GPS ship navigation for boaters

Chart plotters and GPS devices are indispensable for boats and yachts, they support trip planning and navigate the user reliably on their excursion. Whether on a tablet or a free app on a cell phone, these devices act as navigation systems for boats, allowing drivers to see which route they need to take to reach their destination. Conventional GPS receivers do not require any special accessories for navigation, they simply have to be carried on board. GPS devices are becoming ever smaller and more powerful, they cover the entire globe and require little space and equipment on board to enable full navigation.

How navigation on board with GPS works conveniently

GPS devices use signals from satellites to ensure smooth navigation at sea . These are transmitted at regular intervals and can be received worldwide, making them particularly suitable for navigation. Using the signals, the GPS tracker can calculate its own location, and other aspects such as speed are then derived from this information.

To use a GPS device for navigation , the tracker must be adapted to the conditions at sea, which means above all that it must be waterproof . Most modern trackers are already equipped with splash protection . When buying, however, you should pay attention to special devices for water sports, as these are adapted to the challenges at sea.

For everything to work smoothly, the GPS device requires a SIM card, which sends the information obtained to a connected end device, a smartphone or a tablet. The connected device can record all routes and the data is stored on the provider’s server. The user has access to this data at all times with their own user account. This requires a stable Internet connection and a charged end device.

GPS ship navigation with GPS

Power supply for GPS navigation via cable or on the vehicle electrical system

Basically, these devices differ in their power supply; some models areinstalled directly in the boat at the harbor. Permanently installed trackers that are suitable for installation are particularly powerful; they navigate the user almost anywhere in the world without the need for constant charging. Other devices are suitable for mobile use and do not need to be connected to the sailboat. They determine your location in real time and can be carried by the driver in their pocket. These models offer the advantage that they are flexible in use, they can be taken along as GPS trackers by sailors, but can also be used on a bicycle or in a car.

Control and view nautical charts using apps

Navigation has been modernized in recent years with the help of tablets and smartphones. Electronic navigation on boats has thus also been completely changed, as classic nautical charts or compasses are no longer necessary. Thanks to the technology, the route can be adjusted spontaneously during the journey, and navigation means that all areas and every port worldwide are available and can be navigated to.

Lake navigation and extended maps

However, the classic chart plotter on the ship is far from obsolete; on this ship navigation device, the driver can view his nautical chart on a large display and also zoom in. Depending on the operating system , new nautical charts can be added to the device. Chart plotters enable professional navigation using GPS and are weatherproof. The use of a GPS tracker always goes hand in hand with a connected device, which is often not adapted to the weather conditions at sea.

Enhanced functions and increased safety at sea with GPS

In contrast to chart plotters, GPS devices offer additional functions that the user can set individually. For example, he can define a fixed area within the app and is informed as soon as his sailing boats leave this area. In this case, GPS devices also serve as anti-theft protection; the user can always see where the ship is currently located on their end device.

By connecting to the Internet, the user is reliably supplied with further information on all aspects of seafaring . Weather forecasts can also be displayed during the journey. Modern graphic maps can also be used conveniently and contain additional information, such as depth data on water depth. Special apps can also be used to display the tides and optimize tour planning accordingly.

GPS ship navigation for boaters

As visibility is via the display of the end device, direct sunlight and bright sunlight can interfere with visibility. However, you can make adjustments in the settings on your smartphone or tablet, and modern devices also have a sensor that automatically adjusts the brightness. The end device makes these settings independently and updates them according to the circumstances.

In addition, users can plan their own tours in advance, the route they have put together is then available in the app, and stops or extensions can be added as required. The maps can be downloaded and used offline to ensure that no disruption interrupts the trip.

Challenges when navigating with GPS on boats

When using modern technologies, challenges can arise because navigation with GPS is only possible if there is sufficient visual contact with satellites, so it makes sense to save the nautical charts offline. The user also has the option of purchasing and activating additional nautical charts. This allows you to navigate around the entire globe.

Use with smartphones and tablets

All navigation with a GPS tracker takes place on the connected end device, as does the configuration. This is because GPS receivers do not have their own displays or user interface. Readability is only guaranteed by the cell phone. In addition, GPS trackers not only provide detailed information for route planning, but also offer a wide range of functions. It is hard to imagine life on the high seas without these devices, but they are not always completely free for the user. A monthly subscription is required to activate and use all functions and nautical charts. To this end, the provider stores all information reliably and makes it available to the user at any time.



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