Navigation Without Electronics

February 2019 Feature Braden Lee

Technology has made finding directions on the water easier than ever before. With GPS, chartplotters and so much more at our fingertips, getting lost has literally become a thing of the past. It’s a wonder how anybody got by without these tools.

It’s unlikely to ever happen, but, what could you do if the worst thing should happen? What if the electronics on your boat run out of power? What if the satellite to your GPS malfunctions? Again, I know it’s very unlikely, but it never hurts to be ready for the unexpected. Here are some very basic recommendations every captain should be familiar with to find their way home.

Compass And Map

A solid recommendation is having a compass and a map handy. It may seem a little outdated, but these tools proved reliable enough for hundreds of years of exploration. Being familiar with these resources will only help if you find yourself stuck in a bad situation. It’s wise to learn to use a map and a compass as complementary tools because any novice explorer knows, a map is pretty much useless without a sense of direction to orient it, and a compass doesn’t do you much good if you have no idea what lies beyond your eye’s ability to perceive.

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