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Old 18-12-2014, 13:03   #16
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Re: How to store paper charts on board

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Why not rely on electronic charts?

Yeah... it worked well for team Vespas!

Personally I'm uncomfortable in some situations if I cant see the "big picture". I also like to have a chart in hand at the helm on occasion when visual navigating thru reefs and coral heads...
Call me crazy!
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Old 18-12-2014, 13:10   #17
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Re: How to store paper charts on board

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Originally Posted by meirriba View Post
Why not rely on electronic charts? 'Cos we were sailing when the first Gulf war started and the satellites were shut down (albeit briefly) - then it was out with the sextant and tables.
Sorry but I am confused by the above. GPS and sextant provide location - fix. You still can use that fix on an electronic chart (as of course you may do on a paper chart). If I am correct, satellite shut down has no bearing on the chart type.[/QUOTE]


History lesson: GPS started as a military thing and the U.S. Military would degrade the signal on purpose just to remind everyone they could. During the first Gulf War, they did it from time to time. I happened to be doing a night crossing of the Mona Passage in 1992 when the GPS went down. Minor issue compared to the failure of the transmission oil cooler and running out of diesel just outside of Mayaguez as a squall line came through. What a night! There was no such thing as a chartplotter. Your big hunk of a GPS gave you a lat lon which you marked on your paper chart. Yes, I, too, carry and use paper charts in addition to the chartplotter. To each his own.


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Old 18-12-2014, 13:28   #18
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Re: How to store paper charts on board

In my experience, charts should stay flat. In Australia, one of the major chart purveyors also sells an A2 size waterproof envelope with a transparent front. My charts live I there and under the mattress. The dining table, with the aid a tablecloth clips to hold them flat, serves for an "in passage" chart table.
I have over 100 charts and would not go to sea without them, despite having an sophisticated electronic navigation system. The sailor who depends solely an an electronic system is not long for this world, unless they never go to sea.
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Old 18-12-2014, 14:13   #19
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Re: How to store paper charts on board

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Originally Posted by scottthardin View Post
I am readying to cruise shallow Gulf of Mexico waters and being a belt and suspenders type I purchased about a dozen relevant paper charts. They are large and I have them rolled up individually now. It is perhaps a basic question but how have others stored charts on board and out of the way?


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I like paper charts. And big navigation stations with full-size chart tables. I am old school in that regard.

I don't like folded paper charts. I like to see the big picture, so prefer to see the paper flat and wide. That is just a preference. I can live with folded ones or in book form if needed.

But, by your initial question, I assume you want to keep them "unfolded" and that is where the problems arise as to where to store them.

First, I think it would help us all to understand what kind of boat you have and whether or not you have any chart table, navigation station, and if you have a dinette table in the saloon.

For example, in a boat with a full size chart table in a nav station, i would keep the charts in the table. I assume you don't have that option, but it one for many boats.

For many charts (too many to fit under the lifting nav table for instance) I would roll them up and store them in a plastic tube (lightweight ones can be purchased at a store that sells art supplies or one that sells blueprints to architects and engineers). These tubes are generally the right size, they are not too heavy (unlike heavy PVC plumbing pipe), and they come with caps that screw on or clip on. They are made for large paper "charts" or plans or paper artwork. The one I have in mind is only $15 and comes with caps and a shoulder strap. They even come in cool colors (so the admiral can pick one).

03231-4863 - Alvin Ice Tubes - BLICK art materials

Why not use cheap white PVC plumbing pipe (4" diameter) with caps?

While the tubes I am suggesting are likely more expensive than a cheap PVC plumbing pipe from home depot type stores, they are also much lighter in tube wall thickness and weight. Why is that important to me?
I would not mind getting bonked on the head by one of the light weight tubes I am suggesting if it was put in or suspended in the Vberth or quarter berth, but I would not want a heavy large diameter PVC plumbing pipe with caps and charts to bonk me in my sleep. So, I think the weight difference is worth the extra expense and safety factor. Aside from that, the white plumbing pipe looks just like what it is. The colorful tube I am suggesting looks "cool" and is obviously not just a piece of plumbing pipe. That aesthetic difference has some value in some boats (and will in mine), in other words, I like the design and colors.

I would put the tube in the quarter berth that is used as a garage on most boats. If you don't have a quarter berth then I would suspend it from the ceiling of the saloon cabin top by using some bungee cords or similar or mount it permanently if the admiral agrees.

On some boats (40+feet) I have seen purpose built teak holders that have holes in them (similar to those used to hold fishing rods) that are for holding rolled charts up above the inside helm in a pilot house boat.

But, because the charts have been rolled, they will retain some curl. What to do about that curl?

My Suggestion for Flattening and Displaying Charts:
Flatten the chart under a piece of "glass" (acrylic or plastic really) on a table top. For a boat that does NOT have a nav table, I would use the dinette table. I would buy a piece of plexiglass or acrylic and put charts under that, on the table, in order to flatten them if or when that is needed.

The sheet of acrylic is also available on the boat for emergency repairs (if needed to replace a port light etc.) and having the next needed chart UNDER the clear acrylic and ALWAYS available for crew to view while eating or sitting at the dinette, will promote the crew knowing what is coming up ahead on the voyage. When you need that chart, simply pull it from under the acrylic, use it as needed, and put the next needed chart "under the glass" to be viewed and flattened.

That is what I will do.
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Old 18-12-2014, 16:07   #20
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Lightbulb Re: How to store paper charts on board

We learned with the Aus navy so rolled charts were definitely a no no. When we moved aboard we started a system by folding our charts once and then storing in pouches sold by the usual marine outlets in Australia. These pouches keep the charts dry and flat. Each of these pouches rotate around the boat as and when we need them eg. the charts we need for the current passage are stored in the chart table; as new charts are needed the recently used pouch is stored in the storage space behind the cushions of our dinette. The pouches rotate behind the 3 large backrest cushions so are always kept in an assemblance of passage order. The pouches are held in the storage space on an aluminium trough/shelf at the bottom with an aluminium bar with wing nuts at the top. This makes stacking the pouches expandable until the bottom trough is filled.

When in the Pacific North West, I could not obtain these ready made pouches so I made my own with sheets of plastic and book binders tape.

Each pouch has a list of charts contained in numerical order with full chart titles. This makes it very easy to locate a particular chart.

We have paper charts for every passage we have made and sailing for 18 years around the Pacific, I can tell you we have lots of charts.

Good luck on finding the right solution for you and your boat space.
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Old 19-12-2014, 00:33   #21
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Re: How to store paper charts on board

Get out the sewing machine, or talk to anyone who does canvas work, & have them make you some chart folios. AKA big canvas envelopes for holding charts. Although old sail cloth works too.
Now to be trick, you can have a few where all but the borders of them are made out of dodger window material on one side (with a water resistant zipper in lieu of snaps, or Velcro).

And the fun, optional feature, is boltrope sewn to 2 parallel edges of the folio. Then you buy the metal edges into which boltropes slide, & affix them to the overhead, door backs, under tables, etc. Plus, when you take them out into the cockpit, they're then, one heck of a lot less likely to blow overboard. And that fore mentioned eisen glass window (feature) comes into it's own.
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Old 19-12-2014, 01:46   #22
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Re: How to store paper charts on board

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Originally Posted by aitch View Post
In my experience, charts should stay flat. In Australia, one of the major chart purveyors also sells an A2 size waterproof envelope with a transparent front. My charts live I there and under the mattress. The dining table, with the aid a tablecloth clips to hold them flat, serves for an "in passage" chart table.
I have over 100 charts and would not go to sea without them, despite having an sophisticated electronic navigation system. The sailor who depends solely an an electronic system is not long for this world, unless they never go to sea.
Welcome aboard Aitch

We always carry paper charts and use them. We try not to fold, but if it is a big chart then we do. Re storage, we keep them under the mattress, but one fellow i know has built a shelf up under his ceiling in the V-berth. All his charts lie flat up there and are easy to get to.

We keep ours in plastic zip-loks and have an index in each bag so we can find our charts easily.

I truly enjoy looking and holding paper charts - there is an emotional link to sailors of past generations in holding a paper charts.

Also - if you need a gasket for seomething - an old paper chart (the thick fuzzy kind) can be cut into a dandy gasket (don't ask how I know this - )
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Old 24-12-2014, 15:31   #23
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Re: How to store paper charts on board

I have found this works well for long term stowage.
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Old 24-12-2014, 16:52   #24
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Re: How to store paper charts on board

I appreciate all the replies. My boat is a Beneteau 343. (About 35'). She has a small Nav station that isn't near big enough for chart work. I'll use the table in the salon.

I won't have the luxury of a plexiglass solution given the lack of room. I invested in 20" x 24" ziplock bags and folded my charts in a way that allows a significant view through the bag for when I just want a redundant view of where I am. The 20" x 24" size will be convenient for my nav station, salon table, and maybe even the cockpit when I want to mark things up. And of course I can unfold when I need the big picture.

I'll have a working chart plotter, a backup handheld gps, iPhone and iPad each with navionics loaded, and radar but I like charts in general (I have alway been keen to look at maps) and don't want to rely on electronics 100%, especially give the shallow waters I will be navigating.

Once again, much thanks for the input.


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Old 24-12-2014, 17:25   #25
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Re: How to store paper charts on board

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Originally Posted by lsearite View Post
The long chart I have for Mobile to Gulfport made me search out a how to. Now I use this for all charts and can read like a book as I go along.

This is actually a pretty good idea, but I think for me there might be too many folds to deal with. However, this video was sponsored by Oceangrafix which I want to say for those who have not seen it, has a really great website.

OceanGrafix — NOAA, NGA, Historical, Bathymetric & Hurricane Charts

On the site you can search for charts (I use the Search Charts tab, and select Search By Map). Here you can zoom in to areas of the USA that you might want to visit by boat. Pick out a chart and zoom in down to the tiniest detail - all for free.

I have no connection with the company but I find myself on this website looking at charts about once a week. Useful stuff.

Cheers.

Dhillen
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Old 25-12-2014, 03:03   #26
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Re: How to store paper charts on board

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Originally Posted by aitch View Post
I have over 100 charts and would not go to sea without them, despite having an sophisticated electronic navigation system. The sailor who depends solely an an electronic system is not long for this world, unless they never go to sea.
While I have no argument with your personal preferences, I can tell you that modern commercial shipping is gradually discarding paper and moving toward ESCDIS systems that are pure electronic charts.
I have personally sailed a boat from Les Sables d'Olonne on the French Biscay coast down to Gibraltar and all across the Med to Israel without any use of a single paper chart (although I had them on board at the time). That was a trip of over 3,500NM.
I have skippered a boat from Med France through Gibraltar to the Canaries and forward to S. Lucia with no paper (except one large map of the Atlantic to mark daily progress - mostly for fun and as a memento).
I have a friend who recently safely completed circumnavigation using solely C-Map charts on a PC
I have more samples but the above is more than enough.

If you love paper charts (and I love them too) you are entitled to use them, but there is no need to frighten people of the use of electronic chart and you statement "unless they never go to sea" is overshooting.
Most of the sailing community is old fashioned - otherwise we would not use an millennia old technology to move from place to place. This being said, there is nothing inherently wrong or dangerous in adoption of new well proven technology (do you still use a sextant? I do sometimes, for the fun of it, but navigate with 4-5 GPS units on board).
Good winds anyway.
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Old 25-12-2014, 04:08   #27
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Re: How to store paper charts on board

When the satellite system was shut down during the first Gulf War there were no signals to receive. It was also before the advent of electronic navigation aboard small boats. We had a Furono satellite receiver that simply displayed Lat/Lon and we would use that to plot our position on the paper chart.
Cut to today; if the systems are switched off then of course the chart can still be displayed BUT your position shall not show. Where on the electronic chart are you? You'll have zero idea unless you can project your position from the compass and log - a skill many have never learnt / practiced. I still use my sextant - not as much as I should, but just to ensure I can. I have my Air Tables aboard as well as my old hand held Tamaya Navigation Computer. I test myself against the GPS and am happy that I can. There is a misconception that the boat systems shall magically work IF the satellites are turned off. People also forget that they are also totally reliant on the ships electrical system. About ten years ago we met an Aussie catamaran that had bumped into pirates in the Gulf of Aden. They robbed the catamaran of all valuables including all the solar panels, the entire ships batteries (engine & domestic) as well as all the electronics aboard. They left the skipper and his family alone but did not touch the sextant, charts or tables. As the skipper was competant he was able to use the traditional methods to continue until the Mediterranean Sea. He was also fortunate to have a Coleman petrol fuelled lamp aboard and to get a tow through the canal. I agree that this is the only satellite shut down I am aware of, but I dont want to be the one to experience the situation should it ever happen again.
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Old 25-12-2014, 12:41   #28
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Re: How to store paper charts on board

The question is how to store paper charts. I have a older Islander 32, stove, sink, ice box on the right. Table and seats on the left. I recently did a trip from Seattle to Port Hardy BC. I had along with my garmin 740, 50 some paper charts. There's a drawer under the very large table that could of held all the charts, but that would be to easy and also upset the balance of all the crap already in the drawer. What worked for me was to build a chart holder against one of the backrest of the seats. It's only 1" in depth and holds about 30 charts folded in half. So you sit 1" closer to the table but the charts are easy to access and easy to read when they're flat. Before the trip I placed them in order, and the top 3/4" of each chart sticks up so I can read the number. I also have a master list that I refer to if I need to skip ahead in the order. The charts that are not to be used for sometime are placed in the big plastic bag and stuffed under a mattress. This worked well for me and the boat, and charts definitely give you the big picture when there's more than one option of passage. They also make it easier to plan the next days run.
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Old 25-12-2014, 13:17   #29
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Re: How to store paper charts on board

oh yeah, Merry Christmas!
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Old 25-12-2014, 13:40   #30
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Re: How to store paper charts on board

It depends on how often you reuse your charts.

Folded charts only last a short time. Folding and refolding does a lot of damage.
Its pretty much impossible to keep your arms free from saltwater or sweat every time you need to plot , this speeds the damage on the raised fold lines. Shoving them under a materess in the tropics leads to mould. The parallel rules rubbing on the folds also causes damage and dirty marks.

My 200 odd charts live rolled in Postal Poster tubes (section of coast per tube).
Unrolled stack of charts layed flat and corners weighted only take an hour to flatten out in the sea air ,on the front bunk.

Theres so much extra detail on some of my old charts (not included on newer surveys) , especially in the shallow coastal areas, that longevity is a must. Some of mine are over 25 years old, still going strong and used annually.

Yes , no plotter.
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