Global Positioning System (GPS)

While more and more boat operators rely on marine GPS to tell them where they are on the water, you are also required to keep up to date paper charts on board unless you are operating in familiar waters. The GPS is a worldwide radio-navigation system made possible by a network of satellites and monitoring stations. Its receivers can calculate where you are, anywhere on the planet, to within at least 30 m (98’5”).

If you are using GPS on the water, make sure it is marine GPS. Automotive GPS will not give you the information you need on the water.

While a little more money, investing in a GPS/Chartplotter will not only provide you with the benefits of being able to log GPS waypoints but also ensure that you have charts on hand for whatever body of water you’d like to explore. Chartplotters superimpose an image of your boat on the chart image which makes it easy to both navigate and avoid hazards.