High-Tech Paper Charts Page 2
Life — January 2003
|Part 2: “Almost anything that the imagination can envision is possible,”|
You can either go to the agent and get your chart or contact him by phone, fax, or e-mail and have him ship it to you. Most agents ship early on the next business day after the order is placed. In fact, when I ordered the chart of Annapolis Harbor (#12883), it arrived within 36 hours of my telephone order. I would have gotten it within 24 hours, but I called in my order after 11 a.m.
How can NOAA print these charts so quickly? Actually, OceanGrafix, which is in partnership with NOAA, is responsible. The company quickly prints your charts on water-resistant paper (you can also order laminated charts) that is also coated to allow for easy marking, and the colors are brighter and easier to read than those on old charts. OceanGrafix can print additional information outside of the margins, such as custom overlays and safety directions for vessels, and will print charts in smaller yet fully compliant sizes. “Almost anything that the imagination can envision is possible,” says Richard Sillcox, manager of the print-on-demand project. You can find more about OceanGrafix by visiting the following Web sites: www.oceangrafix.com or www.nauticalcharts.gov.
The charts come in two versions: one for recreational boaters and one for professionals like commercial fishermen and delivery captains. The recreational boater can add helpful information such as safety and navigational guidelines or directions on how to find the best places to drop the hook. Commercial skippers, such as tug captains, can request specific items like nighttime bridge openings and clearances while traveling on inland waterways when most recreational boaters are at the dock. Prices are $23 for charts printed on water-resistant paper and $24 for laminated charts.
This new take on an old subject could be invaluable the next time you’re on the water and need an accurate, easy-to-read chart quickly. Experienced cruisers know there’s nothing like being prepared, and the best way to do so is to have the very latest information, whether it’s about weather or shoaling.
If you’ve been somewhere interesting or have had an experience while cruising that you’d like to share, get in touch with us at Cruising Life, Power & Motoryacht, 260 Madison Ave., 8th Fl., New York, NY 10016. firstname.lastname@example.org. Fax: (917) 256-2282. No phone calls please.
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Koehler-Bright Star Phone: (570) 825-1900. www.flashlight.com.
This article originally appeared in the March 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.