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How to Make a Portable “Nav-Station” for Sailing or Cruising

If you are anything like me, you find chart navigation to be a challenge on a small sailboat. Wind, spray, and foul weather can cause big headaches for any sailing skipper. Should you just forget the paper nautical charts and use electronics?

You might have read the disclaimer on that black box when you fire it up. It’s often the first page you see before any other. And it tells you the limitations of the system you are about to use. The manufacturer reminds you not to rely on GPS alone for your safety.

GPS receivers and chart plotters are wondrous, but paper navigation charts give you the best detail for close coastal or inside navigation. And paper charts give you the “big picture” without scrolling. I believe both methods complement one another to give you a powerful navigation system that will work most anywhere you sail or cruise.

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