Collision avoidance with chartplotters
Craig Hardy’s article ‘Keeping a lookout using electronic navigation aids’ [YM, June 2018] on the value of electronic navigation devices to avoid reefs and grounding was useful. But his solutions only apply to boats with wheel steering.
Last summer, coming back from France in my 10m yacht, I had an unpleasant nighttime encounter somewhere between Portland and Poole with a slow-moving tug. My boat has a good-quality chartplotter and an AIS receiver but my boat is tiller steered, and both those instruments are down below. I could see that trying to correlate the AIS data and the lights was difficult and involved lots of trips up and down. It wasn’t helped by the AIS on my chartplotter, which isn’t clearly ranged.
My solution has been to buy, for less than £400, a combined-colour AIS B and GPS and mount it in my cockpit. I also have charts on my ipad. The ipad’s battery life isn’t that good so I’ve had an extra 12V socket fitted in the cockpit as well to keep that up and running. The new GPS is much better than the rather crude repeater I have running from the chartplotter.
The AIS/GPS is also detachable and I’ve had power cables made so I can programme it down below or even at home. I am hoping that this combination will keep me well away from slow-moving tugs and shallows.
A colour-combined AIS B an GPS in the cockpit has made navigation easier for Paul