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Old 07-14-2007
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"Mechanical pencils, eh? How can you guys complicate things any more? "
I'd argue that you've got it backwards. I've known some mechanical pencils to fail, or apparently fail, when a short lead jammed them. No problem, the ones sold for drafting and other "real" non-cosmetic use almost all have a cleaning needle on the underside of the lead, to clear jams. A sewing needle or straight pin also works.
Never had one rust or wear out, although I think my oldest is only 25-30 years old. But best of all? I can buy a box of disposable mechanicals that use .5mm lead for a buck, and if I add more lead (they're refillable, too) to each one, each one can outlast 5+ Ticonderogas. With no sharpening, no dirt to make, nothing to look for in the bilge, just one "pencil" that keeps writing for years.
If it breaks? I don't need to whip out something sharp or rough to make a new point, I can grab the next one. But, if that's a "complication" for you...obviously you've bought the Pardeys' old boat and still have no engine, right?< VBG >

The NC-77 was a miracle, but a used PalmIII for $25 and some nav software for $20 more becomes much easier to FIND. More versatile, easier to replace or carry a spare, too. John Manson's Pilot Navigator Software - Handheld Software for Pilots & Sailors strongly recommended, he's a very accommodating and responsive author/vendor as well.

Dunno how you can accept the NC-77 if a mechanical pencil is too complicated for your style, though. < VBG >
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