Q: What Are The Charts Printed On?
A: Charts are printed on water-resistant paper. A laminated version that withstands wet, harsh conditions is also available - it has a tough coating that resists abrasions and makes the chart easy to write on. Vessels with adequate bridge space are able to extend the chart to full length, while vessels with smaller bridges have the option to fold the chart to the size they require.
Q: Am I legally required to have a navigational chart onboard?
A: While commercial mariners are obligated to have up to date navigational charts on board, recreational mariners are not required to do so by law. However, virtually all boating experts agree that paper charts are critical to boating safety.
Q: How do I know which chart to buy?
A: To locate charts by geographical region click on search charts link in the left panel on the home page. Then use "search by map" to help identify which chart numbers you need based on the areas you choose. The chart number will be shown on the right side in a yellow box. then just go back to capatinsCharts.com and enter that chart number in the search box at the top of the page.
Q: What is meant by "Notice to Mariners"?
A: Each week the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) issues the Notice to Mariners (NTMs) for ocean-going vessels, providing timely marine safety information for the correction of nautical charts. You can review the Notice to Mariners at http://msi.nga.mil/NGAPortal/MSI.portal. CapatinsCharts for U.S. waters include all Notice to Mariner Corrections issued prior to the time of printing.
Q: What is the “Local Notice to Mariners?”
A: The nine district Coast Guard offices issue the Local Notice to Mariners (LNMs) each week, applicable to all vessels. The LNM provides timely marine safety information including the correction of nautical charts, the US Coast Pilot, and the USCG lighthouse list. The list also pertains to aids to navigation, lights, bridges, cables, pipelines, wrecks, obstructions, Federal Waterways, waterway operations and dangers to navigation. LNMs are published at http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=lnmMain. CaptainsCharts or U.S. waters include all Local Notice to Mariner Corrections issued prior to the time of printing.
Q: I have GPS onboard. Why do I need a paper chart?
A: Unfortunately, GPS and other electronic systems are not foolproof and can fail. A paper chart serves as an important backup when the unexpected happens.
Q: How often does the information on my chart actually change?
A: More often than you would think! Each year NOAA issues over 11,000 corrections to their suite of over 1,000 charts. CaptainsCharts recommends a new chart every 6 months.
Q: What is meant by a chart “Edition?”
A: A new “Edition” brings a NOAA nautical chart up to date for all chartable information available to NOAA, including hydrography, shoreline and marine safety information published in the LNM and NM. Additionally, NOAA makes some minor changes, which make the chart more useful. About 250 new editions are issued per year with the time between new editions ranging from six months to several years. The status of new editions is published athttp://nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/mcd/dole.htm. Note that new “editions” are issued by NOAA periodically, but that CaptainsCharts on-demand charts for U.S. waters contain every NTM and LNTM as they are downloaded daily by CaptainsCharts.
Q: NOAA uses the term “Print on Demand.” What does that mean?
A: “Print-on-Demand” refers to NOAA’s exclusive arrangement with CaptainsCharts to print NOAA charts that are 100% up to date when they are ordered by a customer. CaptainsCharts charts are printed (and shipped or picked up at an CaptainsCharts retailer) only when an order is placed.
Q: What Size are the Charts?
A: The full-size CaptainsCharts NOAA chart is a single-sided product available on either water-resistant or waterproof polyester paper. Charts range in size from approximately 3' to 5' in length and are either 36" or 42" wide, depending on the coverage needed for each specific geographic area.