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Old 04-09-2012, 16:11   #1
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What is Best Paper Chart?

I am getting back into sailing after a long absence. I plan to use both paper charts and as much electronic aids as I can afford (and I have seen the thread saying that paper charts are no longer needed).

But what is the best chart ? In terms of accuracy, ease of use and other factors? I would like one that I can write on with a dry erase pen and then wipe clean for my next cruise. Took a trip to the marine store and did not see anything I was thrilled with.

So, what say you?

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Old 04-09-2012, 17:16   #2
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Re: What is Best Paper Chart?

It depends on where you are.

All HO (US, UK and their derivations, French, to name a few) maps seem fine to me.

I like NV charts very, very much.

I do not like Imrays as they seem to have an inverted depth colours.


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Old 04-09-2012, 17:32   #3
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Re: What is Best Paper Chart?

In the USA I personally like the official NOAA government charts the best for specific areas, but it is too expensive to buy all the ones you need so it is best to purchase Maptech and/or Richardson's chartbooks for larger areas. The Williams and Heintz Chartbooks look pretty good for the Chesapeake area.
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Old 04-09-2012, 17:38   #4
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Re: What is Best Paper Chart?

In terms of accuracy, all charts are fundamentally derived from the same government supplied data. Marine surveys are very expensive to conduct, and not profitable, so these are typically the exclusive domain of government entities (like NOAA and DMA in the USA). Private companies may provide some enhanced information, or different presentation, but the base hydrographic data is the same.

NOAA has moved to privatize the production of charts. They supply the data and private companies produce and sell charts based upon this data.

So, it really comes down to whose format you prefer and how you intend to use them. Maptech makes some chart kits which are handy formats for small boat use.

Currently, for back up use, I purchase full sized xerox copies of charts of the areas I plan to sail. These are less expensive than commercial chart kits -- which can add up if you are covering a larger area. And, I print my own harbor approach charts from electronic charts -- handy because my routes and waypoints are displayed on them. This way, I've got detailed paper back up in case the electronics fail.
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