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Old 08-18-2010, 01:46 AM   #1
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Hi All

I, firstly admit, that in the past I have relied on chartplotters for my long distance passages. I know it's wrong. What I want to know is how do people first select then purchase the required charts for a journey. Is there a book of charts or is it better to buy individual charts. This to me seems like a lot of space will be wasted with potentionally fragile peices of paper.

anyways from you more experienced cruisers, I would truly like your ideas and advice.

Cheers

Rob & Annette

S/V Blue Lady
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Old 08-18-2010, 04:37 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Qldcruiser' date='18 August 2010 - 08:40 AM View Post

Hi All

I, firstly admit, that in the past I have relied on chartplotters for my long distance passages. I know it's wrong. What I want to know is how do people first select then purchase the required charts for a journey. Is there a book of charts or is it better to buy individual charts. This to me seems like a lot of space will be wasted with potentionally fragile peices of paper.

anyways from you more experienced cruisers, I would truly like your ideas and advice.

Cheers

Rob & Annette

S/V Blue Lady
Hi Rob and Annette,

Assumming its papar charts that one is looking for. If you have planned a major destination eg. Darwin, then you would be advised to go for coastal charts of NE Queensland then a good chart of the Torre Strait - a chart to cross the Gulf of Carpentaria - then coastal to Darwin and a detailed chart of Darwin waters.In any event when buying or swapping make sure latest changes/info are annotated. One of the best ways is to find an active cruiser who can show you actual charts - as there are charts and charts (some excellent - some very poor to dangerous)

Richard
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:04 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by MMNETSEA' date='18 August 2010 - 02:31 PM View Post

Hi Rob and Annette,

Assumming its papar charts that one is looking for. If you have planned a major destination eg. Darwin, then you would be advised to go for coastal charts of NE Queensland then a good chart of the Torre Strait - a chart to cross the Gulf of Carpentaria - then coastal to Darwin and a detailed chart of Darwin waters.In any event when buying or swapping make sure latest changes/info are annotated. One of the best ways is to find an active cruiser who can show you actual charts - as there are charts and charts (some excellent - some very poor to dangerous)

Richard
Hi MM,

I am looking at the pacific islands. We are heading for Vanuatu next year but the plan is starting to shape like the boat being left there for a month or two then onto other islands in and around as far as the Tomautus islands. That said, I am try to decipher just what charts and how many or is there a suitable book of charts that would be navigable in use.

Cheers

Rob & Annette

S/V Blue Lady
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Old 08-18-2010, 07:46 AM   #4
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Hello Rob and Annette,I think if you enquire at a Chandlery or Nautical chart agency they may be able to provide you with a free chart catalogue from the US National Geospacial-intelligence agency (NGA) which will show available charts for the Pacific Ocean Islands. I understand such charts are also available as free downloads in your country.

There is a free British admiralty chart catalogue too,it's basically a pamphlet with diagrammes showing the areas covered by individual charts. The charts however, unlike the United States produced ones are not downloadable or free, but range from large scale harbour charts to Ocean passage planning charts and have a world wide coverage. The charts are on tough water resistant paper and with care last for years. Saxon.
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:04 AM   #5
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If you are looking for British Admiralty charts (they cover the whole world although, naturaly, some areas are better covered than others) the on-line chart catalogue can be found here.

BA charts are, in my opinion, about the best there is. They are printed on paper which does not distort easily when damp and are of very high quality. If complemented by local charts for coastal work, you will not compile any better folio.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:22 PM   #6
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He had bought a large map representing the sea,

Without the least vestige of land:

And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be

A map they could all understand.

"What's the good of Mercator's North Poles and Equators,

Tropics, Zones, and Meridian Lines?"

So the Bellman would cry: and the crew would reply

"They are merely conventional signs!

"Other maps are such shapes, with their islands and capes!

But we've got our brave Captain to thank:"

(So the crew would protest) "that he's bought us the best --

A perfect and absolute blank!"
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Old 08-20-2010, 02:36 AM   #7
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Hi Rob & Annette

I can attest to the necessity of having paper charts for the area you are planning on cruising. Both the US and Britain have a chart that list all of the charts available. You can download this chart from the NOAA website.

Good luck

Sailorman 14
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Old 08-22-2010, 05:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qldcruiser' date='18 August 2010 - 09:40 AM View Post

Hi All

I, firstly admit, that in the past I have relied on chartplotters for my long distance passages. I know it's wrong. What I want to know is how do people first select then purchase the required charts for a journey. Is there a book of charts or is it better to buy individual charts. This to me seems like a lot of space will be wasted with potentionally fragile peices of paper.

anyways from you more experienced cruisers, I would truly like your ideas and advice.

Cheers

Rob & Annette

S/V Blue Lady
Rob and Annette,

I too mostly rely on the chart plotter but after having had a couple of failures I know you absolutely must have a backup. I have purchased a set of charts from Bellingham Chart Printers on line at www.tidesend.com. These are greyscale 2/3 copies of the standard charts and much less in cost than original charts. I also purchased my Navionics card from them at the same time. I find these quite adequate for planning purposes and am sure they would do the trick if I had to revert to traditional means after a chart plotter or GPS failure while cruising. I don't think they are as robust as original charts for regular use but good for a back up. On cruise I generally only rely on the chart plotter but when planning for a cruise from Langkawi to Phuket earlier this year I found a bit more detail on the paper charts than on the Navionics chart. As this wasn't a lot of extra detail I bought a couple of Thai charts which in the end I found to have no more detail than the Bellingham charts. I keep the charts (whole Mallacca Straights and down to Java) rolled up in a plastic tube designed for artwork which doesn't take up much room. Generally I only carry the ones for the area of the cruise to keep it all manageable.

David and Chris

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Old 08-24-2010, 09:40 PM   #9
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There once was a sailor

Who travelled way South

And ended his days off Brazil

Charts galore he bought

Local Navy, he thought,

Would make them the best in his view

And so the poor guy

Took too long to see why

Were depths and locations askew

Brazilians told him

The charts were in print

They were, but in ´953!

So sailors beware

Don´t trust everyone

That claims to have charts trustworthy

I´m Brazilian myself, and won´t go off the shelf

But with loads from British Admiralty!

(safe travels to everyone!)
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Old 08-26-2010, 07:58 AM   #10
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When we first left we had paper charts by the thousands, now we have paper charts that cover large parts of the oceans only, a dozen or so. We now use electronic charts(mostly free) on a computer and have done so since 2002. Have not even looked at the paper ones for years. Our main nav laptop is 11years old and runs Win98, it draws between 1 and 2 amps, and is normally left running as it is our AIS decoder as well as our weather, tide and comms computer. Gone are the days of paper charts for us.

Happy Passages,

Steve
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Old 08-26-2010, 08:33 AM   #11
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Hi again U-2 & SV/BL. Pay one heck of a lot of attention to 'Gone-troppo' - Gail & Steve - have the 'right-oil' on this subject & are amongst the very 'top knowledgeable people' out there. There is no way in He-- I would not follow their recommendations. Seriously smart people. I, for one will be doing exactly what they recommend. Oh & I'm prepared to stake my life on their advise. JJ aka (now officialy - Silver Raven - FNQ, Australia
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:14 AM   #12
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This one is not going to go away is it? It is like the long-keel / fin-keel debate. It will go on forever.

Here, for the record, is my take on the situation.

Digital charts are great but so are paper charts. Both have their advantages and both have their limitations. In the maritime environment we have developed through the centuries a system of working in which we have not placed all our trust in just one system. Even magnetic compasses, despite being almost bullet-proof, were always multiplied on board. A compass can fail. It can crack and loose fluid, it have its magnetism changed (happened to me with a lightening strike)etc.

In recent years, we have seen a departure from the trend. We cross oceans without sextants, we do not carry chronometers (but what good would they be sans sextant), we rely increasingly upon electronic devices and, as I stated, these normaly perform well but there is always the exception - the lightening strike situation. What do you do then? Where is the reserve system?

By all means, use digital charts but recognise their limitations and have a back up system, i.e. a paper folio as well.

What limitations do digital charts have? Well, it depends upon the system you use. Blue Chart, I believe, is corrected annualy whereas B.A. digital charts are corrected weekly. Which would you choose?

Digital charting, ECDIS, systems are used by merchant ships and warships but the system components have to be type approved. Components for pleasure boating are not required to be type approved. Does this tell you anything? It tells me that there are probably bits of kit out there that are not up to the standards commercial shipping are required to meet. That's wrong in my opinion because a rock is just as hard when a yacht runs onto it as a cargo vessel.

Charts are not cheap - I know that but when all you own (or a large proportion of it) is tied up in a boat and when it is your home as well is it really worth risking it and your lives for the sakes of the cost of a folio of charts? I would say not.

Go for the plotter or even better a computer with ECDIS or Admiralty raster charts - but get the real chart too.

Aye // Stephen
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