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post #1 of 4 Old 08-10-2002 Thread Starter
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Caribbean Charts

Looking to purchase or find info on charts for Caribbean. Is there a good source that lists the charts needed?

No firm float plan at this time.
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-10-2002
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Caribbean Charts

Check out charts by Sara & Monty Lewis. Their charts can be found at I know they have a web site but I''m not sure what it is.
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-10-2002
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Caribbean Charts

you can order a nima (national imagery mapping agency) catalog from any chart supplier or armchair sailor or landfall navigation on line.
you are looking for catalog #2 which lists all the caribbean charts. the catalog is free. you might also ask for the imray chart brochure. some of their charts are better than the nima ones.nima is of course
more detailed, tax dollars at work, they cover from us mid pacific coast to florida ,
then the carib and all of south america.
fair winds,
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-11-2002
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Caribbean Charts


You didn''t mention if you were looking for electronic or paper charts; I''ll assume the latter. You have these basic choices:
1. Borrow charts from others and xerox them; often done by cruisers on a budget but no guarantee on the age of the chart (sometimes this matters, sometimes it doesn''t) and finding a large format copy service that has excellent quality copies on high grade paper is the challenge.
2. Buy them from NIMA (ex-DMA) or one of their distributors. This is expensive, the charts will be the latest ones printed tho'' last correction date can be several years before, and the paper & image quality are excellent. At times these charts (meant for military & commercial shipping use) will not be suitable for your yacht cruising needs.
3. Where feasible (e.g. Puerto Rico, E Caribbean chain from Spanish Virgins on down, Venezuela) you can buy privately published charts (e.g. Imray). These are on high quality, ''waterproof'' paper, and a full set would be *very* expensive. They are used by charterers who won''t cover lots of distance.
4. Mix and Match: Often, cruisers will first buy the guides (how and what to buy is a story in itself and also an expensive purchase), review the chartlets included, and then purchase (from one of the other sources listed here) the large scale (large area, not much detail) charts they need to navigate from one area to the next.
5. I''d recommend you look at Bellingham Chart Printers ( as a solution, partial or whole. Just like Bluewater Books, Armchair Sailor, etc. they have a full selection of guides plus all the NIMA, BA, etc. charts but also publish chart ''books'' of copied charts; copy quality is high, paper is excellent, it''s always the latest edition, the cost is very reasonable, you are assured of getting every chart you might need, and you can purchase the charts in ''full size'' or 2/3 size. I recommend the latter as they are easier to use on a yacht''s chart table and, if the detail is too small, you have the smaller scale chart to move to. These are found and easily stowed, as well.

Mixing choices makes sense. E.g. we used several of the chart kits from the Tidesend folks when off the beaten track (e.g. Central Caribbean) but used the CYC (I think it was) German-published charts for the Eastern Chain (the clearest, best chart kit I''ve ever seen; superb and current product) and only one ''waterproof'' chart for all of Puerto Rico (we were using Steve Pavlidis'' new PR Guide which is excellent and full of accurate chartlets).

Monty & Sara Lewis have published charts of the Bahamas but, to my knowledge, haven''t produced products covering further south & east.

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