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What was the average boater using before Gps became affordable?

Old 07-29-2016, 12:31 AM
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Default What was the average boater using before Gps became affordable?

I been into boating less than 10 years. I started with a basic marine gps and I felt so cutting edge. These days most don't use paper charts and some boats don't have a compass .
So what were the 20 plus foot boaters using when they hit waters they did not know.
I know I feel thst the gps will get me just about anywhere.
I was actually reading that the US Navy is teaching navagstion to sailors again. Chart and sexton navagstion. Was lorance the way to go.
Old 07-29-2016, 12:59 AM
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Loran-C
Old 07-29-2016, 02:37 AM
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I am old enough and started young enough to know. In the beginning, for coastal navigation we had NOAA paper charts, plotting tools, good compasses, a watch, and some way of measuring speed. With that you could have a pretty good idea of where your were if you plotted out your course on the charts (which were cheap).

Then I got a Loran, which provided real-time position data that could be plotted out onto the chart and speed for dead reckoning. Next was a basic GPS that provided position, course, and speed. Finally, we got the electronic chartplotters such as the Northstar 951about 20 years ago. Things haven't really changed much since then in terms of actual navigation capability, just much faster, brighter, and bigger.

I knew celestial navigation, which was necessary for offshore passages but that's because I used to race sailboats as well as fish.
Old 07-29-2016, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Bugsbunnyboater View Post
I was actually reading that the US Navy is teaching navagstion to sailors again
Surprised that they ever stopped.

Still worthwhile learning (even if you have back up systems) - the electronic chart plotter means so much more if you understand traditional course plotting - a bit like using a calculator even though you can add up without one.
Old 07-29-2016, 03:07 AM
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is GPS access guaranteed for civilians on a day to day basis.
Old 07-29-2016, 03:17 AM
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Paper charts and a compass will get you most places you want to go, that's what I used when I first started fishing coastal/offshore. Still have to use the old map/compass combo on some of the boats I go fishing on.
Old 07-29-2016, 03:21 AM
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Originally Posted by puppy View Post
is GPS access guaranteed for civilians on a day to day basis.
Definitely, the main focus of the system these days is in fact the civil market.
Old 07-29-2016, 03:57 AM
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Land ranges, RDF, Decca, Loran A, Loran C
Old 07-29-2016, 04:08 AM
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2x keydiver,been sailing for 50yrs and you need to know how to do conventional navigation,Electronics will blow up at just the wrong time. I have had a loran c blow in a thunder storm and was left with a compass and chart,glad I knew how to get back home.
Old 07-29-2016, 04:15 AM
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for me, I started with paper charts, a compass and watch. Then I added the depth finder that added another dimension. Then loran. Then GPS.
Old 07-29-2016, 04:24 AM
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Hello. Interesting this subject, I still have paper charts, although they are being less often printed here, I always like to have a paper representation, so I can see everything at a glance or in detail and have a broad idea in my head of where we are and where we are going. Decca and Loran were the forerunners of GPS. I still like to have a compass and I still look at it, although some boats just don´t have them fitted any more by the factory. The most important things that we still have IMHO are VHF and radar. My dad didnt believe in speaninf money on fancy gizmos so my brother and I learnt the old fahioned way, worked well for years.
Old 07-29-2016, 04:30 AM
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Compass, paper charts, dead reckoning. Dad used Loran, but not me.....

Folks really should have a backup plan in case their GPS fails.

Got caught in a fog bank at Fire Island one night. That was interesting......
Old 07-29-2016, 04:32 AM
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I frequently have others visit and bring their boats. This happens particularly in the keys.

I always give the nubees encouragement to buy the chart covering the area we plan to fish. I also give them a paper chart orientation to give them the "lay of the land" that includes some safe haven spots should weather kick up.
Old 07-29-2016, 04:37 AM
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Charts with TDs and a Northstar 800.
Old 07-29-2016, 05:12 AM
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I always admired the early explorers, who set out to sea without knowing what was out there and navigated by the stars.
Old 07-29-2016, 05:20 AM
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X2 to the paper charts. Good old compass the most important item on the boat. To obtains Captains license plotting position, drift, currents, dead reconing all required. Believe if you go offshore you are required to have paper charts. Listen to some of the boater distress calls and they have no idea where they are
Old 07-29-2016, 05:38 AM
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I don't think you'll find many (any) recreational boaters that carry paper charts, and I personally don't see a reason to. I've got a chartplotter, a handheld GPS, and a cell phone with GPS, and a compass. That should do it.
Old 07-29-2016, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by jbg108 View Post
Charts with TDs and a Northstar 800.
What a great unit. Impressive how the cases were overbuilt aluminum with gasket on the chassis compared to the plastic disposable units now. But they cost as much as a good used car back then too.

I actually remember satnav that only got a fix when the correct satellite was in position overhead. Can't say I could ever operate one though.
Old 07-29-2016, 05:50 AM
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Everything said above here but on the Chesapeake Bay, which is huge, I also relied heavily on landmarks and buoys. I knew where certain radio (now microwave) towers were located and how they differed. Most have lights on top. There are three together entering into the Annapolis Harbor that you can usually see many miles away. Lighthouses and former lighthouses are highly distinctive and usually easy to see from a distance. You were far more observant, like making out the outline of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, 5 miles off in the distance, land formations and were especially familiar with channel markers. "OK, that next one should be #84."
Old 07-29-2016, 05:52 AM
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