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My understanding is that NOAA is out of the paper chart business. I used to be able to go to Fawcett's, our local chandler but I don't think they sell charts anymore.

How does one obtain large format paper charts like back in the old days? I'd like to purchase charts of the US East coast from New Jersey to Maine and some more detailed charts of coastal Maine as backups to my plotter. I'd prefer the standard charts over a chart booklet.

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13 minutes ago, Ajax said:

My understanding is that NOAA is out of the paper chart business. I used to be able to go to Fawcett's, our local chandler but I don't think they sell charts anymore.

How does one obtain large format paper charts like back in the old days? I'd like to purchase charts of the US East coast from New Jersey to Maine and some more detailed charts of coastal Maine as backups to my plotter. I'd prefer the standard charts over a chart booklet.

Back in 2009, owning a complete set of BC coast charts and only some Alaska ones, and not wanting to spend $1000 more on US charts for going up to Alaska, we had a printing shop in Prince Rupert (near the US-Canada water border, before crossing into the US) print a lot of the Alaska charts from PDF files we gave then on a memory stick - and we taped them all together!

My understanding now is that any business can print the NOAA charts and re-sell as a commercial thing - i.e., full sized and not off PDF files as we did back then.  Meaning...presumably some company out there is it will do this if there’s a market?  Maybe ask your former chart provider?

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1 minute ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Back in 2009, owning a complete set of BC coast charts and only some Alaska ones, amd not we to spend $1000 more going up to Alaska, we had a printing shop in Primce Rupert print a lot of the Alaska charts from PDF files we gave then on a memory stick - and we taped them all together!

My understanding now is that any business can print the NOAA charts and re-sell as a commercial thing - i.e., full sized and not off PDF files as we did back then.

Hm. I found:  www.nauticalchartsonline.com.  They print them off on water resistant paper at $27/each in large format and ship them rolled up.  How does this compare to a print shop? If it's a fair deal, I'll use them.

At least I'll only have to purchase them once if I keep up with the NTM's.

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6 minutes ago, Ajax said:

Hm. I found:  www.nauticalchartsonline.com.  They print them off on water resistant paper at $27/each in large format and ship them rolled up.  How does this compare to a print shop? If it's a fair deal, I'll use them.

At least I'll only have to purchase them once if I keep up with the NTM's.

$27 a piece!  I haven’t bought a new paper chart in a long time...

That said, last year I did buy a chart book for the west coast of Vancouver Island, with reproductions of full size charts broken into sections so that they fit into a large-format (but not chart-sized) book...for like $60.

Hope you find a cheaper, and good quality option.  (But those may not necessarily exist together...)

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Ships are still required to carry them so any bigger Chandler will be able to print or order.  I think US are free to download as well and you could go to local printer, avoid the chains, Kinko's etc as they are super spendy.  I have seen a few places that will print on mylar, more or less waterproof pretty nice. Only know PNW but Captains Nautical in Seattle and Bellingham chart printers are sure things to order.

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Cheeze and rice! I just got off the phone with a couple local print shops and they all want $27 so I guess that wasn't out of line.

If what @SASSAFRASS says is true, I'll check with Fawcett's to see if they're really out of the chart business or what. @Sparrow50 thanks, I'll check that out.

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Goto the source, go directly to the source. Use the original source. Sorry if I am repetitive, its Kind of a soapbox of mine. 

https://www.noaa.gov/free-noaa-pdf-nautical-charts-now-permanent#:~:text=Last year%2C NOAA announced the privatization of chart,National Ocean Service in accordance with federal regulations.

https://www.nauticalchartsonline.com/charts/NOAA 

I highly suggest to download and print the Coast Pilot from the last link. If you have never used one- they give you a ton of info that you just dont really get by looking at a chart. 

That will be cheap as heck at a printshop.

 

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So that led me down a rabbit hole looking for "charts that fulfill a vessel's requirement to carry a navigational chart published by the National Ocean Service in accordance with federal regulations." I have a STRONG belief in the necessity to have a hardcopy of the charts on hand, but was curious if echarts meet the minimum legal requirement. 

here is the most upto date info with direct links to the CFRs and federal register. 

https://nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/charts/chart-carriage-requirements.html

Leads you to a PDF that directly addresses my question. I was quite surprised to see that we have now been allowed to carry only electronic charts for ..... wait ..... 18 YEARS now! Guess that makes me even more old fashioned than I thought. 

https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/electronic_charting/NVIC_01-16_ElectronicChartsAndPubsCh1.pdf

 

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5 minutes ago, Elegua said:

These guys are the online arm of Oceangrafix. What I like is the variety of ways you can get your chart in terms of folding and materials - They even have tyvek charts.

I like trifold water resistant. 

https://www.nauticalchartsonline.com/

 

That was the first site I checked out. I thought they were pricey but when I called my local print shops, they were exactly the same.

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12 minutes ago, Ajax said:

That was the first site I checked out. I thought they were pricey but when I called my local print shops, they were exactly the same.

Apologies for not reading the thread carefully.

Not cheap, but I hate rolled charts or charts folded into tiny bits. Good customer service too....they once sent me charts folded the wrong way and sent me an entire new set the way I wanted. That was a couple hundred dollars worth of charts. 

Booklets are nice if you want to have a paper chart in the cockpit. I inherited mine, so I'd doubt I'd purchase them just for that. 

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1 hour ago, Elegua said:

Apologies for not reading the thread carefully.

Not cheap, but I hate rolled charts or charts folded into tiny bits. Good customer service too....they once sent me charts folded the wrong way and sent me an entire new set the way I wanted. That was a couple hundred dollars worth of charts. 

Booklets are nice if you want to have a paper chart in the cockpit. I inherited mine, so I'd doubt I'd purchase them just for that. 

Why the hate for rolled charts?  Folded, yeah.  Man, I remember the days of chart lockers on the sub. Soooooo many lockers...

Anywho, I'm not trying to carry charts for the world, just some critical approaches such as the CC Canal and Penobscot Bay and vicinity so they won't take up too much space. I already have a chart tube.

I have a Davis Mk 15 sextant. Part of the fun of my trip will be taking noon sights. (yes, I know that won't give me my full position)

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15 minutes ago, Ajax said:

I wonder what happens to the scale if you buy them? Is the scale accurate, I mean.

i would imagine that if they are reproducing the noaa charts and reducing them in size, that the scale would also be appropriately sized.

about 30 years ago when I was sailing on the chespeake with my folks,  we used a large spiral bound chart book similar to the chartkits  i linked to but for some reason they seemed larger than 22x17,  but it could have been I was smaller then so things looked bigger...

since I don't have any digital charts on my boat,  I'll likely buy the chartkit for the bay  and then supplement with a digital app on my phone.  but i know the phone battery wont last long so it would be used sparingly..

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42 minutes ago, Ajax said:

Why the hate for rolled charts?  Folded, yeah.  Man, I remember the days of chart lockers on the sub. Soooooo many lockers...

Anywho, I'm not trying to carry charts for the world, just some critical approaches such as the CC Canal and Penobscot Bay and vicinity so they won't take up too much space. I already have a chart tube.

I have a Davis Mk 15 sextant. Part of the fun of my trip will be taking noon sights. (yes, I know that won't give me my full position)

Convenience. They want to roll-up again whereas tri-folded charts just stay there and you often need to fold a US chart anyways to get it on the chart table.  You don't need the compass rose of you have a meridian, so who cares if the compass rose is folded over. 

Chartbooks are just shrunken rasters with crap printed on them. What I'm not a fan of is all the preprinted distances and courses which are kind of annoying if you aren't going exactly that way. (Can be a good hint of what buoys/choke points to stay away from in the fog, though...). 

Cool - doing the celestial will be fun. 

NGA Chart 108 to do your routing/planning. 

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11 minutes ago, Marcjsmith said:

i would imagine that if they are reproducing the noaa charts and reducing them in size, that the scale would also be appropriately sized.

about 30 years ago when I was sailing on the chespeake with my folks,  we used a large spiral bound chart book similar to the chartkits  i linked to but for some reason they seemed larger than 22x17,  but it could have been I was smaller then so things looked bigger...

since I don't have any digital charts on my boat,  I'll likely buy the chartkit for the bay  and then supplement with a digital app on my phone.  but i know the phone battery wont last long so it would be used sparingly..

I understand that not everyone needs a full-featured chart plotter on the Chesapeake but are you saying that you don't even have something like a handheld Garmin CSx76 or 78?

Depending on the kind of sailing you're doing, even a handheld unit may not be necessary but those Garmin units are cheap and handy. They have long battery life, they are marinized against shock and water and the displays are clear even in bright sunlight.

I can definitely install OpenCPN on my phone and import all the NOAA charts I want, but trying to use all the features on a tiny phone from the helm, crushing the battery life and dealing with the sun washout is impractical. It's a little better with some sort of tablet, especially if you have a bimini to shade the screen a little.

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15 minutes ago, Ajax said:

I understand that not everyone needs a full-featured chart plotter on the Chesapeake but are you saying that you don't even have something like a handheld Garmin CSx76 or 78?

Depending on the kind of sailing you're doing, even a handheld unit may not be necessary but those Garmin units are cheap and handy. They have long battery life, they are marinized against shock and water and the displays are clear even in bright sunlight.

I can definitely install OpenCPN on my phone and import all the NOAA charts I want, but trying to use all the features on a tiny phone from the helm, crushing the battery life and dealing with the sun washout is impractical. It's a little better with some sort of tablet, especially if you have a bimini to shade the screen a little.

Second that idea!  While I love a paper chart and have been unwilling to spend for a chart plotter on my '80s boat, perhaps the best money I've spent (guided by SA posters) has been for putting iNavX on an iPad with a waterproof cover, coupled with a wireless unit that taps my VHF antenna and a gps antenna. The iPad gives me all the functionality I need, and a bonus is the AIS receiver display when the wireless unit and iNavX are paired.

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32 minutes ago, Ajax said:

I understand that not everyone needs a full-featured chart plotter on the Ches

i do have garmin etrex vista (3 AAA batts), more oriented towards hiking and such.  so to get a fix and general direction  it would work in a pinch,  hell i could pull the old garmin road GPS out of the car glove box and make do.  I've got C-map by embark on my phone and when I sailing last weekend on a buddies j34c  it did well enough.  i am thinking about buying a bluetooth GPS receiver that I can slave to my ipad in a pinch.  but 'm still months away from that.

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12 minutes ago, Marcjsmith said:

i do have garmin etrex vista (3 AAA batts), more oriented towards hiking and such.  so to get a fix and general direction  it would work in a pinch,  hell i could pull the old garmin road GPS out of the car glove box and make do.  I've got C-map by embark on my phone and when I sailing last weekend on a buddies j34c  it did well enough.  i am thinking about buying a bluetooth GPS receiver that I can slave to my ipad in a pinch.  but 'm still months away from that.

Here's the Quark AIS receiver/wifi unit, in case you want to go that route. Inexpensive and one of the easier things to install. https://www.quark-elec.com/product/qk-a026-wireless-ais-gps-receiver/

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I've bought waterproof charts from Nauticalchartsonline.com and been pleased with the quality. I also use the Coast Pilot web site for planning (but not navigating).. You can link to electronic versions of the charts they reference and expand them on your laptop or computer screen and get an idea of which to order. The nice thing about that is you don't have to bring the bulky full sized charts home to plan a cruise, just leave them on the boat where they don't get left behind and do your planning on your screen. 

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Has anyone here been able to print charts with a user defined area or is it still the standard NOAA defined chart boundaries?  Seems like with digital data users should be able to define their own chart boundaries.  I checked with nauticalchartsonline.com some months back and it was still the predefined boundaries.   I suppose you can print your own custom region on your home computer, or order it up from kinkos or some such, but that's not a great solution

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20 hours ago, Ajax said:

I wonder what happens to the scale if you buy them? Is the scale accurate, I mean.

Should be. I had a chart printed by a service called Paradise Cay or so (sorry, I am not at my home computer). It has little scales on the margins for the buyer to calibrate. („Before using this chart for navigation, please measure the length of this line. It shall be exactly ... / ... centimetres / inches long...“) 

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20 hours ago, Ajax said:

I have a Davis Mk 15 sextant. Part of the fun of my trip will be taking noon sights. (yes, I know that won't give me my full position)


Noon sights aren’t necessarily bad for a fix - you typically do a series of sights before and after meridian passage anyway, so if you do maybe a few more, and average the two highest shots, you’ll be able to find your longitude. (Even if you don’t go to that much trouble, as long as you’re not travelling N or S at a high-ish rate of speed at the time of your noon shots, your longitude will likely be close enough for your purposes.)  But a noon sight seems a bit of a pain since you’ve gotta take a series of sights, not just one —and also hope there isn’t a cloud in the way then, spoiling your once-a-day celestial party :-)
 
Just do a basic sun-run-sun sight fix...only takes a bit more table work.  
 
 

 

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Plus one for http://Frugalnavigator.com. I’ve bought charts from them, wonderful printing and paper, comes in a sturdy rolled cardboard holder I now use to store things. I’d definitely buy there again, I mostly use iSailor on an iPad but it does pack up sometimes and it’s great if you have the chart and a DR position going on the chart table.

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On 10/20/2020 at 10:51 AM, Zonker said:

Find a engineering friend with a large format plotter. It's just a big printer. Get them to print you B&W versions late in the evening after everybody has gone home. Allegedly 

That's what I did to print a couple I was missing... $15 a sheet got a print tracker put onto the plotter pretty fast though.

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Did you ask at Fawcett's?   I was there recently and noticed that they have a large format printer in the store.  I assumed they would print charts if I asked them.  Don't know about price, but you'll probably have them a lot quicker than online ordering.

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On 10/21/2020 at 2:38 AM, Ajax said:

Cheeze and rice! I just got off the phone with a couple local print shops and they all want $27 so I guess that wasn't out of line.

If what @SASSAFRASS says is true, I'll check with Fawcett's to see if they're really out of the chart business or what. @Sparrow50 thanks, I'll check that out.

We used to carry these:

http://www.richardsonscharts.com/chartkit-with-companion-cd

They're expensive per book - like $120 or so. But they cover a lot of area and all the detail. The only thing you need to look out for is if you paper plot sometimes you need to jump between pages.

Two of those cover you from Cape May to Canada.

https://www.defender.com/product.jsp?id=4346573

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1 hour ago, MaxDog said:

Did you ask at Fawcett's?   I was there recently and noticed that they have a large format printer in the store.  I assumed they would print charts if I asked them.  Don't know about price, but you'll probably have them a lot quicker than online ordering.

Ah! Maybe so.  I'll ask them. 

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