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Booklet Charts

Don Silsbe

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At the 2018 B&B Messabout, I shared my discovery of NOAA’s Booklet Charts with friend, and showed them how I use them.  They were received so well, I thought I’d tell everyone here about them.  I’ll also give enough detail for you to know exactly how I make up my chart books.  One of mine is shown below.  [the IMG photos]



Start by going to www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov , and click on the Chart Locator link.  [NOAA1]


Make sure the “Paper Charts” tab at the top is selected.  Zoom into your desired area, and select a chart.  Look at “Available Products” in the lower right corner.  If “BC” is boldfaced, a Booklet Chart is available.  If it is in gray typeface, then it’s no dice. [NOAA2]


Click that “BC”, to download it.  The following screen will appear.  You’re almost there!  [NOAA3]


Move your cursor over to the upper right corner, and click the down arrow.  Select a destination file on your computer, and click to save a copy for yourself. 

I make my books by taking a packet of 7 mil waterproof laser printer paper to Office Depot along with the file saved on a jump drive.  I ask for them to print it double-sided, and bind it with a ¼” plastic coil and an acetate front and back cover.  I got the paper from Amazon.  [paper] The photo shows 4 mil, which also works well.  I just like the heavier feel.



This gives me a durable chartbook that I can use while sailing.  Try it out!









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Hi Don,


It was great to see you at the messabout.


I like those booklet charts too.  I've been using them on the Chesapeake, just printing them out on regular paper and putting them into plastic sleeves in a 3-ring binder.  After the outing, I draw my approximate route and keep the page as a momento.  It's not as secure as your method, but I also have a waterproof GMCO chart book for backup.  The one thing I don't like about the booklet chart is that the lat/long minutes are only marked  on pages that cover the edges of the original paper chart.  The few times I've gotten lost down the wrong creek, it was tricky to find my position on the chart from the lat/long on my GPS.



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