How to follow a route on a chartplotter

Having completed your plotter set-up and planned and entered your route, now comes the part that all that preparation was for – actually running the route. Jon Mendez explains how to avoid common pitfalls...In theory, if the first two steps have been completed correctly, this should be a simple case of just following the pre-programmed information. However, as a navigation examiner of many years, I can honestly say I have seen many skippers struggle to interpret and check the information in front of them, even when they have […] This article How to follow a route on a chartplotter appeared first on Motor Boat & Yachting.

How to follow a route on a chartplotter

Having completed your plotter set-up and planned and entered your route, now comes the part that all that preparation was for – actually running the route. Jon Mendez explains how to avoid common pitfalls...

In theory, if the first two steps have been completed correctly, this should be a simple case of just following the pre-programmed information. However, as a navigation examiner of many years, I can honestly say I have seen many skippers struggle to interpret and check the information in front of them, even when they have actually planned it all correctly.

There are a number of things to be wary of but these are the ones that occur most often: Waypoint arrival alarms – most systems allow you to adjust the range so that it activates at a sensible range of, say, 100m. If it’s set too wide (i.e. 500m) it will say you are at the waypoint when in reality you still have quite a way to go.

This can have serious implications, as it may not be safe to switch headings to the next waypoint until you are much closer to or even just past your chosen waypoint. Change heading too early and it may take you somewhere unsafe. On a similar note, once the alarm has triggered, most systems switch to the next waypoint as soon as you press ‘acknowledge’.

Article continues below…


How to: Plot a route on paper charts and a chartplotter for a safe journey

How to set up your chartplotter and be sure you're using it properly


If your waypoints are set close together, that might simply cause it to trigger again immediately for the second waypoint. So particularly in a congested area, like our planned route, it’s important to have a tightly defined waypoint arrival alarm, and then make sure you are completely happy with your location before changing heading.

There is no problem with switching to the next waypoint early using waypoint advance if you are sure that you have completed all your checks. Waypoint locations – a key factor when choosing your waypoint locations, and one to monitor closely, is where the next waypoint is in relation to the one you are about to arrive at. Will it involve a change of heading to port or starboard, by how much and how far away is it?

This is crucial as it allows you to be sure that the next waypoint bearing and distance given by the plotter actually matches what you are expecting. If well prepared you may already be able to spot your next waypoint, assuming you have used a physical object like a buoy which is within visible range.

I find that either using the ship’s compass or a hand-bearing compass to sight along to the next bearing is a simple and reliable way to spot the next waypoint well in advance of the one I am currently heading to. Some find using the plotter in Head Up mode makes this easier, I personally prefer North Up as having planned the route on a chart I still have the correlation to hand and find it easier to spot errors.

The distance part is used to allow you to judge how long the next leg will take, most plotters show this information as Bearing To Waypoint (BTW), Distance To Waypoint (DTW) and Time To Go to waypoint (TTG).

Lastly, when you plot a simple route with charts or enter it directly into the plotter you are making no allowance for any tidal movement of the water itself or any wind pushing you off your intended track. On short legs this is perfectly safe as long as you stick to your intended ground track.

On longer legs you will need to closely monitor your progress and watch the course over the ground (COG) on the screen, if this is close to the bearing to waypoint (BTW) then you are heading in the right direction.

Our How To video series is brought to you in association with GJW Direct.

This article How to follow a route on a chartplotter appeared first on Motor Boat & Yachting.

Source : Mby More   

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Yamaha 275 SD Boat Test

The 275 SD is Yamaha’s biggest jet boat, and it delivers beaucoup power, sophistication, comfort and fun. Boating's top crew of editors sea-trialed and evaluated it so that boaters---boat buyers especially-- can learn the in-depth details about this boat's performance, construction and other features. Is it the right boat for you? Read on.

Yamaha 275 SD Boat Test

Yamaha’s 275SD brings to the water a commanding length and a 9-foot beam, plus a dominating 500 hp to rocket across the waves. This twin-engine jet boat resides at the apex of Yamaha product design, featuring systems integration that makes it a pleasure to own, exciting to drive, easy to maintain, and reliable year after year.

Let’s start with the DRiVE system. Yamaha took the process of docking, one of the hardest parts of piloting a jet boat, and made it simple and easy. Paddles on the steering wheel provide the ultimate in precision speed control and the ability to instantly shift from forward to reverse. The paddles fall under your fingertips on the wheel, the right paddle activating forward propulsion to 3,000 rpm, and the left triggering reverse propulsion to 3,000 rpm. With this system, Yamaha capitalized on its jet system’s hyper-maneuverability, but tamed it for precision docking.


LOA: 27'0" | Beam: 9'0" | Draft (max): 1'10" | Displacement (approx.): 5,466 lb. | Transom Deadrise: 20 degrees | Bridge Clearance: 8'6" | Fuel Capacity: 90 gal. | Max Horsepower: 500 | Available Power: Dual Yamaha 250 hp SVHO supercharged four-stroke inboards/jet drives (Courtesy Yamaha Boats/)

DRiVE is selected on the Connext display panel by pressing the throttle icon on the screen. One touch gives you dual-throttle-lever control. Another touch gives single-lever control of both SVHO supercharged engines. Yet another touch activates the DRiVE paddles on the wheel. You can use paddles while seated, or looking into a ski mirror or over your shoulder, but we discovered you could flip up the seat bolster to make standing room in front of the helm, then turn your back to the wheel, steering into a slip with the paddles.

The Connext panel is a head-up display on the dash that looks like the screen of an Audi. Icons on the touchscreen give access to mapping, engine information, speed-control features for water-sports, lights, electrical-systems control and audio. If you don’t want to reach for the touchscreen, there’s a toggle to the right of the helm that allows you to jog between functions, and select and operate them.

At speed, the 275SD is a wave-crushing blast. We tested it in Florida’s Biscayne Bay and enjoyed a smooth ride in bumpy water. Speed and acceleration were exhilarating—a hallmark of Yamaha jets. Adding to the control is Yamaha’s patented articulating keel. Think of tiny rudders that assist the jet pumps' directional control while also enhancing tracking.

That may be a long-winded discussion about the controls, but they represent the pinnacle of Yamaha’s engineering. Yet the company doesn’t forget comfort and fun.

The Connext panel is a head-up display on the dash that looks like the screen of an Audi.
The Connext panel is a head-up display on the dash that looks like the screen of an Audi. (Courtesy Yamaha Boats/)

The cockpit is surrounded in comfortable seating. An entertainment galley behind the skipper’s seat houses a slide-out cooler and a prep station for snacks. The aft couch is divided in the center, providing a convenient walkway from the cockpit to the transom platform. It’s far more convenient than having to clamber the seats to the platform.

On each side of the walkway are forward-facing seats with movable backrests that convert the platform seats to chaise-style lounges. Bow seating is spacious too, and the forward seats can be configured to give kids a fun, forward-facing ride while keeping them safely inside the boat.

The entire cockpit is shaded by a hardtop that matches the sleek lines of the hull. Side windows on the 275SD are curved, with frames that blend into the fiberglass, eliminating that bolt-on look.

For a comparable jet boat, you’d have to look at Scarab and decide between its 255 or 285 ID ($134,321 with comparable power, tower and trailer). Scarab offers INR (Intelligent Neutral and Reverse), which keeps the boat sitting still in true neutral when properly adjusted for the load and conditions. And it boasts a docking mode, which limits throttle speeds for steadier low-speed maneuvers. It lacks Yamaha’s track-enhancing articulating keel, but makes more aggressive turns at speed.

Bow seating is spacious and comfortable.
Bow seating is spacious and comfortable. (Courtesy Yamaha Boats/)

Yamaha’s patented jet-pump cleanouts on the platform allow the boater to remove ingested weeds from inside the boat—a feature no other jet-driven vessel can boast. Also convenient are the flushing ports for rinsing salt water from the cooling passages in the motor—a feature that makes it easy to perform that life-extending process. Battery switches are easy to access, so the boat can be made completely dormant during storage, sparing the batteries from frustrating parasitic drain. Also making the vessel easier to maintain is the spacious engine compartment that allows unfettered access to the inboard four-stroke engines when needed.

Big crews will want the convenience of a portable head compartment on board, and the 275SD has it. It features stonelike countertops, with a freshwater sink, and a roomy interior lit by an LED light or portlight.

The 275SD is apt to change the way people look at big dayboats. We’ve been around enough of them to know.

High Points

  • DRiVE paddles on the wheel make shifting and throttle control easy for safe docking.
  • Stainless-steel cup holders are LED-backlit.
  • LED courtesy and underwater lights are accessible via the Connext screen.

Low Points

  • Articulating keel requires larger-radius recovery turns for watersports, but adds tracking control for smoother towed sports.

Price: $131,249 (with test power)

Available Power: Jet drives

Yamaha 275SD Certified Test Results
Yamaha 275SD Certified Test Results (Boating Magazine/)

How We Tested

Engines: Dual Yamaha 250 hp SVHO supercharged four-stroke inboards

Drive/Prop: Jet drives/stainless-steel impellers

Gear Ratio: 1.00:1

Fuel Load: 75 gal

Water on Board: 0 gal.

Crew Weight: 450 lb.

Yamaha Boats - Kennesaw, Georgia; 800-962-7926; yamahaboats.com

Source : Boating Magazine More   

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