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Old 06-01-2008, 05:50   #1
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Chart Question

This will be our first trip deep into the heart of the Caribbean. Another cruising couple gifted us with a complete set of charts for the Carib, the Caribbean Yachting Charts...they are year 2000 update. How much do things move down there? In the E US shoals, inlets, etc. can change rapidly. I do understand that many charts worldwide are virtually unchanged for hundreds of years but with all of the expansion and growth in these islands I wanted someone else's opinion.

Your advice? Would you go with these charts or something a bit more recent.

S/V Holding Pattern
Brian & Heather
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Old 06-01-2008, 08:14   #2
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Recharting of depths is done on a much lessor frequency than other data. Navigation Aid data is the most commonly changed data. You can find a lot of real world problems with aids that are not on the water but are on the chart and other mismatches even in most recent data.

If you supplement the charts with updated cruising guides you may be just fine. cruising guides add some additional information that you can't get from charts plus the information you may want that no charts have.

No matter what charts you get you need to take them all with a cast of doubt. They can be wrong or at least not the way it really is. You can't know what is wrong because the people making them didn't know either. More recent charts are always more accurate but you never really know what is still inaccurate.

Old charts are always good enough until they casue a problem that could have been avoided with a new chart.

Paul Blais
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Old 06-01-2008, 09:34   #3
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The CYC charts are great and we used the 2000 set in 2004 with no issues whatsoever. There were some update bulletins that came packed with the charts and I assume this is still the case if you order them directly rather than purchase them from someone else.
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Old 06-01-2008, 12:08   #4

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"How fast do coral reefs grow?
Coral reefs grow at a rate of roughly 4 meters every 1000 years. Under pristine conditions with little physical disturbance it is possible for reefs to grow at a rate of roughly 20 meters every 1000 years."
CHAMP - What are Coral Reefs? - NOAA's Coral Health and Monitoring Program

I think you can presume coral bottoms will be pretty much the same depth were when those charts were made, unless some are REALLY old surveys. Still, wrecks and other obstructions can "grow" overnight so you might want to use the charts--but rely on local knowledge and markers instead if there is any doubt.
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