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EscapeArtist 08-26-2002 12:47 PM

DR Paperwork -- where?
OK, this is a newby sailor question if ever there was one... I should probably put it on the "learn to sail" board.

While I am an unapologetic GPS navigator, with three units on board of which the latest is a chartplotter, I have been thinking that there are certain situations that require me to augment my electronic navigation with proper dead reckoning.

Since I got my chartplotter, I''ve been sailing a lot at night, for example. And not always in conditions of great visibility. I''d feel better if I had a DR going in a situation like that.

I don''t have any problems with the principles of DR, though I need to practice my fix-taking skills, and I''ll have to brush up on proper annotation. I can get all that from Chapman''s.

My question is, where do you write all of the fixes? My chartset for New-Jersey to Maine cost over $100. I''m not about to start writing all over it, except for permanent things (like GPS waypoints).

Does everyone else mark up their charts? What do you do when you get home, erase all of the old junk? Or do you buy cheaper min-charts and replace them after they are erased to death?

fer@fer 08-26-2002 03:08 PM

DR Paperwork -- where?
You should keep your DR in plotting sheets.
The sheet intent to represent a chart, with latitude and longitudes and a compass rose. Now, depending upon the latitude you''ll be navigating, the drawn space between meridians or paralells will be modified, since you will need to continue to represent in the scale nautic miles

You can get those at any Marine shop, which probably are twice as large as a letter page, o print out from any source from Internet.

You might we willing to look into this page, which explains in more detail the plotting sheet story, and also download the sheet.
This sheet is prepared and published by the US Defense Mapping Agency, normally comes in a pad of 100

Some other links to free plotting sheets are

which is a A free PDF Universal plotting sheet in 8.5" x 11" format


A program that generates and prints plotting sheets for your selected latitude (8.5 x 11 inches). You need to calculate for each latitude a new plotting sheet. This is not my favourite.

Best regards


kimberlite 08-26-2002 06:52 PM

DR Paperwork -- where?
i couldnt get this site. is the address correct?

paulk 08-26-2002 09:14 PM

DR Paperwork -- where?
You can also probably find a plasticized or "waterproofed" chart of your area for less than $20 that you can write on in pencil and then erase lots of times. I think it beats using plotting sheets that you have to keep transferring the information to and/or from the chart to be useful and determine where you are. When you''re tired, it''s dark, and it''s easy to make mistakes, its often worthwhile to eliminate as many opportunities for error as possible.

halyardz 08-27-2002 02:11 AM

DR Paperwork -- where?
Take a USPS Piloting course. While the chartwork portion is a real PITA, it helps clean things up a bit. In my course instructors used very few plotting sheets. Worked mainly on charts. Aside from setting your initial DRs, I''ve found the classroom and reality don''t always jive. I''m not sure having that "clean" plot will gain you any points when you hit a rock. And plotting in 35kt winds is, well, challenging.

EscapeArtist 08-29-2002 06:24 AM

DR Paperwork -- where?
After doing some additional research, I found a way to print my own dr plotting sheets that are actually NOS color charts.

Nautical charts are in the public domain, we pay for them with our taxes. Outfits like Maptech and Garmin charge us for printing them and organizing them, or loading them into little flash memory cards.

The NOS website has a complete set of nautical charts in digital format, all free.

All you need to print your own "scratch" charts is a computer and a printer, along with a photoprinter application (like HP Photoprint) that you can get free anywhere.

Then, visit the NOS "mapfinder" website at

Weave your way through their "mapfinder" application. It''s not very easy to use, but keep clicking and soon you''ll have a GIF-formatted file of your favorite place onscreen. It will be large. You can even make it your Windows wallpaper if you like.

Now, save the chart by right-clicking on top of the picture, and selecting "Save Image" (Netscape) or "Save Picture" (IE). Put it in "My Documents" or "My Pictures," you decide.

Once saved, start the photo printer program, open the chart, and scale/crop/rotate to get what you want on 8.5 X 11 paper, then print.

This may not turn out to be optimal, but I''m going to try it. I would suggest using good paper designed for your printer (i.e. inkjet paper for inkjet printers, etc) to keep the images stable. It is wet out there!


sv Escape Artist

loki 10-28-2002 03:49 PM

DR Paperwork -- where?
If you go to a store that carries material for engineering drawing you can get a plastic sheet that they use like tracing paper. It is translucent, when laid on the chart you can see all of the chart details. One side is roughed and can be written on with a pencil. Put this on your chart with masking tape, plot away, and when you are finished erase it off.

gershel 11-01-2002 05:32 AM

DR Paperwork -- where?
Hi, Chartkits makes large plastic envelopes for the charts to fit into. They can be written on with a marker,then wiped of when you start a new page. They also protect the charts if you use them outside.They cost about $12 where you buy the chartkit.

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