Reef Runner

Making Your Own Kite Lines (How do you do that?)

171 posts in this topic

A few weeks ago, we had a great topic going, called "Laser Pro Gold and Other Spectra Lines". The basis for that topic, was initially aimed at, availability, and/or, non-availability, of spectra line, Laser Pro Gold, in particular. Seems that there is no shortage, for now, so that's good news, however, during that discussion, there were quite a few replies, that somewhat veered off of the main subject, and described in detail, exactly how many of us make-up our own kite lines. There were descriptions which explained how we measured, sleeved, knotted, and looped, our lines, to come up with that perfect set of flight lines. confused_1.gif

Based on that outpouring of valuable information, I thought that it would be a great idea, to start a topic, to cover that subject, exactly..................:lol:

SO, lets hear it.............Spill the beans - HOW DO YOU MAKE UP YOUR LINE SETS ?? Give us measuring details. How do you get that exact length? Tell us how you sleeve your lines, and how long the sleeving is. Let us know how you knot your sleeving, to form the loops, etc. Photos are always great !! I know that all of this sounds "elementary" to many of us, but it's not elementary to the "Newbie". Remember those days? Remember when you just didn't have a clue? So help out here, and share any and all details, that you are willing to share, and lets help out the "Newbie". This isn't rocket science, you know. Let's make it easy for the Newbie, who may just be coming onto the forum for the first time, to find out exactly, how to make that first line set..............:)

:):dual::wacko:

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Oh John, that's no fun...........(just kidding & thanks for the additional info) :P

Now for my $.02, well, maybe $.03

OK, I'll start this off, and this post will deal with mainly "Line Measurement". One of the most questionable parts of this process, for me, has been coming up with a reasonable, and fairly accurate estimate, as to the amount of bulk line needed, once I have decided to build a specific line set, for instance, 90# x 100'. It's obvious, if we are making a 100' line set that the individual lines have got to be longer that 100', to begin with. We've got to add "a little extra", to that 100', to compensate for the line used in the sleeved loops, knots, etc. I have always wondered about that "little extra", and pondered if there was a way, to determine that amount, with some bit of accuracy, not only to determine the amount of bulk line to purchase, but to give me a definite "cut length", prior to making my lines. Sometimes, or most times in my case, that "best guess", has ended up producing sets that were several inches longer, or several inches shorter, than expected. Not that this is tremendously important, especially if you are mainly flying alone, but still, I would like to have a starting point, that I could somewhat depend on. So, I thought it would be interesting to hear all "the different processes & procedures, that different people use to make up their line sets". Line measurement is only one of those procedures.

As for me, my process begins by pre-stretching the raw line. Many people, have many different ways of doing this, (maybe someone will chime in and elaborate on that topic later), but basically, it just involves stretching the raw spectra line, until most of the "creep", or gradual elongation, has been removed. That's a feel thing, and again, maybe someone else will elaborate on that. Once the pre-stretching is done, then it's time for the line measurement part, plus that "little extra" that I mentioned, earlier. I'll get back to that later.

Now, before I begin to measure the spectra line, I'll assume that pre-stretching has already take place, by whatever method deemed appropriate. With this being said, my first step is to clamp or secure, one end of the spectra line to an immovable object, which in my case, is the front edge, of a stationary bench in my workshop. Then I walk the line directly out through my garage door, continuing down my drive way, where I have permanent marks on the edge of the concrete, measured precisely, from the front of my workbench, beginning at 50', and then at 10' intervals, on out to 120 feet. Once at the appropriate mark (in this case 100 feet), I measure, or add-on, "that little extra" length, that I mentioned earlier, and then I place a kite stake "firmly" in the ground, at that exact point. I then carry the line around the kite stake, and back to the front of my workbench, where I pull the line fairly snug, just to remove any obvious slack. Then I temporarily secure this second end to the front of the workbench. At this point, from the bench, out to the kite stake, and back to the workbench, I have exactly two "cut lengths", roughly measured.

NOTE: if you are making a quad set, before doing anything else, you may want to repeat this process by making another complete pass with the line, from the initial starting point (workbench), back out to the kite stake, and back to the beginning. This will give you the two additional lines, for the quad set.

Now, to equalize the (2 or 4) lines, I release the lines from the front of the workbench, and gently pull on them (pulling against the kite stake), individually and/or together, until each line hangs exactly as the adjacent line, both under tension, and when allowed to sag. Once I am satisfied that all of the lines are equalized, I once again clamp them all together, to the front of my workbench, where I make a mark across the lines, with a Sharpie pen. This will be my final cut mark(s) for each line. Now, I go back out to the kite stake, pull it out of the ground, and with the line(s) still running around the stake, I step back just a little, to take up any slack, again checking to see that all of the lines remain equal, both under tension and when allowed to sag. Assuming that everything looks good, and all lines are still equal, I mark the line again, exactly at the back center of the kite stake, dividing the line(s) into two equal segments. At this point, I cut the line(s) cleanly, for the first time, and lightly fuse the cut ends (if you don't have a hot knife, a match or lighter will do). Then I go back to the work bench, where I cut & fuse the (2 or 4) lines at the Sharpie marks. Now I have (2 or 4) equally matched lines, ready to be sleeved, which if all goes well, will end up equal in length, and at the desired finished length, +/- an inch (maybe two), but very close. Again, that finished length, is determined by that "little extra", that I added on during in the initial measuring process, as well as how the sleeving is measured, knotted, and looped.

NOTE: For the finished lines to come out equal, the sleeving material must be precisely cut & fused to the exact same lengths. Each end of each line must then be sleeved, knotted, and looped identically, from loop to loop and from line to line, with the only variation being possibly, sleeve color, for desired ID purposes.

Now, as I have referred to, several times previously, should you want that set of lines to end up at a specific finished length, that's where the "little extra", comes into play. That's what got me to thinking about this whole process, in the first place, and after all this deep thought, discussion, and burning up of good brain cells, as well as agonizing (not really) over the whole situation, I suppose that it all comes back to the one big question, "Does a few inches either way, really matter?". IMHO, the answer to that is "NO", as has been stated elsewhere in this forum several times. What is much more important here, is that the lines that you make, are consistent and equal to each other. However, being somewhat of a perfectionist, occasionally I get hung up on the calculations, and the precision of those calculations, and that's all that the remaining part of this post, is really about. So, I did some actual trials, and I did some simple calculations, and I came up with, for lack of a better term, a pretty decent planning tool, so far as determining, the raw line needed, to yield a predetermined finished length. I also put together a few charts, for my own use, that have worked quite well, and provide me with a quick, and pretty accurate reference point, however, the forum doesn't like Excel Spreadsheets, so I'll spare you those. But, as for predetermining, that rough "Cut Length", there is really nothing magic about it. It's just simple math, and being consistent with what you do, from loop to loop and from line to line . So far, my trials have yielded finished lines, within +/- 1", or less, of the specified, or desired finished length, and here's all there is to it, (and yes, it's quite simple, but bare with me, I'm trying to explain this for someone that's never done it).

So to come up with a very close, "rough cut length", that will yield a "specific finished length", try this:

Take "the desired finished length", add "one (1) length of sleeving", then add 3 inches, then add another 3 inches, and this gives you a rough "Cut Length", for the raw line. See, that's pretty simple, add one length of sleeving plus 6 inches, for each line, and so far, and it has worked out perfect for me, BUT for this to work, again, you have to use "evenly cut" sleeving, and you'll need to knot that sleeving precisely the same, on every loop, and somewhat close to the method that I describe below, however, I'm sure it will come out very close, no matter what your preferred method of knotting may be. Just be consistent.

This is how I sleeve and knot: (see photos below) First of all, after pulling my line through the sleeving material, I allow the line to extend about 1/2" out the terminal end of the sleeving. Then I tie an overhand knot, in the sleeving, about 1/4" from the terminal end of the sleeving, leaving the 1/2" of line protruding. Then I hold to that knot, and firmly pull the sleeving back down the line, away from the knot, so that it becomes tightly stretched, over the spectra line. Then, when I'm sure that there is no slack and nothing loose, I tie a second overhand knot, about 1/4" from the other end of the sleeving. Now, with the sleeving secured on the line, I bring those two knots together, to form the loop, and proceed to tie, two (2) overhand knots, in the doubled sleeving, just above the previous knots. Try to tie these knots smoothly, with no line roll-overs, which will help to prevent, the spectra line from creeping, or slipping through the sleeving under stress. Now, do this precisely, on each end (or do it with your preferred method), and your finished line, should end up very close to your desired finished length.

Bottom-line: My goal was simply to come up with something, that would indeed, "get me close, very close", to a designated line length, should that be desired or become important, plus, I normally order my line, by the foot, in bulk, according to whatever length set, I plan on making. This being the case, it's always good to be close, although, vendors usually do put a little extra on the spools, just to be sure, but still, my chart enables me to quickly reference the total length of line to order, for whatever sets I may be planning to make. I suppose, short of buying one of the 3000 yard spools, and not worrying about waste, it's more of a planning & ordering tool, than anything else.

Here's a quick example: Assume you want to make a 100 foot line set, and assume that your sleeving is 15" long (can be any length). Here's how I would calculate the rough "cut length".............

100 feet (1200") + 15 inches + 3" + 3" = 1221 inches (or) 101.75 feet (or) 101' 9" which is the initial 100 feet, plus 21 inches (that's the little extra)

NOTE: the +3" and +3", is for the knots, etc, made in each loop, on each end of each line, and that, along with the one length of sleeving, ends up being that "little extra", that seems to make things work out right, in the end.

Examples of some popular line lengths, when using 15" sleeving, so you just add 21" to the "desired finished length", per line !

For 120 foot finished lines – cut the raw lines 121.75 feet or 121 feet 9 inches (or) 120 feet, plus 21 inches

For 100 foot finished lines – cut the raw lines 101.75 feet or 101 feet 9 inches (or) 100 feet, plus 21 inches

For 85 foot finsihed lines - cut the raw lines 86.75 feet or 86 feet 9 inches (or) 85 feet, plus 21 inches

For 80 foot finished lines – cut the raw lines 81.75 feet or 81 feet 9 inches (or) 80 feet, plus 21 inches

For 75 foot finsihed lines - cut the raw lines 76.75 feet or 76 feet 9 inches (or) 75 feet, plus 21 inches

For 50 foot finished lines – cut the raw lines 51.75 feet or 51 feet 9 inches (or) 50 feet, plus 21 inches

For 30 foot finished lines – cut the raw lines 31.75 feet or 31 feet 9 inches (or) 30 feet, plus 21 inches

For 25 foot finished lines - cut the raw lines 26.75 feet or 26 feet 9 inches (or) 25 feet, plus 21 inches

post-4670-0-03406900-1301254223_thumb.jp post-4670-0-44042900-1301254233_thumb.jp post-4670-0-34099500-1301254239_thumb.jp post-4670-0-09929700-1301254245_thumb.jp post-4670-0-31317800-1301254252_thumb.jp post-4670-0-44382000-1301254258_thumb.jp post-4670-0-13520000-1301254274_thumb.jp post-4670-0-99206900-1301254280_thumb.jp post-4670-0-87516900-1301254291_thumb.jp post-4670-0-85646100-1301254303_thumb.jp post-4670-0-69851600-1301254311_thumb.jp post-4670-0-81486700-1301254319_thumb.jp post-4670-0-90920700-1301254329_thumb.jp post-4670-0-29163000-1301254339_thumb.jp post-4670-0-90932500-1301254354_thumb.jp post-4670-0-75893000-1301254364_thumb.jp :):dual::wacko::):lol:

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John, I'll look at those as well.

I hope to put together a fairly comprehensive post on making line sets. (I have strong opinions about most things.)

Here are a few places where I've sounded off in the (distant) past:

http://www.kites.tug...rri/kiting.tips

http://www.kites.tug...ewbie.questions

Also, Nick and I have been hashing this out in a series of emails over the past week or so.

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EDIT: I re-read this thread and saw that Reef Runners cut length on a 120' line was 6" longer then mine. Of course his line was stretched at that point and mine wasn't stretched yet, but I don't think the line would give 6" over a 120' length when stretched, that's a lot, so there is a chance that I made a mistake...so I removed my post! heehee!

Keep It Up!

Duane

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EDIT: I re-read this thread and saw that Reef Runners cut length on a 120' line was 6" longer then mine. Of course his line was stretched at that point and mine wasn't stretched yet, but I don't think the line would give 6" over a 120' length when stretched, that's a lot, so there is a chance that I made a mistake...so I removed my post! heehee!

Keep It Up!

Duane

Duane, :wacko:

I'm NOT an authority on this subject, not even close. Your thread was "very" informative, and the whole point of this topic, was to get "different peoples' perspectives", on how they handled the task, of "making their own line sets".

Pete & I, had discussed this matter quite a bit, so we thought it would be good to reach out to the kiting world, and find out from others, some of the different methods that may be used, to accomplish the same end results. All I did was start the topic, and post, "How I do it". Then, I was hoping that others, just as yourself, would jump in and post, "How you do it", and that's exactly what you did, and exactly what we were looking for.................

Just because your procedure is different from mine, doesn't mean that yours is wrong, and it surely doesn't mean that mine is right ! Pete and I, likewise, have very different methods of making line sets, and I'm sure that he will be sharing his views soon. The fact that your measurements are different, only means that we handle the task differently. Everyone has an opinion - we just want to hear them.......

So, please join back in................:)

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I certainly don't want someone cutting a 50 buck piece of line and coming out wrong because I made a mistake.

One place I know I was wrong, when I re-read my write-up, was that I said if doing some other line length...everything remains the same, value wise, except the finished dimension. And that would mean that the stretch, in inches, would have to be the same for a 50' line as it would be for a 120' line...and we know that's impossible.

So, I figure that my method, at best, is only good for 120' line sets, where the stretch about equals the knotting. And I'm not to sure about that either. I think maybe I've just been lucky!! heehee!

When I make the next set I'll check things out a little closer and actually measure the increase in stretching to the loss through knotting.

Keep It Up!

Duane

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Duane, if someone "under cuts" the blanks for a lineset, it is no trouble to make a set of four pigtails out of bridle material to extend the lines (if they really need them a few inches longer). You won't have caused anyone to waste 4x120' of line.

By all means edit it to take into account the things like total stretch vs. percentage stretch, but please re-post it.

When I get mine worked up, I would hope that others would point out anything like that, so I can edit it.

BTW, I do recall seeing in one of the other web descriptions that someone had heard from the manufacturer (of some linear polyethylene line) that the proper tension for pre-stretching lines is equal to one half the rated line strength. How long to maintain it was not mentioned. (And this is entirely hearsay, so take it with a grain of salt, if you will.)

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Duane, if someone "under cuts" the blanks for a lineset, it is no trouble to make a set of four pigtails out of bridle material to extend the lines (if they really need them a few inches longer). You won't have caused anyone to waste 4x120' of line.

By all means edit it to take into account the things like total stretch vs. percentage stretch, but please re-post it.

When I get mine worked up, I would hope that others would point out anything like that, so I can edit it.

Absolutely, the object of this topic is NOT to say "THIS IS THE WAY TO DO IT".

The object is to "SHARE YOUR METHOD" & so called, "Tricks of the Trade".

We want to get some different ideas, from any and everyone, that is willing to share !! So hey, jump back in here any time................

Nobody is here to criticize, we are all here to learn, plus we are interested !

So please :blue_wink: , everyone, share you ideas.........HELP :single::rev_clockwork::dual::sign_please:

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If you haven't, now is the time to have another look at post #3 by Reef Runner. Improved, and with excellent pictures added.

My contribution is still a work-in-progress.

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If you haven't, now is the time to have another look at post #3 by Reef Runner. Improved, and with excellent pictures added.

My contribution is still a work-in-progress.

Just so you're still making progress...............post-4670-0-61220100-1301576799_thumb.jp

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Just so you're still making progress...............

Waiting on a supply of materials (for pics). Doing some write-up while I'm waiting.

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I am keeping an eye on this - got a 300 yd spool of 50# coming and want to make 3 sets from it!!! 120', 75', and 25-30'!! Probably gonna cut them to exact length and let them stretch to take up the difference for loops and knots!! Since I fly alone a lot, the only set I'll pay much attention to is the 120', like them close to proper length for social interaction!!!kid_devlish.gif

--Pete: did you run out of room on your etch-a-sketch?? innocent.gif

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First - I'd like to thank Nick (reef runner) for forwarding along his info and chart of making linesets!!kid_smartass.gif Thanks, Nick!!

Second - I've made sets for myself for a long time and really didn't pay much attention to being too precise!! That was because I didn't fly with very many people, so length wasn't an issue! Now that I've met JB and others in the area and am interested in formation flying, well, getting things closer than "just OK" seems a little more important than it did before!! So when my bulk spool comes in, and I make up my sets, I'll try to pay more attention to what and how, and maybe report in and give you "my way" to make up sets!! Maybe get the old grey cells to think a little more!!!! smile.gif Alright, no wisecracks from the peanut gallery!!!censored.gif

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First - I'd like to thank Nick (reef runner) for forwarding along his info and chart of making linesets!!kid_smartass.gif Thanks, Nick!!

Hey Wayne, you are very welcome, & no problem with sharing. As I mentioned to you before, I would never suggest that you, or anyone else, change anything that you've been doing in the past, especially something that works, and works well. As you eluded, I too have made quite a few sets of lines for myself, as well as for others, and I also, never really gave it too much thought, so far as the "specific length", as I too, mostly fly solo, so it's never really been important. I suppose that what brought all this on, was that Pete & I, have been hashing this thing over for a while now, via email, so I just thought that I'd share what I had come up with, here on the forum. I believe that Pete will do likewise, as soon as he makes his next set of lines.

Anyway, the measurement part, really became clear, once I did a little calculating, and starting putting things on paper. Now, if nothing else, I've got a reference to go to, when I order my raw line. I just wish that more people, would take a few minutes, to share their own techniques & procedures. We just want to see how different people, make their own sets of flight lines. Sometimes, something like this can be difficult, to actually express on paper, but I think in the long run, this could indeed, be a very informative topic, if only others would just join in and share. So far, this has just been my personal thoughts on the subject. Not saying they are right, not saying they are wrong, but just that they work for me, as I'm sure your method works for you.

I'll surely be looking forward to hearing back, when you make this next set of lines............and I promise, there won't be any wise cracks from the gallery, not this gallery, anyway!:rev_clockwork:

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Sorry folks, still waiting on my bulk spool to come!! confused_1.gif When it does and the weather allows, I'll post some of my findings for you!!kid_devlish.gif Until then, it's a waiting game!!kid_brooding.gif

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Until then, it's a waiting game!!kid_brooding.gif

tic - tock - tic - tock - tic - tock :kid_devlish:

Hey Wayne, I mentioned a while back (to someone else), that all of a sudden, it appears there is no longer any interest in making lines. We had a topic going about "spectra availability", and everyone wanted to talk about how they made their lines, so I started a topic about that very subject (heck, I thought it was interesting), and now nothing (?), but I know you and Pete will come through eventually............"and the beat goes on" :big_band: tic - tock - tic - tock

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Heck, we know how we make line sets!!!kid_devlish.gif Just trying to help out the newbie, without going through all the trial and error stuff we went through!!kid_brooding.gif Who knows, maybe we beat this horse to ..........?! confused_1.gif

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My contribution may be delayed a bit. It now looks a though I'm going in for surgery Apr 21, to remove a small cancer from my left kidney. The doctors say it was caught early, is a generally successful surgery, requires no chemo or radiation, and has a fairly fast recovery time. So, I'm treating it as a nuisance rather than a catastrophe. But you wouldn't believe the number of pre-op appointments needed to satisfy everyone involved.

So, I'm gonna be fairly busy for the next little while. (And I'm NOT gonna be pre-stretching any heavy LPG or Spectra line anytime soon.) But even if I won't be able to fly any fun (hard-pulling, that is) kites soon, I expect to get to Grand Haven by May 20-22.

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Heck, we know how we make line sets!!!kid_devlish.gif Just trying to help out the newbie, without going through all the trial and error stuff we went through!!kid_brooding.gif Who knows, maybe we beat this horse to ..........?! confused_1.gif

True, true...............that was indeed, the initial goal ! But I'd still like to see more people join in, with different ideas and procedures............tic - tock, tic - tock......

Already had one "Newbie" to send a PM/email, expressing thanks for the info. If it only helps one person, then I'm good !!! :kid_devlish:

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My contribution may be delayed a bit. It now looks a though I'm going in for surgery Apr 21, to remove a small cancer from my left kidney. The doctors say it was caught early, is a generally successful surgery, requires no chemo or radiation, and has a fairly fast recovery time. So, I'm treating it as a nuisance rather than a catastrophe. But you wouldn't believe the number of pre-op appointments needed to satisfy everyone involved.

So, I'm gonna be fairly busy for the next little while. (And I'm NOT gonna be pre-stretching any heavy LPG or Spectra line anytime soon.) But even if I won't be able to fly any fun (hard-pulling, that is) kites soon, I expect to get to Grand Haven by May 20-22.

Hey Pete,

I wish you the best, my friend................take care, and keep us informed as to how things go.................

We're pulling for you :kid_devlish:

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Yer makin' more of it than I am. As far as I'm concerned, the worst part is all the time spent on CYA conferences that the doctors/hospitals require.

Have I ever mentioned that I like the Jimmy Buffett quote in your sig? I use a different JB quote as one of my Random Sigs.

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Yer makin' more of it than I am. As far as I'm concerned, the worst part is all the time spent on CYA conferences that the doctors/hospitals require.

Have I ever mentioned that I like the Jimmy Buffett quote in your sig? I use a different JB quote as one of my Random Sigs.

Didn't mean to make a big deal, just wishing you the best................as for the J Buffett quote, that came from his book, "A Pirate Looks at Fifty". Great beach reading. Buffett has always been one of my favorites, so far as his music goes, plus, he's a pretty good story teller................:kid_devlish:

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And I appreciate your good thoughts. Thank you.

.

.

...the Jimmy Buffett quote in your sig...

... Buffett has always been one of my favorites...

My Buffett quote is:

"The best navigators are not always certain of where they are,

but they are always aware of their uncertainty."

Another quote on navigation (I can't remember who said it):

The well-trained navigator draws lines on the chart and where they cross he stabs his pencil and says "Here we are!"

The experienced navigator draws the lines and where they cross he draws a generous circle and says, "We might be somewhere in here."

And yet another:

...I studied with diligence Neptune's laws,

and these laws I tried to obey... [Joshua Slocum]

This was cribbed from Slocum's book "Sailing Alone Around the World". The book was published in 1900, when there were no things like GPS or even Loran. He took a 37' yawl and left from the east coast of North America, sailed alone, eastward around the entire world and returned to his home port.

I have taken the lines from a paragraph of prose, trimmed them and picked the line-break. The result is poetry of the highest order. (Read them out loud; several times, if necessary.)

(You can get this book very cheaply from Dover Books.)

One can do worse than order their life from quotations from serious navigators.

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--Pete: Good that you're looking at this as a pain in the neck!!! kid_smartass.gif Just another of life's little inconveniences we can overcome!!kid_devlish.gif

Best Wishes and hope to see you out flying sometime!!! wink.gif

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