1. Shop carefully for chart plotters and similar products. Don’t just go for the “deal of the day”. It may be a deal because there are flaws or because it’s outdated.
2. Consider not only the hardware but the cartography. How good is the chart coverage and what other info is given and how easy is it to quickly access it.
3. Learn how to use your chart plotter before you start relying on it. Practice using it. You’ll find that good equipment and cartography can offer a huge amount of info. But you need to know how to access and use it without having to think about it. In the clutch, you won’t have time to figure it out.
4. NEVER go with just a chart plotter. Use them, yes, but always have current paper charts.
5. Study the paper charts before you go and before you approach a land fall, marina or any other questionable area.
6. Also take good updated guide books and study them before you’re in the tight spot. You won’t have time when you’re on the verge of trouble.
7. Radar, depth finders, chart plotters and forward looking sonar do NOT replace the basic tenets of good seamanship. They are only a part of the tools and practices that you should use in the exercise of good seamanship.
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Boating and water sports involve risk. Any comments herein should be followed at your own risk. You assume all responsibility for risk or injury to yourself or others. Any person or entity that uses this information in any way, as a condition of that use, agrees to waive and does waive and also hold authors harmless from any and all claims which may arise from or be related to that use.
Copyright 2004-2010 Tom Neale