Originally Posted by SR4
I have to disagree for someone with no skill in navigation giving them paper charts is plain daft, even an anchor, a plotter is just like a Tom Tom and you would have to be totally daft to get that wrong even with little knowledge, but I do accept there are some daft people on the forum and you have to look at the lowest common denominator
At the risk of re opening a previous debate (I am not trying to) I think the approach should be balanced, Experience AND training keeps people safe.
Sending someone out without training is daft. Full stop, and whilst getting the knowledge from a friend or relative may be usefull, it will not substitute for the formal training that should be offered by a competent and quality training organisation.
The formal training gives the person the background knowledge to enable them to be safe, whilst then allowing them to go and get the experience. The experience then gained will go to enhance the training, to make for a more balanced approach. However experience alone can and does lead to complacency, which is where refresher training comes in.
Many industries require refresher training as people who have been doing a job for many years may fall into bad habits, or may not have had a chance to catch up on the latest thinking/technology etc, and benefit from this.
This is seen in many examples, (serious accidents in my company are more common in people with more than 10 years work experience)
There is a lot of information available about rule based knowledge (based on regs, and teaching) and skill (experienced) based knowledge and how each is used in a different way by the brain, and then by the user, some has a higher priority and is retained longer and carries more relative importance to the individual than the other, but generally speaking skill based knowledge is relied upon before rule based knowledge.
This indicates that until someone has the experience, then formal teaching does keep them safer until they gain experience, which is why simulators are such a good tool for learning, as you experience mistakes and situations, thereby aquiring the skill based knowledge. And how do i know this? by being trained of course.
For a beginner I would have to say formal training is the best way to go, it helps to keep you safe and gives you the knowledge to help you help yourself. Or at least how to call for help!
As for the issue of charts, and chart plotters, I would love to see a plotter that works without power! If the chart plotter breaks and you have no knowledge of navigation how are you going to ask for help??? at least a chart will not stop working. (although it might get wet, so laminating it might be a good idea, and keeping it safe.)
We have systems that cost 100's of thousands of pounds, but I still dont think they are better than a 25 quid chart, (and the knowledge how to use it) My wife can read a road map, but my twat nav confuses the hell out of her
Before electronic stuff, I would ensure a flare or 2 is on board.
One last thing, although mentioned, warm weather clothing is not just to keep you dry.
Waterproof, or rain proof clothing will increase your cold water survival time dramatically (along with a lifejacket) and the water around the UK is always considered cold water, even in summer. Things like hypothermia, and survival are essential training as far as I am concerned, as you dont get to experience it much in reality (hopefully).
Finally, I am not advocating mandatory training
just that any sort of formal training is the best way to help keep a newcomer safe, and is certainly cheaper than a plotter, and gizmos, so is the Cheapest IMHO. (Which is what the OP 1st asked for)