Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Sea Kayak Navigation Aid

The Sea Kayak Navigation Aid (pronounced “SKANA”) by Howard Jeffs, which retails at £14.95, has been designed to bridge the gap between professional “Chart Table” navigational instruments such as the Bretton Plotter & Dividers and/or the SILVA (Type 4) Mountaineering style compass used commonly by outdoor enthusiasts. 

Sea kayakers frequently travel along coastlines and they require not only detailed land information that is usually found on Ordinance Survey / topo maps, but also specific nautical information such as tidal streams, safe passage areas, drying heights etc which can be found on marine charts.

As such, a sea kayaker's chart table is their spraydeck and foredeck, the rigidity of the Breton Plotter and the sharp points of the dividers are not practical here. However the base plate of many mountaineering compasses is frequently too short to draw out an extended course or measure distance quickly and easily. The ability to transfer from one scale (Kilometres) to another (Nautical Miles) is essential!

The SKANA addresses all these points in a simple, effective and robust manner. The base is made of a flexible clear plastic which copes with the undulations and flexibility of the cockpit area. The range of scales and specific dimensions of the instrument allow measurement of distance quickly and accurately. The Compass Rose and Bearing Cord allow angles and/or indented coastline to be measured with ease. 

The clear plastic plate is made of UV stable material. The scales and markings etched into the plastic are scratch resistant and also made of UV resilient ink. Its flat profile allows storage under deck elastics and the additional lanyard reduces the possibility of loss. It also makes an excellent kayak repair patch if you are really pushed!

For more information, visit Howard Jeff's website.

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