We have a device called an autopilot which will steer the boat while I am asleep. In fact it steers the boat most of the time that I am awake also! The autopilot has an electronic compass. And it is also connected to the wind instruments. So I can set the autopilot to steer either by a straight compass course, i.e., it’s 115 degrees magnetic or true to where we want to go, or I could set the pilot to steer by apparent wind (the wind that you feel) or by true wind (where the wind is actually coming from). If you are in a car, at a standstill, and the wind is blowing into the car from the side, that is the True wind angle. But once you start driving, the wind that you feel, the Apparent wind angle, will move forward, so that it seems as if the wind is coming from the front. Our computer can calculate both, and I can set the autopilot to steer off one or the other.
Question submitted by Haley, Portland OR, USA