All sailors want to get information about their boat’s performance and its environment. So sailing electronics & instruments helps sailors anytime they need. Many new developments have been made by marine electronics & instrument manufacturers, which is to increase the accuracy, quantity, and accessibility of data from electronic sailing instruments. You can also see below the most popular sailing electronics & instruments.
The chartplotter is an electronic navigation system that combines a GPS receiver with the ability to display charts/maps, allow you to navigate right on an LCD screen. You’ll see a real-time display of your boat exact location.
Sailboat owners often use chartplotters to preload routes; these can then be changed before or during the cruising at any time. There are a number of things you must be aware of, and the first is that they are only aid to navigation. The second thing is if you have a data card that uses a map, you must make sure it is up-to-date. That means that your charts and displays will show all the dangers and features. You need to be competent in how to read a chart and to understand chart symbols.
The autopilots are really critical for the safe operation of the sailboat. This sailing instrument gives us the opportunity to walk away from the helm and do things like cleaning, cooking, and changing sails even getting a bit of rest. Without an autopilot one of the crew would have to be supporting helm entire time over a cruising. The autopilot is like an extra crew member who is not the tireless crew. There are two types of autopilots mentioned below.
Windvane autopilot is a mechanical device that is attached back to the bow and has a big vane that sticks up into the air the operator. A sailor can adjust the vane particular wind angle and that then drives the rudder. These devices are great because not required electricity and mechanical if something breaks it is very simple to repair. The downside is wind vanes are bulky and take up a lot of space on the back to the boat and you can not track magnetic heading or might have not programmed into your chartplotter.
Electronic autopilot works like a person standing at the helm of the boat. It steers towards a specific magnetic heading or steers toward to specific wind angle. The device collects data from wind instruments and sensors and it is processed and the device sends a signal to the steering mechanism then controls the helm of a sailboat.
The term radar is an acronym that stands for radio and range detection. The marine radar is arranging a detection system that picks up signals from objects several distance or several miles away from your boat. The radar system sends out a signal in the form of a sound wave this pulse is sent out from the radar. When the signal is reflected by an object or target the radar computer determines how far away it is and where is located it requires two types of readings for this to occur the first is distance. Radar computers are calculating distance regarding signal reflection time. Second is position the radar can determine a boat’s position because the computer keeps track of where the radar unit is located.
VHF and AIS
When you are on a boat, your most important lifeline to the outside world is your VHF (Very High Frequency 30-300 MHz range). If you have a VHF radio keep it tuned to channel 16 also this channel is used for emergency and calling purposes only. When you need a new VHF radio make sure that it has a digital selective calling service that’s a DSC feature on channel 70. This feature provides automatic digital distress alerts.
The AIS (Automatic Identification System) transponder unit is designed to automatically broadcast the vessels’ position, course and speed over ground together with static and voyage related information. All AIS units also are designed to communicate with each other automatically, exchanging information about course, speed, and intended route. This enables the marined to be aware of other boats and ships long before visual contact is established, enabling appropriate actions to be taken in good time.
This instrument shows what lies ahead under the water with approaching depth information. When you are cruising at unfamiliar waters forwardscan sonars shows of the bottom ahead of your boat. It allows you to sail with confidence. You should adjust the critical forward range and depth, warning forward range, and depth as per your boat features. So the device will warn you when water depth reaches to warning depth.