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Old 02-09-2007, 11:33 PM   #1
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Default The Yacht’s Library

How do you manage information and paper on your yacht?

It seems like going world cruising and living at sea, one would require and acquire a library of sailing books, magazines, charts, port reference books, equipment manuals, documentation, frequencies, phone numbers, addresses, embassies, licenses, the log, and the like.

Does it become too bulky, too much?

How do you strike a balance between having what you need, when you need it, and discarding the unimportant?

Paper charts alone, required for circumnavigation must be extensive.

Do you have a filing system?

Do you have an all in one, scanner, printer, copier and fax machine?

Do you scan paper and store it electronically?

Do you generate much with a printer / fax?

Lots of questions I know, but I have not seen this addressed. Maybe I am imagining it into a problem.

When in doubt, do the right thing.

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Old 02-10-2007, 12:04 AM   #2
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Paper charts...Hundreds of them. The best (for me) is when 2/3 size folio's are available for an area. I also "print" my own charts from electronic charts. About 20 cents a chart if you use a draft printing service. You figure out a filing system for this let me know.

Country information...Lonely planet. That's all you need. But I did printout the entire country information and have that in a folder. Available as download from US Gov.

Radio freqs and schedules....scattered notes lying about the nav station but also a computer file. The notes are the updates to the last printout, otherwise I'd have to print a new one daily.

Just a printer. No scanner or fax. Never found the need for one.

Just added a bookcase. What a timely topic. I have a folder for ship papers and licenses, a folder for weather, another for nav rules (required), and the Pacific Ocean Sailing Guide that I printed out and bound. A couple of guides, 2 Cornells, a Chapmans and the rest are paperbacks.

One Ziplock bag for my passport and country documents, equipment list, crew list (if I have crew), insurance and passport photo's. On the wall I have a "to do" list. Two small plastic file boxes, one for boat manuals and one for personal business.

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Old 02-18-2007, 06:33 PM   #3
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Books: I love to read, so own too many.... Always trying to cut down. I have too large a reference library: some I no longer use except in a blue moon, and then I'm glad I kept them! Magazines? Tear the articles out you like, throw the ads away. Charts? When I started, I bought WAY TO MANY. Never used them. Buy a few charts that will allow you to safely navigate to, and generally around the cruising ground you are aiming for. Then, buy a good guide book that has chartlets for the harbors. I sail all around the Eastern Caribbean and never break out a chart unless on a non-stop run from the N. end to the S. end or the reverse. You can see the next island from the current one, generally. I use the guide book, in the cockpit, for the harbors. When crossing the Atlantic, I used 2 charts to plot my position in the Atlantic, then the book ATLANTIC ISLANDS by Hammick, which is excellent, for navigating around the islands. Of course, if navigating a complex, reef-strewn shallow area, such as the Bahamas, Tuomotus, etc, then your chart needs increase. Don't buy every chart you need for your imagined trip around the world: most people don't go as far as they think. Even if you do, you can buy the same charts for way less from the "dropouts" along the way. Just cover the first leg.
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Old 02-18-2007, 08:34 PM   #4
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Reading matter? We invariably carry 50+ paperbacks and find it easiest exchange them with other cruisers we meet. Although as we do buy lots, we seem always to come off worse in the exchanges .

Many Med ports have a local book enchange shop which IMHO is better as one has more choice - and in some places even the Marina's themselves have a self serve exchange (ie common in Turkey & Channel Islands).

Re Pilot Books, we tend to keep all these on board. Maybe currently carry 20 but its no issue. If it got to 50+ might start exchanging them also.

Charts - we only keep large scale plotting / routing charts and rely on chartplotter plus pilot book mud- maps. Again, exchange is good.

If we are going west and meet up with others going east, we're not adverse to exchanging charts along with the books.


Boring blog at https://www.yotblog.com/swagman
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Old 02-19-2007, 05:43 AM   #5
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If you want to save on space, there is a CD ROM collection of 10,000 books on Amazon and DVD's of charts. But you will have to depend on your computer. Although, these CD's/DVD's need to be cared for.

Good luck.
Cruising Bahamas
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Old 02-19-2007, 11:25 AM   #6
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Books. We maintain a library of reference books: "Where there is no Doctor", "Dutton's Piloting", a few weather and other reference books. Pilots I download onto the computer nowadays, though in the past we kept the pertinent one on board. Anything not needed for the part of the world we were in was sent to family for storage.

Records. It's easier nowadays because we can get bank statements, etc. on line and they are stored electronically.

I have a small Canon BJC 85 printer that is also a sheet scanner. It's about the size of a shoebox, and it enables me to scan paper documents that I will need (warranties, copies of documentation papers, etc.). My large box of papers is down to a small notebook-sized valise. And because we now have so many of our charts filed electronically (we still navigate with paper charts, however), I can print out harbor charts to use at the helm as we go in. Much easier for me. Reduces the stress level tremendously.

Books and magazines. We (well, really "I"; Peter has no problem discarding things) have to be diligent in keeping the paperbacks and magazines from overwhelming our boat. We note on each book when we've read it, so when both of us have read a book it goes into the "trade" bag. when we meet other boats that bag goes into the dinghy as we visit. It's a good way to start a conversation with the other boats. Magazines we give away after reading.

In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

MV WATERMELON (New) | Cruiser's Dictionary, free ebook

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