Chart Plotters And Autopilots, Never The Twain Should Meet

JHH5_103669On Morgan’s Cloud we don’t hand steer much: approaching and leaving a wharf, anchoring and hauling the anchor, transiting an intricate channel, or in the presence of a lot of other boat traffic; that’s about it. We find that by using our autopilot we are left with more time and focus to navigate, keep a good lookout, and sail the boat. We also find that having a plotter has the same benefits.

But we don’t have the two electronic wonders interfaced to allow the plotter to instruct the autopilot on what course it should steer; we do that manually. Here’s why:

John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for 25 years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 20 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments