ASSESS THE SITUATION
When chartering a boat, be aware of the GPS plotter given and ask if the manual is available on board. Find out which cartography is included and check that your navigation area of interest is covered by the chart. Finally, make sure the plotter has the most up-to-date software version and that the chart is updated. As a kick-off to planning your journey, check out some online charts.
The rules of prudent navigation say that one should never rely on a single source of information, but instead reference multiple sources including charts at different zoom levels and, of course, the local official charts. Consider that some navigation mobile apps provide the same chart detail as GPS plotters and can be a fundamental backup in case the boat electric system fails. An Internet connection may be necessary so downloading the needed charts before leaving is recommended. Once the charts are downloaded, you can also use your mobile device to plan your route beforehand!
When boarding, check with the charter company that the plotter software and charts are updated. Switch the plotter on to make sure everything is working properly. In advance, control your itinerary at different zoom levels for safer navigation.
Safe navigation requires skill and judgment when simultaneously operating multiple chart systems at difference zoom levels. Use your navigation mobile app as a reference tool and a backup GPS to your chart plotter. Discover all the advanced features it offers!
AFTER YOUR TRIP
No chart is error-free. If you find any discrepancy, report it to the chart manufacturer and download the updated chart version when available.