The navigator should assemble a kit containing equipment for emergency navigation. This kit should contain:
At least one proven and personally tested handheld GPS receiver with waypoints and routes entered, and with plenty of spare batteries.
A small, magnetic hand-bearing compass such as is used in small craft navigation, to be used if all other compasses fail.
A minimal set of paper charts for the voyage at hand, ranging from small-scale to coastal to approach and perhaps harbor, for the most likely scenarios. A pilot chart for the ocean basin in question makes a good small scale chart for offshore use.
A notebook or journal suitable for use as a deck log and for computations, plus maneuvering boards, graph paper, and position plotting sheets.
Pencils, erasers, a straightedge, protractor or plotter, dividers and compasses, and a knife or pencil sharpener.
A timepiece. The optimum timepiece is a quartz crystal chronometer, but any high-quality digital wristwatch will suffice if it is synchronized with the ship's chronometer. A portable radio capable of receiving time signals, together with a good wristwatch, will also suffice.
Amarine sextant. (An inexpensive plastic sextant will suffice.) Several types are available commercially. The emergency sextant should be used periodically so its limitations and capabilities are fully understood.
A celestial navigation calculator and spare batteries, or a current Nautical Almanac and this book or a similar text. Another year's almanac can be used for stars and the Sun without serious error by emergency standards. Some form of long-term almanac might be copied or pasted in the notebook.
Tables. Some form of table might be needed for reducing celestial observations if the celestial calculator fails. The Nautical Almanac produced by the U.S. Naval Observatory contains detailed procedures for calculator sight reduction and a compact sight reduction table.
Flashlight. Check the batteries periodically and include extra batteries and bulbs in the kit.
Portable radio. A handheld VHF transceiver approved by the Federal Communications Commission for emergency use can establish communications with rescue authorities. A small portable radio may be used as a radio direction finder or for receiving time signals.
An Emergency Position Indicating Radiobeacon (EPIRB) and a Search and Rescue Transponder (SART) are absolutely essential.
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