The many years of serving as navigator, instructor, and maritime course developer, has provided the opportunity of witnessing a very rapid progression in advanced electronics, vessel design, and boating safety technology. Partially due to the migration of these systems from defense to the general public. With that profound development comes the responsibility of operating the sensors properly and interpreting the information correctly. Some of what is the premise behind license, certification, and general knowledge training syllabus. Safety is the primary consideration, your voyage proceeding with greater efficiency, avoiding risk scenarios, all portion of the benefit for modern marine navigation. This accelerated barrage of innovations does however present a few concerns, and if not addressed properly with knowledge, understanding, proficiency and will ultimately lead to a more risk prone boating environment.
Visit any large boating supply store and you will see the vast array of multi function displays, communications, and sensors in the electronics section. Having all these choices should actually direct the focus on learning how to use them to their maximum potential. There are a multitude of problems that can arise from improper application, lack of understanding, and misinterpretation of the data.
The real question is...Where do you go to find expert guidance on operation of these advanced technologies?
There is an answer! Recently attended a USCG Auxiliary meeting and was introduced to some of the best developed and constructed series of instruction for boating that I have ever seen; delivered online, in-class, or blended presentation. Covering a very wide and critical range of subjects including GPS, voyage planning, emergency scenarios, communications, weather, and much more. Nothing wrong with mastering the conventional methods of navigation, but utilizing the newer forms and function of this science is exceptionally important to boating safety in these modern times. Operational knowledge of the numerous advancements and their attributes is power to better control your overall boating environment, ultimately your safety, and that of others you meet on the water.
The United States Power Squadron along with professional maritime organizations such as US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Boat US, and more, present a much needed solution to improved boating safety.Visit http://www.usps.org/edonline/;www.boatus.org/navigation; or www.cgaux.org/boatinged for examples of these great courses of instruction, and see for yourself. Modern Marine Navigation is here to stay, and getting more complex by the day. Be on the front line of proficiency and learn from some of the best resources offered and produced by experts. It can make an extremely positive difference. The foundation for any great boating safety initiative is based on extraordinary introduction through effective instruction.