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Old 18-11-2012, 01:07   #1
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Where to Store Paper Charts ?

Hey guys, we don't use them, but when we cast off next SPring, I want to take them with me.

Yes, we use GPS. But I am not 100% certain that the powers who control GPS won't disable it at some stage for whatever reason... so I'd like to have the charts just in case.

The charts we currently have stack about 10cm high. The dilemma is, where to store them.

We don't have a chart table (on account of never using charts), although we do have a fairly large 'dining' table over the spinnaker locker! Have thought about shoving them under mattresses, but don't like the idea, since we access the berth lockers regularly.

Any more ideas? They don't need to be easily accessible, just available if GPS ever crashes...
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Old 18-11-2012, 02:10   #2
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Re: Where to Store Paper Charts ?

I store mine in poly pipe with caps on end,airtight,waterproof and keep in locker ,rolled up aboutb10 per pipe also good to write on outside for ref.Cheers Geoff.
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Old 18-11-2012, 02:10   #3
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Re: Where to Store Paper Charts ?

I think that you are confusing two different functions. A chart (electronic or paper) tells you where things are, while a GPS (or sextant or DR plot) tells you where you are. The confusion is understandable because a chartplotter combines both functions. I don't think that the GPS system is going to go down. The world could not function without it and there is a lot of redundancy. A (much) more likely scenario is a failure of the boat's GPS receiver so backups here are crucial.

If the goal is to know where things are and you are looking at the paper charts as backup have you considered a secondary set of electronic charts? We have an Ipad with Navionics chart packages and quite like it as a backup - and it is a backup for a plotter too. The chart cartridges are between $55 and $75 and we have only needed two from eastern Australia to the Caribbean. At various times we have had upwards of 200 charts on board and they do take a lot of room and are very costly. For a world cruise the cost could easily be in the thousands.

BTW, before I am criticized for being some young whippersnapper brought up on video games, I have been sailing for 40+ years and started doing blue water passages with a sextant.
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Old 18-11-2012, 02:43   #4
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Re: Where to Store Paper Charts ?

I will refrain from commenting on the practice of not using proper charts. Ahem. There are other threads on here about that.

If besides no proper charts you don't have a proper chart table, then maybe you should stay in port? .

More seriously - roll them up and put them in a poster tube or piece of plastic sewer pipe.

I actually have more charts than will fit in my large chart table. Most of them are Imray "recreational" charts which don't need to be folded. But I have a gorgeous set of full-sized Admiralty charts of the Irish Sea and Bristol Channel which seems just a shame to fold. I keep these rolled up in a big cardboard tube.
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Old 18-11-2012, 05:23   #5
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Re: Where to Store Paper Charts ?

i fold my charts down to aprox A2 size ,admiralty chart that is from open ,2 folds,or photo copies down to A4 size,3 folds.

these i store in folios of an area,in plastic bags,with the corresponding guide/pilot.
then in the bottom of a nice dry locker.

my 3000+ charts take up about 1/4 m2.
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Old 18-11-2012, 05:35   #6
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Re: Where to Store Paper Charts ?

Where are you going to store your sextant, Saucy, for when the GPS stops telling you where you are?
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Old 18-11-2012, 05:59   #7
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Re: Where to Store Paper Charts ?

The Stromness Hotel has a cellar bar with charts used as wall paper and varnished over. Looks superb, perhaps you could do the inside cabin roof?

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Old 18-11-2012, 07:16   #8
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Re: Where to Store Paper Charts ?

Vacume type clothing storage bags from K or W Mart.

Or blanket storage bags.

I have over a hundred charts, a spare chart plotter, handheld GPS. i have a sextant with no experience as I sail around NS and Newfoundlad and thus never see the sun or stars. But someday........

The ones I use I keep in plastic chart covers. The rest are stored away in v berth or under chart table kick space.
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Old 18-11-2012, 07:41   #9
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Re: Where to Store Paper Charts ?

Never roll your charts--makes them difficult to use when you unroll them, and then you have to fold them at that point unless you have a chart table that is 3 x 4 feet. It's also a huge pain to have to unroll a tube of charts to find one--easy to flip through a stack of folded charts. In any case, I fold them down to an appropriate size, taking care when I fold that the parts I am most likely to use end up on the outside. If I can't do that, I make sure the part on the outside allows me to readily identify which chart it is. I then stack them geographically by region, divide into smaller piles, and distribute them various dry places around the boat stored in heavy-duty green garbage bags. On my current boat the perfect place is under the settee cushions on top of the water tanks. On other boats it has sometimes been behind a settee backrest, or alongside the hull up in a V-Berth, or the back of a hanging locker. I always have out the paper charts I need for an area, even if I am using a chart plotter at the time. A more common problem than GPS going out is your chart plotter failing for some reason. When you are out there you run into folks all the time with failed plotters and/or PCs. When I last went to the Caribbean I had hard drive failures on two different PCs, and eventually the motherboard went on one of them. Spent a fair bit of time in Colombia working on computers.
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Old 18-11-2012, 07:48   #10
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Re: Where to Store Paper Charts ?

I have a clear plastic chart tube with plastic press-on end caps -- free to a good home. You pay postage. PM me and give me your mailing address.
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Old 18-11-2012, 08:17   #11
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Re: Where to Store Paper Charts ?

I'm with kettlewell, fold them don't roll them. Easier to store. Never done it myself but do know a guy who made a thin shelf over the V bunk. All his charts were in there and the damn thing only took up about 5 inches of headroom. He had it down at the foot end and it never got in the way.
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Old 18-11-2012, 09:29   #12
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Re: Where to Store Paper Charts ?

OT. The best chart table I have had on any boat was on a British 30 footer that was custom designed and built for the guy I bought it from. It was huge--could take a half folded U.S. chart, had nice shelves behind it, the top flipped up to reveal a storage area probably six inches deep, and it was between two bulkheads so that stuff tended to stay on the table well. It goes to show that even on a small boat it is possible to have a great chart table, which also doubles for me as my office for writing and general computer work, so it is important. Too bad more boats, even supposed bluewater boats, don't have well thought out chart tables.
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Old 18-11-2012, 11:08   #13
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Re: Where to Store Paper Charts ?

Laid flat in the chart table inside a sealed type vacuum bag....it's been awhile since I last seen them though!
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Old 18-11-2012, 11:30   #14
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Re: Where to Store Paper Charts ?

I built a 5 sided box about 3" deep of teak and hinged to the forward bulkhead over the aft berth. When it hinges down it rests on the berth and has a couple of bungees to hold the chart and chart kits flat in the vertical (closed) position. There's alread a light and a place to sit (the berth itself) so it's perfect for storage and reviewing charts.
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Old 18-11-2012, 11:49   #15
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Re: Where to Store Paper Charts ?

I do not like to store ours rolled up in tubes - they tend to become hard to use comfortably on the nav table.

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