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Old 01-03-2012, 12:32   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Living aboard and cruising
Boat: Island Packet 40
Posts: 276
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Need Help - What Paper Charts Do I Need?

We are planning to take our boat from Lake Erie to Florida and Bahamas, starting the trip this summer. I am trying to figure out what paper charts I need to use with the cruising guides and backup the electronic charts.

Our plan is Erie Canal, Hudson River to NYC. Waterway to the Chesapeake. Sail outside to Beaufort, NC. Sail outside to Wilmington. Sail outside to Charleston. Sail ouside to Hilton Head. Waterway to Miami and Fla Keys. Miami/Keys to Bahamas. When sailing outside, we will want the ICW as a backup route, so we may be navigating inside as well.

I have no paper charts of these areas (but I do have the Explorer charts for the Bahamas) and there are hundreds of charts covering the geography (as you all know). I have all of the NOAA charts on my laptop in addition to the electronic charts for my plotter. Now I am trying to figure out what to buy. So here are my questions:

1. Is there a good rule of thumb (i.e. You only need the larger scale charts)?
2. Are there any areas where I don't need charts if I have the cruising guides?
3. Are there certain versions of cruising guides that will negate the need for paper charts?
4. Are there certain areas where I need the more detailed charts?
5. Are used charts acceptable, and if so, how old is acceptable?
6. Where can I get a good deal buying them new?

Thanks in advance.

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