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GPS SatellitesIs everyone ready for summer? We are! The store is stocked with boats and supplies to help you make the most of the incredible sights and experiences Alaska has to offer. And we have a full cadre of knowledgeable salesmen with whom you can consult at length on all manner of issues, including the latest in GPS and fishfinder technologies.

Speaking of GPS, here's a late-breaking update. Most of you have already heard that the Federal Government has turned off Selective Availability (SA) in the satellite Global Positioning System. What does this mean to you?

In a nutshell, more accuracy from the instruments you already own. Selective Availability was a process whereby the signal was intentionally degraded. Without SA you can expect inherent accuracy to at least double. One reputable source indicated to me that if you currently get average accuracy of 75-100 feet, you can now expect accuracy of about 30-50 feet. For most of us that's more than enough to get back to a fishing hole or get pointed toward home. Also, you'll get better speed reporting. If you've noticed in the past that when you're standing still your GPS indicates you're going 1-2 mph, that should virtually go away in the future.

And that's without Differential GPS! For those who want the very best accuracy (and are willing to pay for it), Differential GPS is still valid and is unchanged by the cancellation of SA. Users can generally expect accuracy within 1-5 meters (3-16 feet) with DGPS. That ought to be close enough for just about anyone!!!

As to coverage in Alaska, there are several DGPS sites that cover the waters most of us fish locally. For a description of the coverage see

bullet GPS Information Website - Tons of information and reviews of GPS hardware and software.
bullet GPS Overview - Detailed explanation of the Global Positioning System.
bullet GPS Primer - Another tutorial on the Global Positioning System.
bullet Garmin GPS Guide for Beginners - From the GPS experts at Garmin.

Enjoy yourself to the max - safely!!!

Chuck Maas

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