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Old 30-06-2013, 15:01   #1
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How to Choose and Buy Paper Charts

Hi all,
First I do not want to start yet another discussion on should paper charts be carried or not. I see them as needed but also realise that electronic charts have a valid place. I will be carrying complete coverage of these but to not want complete reliance on electronics.
As a new cruiser about to set off from the UK I have been looking at buying charts to cover the trip across Biscay, the Spanish Rias, the Portuguese Atlantic coast, Maderia, Canaries, and the entire Mediterranean (first 2 to 3 years cruising with enough leeway to alter plans as required). We do want to be able to cruise slowly and occasionally be able to go off the beaten track when the mood (or information) suggests it will be advantageous.
To buy every chart to cover this area is obviously impossible - my very limited bank account or the boat will sink. The cost of the Imray coverage is about £800 and this has gaps.

How do I go about selecting which charts to carry and which not to buy?

What are the choices for buying paper charts.

Your experience and wisdom would be much appreciated.
Thanks.
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Old 30-06-2013, 15:03   #2
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Re: How to choose and buy PAPER charts

Hi again,
I also meant to ask about reproduction printed black and white charts. I have seen a US company Bellingham Chart Printers advertising these. Are they a good solution?
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Old 08-07-2013, 23:12   #3
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Re: How to choose and buy PAPER charts

Buy a few large scale 1:1000000 or + for the start. Invest in pilots it'll help with small scale maps in ports and many other useful info too. You don't need small scale chart for Med except in a few places, but you can always buy them locally in case you feel you need them.
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Old 08-07-2013, 23:27   #4
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Re: How to choose and buy PAPER charts

Funny enough I just dropped $850 on paper charts (South Pacific & Oceania). It seems like a lot, but I don't do the chart plotter thing and by the time you get one of those (and don't forget the integrated systems as well) you dump out a lot of cash for charts.

Anyway...

The Bellingham charts I bought are decent. They're not super high quality waterproof and tear-resistant; they're just paper. The 2/3 size definitely seems large enough to navigate with but of course don't use a small scale chart to navigate reefs at night, etc.

I literally just took a bunch out of the wrapper and there's a picture on my blog from it.

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Old 09-07-2013, 00:04   #5
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Re: How to choose and buy PAPER charts

As most everyone on here knows by now I LOVE PAPER CHARTS !! Ive looked at the ones from Bellingham Chart, and have a couple, but don't really care much for em. But they are way better then no paper charts!! Ive never really tryed to figure out how much Ive spent on charts over the years, I don't want to LOL I have enough charts to go from Nome AK to anywhere in the pacific, from Panama to the med and everything in between, complete Carib and the eastern coast from Panama to maine. Connie has on her laptop with her Capt set up with world wide charts! between these and a couple of hand held GPS's we have been going most everywhere for over 40 yrs(with a couple of breaks LOL) So to me if ya have some large scale charts for where ya want to go, along with harbor and shore charts ya have what ya need !! Ive seen some of the new electronic plotters, and have to admit they sure are sorta nice, but just out of our cheap cruiser buget!! LOL But which ever ya decide on have at least a couple of paper charts ! They make me feel warm and happy LOL
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Old 09-07-2013, 00:42   #6
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Re: How to choose and buy PAPER charts

We always carry paper charts to go along with the Ipad (Inavx) and PC (Maxsea). Try the Imray M10 as an example for a wide view of the Western Med, then maybe purchase the smaller areas one or two at a time. They're quite expensive here in Spain with limited supply at more chandleries about 37 euros each. In England they're a little less I think.

Paper is so easy to use, my wife prefers them because each hour she can plot where we are and see the overview. Also, they don't break down or crash when you need them most. For those who rely on electronic chartplotters, especially when you only have one.... your day WILL come when the S (will) HTF.
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Old 16-07-2013, 10:38   #7
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Re: How to choose and buy PAPER charts

Maybe you should consider buying complete coverage in small scale (large coverage) charts and using electronic for the large scale stuff? And maybe add large scale paper charts for specific areas where you think you might need them? pete
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Old 16-07-2013, 10:59   #8
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Re: How to Choose and Buy Paper Charts

I like to have small scale charts for passage making. After that I focus on approaches to making landfall...... that always seems to be the "scary" part. Then I often use cruising guides... or well chosen local area charts.... depends.
I think the key to choosing is actually going and spending time looking at the charts... some just seem to be poorly laid out and poorly chosen dividing lines. (like they divide the charts right in the middle of a difficult area or approach)Others are great.

I'm a big proponant of used charts. My opinion is the land and water dont change... I dont rely heavily on lights/Cans/bouys anyway because i've discovered that often they dont exist, are out of place or have been changed.... so I use them but always consider them suspect. With today's GPS, updating charts is a lower priority. JMHO. Used charts seem to be about $4 US apiece. What's better?... having all the charts you want at $4 each or only some of the ones you want at $24 apiece? The new ones will need updating right after you buy them anyway.....
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Old 16-07-2013, 11:16   #9
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Re: How to Choose and Buy Paper Charts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Searanger50 View Post
Hi all,
First I do not want to start yet another discussion on should paper charts be carried or not. I see them as needed but also realise that electronic charts have a valid place. I will be carrying complete coverage of these but to not want complete reliance on electronics.
As a new cruiser about to set off from the UK I have been looking at buying charts to cover the trip across Biscay, the Spanish Rias, the Portuguese Atlantic coast, Maderia, Canaries, and the entire Mediterranean (first 2 to 3 years cruising with enough leeway to alter plans as required). We do want to be able to cruise slowly and occasionally be able to go off the beaten track when the mood (or information) suggests it will be advantageous.
To buy every chart to cover this area is obviously impossible - my very limited bank account or the boat will sink. The cost of the Imray coverage is about £800 and this has gaps.

How do I go about selecting which charts to carry and which not to buy?

What are the choices for buying paper charts.

Your experience and wisdom would be much appreciated.
Thanks.
Hello
However I do have all the electronic charts, out there I do like to confirm position also on the paper chart and I intend to carry as much of them. Although, they are bulky and in my boat is not to much room for it, but I will and I try to have them all. In fact, I felt pretty insecure coming into Cayman Island just by the GPS/Chartplotter. I much more like to have the chart visible and used to it, to get into some tricky place for the first time. Actually right now I am searching for the navchart of Cayman Island and Providence Island in paper form....
I used to buy my charts from a company in San Francisco. What I do have as a complaint is they“re lack of waterproof... in a storm more than needed...
Rgds SYSerenity
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Old 16-07-2013, 12:02   #10
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Re: How to Choose and Buy Paper Charts

I use the Bellingham Chart Printers 2/3 charts for everything. I also have a chartplotter, so I use them mostly for planning and backup. I find them perfectly usable for everything. I would feel safe navigating off them alone if needed. You do need a good Loupe and/or some reading glasses.

I would prefer the full color charts, but for the price difference, these are adequate. they also fit in my chart table un-folded. the full size charts would not. Buy them a while region at a time.
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