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Cruising Design International Phone (844) 379-2407 www.sailcdi.com email@example.com Page 52 •
• June, 2015
bluewater sailing these days. I thought that by now there would be an inexpensive plugin bluewater chart for the whole world. What I've found so far seems to be a not-very-detailed and fragmented chart of the world, showing your position. For details, you have to buy parts of the world. What are the Wanderer's thoughts? Robert Melynchuk Teal, Cal 20 Vancouver, BC Robert — Our thought is how incredibly better navigation tools are than when we started sailing 50 years ago. Back then it wasn't an option; if you were anywhere you had to have clumsy and expensive paper charts — and lots of them. Lord help you if you were going to do a circumnavigation, although trading and updating them was a great way to make friends. These days we mainly sail on the West Coast, in Mexico, or in the Eastern Caribbean. For navigating all these waters, we use a single electronic chart of the Caribbean and South America by Navionics. We have it on our iPad and our iPhone. Obviously it would be impossible to store all the detailed chart information for that entire massive amount of ocean because there isn't enough room on any computer or device. So what they give you is a rough chart of the entire area, and the ability to download a very detailed chart of anywhere within the overall area. It's important to remember, you have to download the detailed charts before you get to those areas, because you can't download them without Internet access. Navionics charts of huge areas, with the ability to download all the detailed charts in those areas, cost about $50 each. They are an incredible bargain. There are differences between sailors, though. Some like to have all the latest electronic gear with all the special doodads. Others prefer simplicity. We attend the latter school, so we don't have a chartplotter on any of our three sailboats. It's been our experience that the following have been all the electronics that we've needed or wanted: 1) A GPS — or two or three — for boat speed. 2) A depthsounder, which we have on all our boats except the Olson 30. 3) Something to show us the wind direction. For the most part we rely on masthead Windexes rather than electronic instruments. We don't have fully functional windspeed indicators because we don't feel we need an instrument to tell us how hard the wind is blowing, and because it's just something else to maintain and repair. 4) AIS. 5) VHF. 6) Radar. 7) EPIRB. 8) Satellite Messenger. 9) Iridium SatPhone. None of our systems are integrated. We've seen chartplotters that have every function from weather to engine rpms on them, and they seem to be great. But we're simple folks and frankly have never felt the need. If anybody else would like to weigh in on this topic, we'd love to hear from you. ⇑⇓ MY BILGE-LIGHT-COMING-ON STORY My wife, two young girls and I were entering Barra Navidad in Colima, Mexico, in 1997 when we bumped over the underwater wave deflector while entering the harbor. The impact dented the lead keel of our Spencer 53 aft-cockpit ketch Amity, and unloaded one of our sliding drawers that faced forward. It was pretty exciting. We dove on the boat and everything looked fine except for the dent. A few days later we headed south with fresh wind and a following sea. Life was awesome, as we said back then. As night fell the seas had built and we were flying. About 2 p.m. the bilge alarm/light made it known that
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