GPS Utility Logo
For managing, manipulating and mapping GPS data

Hints and Tips


  1. Ye-olde Cocked Hat Position Fix
  2. Windward Tacking Cone
  3. Using AutoRoute Express + Streets and Trips

Ye-olde Cocked Hat Position Fix

The 'measure distance' feature in GPS Utility has a hidden secret. You can make the rubberband line remain on the chart once drawn. To do this:

  • measure the distance in the usual way using the 'Identify/Measure' tool.
  • left-click-hold and drag the end of the line
  • when the desired feature is reached or covered, hold the left button down and press right button down too, i.e. hold down both buttons then release left and then release right button. Voila! the line remains.
  • using your hand-bearing compass take 3 bearings of identifying marks and do the above 3 times, one for each bearing. You now have the ye-olde cocked hat position fix
  • annotate the position with relevant data.


  1. GPS Utility version 399h can display the reciprocal bearing when 'Identify/Measure' is being used. You need to go to Options|Map settings and enable the Echo reciprocal bearing. This function gives the bearing back from the feature to your 'yot'.
  2. REFRESH or REACTIVATING the window will erase the temporary lines. If you want to keep a copy of the position fix use 'Save as' to save the images as a bitmap using a new filename.

Windward Tacking Cone

You can also use the right button draw line function outlined in the Position Fix to draw a temporary leading line into an anchorage

The 'Windward tacking cone' is a method of getting home to windward (most Coastal navigation books discuss this). You can draw a windward cone as follows:

  1. from your destination, draw your cone lines out covering the area you require.
  2. save that chart under a separate filename.
  3. when you are beating back home you can then load that chart, draw in your tacklines and 'tack-angle' based on your present position using the right button method.
  4. GPSU will now track your position along the tacklines showing you exactly when to tack next.
  5. If you want you can draw a continuous track keep the left button down all the time clicking the right button at each 'turn'.
Note: This saves working out Waypoints and programming into your GPS.
REMEMBER THOUGH!! IF YOU REFRESH YOU LOSE THE TACKLINES (unless saved). however, you could also digitize it as a temporary track.

Using AutoRoute Express + Streets and Trips

When you import files from 'AutoRoute Express' or 'Streets and Trips', capture the map image as well using a a program such as Paint Shop Pro. Alternatively copy the map to the clipboard (Edit, Copy Map from the menu) and paste into whatever bitmap editor you have. Save the map as an image as a file (BMP for Standard Edition).

In GPS Utility, import the route data file which will contain the route Start, End and any intermediate Stop point that you have defined. You can use the Start and End points to calibrate (register) the map image that you have saved as well.

Now you can quickly digitize the track or create a variation on your route. This gives you more flexibility in tailoring the route/track to suit your own needs. Note: the map scale gives you an indication of metres/pixel. If you can digitize to an accuracy of 2 pixels, then you will know how accurate this will be on the ground.

Webpages by A S Murphy. Copyright © 1999-2016 A S Murphy
GPS Utility Logo