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    Re: News Item on Over-reliance on GPS
    From: Fred Hebard
    Date: 2008 Nov 9, 13:57 -0500

    Yes, with the caveat to use the sextant regularly.
    On Nov 9, 2008, at 1:28 PM, Lu Abel wrote:
    > Fred Hebard wrote:
    >> So where's the sextant then? Well, gee, that's your PRIMARY
    >> navigation system.
    >> This seems contradictory Frank. Either the 'complicated GPS
    >> "system" aboard' is the primary system or the sextant is. In a
    >> long, bluewater passage in a small boat, it would seem a sextant
    >> might be the best primary system. Fred
    > Fred, I guess I have to wonder on what basis you make this
    > assertion.   On the one hand, when you're on a bluewater passage,
    > you don't really worry much about bumping into things, bad weather
    > and other such things are a more continuous and urgent concern.
    > On the other hand, when you near land, your position suddenly
    > becomes of great concern.   As a responsible navigator, would you
    > prefer a system that gave you five-mile accuracy when it was
    > working or a system that gave you 50 ft accuracy most of the time?
    > Frank gave some excellent examples of how rugged and waterproof
    > current handheld GPS sets are.   Yeah, large-screen systems like
    > chartplotters might be less waterproof, but let's not fail to
    > distinguish.
    > As has been mentioned on the list previously, the best backup
    > systems are ones that rely on a different technology for their
    > success -- celestial vs GPS, sails vs engines, buckets vs electric
    > bilge pumps.    So why can't we just agree that a good offshore
    > navigator should carry both a sextant AND a GPS??
    > >
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