Ask PYS: NavigationEntertainment

John, on Sep 03, 2013 asked:

Hi Jeff, what are various choices to enhance my navigation system?

Hi John, here are the different options you can add to your navigation system:

 

  1. Radar. Integrating radar onto all your screens (called Multifunction Displays or MFDs for short) is one of the main driving factors behind the adoption of the new navigation systems. Not long ago, you had have to one radar array per radar display, now you can have one radar for many MFDs. Radar is more intuitive than ever before because it can be overlaid (see point 4, need gyro) unto the charts, allowing you to quickly distinguish between potential targets and landmasses.
  2. Sounder. Today's sounders are not only useful for seeing fish below your boat but to actually note the slope of the bottom beneath you. The slope helps you better decide how to anchor and can also help assist you in determining your position if your radar failed
  3. Rear imaging camera. One of your MFD's can easily be designated as a complimentary video monitor for cameras. On large vessels, owners install single or double rear-imaging camera to see better on both sides of the boat.
  4. Autopilot. Today's new autopilots not only work from a control station but also allow you to remotely operate the boat from anywhere on board via an RF remote. Furthermore they include Gyro sensors which allow radar information to be overlaid unto charts. Because these autopilots include gyros and advanced processing capabilities they are better at handling adverse sea conditions, including following seas.