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Old 12-12-2012
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Gps navigation advise

Hello All-

I've got allot of experience for 1 year sailing and currently a member of OPO (Off Shore Passage Opportunities). I have the US Sailing Series "Passage Making" and "Coastal Navigation" which I will start reading soon. I'm wondering if either of these books truly address GPS Nav? ... I'm thinking not?

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MY BACKGROUND:
Within 3 years I plan to buy a boat (refit for blue water) and do some single handed sailing up the east coat of USA, Canada, Iceland, Baffin Bay. When the wife retires (5 years from now) we plan to circumnavigate. I've taken an extensive intro sailing class through the NIH Sailing Club(National Institute of Health) as well as : ASA 101,103,104.

None of the training thus far has dealt with GPS nav, I can do the chart plotting. I plan to do the remainder of my training by personal education, and hands on experience through OPO. I have daily access to Flying Scots for my weekly fix.
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... I want to buy a handheld GPS. At this point I'm thinking the Garmin 78 series. I will be doing blue water passages hopefully across most of the oceans in the next few years. I want to be an informed buyer yet reading about the units don't really seem to answer the questions, the write ups are very similar between the models.

I'm looking for advise on what GPS to buy (yet, I look at GPS as only a back up to the charts). What available info is there to learn about using it?

I guess each GPS model/make comes with specific instructions as to how to use it?? Will the one I buy come with comprehensive instructions on its use?

Someone told me West Marine may offer lectures/seminars on GPS usage but I can't find any reference to this on there web site, any comment here?

Thanks, Robes
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