction when you may need to act speedily to keep away from a hazard.

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