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  #1  
Old 08-25-2010
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which paper charts to buy

I'm looking for some paper charts for the New England area, specifically MA, and I'll need closeups of Boston Harbor.

When I was taking my ASA courses, I believe the instruction recommended ChartKits, which are booklets of charts spiral bound, but I could be mistaken. I've found one that covers RI to the Canadian border for about $100 online. Is this a good thing to buy?

I've always seen navigators working on their paper charts with a pencil. It must eventually wear the chart out to constantly erase on it. Water must also damage it. I'm wondering why people don't use laminated charts and then write on them with a fine-tipped marker like for overhead transparencies (it washes off, something like an Expo marker). Does this exist? Is it recommended?
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The chart kit you are referring to is an excellent choice - it has complete coverage at a good price. Also you need to decide whether you need only local coverage or regional coverage.

Charts and chart kits are generally printed on very good paper and can take a bit of spray without damage. There are some laminated charts and kits as well, but they are pricier. To some extent it depends on your boat's setup and where you will be doing your plotting. Generally this will be inside the boat and out of the weather (mostly). If you like to work in the cockpit or use the charts for reference in the cockpit you have to be careful not to get them too damp.

Most markers produce a pretty wide line compared to a sharp pencil so will not be as accurate. If you use a hard pencil and a good art eraser you will not damage your charts. Paper charts are also better for updating from notices to mariners.
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Old 08-25-2010
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Yes. We used to use this stuff on military maps, back in the Vietnam war days.

Grafix Clear Acetate Rolls - BLICK art materials

Buying a roll to try out on my charts.
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Old 08-25-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmeador View Post
I'm looking for some paper charts for the New England area, specifically MA, and I'll need closeups of Boston Harbor.

When I was taking my ASA courses, I believe the instruction recommended ChartKits, which are booklets of charts spiral bound, but I could be mistaken. I've found one that covers RI to the Canadian border for about $100 online. Is this a good thing to buy?

I've always seen navigators working on their paper charts with a pencil. It must eventually wear the chart out to constantly erase on it. Water must also damage it. I'm wondering why people don't use laminated charts and then write on them with a fine-tipped marker like for overhead transparencies (it washes off, something like an Expo marker). Does this exist? Is it recommended?
Buy Maptech Waterproof Chart Kit. I use writable scotch tape and pencil. After I am done I just peel it off. Works for me.

Do not buy from West marine, which is 30 dollars more. The best price I found is Here - Sailnet
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Watch the dates on the charts in the kits. I bought a set (Richardson's LI S. Shore), discovered the charts were early 2000's and returned it. I am contemplating the Cape Cod to Maine book from the same outfit, those seem to have later dates (2007). Maybe I have real job someday again and can buy the $100 set.

I found, on my cruise, that the printable charts from NOAAs booklet url served me well for an area I was going to cruise once. I also downloaded all the free *.kap files from NOAA (LI through Cape Ann), loaded them in Seaclear II (also free), and as long as I have a laptop and GPS operational, I have everything I need. It'll be sweet to hook up a GPSMAP 76... to it and track progress without loading individual points via ... that would not be sneaker-net... deck-shoe-net?

I like plotting the course, keeping tabs on where we are the old fashioned way with pencil, parallel edges, etc. and hope to practice night navigation by the stars. But it takes time and your tillerman has to be happy during the time it takes to do so.
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I have the chartbooks and like at least a few large paper charts for some places as i find many times having to flip to page 22 to be a PITA
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Old 08-25-2010
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cant you get them free from NOAA?

NOAA BookletCharts
SEE 1370/1372

NOAA RNC Distributorship
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I recommend getting a clear plastic zip lock bag, most marine stores have them. you can sllde the entire chart kit inside so it doesn't get wet when in the cockpit.

I also recommend using the paper chart for ready location reference with GPS as confirmation of location. You get a much more understandable picture of where you are and where you are going, from a paper chart than a display.
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Yes, you can download free charts, though I was unaware there were ones that meet all the requirements for charts, which those appear to do. Thanks for pointing that out to me. I'd just like something bigger and tougher than I can get out of my printer (actually, I don't have a printer, I'd have to print it at work, and it would be in black and white... it's easier to just buy some good ones).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmeador View Post
I'm looking for some paper charts for the New England area, specifically MA, and I'll need closeups of Boston Harbor.

When I was taking my ASA courses, I believe the instruction recommended ChartKits, which are booklets of charts spiral bound, but I could be mistaken. I've found one that covers RI to the Canadian border for about $100 online. Is this a good thing to buy?

I've always seen navigators working on their paper charts with a pencil. It must eventually wear the chart out to constantly erase on it. Water must also damage it. I'm wondering why people don't use laminated charts and then write on them with a fine-tipped marker like for overhead transparencies (it washes off, something like an Expo marker). Does this exist? Is it recommended?
The Chart Kits are a good buy although using a chart near the spiral can be a bit of a pain. When it comes to harbor charts I like the full size rather than what is available in the chartkit. Depending on your needs MapTech also puts out nice waterproof charts for a variety of areas. They fold up like a road map. and cover a large area.
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