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  #1  
Old 05-10-2010
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Writing on charts?

Newbie question here.

We bought some waterproof Richardson's chartbooks recently for New England. They aren't compatible with No. 2 pencils for plotting (smears and burn marks when erasing or trying to wash off).

Is there a better writing utensil to use or is this a function of their chart material? Richardson says to use a water soluble pen, but what good is that if you're plotting a course in the cockpit? One good wave would wash out your plot.

Is this common to most charts or are there chartbooks that are more forgiving?
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Old 05-10-2010
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How about a grease pencil? I have a set of laminated charts that I use for sea kayaking and I use a grease pencil on those. It will come off but it also won't be washed off by a little bit of spray. My biggest frustration is that the tip is pretty large.
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Old 05-10-2010
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plotting in the cockpit is not a good idea. you say one wave and the plot is gone, i say one gust and the chart is gone.

do it inside with a pen ( water soluble )
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Old 05-10-2010
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Probably grease pencil, crayon, wax pencil, or "dry erase" marker. If you can stop at a drafting or art supply store, they may be able to suggest different things to try on the chart.

Erasing--if you are using a pink eraser--is a bad idea, the pink erasers are abrasive and damage anything--including paper--that you use them on. A white (vinyl) drafting eraser usually is a better idea.

Some of the fine point permanent markers (like Sharpie) are waterproof but easily removed with alcohol IF they don't bleed into the plastic. So that's another one to explore, in a corner where you won't have a problem if the Sharpie doesn't wipe off.
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Old 05-10-2010
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Hellosailer is corect...Often called Glasers pencels...My wife is a comercal artist and uses this very one.

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I use grease pencils for plot lines but use PostIt flag arrows to indicate positions.

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Old 05-11-2010
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What I made for this purpose works pretty well for plotting courses and positions in the cockpit: I took two pieces of veneer about two feet by three feet and one same size sheet of clear acrylic. I drilled holes at the top, and made the sheets like leaves in a book, with zip-ties for a binding. The top is the clear acrylic sheet and the other two below.

I store the charts I will be needing later in the day between the two "pages" of veneer, and the chart I am using between the veneer and the clear acrylic.
I write on top of the clear acrylic with different coled wax pencils. It wipes off easily enough.

It fits right on the cockpit floor, and remains there (given what weather). You can walk back and forth ontop of it and it doesn't hurt it in the slightest!!

When not in use, it slips under the starboard seabirth settee. Seawinds don't have a dedicated chart table (at least the Seawind I's don't...I think the Seawind II does), so I also use this same "chart portfolio" for in the main cabin.

Works great!! With all the needed charts either between the veneer "pages" or under the acrylic, nothing blows away.
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Last edited by SoulVoyage; 05-11-2010 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 05-11-2010
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You can probably find removable highlighter tape at a local Staples, but here is a link to pay way too much for it at an aviation supply store.

Set of All Four Colors of Highlighter Tape - Sporty's Pilot Shop

You can place the removable tape on the chart in the general area and draw a fine pencil line on top if you want to be more exact. In the end, however, you could only hope that your beat, jibe, drift, whatever, actually stayed withing the width of that tape anyway.

p.s. I don't use this stuff, nor do I typically draw a line of any kind on my charts. I do, however, like the idea above of using post-it arrows for positions.

Last edited by Minnewaska; 05-11-2010 at 05:13 AM.
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Old 05-17-2010
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FWIW, Richardson's suggested wet erase pens (used for writing on transparencies). Might not hold up against a wet sail, but it's a fine tip and comes right off with a damp cloth.

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Old 05-17-2010
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look up stabilo pencils they are like mini grease pens and water soluble.
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