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Old 11-04-2010, 20:42   #1
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Lightbulb NOAA Booklet Charts

I don't want to fan the flames of the "Great Paper Chart Debate", and apologies if this has been covered before. For those who are interested I just ran across a new free product from NOAA: BookletChart™ (Experimental) . These are standard NOAA raster charts cut into page sized chunks and available online in PDF format. One can download them for free and print copies. NOAA has added a limited amount of info from the relevant Coast Pilot. These appear to be primarily intended for small boats navigating by eyeball in coastal areas.

Because of the way they are cut up, they will not work very well for standard plotting of fixes and dead reckoning. Rather, they are meant to be kept handy in the cockpit for quick and dirty reference. They might also be handy if one wants to do some extended exploration away from the mothership by dingy or kayak. One advantage is that you can print up only that portion of the chart you really want, and not have to carry the whole thing. They could probably work fairly well in conjunction with a handheld GPS.

Much to my surprise, they are even available for Alaska (up here we often seem to be among the last to get new products). I just printed a few up on water resistant paper, to try them out. I use "National Geogrphic TOPO! Adventure Paper", but there are other brands. I don't see them as a substitute for either full size paper charts or electronic charts, but rather as one more option for certain uses. The price is certainly right.
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Old 11-04-2010, 20:48   #2
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I don't want to fan the flames of the "Great Paper Chart Debate", and apologies if this has been covered before. For those who are interested I just ran across a new free product from NOAA: BookletChart™ (Experimental) . These are standard NOAA raster charts cut into page sized chunks and available online in PDF format. One can download them for free and print copies. NOAA has added a limited amount of info from the relevant Coast Pilot. These appear to be primarily intended for small boats navigating by eyeball in coastal areas.

Because of the way they are cut up, they will not work very well for standard plotting of fixes and dead reckoning. Rather, they are meant to be kept handy in the cockpit for quick and dirty reference. They might also be handy if one wants to do some extended exploration away from the mothership by dingy or kayak. One advantage is that you can print up only that portion of the chart you really want, and not have to carry the whole thing. They could probably work fairly well in conjunction with a handheld GPS.

Much to my surprise, they are even available for Alaska (up here we often seem to be among the last to get new products). I just printed a few up on water resistant paper, to try them out. I use "National Geogrphic TOPO! Adventure Paper", but there are other brands. I don't see them as a substitute for either full size paper charts or electronic charts, but rather as one more option for certain uses. The price is certainly right.
I think those things are great but when I looked into it the actual printing of it seemed to be cost prohibitive unless you wanted to buy your own laminator, hole punch, three ring binder etc. How much is a stack of the Adventure paper?
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Old 11-04-2010, 21:23   #3
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I think those things are great but when I looked into it the actual printing of it seemed to be cost prohibitive unless you wanted to buy your own laminator, hole punch, three ring binder etc. How much is a stack of the Adventure paper?
REI sells Adventure Paper for $19.95 for a pack of 25 sheets (8.5 by 11), so that's about 80 cents a page. You can print it two sided, so that cuts it to about 40 cents/page. The chart I printed was 19 pages, so you could print the whole thing for less than $8, not counting ink. In practice some of the pages may not be that useful (title page, pages with just open water etc), and you only print the parts you need. I printed the 10 pages I thought would be handy, so it actually cost me about $4. For comparison, the last time I ordered a "Chart on Demand", it cost me about $25.

The Adventure Paper isn't quite as durable as laminating, but it is reasonably tough. I've used it a fair bit for maps for hiking and it has worked quite well. Not too long ago, Sea Kayaker Magazine had a comparison of several brands of waterproof paper. I will try to find a link or dig up the reference.
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Old 11-04-2010, 21:54   #4
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Waterproof paper options

As I noted previously, I've been using National Geographic Adventure Paper for printing charts, maps, etc for outdoor use and have had good luck with it, with my inkjet printer. However, there are other brands available, some of which may be cheaper or work better with laser printers.

The April 2008 issue of Sea Kayaker Magazine had a good review of the available brands. The article was "Waterproof Paper for Kayaking" by Bob Hume, and he did extensive testing of 7 different brands. Unfortunately the article is not available online. However, you might be able to find a copy in a library or borrow one.

I've found this stuff handy for all sorts of things. It is usefull for nearly anything you want to print and use outside, without having it fall apart in the rain or spray. Not quite as stout as laminating in plastic, but pretty good.
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:01   #5
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Thanks for the heads up on that, I found a site that has a lot of different brands. These work with laser printers.

Waterproof Laser Paper | The Web's Best Selection of Waterproof Papers

I have used map seal to waterproof charts before, which works pretty well.
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