What Charts?


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Bill Balme
Bill Balme
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I just know that I 'm opening up a can of worms here - but here goes...

I am finding it extremely difficult to work out which (paper) charts to buy for this year 's cruise from the US to the UK and Ireland.

I will have electronic charts aboard - but attempting to be a good sailor with a back-up of paper charts is proving to be difficult:

Question 1: Admiralty or Imray - and what 's the difference?

Question 2: Appropriate scale? Ones carrying large areas presumably have no detail of the coastline - and since it 's the detailly bits that we 're likely to hit, does that mean I 'm looking to buy a gadzillion charts (that I hope to never have to use!)?

Question 3: If looking for detail charts, how does one do it if you don 't recognize the shape of the coastline or the names of nearby bays and towns? Looking online for these things there seems to be a complete lack of order in the listings. Surely a graphical interface where one can select the area of choice and therefore the detail required would be a natural fit for selling nautical charts? If there is such a thing out there, please point me in the right direction because I can 't find it! I have seen that there 's a catalog of charts out there - for a $30 or so - that 's nuts!

Why do we Brits make everything so bloody complex??

OK - Rant over - sorry - have just found an Imray site that works reasonably well (graphically) - so I 'll go and crawl back under my stone...



Thanks!

Bill Balme
s/v Toodle-oo!

Simon Currin
Simon Currin
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Bill,

You can get most places with Imray in that they often have detailed insets of harbours and approaches and are cross referenced with the their excellent range of Pilots books. Admiralty charts are, however, much more attractive and cover the whole globe as set out in their catalogue. It 's probably heresy to say this (and yes I am fully aware of recent FB posts) but I would spend my money on a comprehensive collection of Coastal pilot books, a copy of Reed 's Almanac and a minimum of regional paper charts. You will find you use your electronic charts pretty much exclusively here and the space you will save will be useful for all the wet weather clothing you will need!

Maybe keep an iPhone with Navionics loaded up in a Faraday cage to protect it from lightning?

Simon
Daria Blackwell
Daria Blackwell
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On this same note, I am currently stocking up on charts and cruising guides/pilots for the west coast of Scotland. It 's driving me crazy that IMRAY always has a button to click for full size image, and the image that comes up is about 1/2" x 1/2"! How can you see anything in that?

Which pilot books are the best, Simon? Clyde CC or Imray? Either way, I think we 'll need three volumes to cover from Islay to the Outer Hebrides. We 're looking to spend about three weeks in June, which is probably not nearly enough but okay for a first reconnaissance mission, perhaps?

What about the Mike Balmforth cruising guide companion to the CCC guides? http://www.clyde.org/index.php/content/view/268/49/ His Irish version is very good. Are there any others you would recommend?

We have electronic charts on the chartplotter, with Navionics for android as backup (and I do keep it in the oven when there 's a threat of lightning - is lightning common in Scotland? Rather rare in Ireland.) So I am buying a small selection of paper charts. It looks like the Admiralty Leisure Chart Folio SC5611 - West Coast Of Scotland might be a good choice. Do you concur?

Listed below are the charts and guides I am leaning toward.

Name   SKU   Price   Quantity / Update   Subtotal
Admiralty Leisure Chart Folio SC5611 - West Coast of Scotland
ADSC5611   £44.30       £44.30
Reeds Nautical Almanac 2013
AL0001   £36.00       £36.00
Cruising Scotland
PUK15   £27.50       £27.50
Ardnamurchan to Cape Wrath - Clyde Cruising Club Sailing Directi
PUK01   £25.00       £25.00
Kintyre to Ardnamurchan - Clyde Cruising Club Sailing Directions
PUK31   £25.00       £25.00
Outer Hebrides - Clyde Cruising Club

Thanks for your help, Simon! And anyone else who chimes in!

Vice Commodore, OCC 
Daria Blackwell
Daria Blackwell
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Bill,
Some of the Admiralty leisure folios are worth getting. They cover a broad section of coast and contain all the adjacent charts in one booklet, usually in a plastic sheath. Better value.

For Ireland, you really need the Irish Cruising Club pilot books. There are two - one for the north and west and one for the east and south. http://www.irishcruisingclub.com/ They contain detailed chartlets of the harbours and their piloting instructions are very good. Many of the harbours, especially in the west are unmarked.

Other than that, we use the electronic charts to get from one place to another and keep one small scale chart of the west coast, south coast, and east coast onboard. Mike Balmforth 's cruising guide is a comprehensive companion to those books, covers the entire coast, and well worth having onboard as well.

Please let us know when you 're coming this way. I am the new PO for Ireland. :)

Vice Commodore, OCC 
Simon Currin
Simon Currin
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Bill,
I don 't think there is much to choose between Imray and CCC. They are both nicely presented and always accurate. If you are spending 3 weeks in Scotland I 'd take a look at the following too:

Visit Scotland produce a free to download PDF which is also distributed free of charge in most marinas etc. It 's worth having on board particularly if you want to choose an nice restaurant!http://www.welcome-anchorages.co.uk/

A retired prof of neurology is busy building a well illustrated website which is getting better with time http://www.scottishanchorages.co.uk/

Though not stricly a cruising guide this is a great book to take with you. A retired architect and sailor has written a detailed historical, geological and wildlife notes on each and every Scottish Island above a certain size. Thoroughly recommended. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Scottish-Islands-Bestselling-Guide-Island/dp/1847672779

Simon
Simon Currin
Simon Currin
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PS lightning not a big problem in Scotland thoughI do recall a yacht being struck in the Caledonian Canal a year or two ago. Midges will be far more troublesome by mid summer!
Daria Blackwell
Daria Blackwell
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Have just discovered a source of " 'unofficial ' very large scale electronic charts and related pilotage information created by yachtsmen for yachtsmen."
for UK waters. Many disclaimers about not for navigation - created by amateurs with no formal training. But certainly looks like they could provide a bit of useful information to complement other resources. http://www.antarescharts.co.uk/index.htm

Vice Commodore, OCC 
Simon Currin
Simon Currin
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Daria,
We have been usingthem for a year. They are excellent.
Simon
GO

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