Ditch the GPS it's ruining your brain #2

I know this is a year-old thread, but I ran across this article today and thought it might have some bearing on the issue (even though it concerns land-based usage :slight_smile: )


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Now that I have also become a video game navigator, I’m a lot less engaged with navigation unless I’m in a particularly hazardous area.

whi navigates, just follow the line on the screen…lol

True to a degree, I pay attention at a lower level at times. But that’s also sometimes true when the mate’s navigating or a pilot is aboard.

If the mate screws up, the pilot suddenly announces he’s getting off early or the ECDIS goes blank in pilot waters it becomes apparent. However in my experience it only takes less than 15 or 20 seconds to get oriented.

I’ve done that as a way to check out new mates who I thought seemed sharp, just give them the conn right before a turn and see how they do.

Interesting discussion.

From a Pilotage perspective, the one concern with over reliance on electronic/ GPS/ DGPS/ RTK aids was the partial devolution of visual skills. I also noted, when training new Pilots, that there was a heavy reliance on electronic GPS aids displayed by the emerging ECDIS generation. Their visual skills never really developed to satisfactory levels.

From my personal perspective, having Piloted visually for 16 years, I found the introduction and adoption of PPU technology a revelation. All of a sudden my situational awareness was significantly improved and I developed a close relationship with my three minute predictor. I could see my valuable visual skills degrading and had to be very mindful of that. The other issue was the alteration of my safety envelope. I found that my swinging clearances were reduced and regarded that as a negative.


There are a lot of people that only follow the line on the screen. That’s all they know how to do.

Most people become lazier and do less and less navigation in addition to following the line.

Coastal navigation skills fade just as celestial skills fade when they are not routinely practiced.

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