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Old 12-12-2012
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Re: Gps navigation advise

Mark (above) makes a good point - you will be doing your navigation by GPS.
Paper charts are invariably out of date - I use them for planing, the make great table top discussion / conversation pieces, not so much for actual underway plotting.

As to which hand held chartplotter to get, truthfully it just doesn't matter as long as it is at least a 12 channel WAAS receiver and has updated charts. The basic level charts most hand helds come with are more dangerous than paper chart.

For me, that means get a hand held that can use Navionic's, and make sure you DO in fact register and get updates to the charts.

That hand held will quickly become a back up when you are cruising, it might even become your third or fourth option.
I sail with a Raymarine e7d chartplotter, a Magellan hand held, my android phone with a navionics app, and my note book running PolarView and PolarCOM with full NOAA charts and a hockey puck GP.
The hand held seldom gets turned on - mostly to check speed on my dinghy. It gets stored in tin foil wrap in a zippy ( a mini faraday cage).

Note for the haters - I'm not saying charting via paper is useless, I can and do. I qualified for celestial navigation while working in the Navy on a USNS so I could stand watch (didn't have to, wanted to). Being able to plot your position twice a day is great and provides a nice boost of confidence. Carrying 400 pounds of books and charts is not within my interest groups.
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