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post #5 of Old 11-24-2004
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Electronic charts & SSB weather

Doug, I missed your identity when replying to your original post; congrats on the ''new'' boat and good luck with all the inevitable (fun) work that lies ahead.

Re: your R a/p and R dome, I don''t see those forcing any subsequent decisions on you; they can be used almost no matter what your other nav & electronics choices. Given your plans (ocean crossing and European cruising), I''d think your primary criteria would be:
1. Redundancy for electronic navigation
2. Convenience & comfort when route planning at least as much as ''oversight'' or underway monitoring
3. Acceptable charts for the areas to be sailed

Since almost all of Europe is First World from a charting standpoint, I wouldn''t think chart product choices would not be as much a driver as the first two I mentioned. OTOH I have high praise for the CMap charts far more than the NIMA or BA products, and I find the early version of MaxSea I''ve used to be I still find it easy to have charting preferences here in Europe.

There''s one other factor that''s minor but which might apply to you and be worth a moment of reflection. I''ve found it very convenient to have the laptop serve both as the basis for my electronic navigation AND the basis for our communications & wx download activities. One place (our chart table, adjacent to the companionway), comfy and with everything at hand (paper charts, wx files, electronic charts, radio controls), serves multiple purposes nicely. I''m sure I could come up with something similarly convenient using a dedicated chart plotter IF both the money and the space were available...but fortunately, I don''t have to worry about that.<g>

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