Tools & Techniques Overview
One of the most pleasant aspects of living on a cruising boat is the variety of people you come into contact with.  Different nationalities and cultures in a very short time has brought me into contact with a wide range of interests, knowledge, views and approaches to problem solving.  If you sail out of one or two ports your entire adult life you will not have this experience, or at least you likely won't get it just from sailing.

As part of this experience I've learned a lot of new and better ways to do things for which I thought I already had an optimal solution.  Conversely I've discovered some of the little techniques I've learned or developed are not as intuitively obvious to others as they might now seem to me.

So the purpose of this page, and any pages that become linked to it is to share some of the techniques I've adopted for solving a few of the many issues and challenges of cruising under sail.  None of these techniques are very original. I've either stolen or adapted things I've learned from others, from books or from those extremely rare Eureka moments.

The first technique I have published under this page is my method for introducing the NOAA Pilot Charts into the Fugawi Navigation
Software to facilitate route planning for ocean voyages.  I've done this at the suggestion of my friend, and fellow Pearson 424 sailor, Jack Tyler.  When I briefly explained how I do this I was surprised that for someone like Jack, who is both computer-literate, and an experienced voyager and navigator, this wasn't obvious.  So at his suggestion I'm documenting my methodology.

Follow the links below or in the menu on the left.

Pilot Charts in Fugawi (or other navigation software).  How to capture and import the NGA Pilot Charts in chart plotting software, in the is case Fugawi.
Excel Workbook Templates useful onboard.  I have developed several Excel workbooks that I use in offshore navigation and other onboard functions.
Working with Ship/Buoy Weather Reports.  Additional documentation on one of the Excel Templates listed in the above page.
Scheduling the Retrieval of Winlink/Saildocs Documents.  This is a discussion of how I developed a strategy for acquiring the wather documents I deem important during a voyage.
Using the HYPERterminal to troubleshoot the NMEA Network.  I have found the HYPERterminal software included with the Windows OS on most PCs a very useful tool when troubleshoot and configuring the NMEA network on Sarah.