Chart Book Background Guide

Carriage Requirement

Carriage requirements specify what charts, publications, or equipment must be on board a vessel.  Commercial vessels in the U. S. are required to carry up-to-date versions of NOAA or other government charts, Coast Pilots, light lists, and other publications.  Chart books or chart copies will not satisfy this requirement.  

Both commercial and recreational vessels that travel in Canadian waters are required to carry CHS charts.  Other countries also have requirements; check for any requirements before departure to avoid fines or delays.

ChartKit

ChartKits are full-color reproductions of U. S. government (NOAA and NIMA) charts.

22X17" charts are spiral bound into easy-to-use regional collections.  Full size ChartKits cover a complete region; regional coverage is the same as for ChartKit electronic charts.

Compact ChartKits are selected charts folded and spiral bound into smaller 12X17" books--ideal for smaller boats or for cruising local waters.

ChartKits feature:

CHS

Canadian Hydrographic Service; producers of copyrighted paper and electronic charts and chart books for Canadian waters.  CHS chart books for Desolation Sound and the Gulf Islands meet Canadian carriage requirements.

CYC

Caribbean Yachting Charts feature fine contours and easy-to-distinguish color gradations of the depth line--turquoise for coral reefs, red for the 2 meter line, and blue for the 5 meter areas.  They're a manageable size for both small and large boats--23-1/2 x 16-1/2" sheets packaged in a thick plastic envelope.  A magnifier and key to symbols are included.

CYC's also feature good land topography with well-marked rivers, towns, and street plans to assist with "eyeball" navigation.  They also give a clear overall view of the shoreside facilities that are available.

Waypoints are highlighted in red; all charts are adjusted to WGS 84 datum.  Heights and depths are in meters.  All area charts are scaled consistently (1:90,000; passage charts are at 1:500,000).  Large-scale approaches and land contour markings simplify harbor approaches.

CYC's are coordinated Chris Doyle's well-know cruising guides for the Virgin, Leeward, and Windward Islands. 

Evergreen Pacific

Evergreen Pacific chart books offer coverage for the Pacific Northwest.  They include not only U. S. NOAA charts but also licensed copies of CHS charts, aerial photos, marina and facilities information, and more--even historical references, in some chart books.

Explorer

Explorer Charts of the Bahamas are a favorite with cruisers.  The charts are expertly-annotated with practical information about anchorages and bottom conditions as well as enhanced navigation information.  Where NIMA charts fall short, Explorer Charts present detailed sketch charts.  Electronic versions are featured in Maptech's Bahamas electronic charts.

GeoCuba

GeoCuba is the official hydrographic agency of Cuba.  They produce a collection of seven colorful chart books that provide the most up-to-date cartography for this popular "non-destination".    Electronic versions are featured in Maptech's Cuban electronic charts.

 

Maptech

Maptech manufactures both paper and electronic versions of ChartKits.  Electronic and paper versions are designed to be used together and cover the same regions.

Marine Atlas

Marine Atlas chart books span Southern Alaska and the Pacific Northwest and offer route and waypoint information as well as charts.  They're favorites with the Northwest fishing fleet.

Mariner's Ink

Mariner's Ink publishes chart books for Northern and Southern California and Mexico and Central America.  They feature full-color reproductions on waterproof paper of NOAA and NIMA charts for inland waters as well as for coastal locations.

NIMA

National Imagery and Mapping Administration; U. S. government organization that produces paper charts for non-U. S. waters.  Formerly the DMA--Defense Mapping Agency.  Charts are not copyrighted; they can be reproduced without license.

NOAA

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; U. S. government organization that produces paper charts for U. S. waters.  Charts are not copyrighted; they can be reproduced without license.

Private

Copyrighted charts that are produced by individuals or businesses.

Richardson's

Richardson's chart books are recognized as the best source of "local knowledge" for the Great Lakes and the rivers that connect to them.  They include not only U. S. NOAA charts but also licensed copies of CHS charts, aerial photos, marina and facilities information, and more.

Yeoman

A Yeoman plotter links an intelligent mouse to a paper chart via a portable chart board.  With just a few clicks, a navigator can register lat/lon reference points on a chart or chart book--ChartKits are pre-registered.  Indicator lights on the mouse show which way to move it to find your position.  Then click in waypoints to track direction, distance, and more.  Click for more detailed information about features and options.