Originally Posted by dreamer2010
Which (free) maps/charts can you recommend for the Bahamas?
The best charts you can get are printed on proper chart paper, not photocopies, and are generally never free.
I agree with other posts that when one considers the cost of a vessel and all that it takes to cruise, why would one save a few dollars on trying to get free charts?
Just another point about electronic charts - there is always extensive discussion regarding the reliability of plotters, notebooks and the like but there is another element of electronic charting that is seldom discussed.
There is often information on a chart that is of significant importance to the skipper/navigator and this type of info is not always found on electronic charts. Things like tidal diamonds/streams and currents as well as comments about the area covered by the charge can be found on a paper chart. The example below demonstrates the point.
This information is provided to warn of a strong cross current that sets across the entrance to the harbour of Nuku Hiva. Without this knowledge and given the large width of the entrance, one may be tempted to take a short cut past one of the projecting points or even to enter the harbour under sail and will quickly find yourself being drawn towards the rocks that guard the starboard side. This information does not appear on the electronic charts that I have (Maxsea, CMaps)
Buy proper charts and if you must, get electronic charts to play with.