Keeping Chart Costs in Line

Dear Steve and Linda, I did not see my question in your FAQ list, but I am sure that it is a perennial.

The question is what tactics have cruisers devised to economize on the potentially enormous cost of charts, no matter whether electronic or hard copy. Charts for the East Coast (US) are fine, for parts of Europe, but when one adds together all the places that one may visit, the ports that one should keep in mind for emergencies, much less to visit; the no. and cost quickly becomes enormous. So my question, what do people do to keep the cost within reasonable bounds? Many thanks, James and Kate

Hi James and Kate: A perennial problem, the costs of charts. There are a bunch of approaches. One is buying used charts, or trading for same. The SSCA has a chart exchange section at the back of their monthly bulletins.

Another approach is photocopying existing charts, or buying photocopied portfolios–which reduces the individual chart costs. However, these are on lower quality paper and don’t have the color of originals.

Another way to go is to use guide books for the details, and just buy the general coverage charts.

We’ve done a mix of all of the above, including using tracing paper to copy charts where photocopy machines were not available. Today we are cruising using electronic carts (MapTech) with paper backup. We’ve had some of our paper charts for over 25 years, and with the exception of a few that the termites in the desert have consumed, they are still functional. Good Luck– Steve

Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)

Comments are closed.