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    Re: which would you choose?
    From: Lu Abel
    Date: 1999 Aug 03, 4:19 PM

    Navigation -- indeed all of seafaring -- is a pretty conservative,
    traditional activity.  It's pretty dangerous out there and people have a
    tendency to choose the devil they know (ie, tried and proven ways) over the
    devil they don't (newfangled stuff which might bring a whole lot of benefit
    or might catastrophically fail).
    While I have less fear of electronic navigation than others, I would choose
    the sextant.  My reason is that while I might have many, many cloudy days
    where I would have to depend on DRs, short of dropping it overboard, a
    sextant can't catastrophically fail the way a GPS can (for sure, it's a
    pretty improbable event, but like a hole in the boat, you're in pretty deep
    sneakers if it does occur).
    NOW, to make things really interesting:  Russell's question is a bit unfair
    in that the sextant choice costs more than twice the cost of a GPS, so let
    me pose a variant:
    If you had a choice of TWO GPS's or ONE sextant, which would you choose?
    I would flip-flop and choose the pair GPS's.  While any single GPS has a
    tiny chance of catastrophic failure, the chance of both failing is far, far
    less than other more significant and life-threatening catastrophes which
    one might experience on the cruise.  As the old saying goes, "the prudent
    navigator does not rely on a single source of information."  While I would
    still be dependent on those satellites in the sky, once the signal leaves
    them I've essentially got two independent navigation systems.
    Looking forward to other's opinions.
    At 03:52 PM 8/3/99 +0200, you wrote:
    >While we're on the subject of how to best spend the $1000, I noted with
    >interest that everyone made provision for at least one GPS receiver - I
    >certainly agree. Now how about the following, slightly modified situation?
    >Which would you choose, given only the following two choices for your
    >navigational aspects, with no other options allowed:
    >1)      One GPS receiver
    >        OR
    >2)      Sextant, tables and timepiece etc.
    >Assume that this is for an ocean crossing and perhaps for extended cruising

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