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Thread: Navigating At Night With GPS
05-20-2011, 03:09 PM #11
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- Jan 2008
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eatin' bugs is better than eatin' beach.... or a stick up.
05-20-2011, 06:01 PM #12
GPS sure has come in handy at times during the night. I don't totally depend on it 100% with the margin of error of not having all the satellites locked in. But the GPS won't tell ya if there is anything floating in your path either, until you hear that big bang. Then the pucker factor kicks in.
05-20-2011, 07:56 PM #13
i use mine alot for marking paths in the rocks. i wait until summer when the river is low. then marks my paths at the lowest points. then i can haul ass. but at night i slow down when i get to bad spots. it s seams alot of people think with jets, they can gowhere ever they want wide open, but thats not always the case. when i get in areas that are bad i slow down. i would rather hit a rock and put a dent vs a hole. i have put alot of holes in boats but i have finally learned.
05-21-2011, 02:07 PM #14
Love my little handheld GPS. I do not stare at it constantly, but ride for a while, and then check my track on it to make sure i'm headin the rite direction. It is definately a helpful tool, but to rely on it soley is foolish in my opinion. See lots of problems when people stare at them, instead of where they are going. The other key, as has been stated is to slow down.
05-21-2011, 03:14 PM #15
- Gary Felkner
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- Aug 2005
- O.P., KS
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No disasters, but I heard about a near collision in the fog a few years back when some idiot was following a GPS track at 50+ mph.
For me it's another tool, I know if I stay on a track I can avoid most of the problems and I can focus mostly on the water surface ahead for floating hazards. On my regular routes I have most of the known hazards waypointed, and that helps keep something from sneaking up on me.
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Gary Felkner, Overland Park, KS
Member since Aug 2003
05-22-2011, 11:12 PM #16
None of the GPS units that I have had has ever lied to me as far as exact location. Have had to rely on them solely at different times as fog would be so thick you couldn't see the front of the boat. NEVER at any speed.
05-27-2011, 06:43 PM #17
I also run gps but under normal conditions just check it occasionally and use it as an aid for general location. But I also have experienced the fog conditions on the water so bad a few times that seeing the front of the boat was about it and on those occasions have relied on it totally to get me back to the ramp.
Will not say that I really felt comfortable as it sure is not radar for one and does have a certain margin of error built in. Trust me if the conditions are bad enough that I cannot see and need to rely on the gps then I am not running fast enough to be up on plane, I don't care how long it takes me to get back just so I do get back safely.
But it does for sure make a mighty fine tool and aid even more so when the conditions are at their worst. Guess I have gotten spoiled to having one on the boat and could not imagine not having one anymore.
05-29-2011, 12:24 PM #18
I've used it in the fog before and I was really nervous. I was not worried about where I was, as I knew that, but was REAL worried about some of the other fishermen running wide open using theirs. On this day, sight was limited to maybe fifty feet when the fog blew in. Not near far enough to turn a boat running 40+. Got myself over close to the bank and out of the way until it cleared some. Very dangerous.
I don't like using it at night, because the backlight is too bright. If I would look at it, I would have to close one eye, then open that one when scanning the water ahead. Have to save one "night sight" eye to run with. I finally just shut it off and ran by land lights reflected off the water, a lot safer.
05-30-2011, 05:29 PM #19
I've also used mine in the fog a couple of times where without it I would have had to anchor in a safe spot and ride it out until it lifted. On the Mississippi I use Inland ENC's (Free from the US Army Corps of Engineers website) so I can put it in the middle of the channel (Which I do under normal conditions so I can full speed it home) and keep it there but for the main places I fish I have "Safe Trails" I've made to take me safely home OFF channel. I also pull up to channel marker bouys that have been moved and mark those so I know where they are at without having to spotlight them and lose my night vision.
A little trick I use when I want to make sure an approaching boat can see me in a thick fog is shine the spotlight straight up and I will look like a 'V' pointing right down to your boat. You sure don't want to shine the light at them or neither one of you will be able to see squat for several seconds or more.
But mainly I use my GPS system in conjunction with my fish finder to mark structure and position my boat for fishing. If I'm out 'in the wild' for the entire weekend and need to make the batteries last 48 hours or more I turn it off when I'm navigating between sites and only turn it on to position my boat for fishing. I gotta save some battery so I don't miss the Cubs game or NASCAR race on the radio ....I hocked my wife's diamond ring last June and bought me an outboard Evinrude
But other than that I ain't nothin' but a Good Ol' Boy
05-30-2011, 05:53 PM #20
I'm kinda old school, I have GPS but don't really use it all that much. In the days before GPS being out on the Mississippi at night and in the fog was my worst nightmare. Lights don't do you much good, so it got down to a compass, deadheading and knowledge of the water I was on. I would chart headings and speed during daylight for several points and use it later if there was a fog........but it's still spooky stuff when you hear barge engines running in the fog at night. If it's a clear night, lights and eyes are what I use, those river buoys are big steel things with reflectors on them, I wouldn't want to run into one at night.