Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Sailing IT

Technology is wonderful. The yacht I sailed on over the weekend had this on-deck chart plotter nicely placed between the two wheels so you could sit by the helm engrosed in the numbers.

Bit of an eye opener really - big step up from the GPS and Nautical Almanac of previous boats. Very useful in spotting buoys, watching VMG, showing tide flows....

I want one.

Of course you must still be able to do the calculations by hand if the systems fails. The display already had a hazy bit where condensation had crept inside the screen. And electrical systems are known to fail. On the ARC we had a power surge and the instruments reset and refused to do anything without us entering a security code. We had no security code to give it so had to rely on the wind vane and handheld GPS.

Buts it's not just electronics that can have the odd bug. Yatching World's diary has got its tide times wrong - they forgot to correct for daylight saving time. Oops.

Luckily there is the EasyTide to predict tides over the coming weekend for the main ports in the UK - and it has a special button to click to get the times in GMT or summer time. But there's still the possibility (or indeed probability) that someone will forget to click on it and not check the times.

And the moral of the story is..... er.... em........ hang on....

Image from

Yes! That's it! Plan ahead and double check!

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