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    Re: My first observations with natural horizon
    From: Bill B
    Date: 2005 Aug 13, 17:47 -0500

    > 1. First I found, to my surprise, that it is hard to
    > find a place for a sextant in a 42 feet boat:-)
    > I mean, to have the sextant box in a secure place, and at the
    > same time, easily accessible.
    If I recall you have seen my plastic case (Underwater Kinetics?) purchased
    through Celestaire.  I have not observed any real or potential problems
    storing it securely near the companionway below deck or near the cockpit
    above deck on mid-30 ft sailing craft, although more bulky than the Astra
    box it holds all my scopes, calculator etc.  Most USA craft have a ledge
    (fiddle) around horizontal surfaces, so it is a matter of finding one about
    case size and exercising squatter's rights (unless the seas are very rough).
    Most USA blue-water craft have a gimbaled range/oven near the companionway.
    Many have a sort of leeboard/fiddle at the front of the range to keep
    stovetop pots and pans from sliding off and spilling their contents onto the
    sole/into the bilge.  Pull the pin, add a little dunnage, and it's great.
    (Make sure the range is off and cool ;-)
    On the Catalina 350 there is a small spot (built in table with fiddle)
    inside the aft cabin entrance by the companionway that is just the right
    size.  On other boats you may be able to drop the dining table in the salon
    via the adjustable column (that drops the salon table to make it part of a
    berth or sole) to the point that it serves as a leeboard ("leeboard" used
    here as similar to leecloth, as opposed to leeboard as in boards on the port
    and starboard sides of a sailing craft replacing a dagger board or swing
    keel) and set the box on the cushions with a towel for dunnage.  I have
    looked at 22 footers on up with an eye to where I might secure the case, and
    see no real obstacles unless we are sailing 24/7 and all but watch are in
    their bunks.
    If you find that even with a keen eye and experience the boats you sail on
    are not case friendly, white-water canoe/raft catalogs have D rings sewn
    into a coated fabric patch that can be adhered to Bill's bags, canoe and
    raft "floors" etc.  Adhere one of those to each non-handle surface, and with
    a little bit of line you can secure the case almost anywhere you could find
    a tie-off point, or better yet, two opposed tie off points.
    If I recall you travel light, but one of the router/sander non-slip,
    open-waffle-weave mats (tool drawer liner at Wal Mart) the same size or a
    bit larger than the horizontal footprint of the case goes a long way towards
    keeping the case in place on slick surfaces, and makes the owner of a
    pristine boat less nervous about his/her Plexiglas, Formica and teak.
    Or a few screws (Bauer) driven through the bottom of the wood box into a
    bulkhead near the companionway could be ideal.  Nothing parties like a

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