In road traffic, navigation systems have made a significant contribution to road safety: instead of leafing through unwieldy road maps, the driver can concentrate fully on the road traffic. Navigation systems have also found their way into recreational boating, and almost every yacht today is equipped with the modern technology. However, anyone who relies exclusively on technical devices can quickly cause considerable damage.
A lookout is mandatory The claims experts at Pantaenius know: relying solely on equipment is a grossly negligent act. A lookout is mandatory. A case reached the yacht insurance experts in which a motorboat drove head-on into a lighthouse at a speed of 22 knots. The skipper had entered this very lighthouse as a waypoint in the plotter and set it on autopilot. In another case, a sailing yacht collided during the day with another vessel that had the right of way in perfect visibility and flat seas. This skipper had also set the autopilot.
Often deviations in the GPS system In most cases, the charts in navigation devices are based on large-scale charts of commercial shipping; they are not ideal for navigating in tighter spaces. In addition, a certain inaccuracy must be taken into account even with very good chart material. Position determination or satellite configuration can lead to deviations that can still be up to 200 meters even in modern devices.
Especially when there are many shoals or between larger groups of islands, such as in the Swedish sheers or the Greek archipelago, it can easily happen that you hit a rock or - according to the display - are over land. This does not mean that technology should generally be dispensed with, but you should always keep in mind that technology can also be faulty or does not recognize everything that the human eye perceives. To be on the safe side, paper maps should always be consulted, which of course have to be updated regularly.
Updating and correction of nautical charts is important Paper charts and the data of electronic devices must be updated or corrected regularly. Due to wrecks or in strong tidal waters, new or changed shoals can quickly occur; in the best case, the navigator is only surprised at the discrepancies between the chart and his own observations.
Radar or no radar? Whether radar is needed depends on the preferred cruising area. In heavily trafficked areas or in areas with visibility obstructions such as fog (e.g. the English Channel or the Strait of Gibraltar), a radar unit is certainly useful. However, the unfamiliar display takes some getting used to. An Automatic Identification System (AIS) might be more suitable. Through the AIS, ships identify themselves and clearly announce their static, voyage, and dynamic data to others. However, these devices are still rare in recreational boating. Source: www.pantaenius.de
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