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    Re: News Item on Over-reliance on GPS
    From: Peter Fogg
    Date: 2008 Nov 5, 08:30 +1100
    Lu, you seem to be trying to make a sea mound out of a molehill. 
    A specific example that I would have thought too obvious to mention: the use of sextant, watch and tables as back-up to GPS.
    Some people think of sails as back-up to a motor, although perhaps the opposite is more appropriate.  Oars on-board the dinghy, despite its engine.  Kerosene (paraffin?) lamps in the cabin to save battery use at night.  Small-boat sailors tend to have back-up systems for their back-ups, in an effort to be as self-reliant as possible, no matter what. 
    Remember that electronics are dependent on a continuous and reliable source of electricity, which means that they tend to lie at the end of a long-enough chain of other complex systems - related to fuel, motor, batteries.  Any break in that chain is bad news for electronic systems.  Yes; batteries can be and should be recharged from solar generators.  Another system to maintain.
    Again, and I hope for the last time, there is no "line" to be drawn.  Complicated systems, including electronic ones are great ... while they work.  Exclusive reliance on them while out at sea somewhere, particularly in a small boat with its often violent movement and high humidity levels, could be, has been, and undoubtedly will be again (unfortunately) quite disastrous. 

    On Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 3:23 AM, Lu Abel <lunav@abelhome.net> wrote:

    Once again, you're not being specific.  Exactly what sort of "systems that don't rely on fickle ... electronics" are you suggesting that we embrace?   Surely you must be thinking of some specific on-board tasks, whether it's navigation or whatever...

    I'm trying to understand where you would draw the line.  Anything having electronics inside it?   Anything that even relies on electricity?  Or just some subset of electronics, like "radios are okay but not GPS"?

    Peter Fogg wrote:
    Lu; these are all great inventions, and I'm not suggesting discarding any of them.  However, Neptune may have other ideas, leading to the usefulness of systems that don't rely on fickle and often unrepairable (at sea, if not altogether) electronics.
    Not sure that there is anything particularly new or revolutionary in this modest common-sense proposal ..

    On Tue, Nov 4, 2008 at 5:05 PM, Lu Abel <lunav@abelhome.net> wrote:
    No, please be specific.   Are you suggesting we discard our radios?   How about electronic watches for timekeeping?  Depthsounders?  LED lighting systems (which are becoming more and more prevalent to conserve battery power)? 

    Peter Fogg wrote:
    Umm ... maybe an alternative system?  One not reliant on electronics ..

    On Tue, Nov 4, 2008 at 4:50 PM, Lu Abel <lunav@abelhome.net> wrote:
    And what do you suggest instead?

    Peter Fogg wrote:

    Frank wrote:

     But the loss of all GPS capability aboard a vessel strikes me as
    bad planning.
    Nah.  Stuff happens.  Particularly on small boats.  Terrible place for electronics.

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