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Old 18-12-2014, 06:47   #1
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How to store paper charts on board

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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Old 18-12-2014, 06:49   #2
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Re: How to store paper charts on board

Laid flat and in the table, or under the mattress if you don't have a chart table. Some like them rolled, I do not as they just don't lat flat then, and I believe they take up more space rolled.
But then I like jelly on my toast and not jam.
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Old 18-12-2014, 07:00   #3
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Re: How to store paper charts on board

I'm not a rolled guy either.... As pilot said... On one boat under the quarter... Another the nav table... If you've got enough room on the nav station, a cheap piece of plexiglass will lay down on all the one's ya ain't using...
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Old 18-12-2014, 07:48   #4
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Re: How to store paper charts on board

When we took 100+ charts for a SE Alaska cruise, we folded them in thirds, and with few exceptions (those folded in fourths) they fit in very large ziplocs sold for the purpose. Kept the ziplocs under the matteress. We too found rolling them did not work out well.
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Old 18-12-2014, 08:06   #5
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Re: How to store paper charts on board

I think you got your answer. Everybody hates rolled charts. Store them flat if you can, fold them if you can't.
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Old 18-12-2014, 08:51   #6
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Re: How to store paper charts on board

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Originally Posted by NewMoon View Post
When we took 100+ charts for a SE Alaska cruise, we folded them in thirds, and with few exceptions (those folded in fourths) they fit in very large ziplocs sold for the purpose. Kept the ziplocs under the matteress. We too found rolling them did not work out well.
We did exactly the same thing for exactly the same trip (plus a side trip around Kodiak Island). You can buy the XXX Large ziplocs at Target. US and CDN charts folded will fit inside easily. We folded ours in quarters, kept them under the mattress and had no trouble using them.

A guy I know likes rolled charts and keeps his rolled inside a zipped up suit cover which hangs nicely in his closet. His idea but it makes sense.

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Old 18-12-2014, 09:01   #7
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Re: How to store paper charts on board

Back in my Army days we used to keep maps is a used 2.75" rocket tube, it protected them well as was big enough around they would lay pretty flat. I doubt you'll find used rocket tubes but a piece of thin walled PVC pipe would keep charts protected and dry, just you have to pull them all out to find the one you want.
We also would laminate maps with acetate, best stuff I found to laminate maps was what the Brits called pencil acetate, it was thin, soft and you could write on it with a pencil and erase it. Closest thing I could find in the US was clear contact shelf liner, it was soft and non glare, not as good as the stuff the Brits used though. The laminate waterproofed our maps pretty well.
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Old 18-12-2014, 09:46   #8
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Re: How to store paper charts on board

We have just over 600 paper charts - and we are still adding to our collection. They weigh stacks (mainly British Admiralty- most second hand) and take up a lot of space. Fortunately, we have the capacity to keep them in portfolio's, laying flat. Ours live in the workshop - we converted one of our cabins. Got fed up many years ago of trying to work with a curling chart. 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.
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Old 18-12-2014, 09:48   #9
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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 assume by suspenders and belt you mean paper as a backup. The zip lock bags sounded best to me, I hate folds but for backup I could live with them.

Cutting to the chase, I was going to suggest a package of desiccant in the bag. Moldy charts a worse than folds.
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Old 18-12-2014, 09:55   #10
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Re: How to store paper charts on board

Yep... don't roll them....even if you have to fold them a bit. One or even two folds in a big chart never bothered me. Under the berth is fine, or settee. You can buy big ziplok type bags specifically for storing them... which might be good if things are damp. DO NOT store them under the berth you sleep on as it will be very wet!
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Old 18-12-2014, 10:03   #11
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Re: How to store paper charts on board

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.

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Old 18-12-2014, 10:42   #12
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Re: How to store paper charts on board

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.[/QUOTE]
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.
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Old 18-12-2014, 11:21   #13
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Re: How to store paper charts on board

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, 11:36   #14
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Re: How to store paper charts on board

...a piece of thin walled PVC pipe...


I take onboard the comments about rolled charts curling, but we used to sail a small (27') sailboat and carried perhaps 100+ charts; our solution was the pvc pipes: We had two 6" diameter tubes with a fixed/glued cap on one end and a screw cap on the other, charts not needed for the next few weeks/months were rolled, put inside the tubes and the filled tubes were then suspended from the forecabin deck-head with bungy-cords, down at the foot end of the berth. No problems with damp/condensation getting at them - as happened under the berth cushions - didn't restrict access to under-berth lockers and only took up what was effectively 'dead' space. To obviate the 'curling' issue, we just found/unrolled the next half-dozen charts we needed, folded them and put just these (in a poly-bag) under a berth cushion for a few days before using them.
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Old 18-12-2014, 11:37   #15
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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!
Do you think that Vestas hit the reef because of technology?
Beg to differ...
1. The navigator (who got new route on the morn of setting out) failed to check the route thoroughly, as he was supposed to do.
2. The skipper failed to check navigator's job.
This is human error and lack of proper management.
Technology has nothing to do with that.
Of course, only my opinion...
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