Originally Posted by Erin
You're a better man than me if you can drive a rib and plot your positions on a paper chart with dead reckoning etc when you're bouncing around at 30+ kts.
Navigating high speed open boats like RIBs is all about planning and using electronic navigation aids properly. No one is expecting people to sit on a RIB with a paper chart, a Portland plotter and pair of dividers and to ignore the GPS.
Anyone going out on a boat should familiarise themselves with the area using paper charts of the correct scale (as well as almanacs, books and knowledgeable locals) before setting out. Find out what the tides are doing - again its perfectly valid to buy the local tide books with graphs, print off tidal graphs from easytide or use the tide graphs on your chart plotter rather than drawing you own tidal curve and doing secondary port calculations.
Route planning should be done before getting on the boat. Plotting courses on a chart plotter or on computers is valid, but the routes should be duplicated onto paper charts - firstly to ensure the route is valid; it’s hard to appreciate your route on a 5inch plotter screen and second, because if the plotter fails for any reason you have your route on the paper chart.
Use techniques such as cross track error ladders to keep your position easily recorded on the chart as you make progress.
To those who say "You can't expect me to do all that just to go and potter round the bay!"
Yes - or at least the first time you do. The second time you can use the route you made for your first trip out, as well as all your local knowledge acquired from the first trip out.
I'd highly recommend an RYA intermediate course to anyone who isn't sure how to use traditional navigation alongside GPS/Chart plotters on a powerboat. It’s not a case of one or the other.