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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #11  
Old 08-13-2008
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Protractor of the type shown, and I also use dividers to measure distance and a three-armed protractor



It is handy in conjunction with a chart and a horizontally held sextant or hand-held compass in determining "distance off" in coastal pilotage. A hand-held compass is usually accurate enough, but if the coast is obscured by mist/fog, and you can only make out, say, a tower miles off the bow and a radio mast miles off the stern, this and knowing your true heading can give you a surprisingly accurate fix.
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  #12  
Old 08-13-2008
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I used the "cheat tool" exclusively for our adventures. Nothing else I've tried can give you anything you want in the cockpit in 10 seconds or less. An incredible tool and SO much easier to use than the damn parallel rules.
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  #13  
Old 08-13-2008
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Weems & Plath Chartkit Plotter

Here's the link the the portable chart board

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  #14  
Old 08-14-2008
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Here's another vote for the Cheat tool

WP has a basic kit the has the Protactor plotter, parallel rule, dividers and even a pencil.............under 50 bucks
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  #15  
Old 08-19-2008
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Cheat tool! For sure.
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  #16  
Old 08-20-2008
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Unless you're familiar with how to use triangles, I'd recommend the beginning navigator avoid them...they're a PITA... the cheat tool is a much better choice for the N00b...since it is just much more intuitive than either triangles or the traditional parallel rules.

Also, the GPS Plotter parallel rules are better than the traditional ones, since they don't crab as you use them.


Here is an animated image of how to use the GPS Plotter:

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  #17  
Old 08-30-2008
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I have a rolly ruler thingy and I don't like it very much, the wheels often stick or catch and it doesn't stay parallel. Also it can't go up or down the chart, only across it, so unless it's as big as your chart odds are it won't work well as you are above or below the nearest compass rose. I plan on getting parallel dividers and some more cheat toys soon.

If you insist on the rolly ruler I'll pass on a tip from someone much saltier than I. He had 1ft long broom handle piece (dowl). It rolls beautifully across the chart and since it doesn't have silly little wheels to skid or jam it always stays parallel. Floats too which is important for any boat tool.... The downside is that the instructor will assume you know exactly what you're doing and treat you as such.
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  #18  
Old 08-30-2008
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Best dividers around ..

Quote:
Originally Posted by lbdavis View Post
Personally, I really like the protractor:

I would suggest a good set of dividers, FWIW.
Agreed -- By chance I bought an inexpensive divider at WM that I really love. It has a little wheel which allows controlled fine adjustments but which can also be changed in coarse increments, overriding the wheel. It sells for less than $20 and beats any of the traditional brass dividers..
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  #19  
Old 08-30-2008
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another kind of protractor

I gave up on the rolling rulers when I discovered that the little aluminum wheels corrode when exposed to salt air. I had to toss mine.

I learned to use a different kind of rule while sailing in France. It is called the regle de Cras (Admiral Cras' rule). It is a protractor-based rule with no moving parts. It works very well and doesn't require a large nav table.
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Last edited by pegasus1457; 08-30-2008 at 10:04 PM. Reason: changed parallel rule to rolling ruler
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  #20  
Old 08-30-2008
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"Cheat Tool"

;353253]Personally, I really like the protractor:


Some may call it a "cheat tool", but this thing is great. I find it amazing what can be done with this.

I would suggest a good set of dividers, FWIW.[/QUOTE]
lbdavis ----- i use a similar tool. it"s a Dockley's and has a 20" rule on the top and rotating compass rose in the middle with a round lock nut. on each side of the rose is a line which indicates the course. you put the compass rose on a meridian & read the course on the line,or put the ruler on the course you want & 0 degrees on a meridian and read your true course at the line on either side, depending on which way you are going. this is the easiest ploting tool i have used.. i have a weems & plath divider with the hand wheel also. it has removable points so you can put min a lead & use it as a compass. captbillc
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