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Old 12-03-2018, 13:57   #1
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Chart Sticker Shock 2018

We're planning our final escape from the Great Lakes this Summer and are amazed at the increase in price for nautical charts. It appears that it is less expensive to buy a chartbook than to buy individual NOAA charts for the Lakes and the St. Lawrence. We always plot our course on paper and only use our GPS for verifying our DR plot. Are chartbooks the way to go now until we hit the Atlantic and go offshore? $24.95 for one chart? Wow!
Thanks, Rognvald
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Old 12-03-2018, 14:10   #2
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Re: Chart Sticker Shock 2018

Which is why even cruisers who grew up with paper charts rely on electronic charts...We have sailed to 30 countries, the price of paper charts whould have been enormous.
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Old 12-03-2018, 14:38   #3
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Re: Chart Sticker Shock 2018

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Originally Posted by s/v Moondancer View Post
Which is why even cruisers who grew up with paper charts rely on electronic charts...We have sailed to 30 countries, the price of paper charts whould have been enormous.


Thanks Phil for the feedback. I guess some habits are difficult to break. And, besides, I enjoy doing traditional navigation when we sail. Perhaps others on this Forum will have another twist. Good luck and safe sailing . . . Rognvald.
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Old 12-03-2018, 15:15   #4
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Re: Chart Sticker Shock 2018

I too like paper. But the cost can be prohibitive. My short answer is:

#1. Get a digital chart package. All the GL can be had for the price of a couple of official printed charts. Even if it’s a backup, it’s just so cheap — and very effective.

#2. Get the various Richardson’s chart books. They’re not inexpensive, but a lot cheaper than buying official charts. They include all charts, both Canadian and NOAA. And while they all say “Not to be used for navigation”, they are perfectly fine to do so with adequate care.

#3. When we travelled through the GL (from Superior to Ontario, missing Michigan) I printed off a number of NOAA charts since digital is free. Sadly, Canadian charts are never free, so some of the best places are only available as large-scale NOAA charts.

Finally, see if you can borrow some. I’d donate mine, but I already gave them away after we passed out of the GL. Maybe someone else can step up.
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Old 12-03-2018, 15:32   #5
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Re: Chart Sticker Shock 2018

Chartbooks are the least expensive way to go--I found the Canadian charts to be horribly expensive, and on top of that the soundings are in meters! For what they charge they could at least do fathoms....grumble
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Old 12-03-2018, 15:34   #6
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Re: Chart Sticker Shock 2018

In the "good ole days" many cruisers who were covering long distances and needed lots of charts did swaps with folks going the other way. Or we borrowed charts and photocopied them (questionable legality but never challenged). Not as good as the latest hydro office pubs, but quite usable. And sometimes ships nav officers would give us out of date charts when they did mandatory replacement.

It was all part of the cruising experience then. This current idea that you must have absolutely current charts to go somewhere is strange to us oldies.

Oh... if you think 24.95 is a lot to pay for a chart, you've not been buying British Admiralty charts anywhere, and they are the best available for many areas.

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Old 12-03-2018, 15:59   #7
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Re: Chart Sticker Shock 2018

What did you buy, Mike? I'm probably due for an update on my dinosaur Garmin GPS chartplotter? Thanks for the reply. Best, Rognvald
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Old 12-03-2018, 16:03   #8
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Re: Chart Sticker Shock 2018

Down the southeast US coast and out to the Bahamas we carry Maptech Chartkits, Explorer charts in paper, and Explorer charts on C-map along with US 11009 and 11013 for the return trip offshore. The paper charts stay open on the nav desk, and the electronic charts stay running on the chartplotter while we are underway.

Like Jim Cate I stand in awe of the price of Admiralty charts. The last I bought were in 1993. I was in Hartlepool and had the local agent order a set of charts of Greece from London. When they arrived, I emptied my wallet and was into my pocket change to pay for them.
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Old 12-03-2018, 16:25   #9
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Re: Chart Sticker Shock 2018

I agree that electronic is the only cost effective way to go.
As a backup, can download NOAA Small-Craft Book Charts for free and print them on any 8 1/2 x 11 color printer.
If you want actual NOAA charts, the best price that I have found is FrugalNavigator which were $16 each last time I looked.
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Old 12-03-2018, 16:33   #10
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Re: Chart Sticker Shock 2018

A couple of years ago I researched buying Admiralty charts for Western Europe and the Med. When I reached $6,000.00 I gave up and decided I wasn't rich enough to use paper charts.
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Old 12-03-2018, 16:34   #11
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Re: Chart Sticker Shock 2018

-Chartbooks are fine
-I never hesitate to use old used charts either. But I think the supply is diminishing now. At $4 a chart in great shape they were great.
-outside the US or maybe Europe, the bouys, lights and etc dont necessarily match the new charts anyway.
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Old 12-03-2018, 16:50   #12
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Re: Chart Sticker Shock 2018

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Originally Posted by rognvald View Post
What did you buy, Mike? I'm probably due for an update on my dinosaur Garmin GPS chartplotter? Thanks for the reply. Best, Rognvald
I actually have three separate digital chart sets on three separate plotters. I didn’t plan to do this … but like much of my life, it just sort of happened .

I have a chartset on my Garmin 76CSx handheld. I bought it with the unit, and it included charts for all Canada and the GL. Forget the price, but it was maybe $100 (CND).

Then I bought the Navionics chartset for all of North America as part of iNavx on my iPad. The program cost about $50 and the chartset is about $80.

Finally, I bought another Garmin chartset as part of my latest chartplotter package (721 multifunction display) . Again, I forget the exact price, but it was in the the $100 range.

Digital is so cheap compared to the printed versions, it’s hard to not have at least one set on board.

BTW, I’m all for swapping and sharing charts. Like I say, I already handed off all my GL charts to fellow forum users, and have been the recipient of the same. I haven’t actually bought a stand-alone chart for many years now. But I did buy a chart book for Lake Ontario when we were there.
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Old 12-03-2018, 17:10   #13
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Re: Chart Sticker Shock 2018

I have used navionics from PEI to Japan over a period of 10 years. However, once youl leave Key West the accuracy depends on if you are in a 1st world country whose govenment has updated the charts after the invention of the GPS.

Bahamas poor, Caribbean OK, French Polynesia good, Tonga margina, Fiji OK, New Zealand good, Micronesia good providing the US govenment thinks them important like Guam. Japan I think good but I am still 1,500 miles away.

However, never trust the chart plotter more than your eyes and avoid night entries, the last night entry I did was in New Zealand about 5,000 nm and 5 countries ago.
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Old 13-03-2018, 08:07   #14
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Re: Chart Sticker Shock 2018

I like these better than the old NOAA charts and they are $15.95 (for NE US) plus reasonable shipping if you buy a few at a time.
https://frugalnavigator.com/
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Old 13-03-2018, 08:19   #15
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Re: Chart Sticker Shock 2018

You might also try your local marine chandlery. Here in New York City the local West Marine has some chart books that are one version old. They are at a clearance price. I'm sure others have them too. They can also bring in the old ones for you. You can also go to their website and check out the clearance section.

By the way, West Marine now has a price match plan. Bring in any ad, other than clearance items (I think), and they will match it even if it is an on-line ad.
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