The Maptech waterproof chartbooks are quite good buys, and come with a CD with electronic versions. While the Maptech software leaves a bit to be desired, it's passable for a free package. The chartbooks are quite durable, and can take a bit of abuse, and are a fairly convenient size for a small boat's nav station.
A portable GPS, like the Garmin 276 might be better than a handheld. It can take the Bluechart marine charts and can be used for both marine and auto navigation. I use one in my car, and carry it as a backup on the boat.
Hmm... interesting... seems that Sailnet.com's forums are picking keywords and adding links to them automatically.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.