Tankers, Freighters, and….Kayaks?

By Nick Perugini

It is not an exaggeration to say that ALL types of vessels use NOAA charts.  We know that large commercial ships, such as tankers and freighters, rely on NOAA charts in U.S. waters, and for that matter, so do recreational boaters. But kayakers? Some of the most enthusiastic and appreciative comments we receive are sent to us by kayakers. The following are a few examples.

  • Booklet charts are very nice indeed. Invaluable as an asset when I am guiding kayakers and can provide laminated letter size sheets to each client to carry on board. I also add hand drawn notes to each chart before laminating, thereby creating custom reference point more useful to a kayaker. BIG thumbs up. It makes for a quick reference that seldom requires parallel rules to be used while in the kayak.
  • Thank you so much for putting nautical charts on-line. I live in an area far inland and appreciate being able to “see” the areas I’m interested in sea kayaking before I get there. The Booklet version is of special interest, and I’ve downloaded some to see if I have any suggestions for improvement. Again, thanks for making this kind of information easy to obtain regardless of location.
  • I just wanted to say that I love your online “print at home” booklet charts. They are excellent for guys like me who do the occasional bit of fishing or kayaking and I can print just what I need on the area I want to visit. Thank you very much for making this service available.
From tankers to kayaks, NOAA nautical chart products offer something for all types of users.
From tankers to kayaks, NOAA nautical chart products offer something for all types of users.

Most of the comments that we receive from kayakers sing the praises of Booklet Charts™.  Booklet Charts enable users to download, view, and print charts on a standard 8.5” x 11” home printer. Full size charts are “sliced up” into page size chartlets that can be laminated and organized in a waterproof binder or booklet by the user.  A typical BookletChart might cover a full size chart in 12 or 16 pages.

Booklet charts are reduced scale copies of NOAA paper nautical charts divided into a set of a dozen 8.5” x 11” pages that show different portions of a chart.
Booklet charts are reduced scale copies of NOAA paper nautical charts divided into a set of a dozen 8.5” x 11” pages that show different portions of a chart.

Here is a hot tip for BookletChart users. While nearly all of NOAA’s suite of 1000+ paper charts have been electronically “sliced and diced” into Booklet Chart format, several inshore folio charts are not available due to their unique physical layout. Alternatively, you can download the full PDF version of the chart to your local computer. Open the file with a PDF reader. Zoom and pan to encompass the area you are interested in, and then “Print.” Depending on the version of the application you are using, there is an Advanced Option that allows you to “Print Current View” which will print the image you see on the screen. By repeating this operation several times, you can make page-size chartlets of your specific area of interest.  

Another tip? Some users report that Booklet Charts make great presents for avid boaters.

No matter what kind of boater you are, up-to-date nautical charts are an essential part of staying safe on the water. Find a chart for your area on the NOAA Chart Locator. If you would like to submit your own comment, question, and report a nautical chart error to Coast Survey, visit ASSIST or contact us.

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