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5.3 Should I get GPS or Loran?




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This article is from the Boats FAQ, by John F. Hughes with numerous contributions by others.

5.3 Should I get GPS or Loran?



GPS appears to be the wave of the future in electronic navigation. Prices
are falling fast, and there are now GPS units for under $400. Since Loran
units cost over $300 (typically), the $400 GPS sounds like a pretty good
deal. Loran has excellent repeatability (i.e., you can get back to the same
spot, within about 100 yards), but GPS has greater accuracy (the
LAT/LON reading is likely to be closer to where you are than that of a
LORAN). (jh)


As an example, an Apelco DXL6350 ( I have a 6300) is available regularly
at under $250. It functions very well but lacks route capability. It is not
like the reallly low priced units that lack ASF and other needed features.
No other apologies needed. I believe I saw it on sale for $224 from E&B.
(1994 prices) (cp)


If my Loran gave out on me, I would, at this point, probably replace it
with a GPS. If I were looking for a cheap way to navigate electronically,
I'd look for some folks who just got GPS and offer to buy their Loran unit
cheap. It's worked fine for a very long time, and there's nothing wrong
with it. (jh)


Here's a summary of how GPS works, contrinuted by Craig Haggart:

 

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