W&P ParaLock Plotter, aka “shortie”
What’s this…a set of parallel rules that didn’t eat right as a child? Nope, the 7.25” ParaLocks were especially bred for taking the lat/long of a waypoint off a paper chart. Put one edge on any handy vertical or horizontal line, spread the rule to your mark (the finger holes help hold it tight to the chart), use the black knob to lock the spread (which can go as wide as standard 15” parallels), and, bada-bing, you’ve captured a measurement you can then take to the edge of the chart or to a scale in order determine a precise latitude or longitude. ParaLocks also have protractor and ruler marks, and do regular parallel rule work nicely on small chart tables and/or small charts, like the 12” wide Maptech Waterproof Chartbook shown. By the way, despite my role as champion of gee whiz electronics, I still like paper charts (and paper guide books). And though I wasn’t a fan of ChartKits when they first came out (um, a couple decades ago), the current versions are great on bigger boats, while the Chartbooks are handy on small boats. Maptech has been doing good work on the print side. Ditto Weems & Plath in the navigation tool dept. ParaLocks are well made and retail for around $22.50.