Marine electronics at the navigator service
We can not deny the revolution that has introduced to the marine electronics in the world of sailing. Almost any boat that we can find, rent and charter, from lenghts about 34 feet, would have a much simpler marine electronics that will make life on board much easier.
Some of the electronic devices that can be found are:
– GPS Plotter. Besides giving us our position in latitude and longitude, in certain versions we would find much more. It will be shown on the screen the position on the digital mapping with course data, distance to waypoint, hazards to navigation, etc.
– Digital anemometer and Tridata that will indicate the strength and direction of the wind. Also the angle of incidence on our boat, apparent and true wind, VMG, the maximum and minimum streak reached, etc.
– Radar. Very useful for night or low visibility in fog navigation. We can also find this fully integrated GPS functionality, which in addition to seeing our situation on the chart, we can see the obstacles that we may find in our defeat with other boats, the shore, buoys and beacons, etc.
GPS-canary – AIS. this system (Automatic Identification System). This system is not mandatory for pleasure boats (for vessels over 500 GT weight alone). Besides that, it is increasingly having acceptance aboard boats, as utilities and security that confers its implementation are very interesting . Basically, it is a location system to detect any other ship carrying this system installed (required for merchant ships, passenger, etc.). They are actually the ships that «we are more concerned» when navigating. The system lets you know other boats data. As useful as speed, heading, E.T.A. (Estimated Arrival Time), destination, etc., But the most interesting is that is calculated with accuracy if there exists collision course, and, if it exists, in how much time will occur.
Imagine we are sailing at night. We are night watching and our plotter screen in front of us. In this screen we will see our position, usually marked with a triangle or red arrow. Also an infinite line that marks our predictable course and speed data, wind direction, etc. Well, with AIS we will see triangles, typically of another color, which quickly identify as «another vessel». If we zoom the cursor, it will give us the information we may need. The name of that ship, its MMSI identifier, if we want to contact directly by radio with him, speed and heading to sailing… And above all, the CPA and TCPA (Time to closest point of approach).
An example could be read: the boat NAUTICOCEAN will pass us in 15 ‘to port at a distance of half a mile. This ship is heading to Lanzarote, where it will be arriving to Marina Rubicon at 22: 15h on the 24th of May. With this data, and if none of the vectors of speed, and direction of the boat or ours, we can relax and still enjoy a night navigation.
In addition to the advantages described in this AIS system, we need to add the price. It has nothing to do with buying a Radar. The locate prices are around $ 500, while a radar is usually around 3,000 euros.
Although this AIS locator and radar are not substitutes, and they are complementary, as only detects other vessels that incorporate this system, it will provide an invaluable utility especially in night sailing, hiking trips or intense traffic areas. The law demands that fishing vessels incorporate this system, so the usefulness of the system for any sailor will be in a much greater immediate future.
Some nautical utility Apps
-Navionics Marine. It allows us to have a wide map of the area we want to navigate in our Iphone or tablet. It is n interesting option as an instrument of «respect» if the boat that will rent do not have this feature on board.
-Signals Flags. International Code of Signals. If memory fails us, here we have this indispensable App in our navigation table.
Knot Guide. Unmissable knot guide in high definition.
-NMEAremote. A digital board with position data, course, speed, wind, etc. NMEA connection option.
-Tides Planner. Very useful for calculating curves, tide peaks, sun, live/dead, etc. of the area we will sail. It also offers data regarding tidal currents.
-GPS log. If we are willing to build a report of the places visited, this app is going to be very useful. This is because it can be labeled as Waypoint, including photos and data of interest.
-Starguide. It will delight lovers of astronomy. But also will help us to distract in our long nights of night watch. The hunter of stars with only orient our phone, tell us what star it is, its azimuth, declination, etc. A toy of entertainment.
Finally, we can not forget to carry the essential weather Apps as YachtWeather, Windfinder, Windguri, Weather, etc. All of that to complement our marine electronics already set up.