Originally Posted by Mollers
A major difference being, you guys on the 'Big Trawlers' have acres of the very best nav gear and a team of highly trained/experienced guys. All info can be then assessed, reassessed and cross referenced using multiple pieces of equipment.
A bloke on a rib my have a small GPS screen and his Wife and kids to worry about.
I agree to some extent, but as I said it is only in the last few years that electronic charts have been routinely used, and still they are not our 1st means of navigating.
As for the very latest Nav equipment, I think you are giving us too much credit.
My last vessel, which I was on for 6 years from 2005 to 2011 had a radar that was only just compliant with regs, and was obsolete after the 1st year, the highly experienced team, is only as good as the training that we do on board, and some of the juniors are fresh out of college, plus we have different nationalities, and you have to trust that the standard of educating a Filipino is as good as a European?
The electronic charts used to freeze routinely, normally when we were in busy shipping lanes, and are reliant on GPS, which can be, and is, jammed, and disrupted in certain areas.
We still steer by compass when near land, and plot positions on the charts, and the major difference is that we do have radar, but then that is not brilliant at picking up small targets.
FWIW the echo sounder is an underused tool for navigating, as it can be used to indicate when you are getting in shallow water, and as a cross reference to your dead reckoning.
I agree that navigating solo is tricky, but you have a throttle, and can always put it to idle while you assess the situation, if it is too deep to anchor, you are not really in danger, and as for having the wife and kids, they can help by listening etc.
I have 40 or so people, plus the financial survival of a multinational corporation (with 50,000 employees) affected if I screw up badly so not much pressure there then!