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    Re: from a watcher
    From: Glendon
    Date: 2002 Oct 17, 11:44 +1000
    Hello Martin,
    As Jared Sherman suggests, a Palm plus one of the proprietary navigation software packages will do the trick nicely. Or a Pocket PC running Windows CE plus proprietary software.
    Another solution, which I have, is a HP 48GX graphing calculator with a Sparcom Celestial Navigation Pac.......proprietary software on an expansion card which slots into the HP 48GX. This works well, but is a bit hands on, in the sense that the Hp is a quirky calculator to use...some people hate HP calculators, I love them having used them since the mid 70's. They take a bit of getting used to!! The calculator goes into an AquaPak waterproof GPS plastic container. If you buy carefully, you should be able to put this package together for about US$150 off Ebay
    There are other calculator/software packages that do the trick. Search our archives for earlier discussions of various calculators and their merits. Or go to http://www.starpath.com/catalog/accessories/starpilot/compare1.htm for a comparison. Personally, I think the dedicated calculators such as the Celesticomp V and NC 2000, while excellent, are way too expensive for what they do. Major issues in comparing calculators are durability, battery life and retention of software/data if the batteries are taken out.
    If I was starting afresh, I think I would be going for a Palm Vx (now superceded and heavily discounted on Ebay), and load it with one of the packages at say http://www.palmgear.com/software/answernew.cfm?sid=34831120020926180446&quicksearch2=celestial%20navigation&CFID=6749673&CFTOKEN=85125731 , probably Pilot Navigator 3.1. I would put the lot in an AquaPak for protection ( I have read that the  Palm screen will work inside an Aquapak, but I don't know for sure.) . And, heresy of heresies I would add a Magellan GPS Companion to the Vx, making it capable of both celestial and GPS navigation!!! This sort of package can be put together off Ebay for $150.
    Hope this helps.
    Lee Martin
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: martinhall
    Sent: Wednesday, October 16, 2002 10:06 PM
    Subject: from a watcher


    I have watched this list for some time now avidly reading and trying to absorb all the information passed on it.

    Last year I took the RYA offshore nav course but have problems implementing the content.

    I only have a very small boat and do most of my sailing in the Bristol channel.

    I can get what I hope is a good sight now and then but find I need to carry far to many books, almanacs and proformas with me?

    By the time I have looked up the information needed and filled in the proformas everything is wet and falling apart.

    I do sometimes take my laptop but battery power is a problem. Can anyone tell me the best system to use on a small boat with limited resources on board

    (please don’t say use a gps all the local boat clubs keep telling me that. I have one but I want to do it the proper way)

    Also is there any good share wear out there that can produce daily tables (I have one but it gives different results to my yearly almanac).

    Thanks in advance


    Martin Hall


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