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Old 02-01-2017, 16:03   #1
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Replacing Charts

I don't own a boat yet, but I am curious to know when charts should be replaced. I have a stack of about 50 or so that I have collected over the years of places that I'd like to go to one day.

Are paper charts even used today or is everything digital now?
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Old 02-01-2017, 18:59   #2
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Re: Replacing Charts

This is easy, legally you have to have the newest updated charts to bring with you.

Hearsay says, new islands, rocks, do usually not form so quickly & the prudent sailor should only trust his drug-free eyes anyway. Better an old chart than no chart. I've seen many rocks, even 20 year old container ports never popping up on any chart.

Chart makers are never guilty for incorrect charts, but we sailors for not carrying their newest scrap on board end up before court after an accident. Even not cause related, you got a bad reputation w not updated charts.

I have old paper as backup if lightning will hit me,

digitaIly I use:

Plotter: 3 years old as my plotter is that old

PC: openCPN & opensea

Android: current navionics & plan2nav & openCPN bcs of their brilliant Bluetooth interface.

Considered the price of a yacht and my families lives the yearly fee for Navionics or plan2nav on a tablet is near to nothing.
IMHO. Fair Winds & Following Seas!
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Old 02-01-2017, 19:46   #3
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Re: Replacing Charts

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Originally Posted by blubaju View Post
This is easy, legally you have to have the newest updated charts to bring with you.

Hearsay says, new islands, rocks, do usually not form so quickly & the prudent sailor should only trust his drug-free eyes anyway. Better an old chart than no chart. I've seen many rocks, even 20 year old container ports never popping up on any chart.

Chart makers are never guilty for incorrect charts, but we sailors for not carrying their newest scrap on board end up before court after an accident. Even not cause related, you got a bad reputation w not updated charts.

I have old paper as backup if lightning will hit me,

digitaIly I use:

Plotter: 3 years old as my plotter is that old

PC: openCPN & opensea

Android: current navionics & plan2nav & openCPN bcs of their brilliant Bluetooth interface.

Considered the price of a yacht and my families lives the yearly fee for Navionics or plan2nav on a tablet is near to nothing.
IMHO. Fair Winds & Following Seas!

Thanks!

I will definitely invest in new maps just to be on the safe side. Probably best to do it regardless...some of my charts are pretty old and they are mounted on a few walls in my house.

Checked out the navionics app. Didn't download it yet, but the preview images are nice and clear. Are you able to download individual charts for the times you don't have service? I always get a little frustrated when a call drops when I am leaving the port in Miami (on a cruise ship...cough, cough)
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Old 02-01-2017, 19:47   #4
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Re: Replacing Charts

I would never go without paper charts. I don't really care if they are current most of the time. The land doesn't change much, sea bouys etc do though. But then again, no one notifies you by email or SSB when they change a bouy, and the 3rd world doesn't seem to care if the colors are right or if the bouys drift off site... or disappear completely.
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Old 02-01-2017, 21:02   #5
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Re: Replacing Charts

Quote:
This is easy, legally you have to have the newest updated charts to bring with you.
Could you please point out where this regulation is gazetted?

Perhaps true for commercial vessels, or those under survey rules, but in the various venues in which I have cruised, I've not noted this rule.

I doubt if one in one hundred cruisers fulfill this "requirement".

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Old 02-01-2017, 21:20   #6
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Re: Replacing Charts

It sounds as if your charts are serving a purpose appropriate to their age: Decoration. But as has been said, it's better to have older charts than none at all. And once you get current ones, in the US at least, you can update them (as much as weekly, sometimes more frequently) using the (free) Notice(s) to Mariners. Which are put out by the Gov. And include info such as buoys being out of place, or having burned out lights. The location of dredging operations. Notices of Naval Excercise in various areas, etc. So that you can (in theory) go to your charts & update their key nav info & data.

I say in theory, as there's so much info in the Notice to Mariners that even full time professional navigators can't keep up with them/updating even 10% of all of their charts. But it's good to download, & keep the info on hand so that if you have to use chart X for upcoming nav purposes, a day or a week hence, then you can update it for where you'll soon be operating. Which can be super helpful. Otherwise your chart plotter & AP might try & drive you over or through a new/moved oil rig.
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Old 02-01-2017, 21:35   #7
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Re: Replacing Charts

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Could you please point out where this regulation is gazetted?
Here you go for Canada:

Charts and Nautical Publications Regulations, 1995

Quote:
3 These Regulations apply to Canadian ships in all waters and to all ships in waters under Canadian jurisdiction.
Quote:
4 (1) Subject to subsection (2), the master and owner of every ship shall have on board, in respect of each area in which the ship is to be navigated, the most recent editions of the charts, documents and publications that are required to be used under sections 5 and 6.

(2) The master and owner of a ship of less than 100 tons are not required to have on board the charts, documents and publications referred to in subsection (1) if the person in charge of navigation has sufficient knowledge of the following information, such that safe and efficient navigation in the area where the ship is to be navigated is not compromised:
(a) the location and character of charted (i) shipping routes,(ii) lights, buoys and marks, and(iii) navigational hazards; and
(b) the prevailing navigational conditions, taking into account such factors as tides, currents, ice and weather patterns.
Quote:
(3) The chart may be in electronic form only if
(a) it is displayed on an ECDIS or, in the case of failure of the ECDIS, on a back-up arrangement;
So if you're in Canada or on a Canadian boat ... small boats don't need them in familiar waters, but otherwise you do. How many people actually comply, or whether it is enforced, is another matter entirely. Other countries = other laws of course, but some may well be similar.
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Old 02-01-2017, 21:36   #8
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Re: Replacing Charts

Decoration they will stay then. I would be heartbroken if they were damaged. Some are from the 60s and 70s, way too old to be of any use on the water.

Even some of the newer ones I have are not waterproof.

I'm glad that I wouldn't have to order a new set of charts every year. Just seems like a pain in the aft.
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Old 02-01-2017, 21:51   #9
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Re: Replacing Charts

You can use a paint on waterproofing agent called Map-Pruf (sp?). Or Thompson's Water Seal too, so I'm told. Which, Map-Pruf also significantly strengthens the paper.

In order to put it on, first lay down a sheet of bubble pack, with the bubbles side facing upwards. This prevents the charts from sticking to the surface they're resting on as the stuff dries, as they'll stick to plain Visquine/plastic sheeting.

Also, older charts make classy, unique wrapping paper for special gifts. Such was the norm at Christmas my 2nd year in college, as all of us took more advanced nav courses that 1st semester. So the folks got wrapping paper that most adored.
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Old 02-01-2017, 22:14   #10
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Re: Replacing Charts

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
You can use a paint on waterproofing agent called Map-Pruf (sp?). Or Thompson's Water Seal too, so I'm told. Which, Map-Pruf also significantly strengthens the paper.

In order to put it on, first lay down a sheet of bubble pack, with the bubbles side facing upwards. This prevents the charts from sticking to the surface they're resting on as the stuff dries, as they'll stick to plain Visquine/plastic sheeting.

Also, older charts make classy, unique wrapping paper for special gifts. Such was the norm at Christmas my 2nd year in college, as all of us took more advanced nav courses that 1st semester. So the folks got wrapping paper that most adored.
I've never heard of putting Thompson's on paper. That's pretty brilliant! I'll have to look around for the other waterproofing medium. I could use that on a few things I'm working on now.
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Old 06-01-2017, 09:59   #11
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Re: Replacing Charts

I was about to post a comment / question on the subject and then spotted this thread.

Wintertime project - I just updated my paper charts to the latest NOTMARs (not that big a job; I don't have that many). I just like paper charts for many purposes - still the best way I know of to see the "big picture" - and when I find the time think it's a good idea to keep them accurate.

And I love the idea of using the old ones for giftwrap after they've been replaced or are no longer needed.
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Old 06-01-2017, 12:49   #12
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Re: Replacing Charts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelkara View Post
Here you go for Canada:

Charts and Nautical Publications Regulations, 1995

So if you're in Canada or on a Canadian boat ... small boats don't need them in familiar waters, but otherwise you do. How many people actually comply, or whether it is enforced, is another matter entirely. Other countries = other laws of course, but some may well be similar.
Those are pretty tightly structured rules, but as you say, only Canadian ships and masters are affected. And, does the term "ship" apply to non-commercial vessels? EG, if the vessel is not documented, must it have the charts on board? Not clear from the parts that you posted.

We've now cruised through quite a few different countries, and have never heard of such requirements being applied to visiting yachts. In the days before electronic charting, we would attempt to gather up appropriate charts before arrival. Sometimes it was simply not possible, and we would rely upon pubs like Sailing Directions and Coastal Pilots for the areas. Lack of precise information encouraged careful navigation. Often when we did acquire charts they were Xerox copies of old charts, long out of date. for the most part, they were quite usable, for the really important bits don't change much over time.

In many third world areas (where some of the very best cruising grounds lie) the aids to navigation are very poorly maintained... as in you simply don't count on them for help in navigation. For such areas, having new charts is not a factor... and many rely upon surveys done in the distant past, like Jimmy Cook's work, so having the latest edition is small advantage!

My point is that while having the latest charts is a comforting factor, it is not always possible for cruisers, and in fact is not all that much help for small boat operators. Knowing the general shapes of the land and shoals, and their approximate locations, coupled with conservative piloting will get you through most areas. Being obsessive about such matters is not a cruising requirement IMO! In enlightened areas such as the USA where new charts are readily available and at low cost... sure, why not have them. In Tonga or the Solomons, not too practical for most.

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Old 06-01-2017, 14:05   #13
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Re: Replacing Charts

I gave a bunch of old charts to a friend at work who did beautiful pen and ink drawings of Clipper Ships on them. They went to good use, but I wish I still had some of them. ______Grant.
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Old 06-01-2017, 17:29   #14
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Re: Replacing Charts

I am never replacing our charts unless they get damaged.

b.
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Old 06-01-2017, 17:36   #15
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Re: Replacing Charts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggbah View Post
Decoration they will stay then. I would be heartbroken if they were damaged. Some are from the 60s and 70s, way too old to be of any use on the water.

Even some of the newer ones I have are not waterproof.

I'm glad that I wouldn't have to order a new set of charts every year. Just seems like a pain in the aft.


OpenCPN is free as are up to date electronic charts of all US waters. In the US you have the option of both vector and raster (same as paper) charts. You can update them via internet to the latest NOTAM every week for free with a few mouse clicks.

I know some people cling to paper charts but paper is going the way of the Dodo sooner than later.
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