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Learning the ropes of electronic navigation

Gone for many are the days when unrolling a paper chart and plotting waypoints and a course with a pencil, compass and parallel plotter was the only method of making one’s way. The digital age has revolutionized marine navigation, and “Get Onboard With E-Charting” ($34.95, Semi-local Publications, 2008) by Mark and Diana Doyle gives newbies a step-by-step lesson.

Get Onboard With E-Charting

This reference book explains the components of an electronic charting system, including hardware, marine instruments, electronic cartography and charting software. Written specifically for beginners, the oversized pages have full-color screen shots and include a CD with free software. Included in the chapters are 34 informational sidebars, 100 troubleshooting tips, a complete index and a glossary of navigation and electronic charting terms.

The Doyles are known for the cruising guide and electronic chart series “Managing the Waterways.” They are electronic editors at Mad Mariner magazine and have written numerous articles for various boating magazines.

The couple lives with their son, Morgan, juggling time on land and at sea. For information, visit


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