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Thread: Experience with "Nautical Charts Online" ?

  1. #1
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    Default Experience with "Nautical Charts Online" ?

    They say if something is too good to be true, maybe it isn't true.

    While searching for Canadian nautical charts, I recently discovered a shop call "Nautical Charts Online." They look legitimate and the prices are impressively low, especially for waterproof charts.

    Does anyone have experience with this company?
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Experience with "Nautical Charts Online" ?

    I get my Canadian Great Lakes charts there--no problems so far.

    Tom
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Experience with "Nautical Charts Online" ?

    My experience is similar. I received what I ordered fairly quick, was not overcharged and will deal with them again.
    Heute ist so ein schöne Tag...

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Experience with "Nautical Charts Online" ?

    Watching with interest Bruce. I'm in Oregon, too. I'll be needing new hard charts before I do my next offshore, but that's a year or so out.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Experience with "Nautical Charts Online" ?

    Thanks Gents. Ordering on Monday when I find out the difference between waterproof and water resistant paper is in their eyes...
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Experience with "Nautical Charts Online" ?

    I've had good luck with them as well

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Experience with "Nautical Charts Online" ?

    Paper charts? That's so 60's. If you need something on paper, just get a chart placemat from a waterfront restaurant.

    [I actually came across a guy who had "navigated" from Boston to near Boothbay ME on a restaurant placemat]

    While I have a # of regular charts (mostly for harbor detail & such), I really like the MapTech charts in a "book". Easy to move from cabin to cockpit & usually all you have to do is flip the page instead of digging out another chart.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Experience with "Nautical Charts Online" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    I really like the MapTech charts in a "book". Easy to move from cabin to cockpit & usually all you have to do is flip the page instead of digging out another chart.
    I like those too, but they don't seem to exist for Canada... unless one of you can show me where to find them. And I'd like a scale of 1:40,000 in most cases.

    I believe electronics have a place in the boat world, but for this trip, I'm interested in navigating the old fashioned way.

    -Bruce
    Last edited by Bruce Bateau; 04-15-2019 at 08:34 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Experience with "Nautical Charts Online" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    I get my Canadian Great Lakes charts there--no problems so far.

    Tom
    Tom- did you get the Tyvek, waterproof, or regular paper charts?
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Experience with "Nautical Charts Online" ?

    Here on the Salish we can pretty much navigate by eye but I do like to use a Maptech book for reference along with a Garmin echoMAP. Those big paper charts are just too big for my wee 20' coastal cruiser.

    As it happens I just ordered a couple of paper charts covering the Sea of Cortez from NCO. I wanted to get a big picture sense of the area before heading down there on a charter next year. Guidebooks and the internet don't give me a good sense of scale like a big chart or map does.
    Steve

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Experience with "Nautical Charts Online" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Bateau View Post
    I like those too, but they don't seem to exist for Canada... unless one of you can show me where to find them. And I'd like a scale of 1:40,000 in most cases.

    I believe electronics have a place in the boat world, but for this trip, I'm interesting in navigating the old fashioned way.

    -Bruce
    Found this one - but that's it & not available 'til June: https://www.metskers.com/25421/75399...ion-Sound.html
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Experience with "Nautical Charts Online" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by stromborg View Post
    I wanted to get a big picture sense of the area before heading down there ...
    That's how I feel about paper charts too. The gps is fine for moment-to-moment driving but it doesn't give you a good overall perspective of where you can go over the next week ... or what might be better if you changed the plan a tiny bit.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Experience with "Nautical Charts Online" ?

    Tom Cunliffe did a good piece on using GPS to navigate and I think it's a wise point.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yI8gnXV9jbg
    James D. Maxwell
    Missoula, MT
    Sailing Inland Seas
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Experience with "Nautical Charts Online" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Bateau View Post
    Tom- did you get the Tyvek, waterproof, or regular paper charts?
    I've gotten the regular paper (keep those in a large sealed Ziplock bag, folded to usable size) and the waterproof charts. The waterproof chart is slick paper, different feel, but it is pretty waterproof. I have one 9 years old still going strong, though some of the ink has started to fade (mostly where I keep the charts folded--the ink on the fold lines is pretty worn away). I haven't tried the Tyvek.

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 04-15-2019 at 11:36 PM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Experience with "Nautical Charts Online" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Favorite View Post
    That's how I feel about paper charts too. The gps is fine for moment-to-moment driving but it doesn't give you a good overall perspective of where you can go over the next week ... or what might be better if you changed the plan a tiny bit.
    I pretty much agree, except that I don't use a gps at all in my normal sailing (good visibility, few currents, pretty simple eyeball navigation on the Great Lakes; I did use a GPS during the Everglades Challenge on an unfamiliar coast, often at night--but it felt like I could have managed safely without it in retrospect). In my experience, many people tend to spend more time looking at their screens than engaging with reality as soon as fancy electronics are aboard. There are studies that show how map users get a much better big-picture view of the world and how it all fits together, and those who rely on GPS tend to lose that capacity and maintain only a narrow sense of the ROUTE--not of their surroundings.

    So, I'd argue that GPS is not "fine for moment-to-moment driving" unless you're ok with losing the mental capacity to understand the big-picture view of the world. "Use it or lose it" is the basic rule of brain function. Sure, we can offload all of the challenging tasks to technological solutions--but why in the world would we want to do that? What's the point of sailing if we buy machines to do all the interesting bits for us? Might as well stay home and play video games.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Experience with "Nautical Charts Online" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    In my experience, many people tend to spend more time looking at their screens than engaging with reality as soon as fancy electronics are aboard. There are studies that show how map users get a much better big-picture view of the world and how it all fits together, and those who rely on GPS tend to lose that capacity and maintain only a narrow sense of the ROUTE--not of their surroundings.
    Tom
    I quite agree. I've also noticed that wile most of the electronic charts may have excellent bottom detail, they tend to omit the land-based details that show up on the NOAA printed charts. Cliffs, hill contours and man-made high points are excellent bearing pints that tend to disappear on electronic charts. I'm a big fan of a hand-bearing compass and a three point "fix" or a running LOP and that's harder to cross check with electronics. B'sides...I'm basically a technophobic curmudgeon.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Experience with "Nautical Charts Online" ?

    Digital copies of official gov't nautical charts are available online. It looks like Canada charges for them at http://www.charts.gc.ca/index-eng.asp .

    Having your own onboard copy is very useful like the free pdf copies available from US NOAA https://charts.noaa.gov/ChartCatalog/MapSelect.html . Best to not depend on any app or connectivity other than a pdf viewer that isn't overwhelmed by huge files. You can magnify the fine print better on digital than with physical copies. Not just for geography but regulatory details and booklets with extra info on busy ports.
    "Liberalism, once professing to advocate liberty, now is a movement for control over property, trade, work, amusements, education, and religion" - Russell Kirk

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Experience with "Nautical Charts Online" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    So, I'd argue that GPS is not "fine for moment-to-moment driving" unless you're ok with losing the mental capacity to understand the big-picture view of the world. "Use it or lose it" is the basic rule of brain function. Sure, we can offload all of the challenging tasks to technological solutions--but why in the world would we want to do that? What's the point of sailing if we buy machines to do all the interesting bits for us? Might as well stay home and play video games.
    At first I was going to defend myself and say "I just use the gps as a smaller, portable version of a paper chart while at the helm" but thinking about it, there's a lot of truth to your comment. With the boat laid over the chart the way they do, one tends to "navigate" just by steering the little onscreen icon. That's not navigating, that's just slow-speed Pong.

    On the other hand, if I managed to do what I said and just use the gps as a tiny paper chart, then it would be a useful tool with no brain-damaging side effects. You're right, over-use of gps is not good. That was a good warning to heed, thank you.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Experience with "Nautical Charts Online" ?

    A chartplotter can be distraction. Certainly a useful tool, but it's easy to get too focused on it.

    I sailed with my son-in-law & had to say to him "Look up!" He just stared at the screen when at the helm & was unaware of anything around him.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Experience with "Nautical Charts Online" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Favorite View Post
    At first I was going to defend myself and say "I just use the gps as a smaller, portable version of a paper chart while at the helm" but thinking about it, there's a lot of truth to your comment. With the boat laid over the chart the way they do, one tends to "navigate" just by steering the little onscreen icon. That's not navigating, that's just slow-speed Pong.

    On the other hand, if I managed to do what I said and just use the gps as a tiny paper chart, then it would be a useful tool with no brain-damaging side effects. You're right, over-use of gps is not good. That was a good warning to heed, thank you.
    Thanks for the thoughtful response. I am aware that I probably overstate and exaggerate when it comes to my dislike of electronics, but I do think there is some truth to my argument as well. I saw it in myself when I had crew aboard who brought a GPS--I was looking at the screen when normally I would have been looking at the world around me--watching the boat speed, the VMG, all that. And that is despite my cranky adverse views on electronics--they are addicting, and that scares me enough to keep them off my boat and use chart and compass instead.

    Anyway, I am happier that way, so that's what I'll keep doing. I do think it's good to remind people that there is often no need for electronics.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Experience with "Nautical Charts Online" ?

    I quite agree, WI-Tom. I'm constantly reminded that a GPS has been defined as "A battery operated Device designed to take you in perfect confidence to places where batteries are not available". They're a great tool...but they probably shouldn't be the only ​tool.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Experience with "Nautical Charts Online" ?

    Well, of course you agree! You self-identify as a "technophobic curmudgeon," which is a label I'd pretty much accept for myself as well.

    Funny about the batteries, and very true. I'm often in remote areas for weeks at a time on my trips, so always try to have cameras that run on AA batteries rather than rechargeables. In a fit of uncharacteristic prudence, I even took a handheld VHF with me a few years back. Got it out at my first anchorage since I figured I might as well try for a weather report since I had brought the thing. I was all ready to put my AA batteries in--but the radio took AAA batteries!

    So, a few weeks later I had a chance to re-supply in a town, and bought a pack of 4 AAA batteries. Sailed away to my first anchorage. Next morning, same thing--got out the radio and my 4 batteries so I could have a weather check. But the radio took FIVE batteries...

    Somehow I never had any problems figuring out what the weather was even without a functioning radio.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Experience with "Nautical Charts Online" ?

    I SO identify with that! Tech has its place and I love it when it works...but it'll never be my first choice and it'll never be the bottom line.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Experience with "Nautical Charts Online" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Bateau View Post
    Does anyone have experience with this company?
    Sorry to bring this thread back on topic.

    I've been wanting a particular Canadian chart for some time but hadn't found a vendor. So I tried Nautical Charts Online last week. I ordered the paper chart ($24). It was in my hands three days later. Call me a happy camper.

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