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GPS devices are exceptional at collecting data and extrapolating from that information. The position you’re at. Your current travel speed. The direction you came from, etc. However, GPS data has no bearing on your real-time heading — which is also affected by factors such as wind, current and the unique characteristics of your boat.
Whether you’re dead in the water, moving on a plane or moving slowly against a tide, a Ritchie compass provides the reliable real-time headings needed for straight-line steering in all situations. This is especially crucial in no-power, dead reckoning scenarios with no land in sight. When all you have to work with is a paper chart, a pencil and a Ritchie.
When augmented by the certainty of a Ritchie magnetic compass, GPS becomes the dead-on technology it is meant to be. The resulting synergy continually optimizes overall vessel performance, ensures straight-line steering, and maximizes fuel efficiency.