Water-Related News

NOAA announces free nautical 'BookletCharts' for boaters

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One of NOAA's handiest navigation products, especially for recreational boaters, has been Coast Survey's experimental BookletCharts™ -- nautical charts that are easy to download and print from home computers. Coast Survey has now moved the BookletCharts from experimental stage into official production. Nearly a thousand newly updated BookletCharts are available free on the Web.

NOAA's new official BookletCharts cover the 95,000 miles of U.S. coastline and the Great Lakes. The BookletCharts contain most of the information found on NOAA's full-scale nautical charts, but it is presented as reduced-scale.

Several years ago, the Office of Coast Survey introduced experimental BookletCharts as PDFs in an 8½-by-11 inch format, to test public demand and use. The product has been tremendously successfully, receiving kudos by recreational boaters and boating organizations. Coast Survey has subsequently upgraded the chart displays and navigational information for the official product.

While BookletCharts are great for recreational use, they do not fulfill chart carriage requirements for regulated commercial vessels under Titles 33 and 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations.