High-Tech Paper Charts Page 2

High-Tech Paper Charts - Cruising Life — January 2003 - Part 2

Cruising Life — January 2003
By Capt. Ken Kreisler

High-Tech Paper Charts

Part 2: “Almost anything that the imagination can envision is possible,”

 More of this Feature
• Part 1: High Tech Paper Charts
• Part 2: High Tech Paper Charts

 Related Resources
• Cruising Column Index
• Cruising/Charters Index

 Elsewhere on the Web
• Koehler-Bright Star

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. ken_kreisler@primediamags.com. Fax: (917) 256-2282. No phone calls please. 

Cruising Tip of the Month
A portable spotlight can come in handy in all sorts of situations, such as trying to navigate a dark passage at night, signaling another boat, or when your lights are out and you need something bigger and brighter than just a flashlight. Koehler-Bright Star has several Nite-Guard models ranging in size from 500,000 to two million candlepower. The units can be plugged into any 12-volt outlet or run on the standard battery power and carried about your boat as needed. And the Hyper Halogen bulbs are easily replacable. MSRP for the Nite-Guard 500,000-candlepower model is $40.95, $44.95 for the 1M model, and $54.95 for the 2M model.

Koehler-Bright Star Phone: (570) 825-1900. www.flashlight.com.

Previous page > High-Tech Charts, Part 1 > Page 1, 2

This article originally appeared in the March 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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