Sourcing paper charts for UK circumnavigation

Seasick Ian

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Hi all, I want to circumnavigate the UK via the Caledonia canal, and a significant expense is getting the required paper charts. I had hoped I might use www.chartsales.co.uk to get some second hand corrected charts, but it seems they don't do that any more. I've been keeping an eye on the For Sale section here and posted in the Wanted section, also checking eBay etc, but I was hoping someone might have some brilliant ideas that have yet to occur to me.

I won't be making epic daily passages, so I'm not sure how useful small scale charts will be, but if they help to keep the cost down, then I think Imray have some good ones. Still adds up though.

I could go all digital, with multiple backups/ redundancies, but I know that is generally frowned upon.....
 

Gwylan

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The whole circuit is quite puckeringly expensive. Biggest single expense when we did it. More than the boat! Small, cheap but lovely.

But that was before navionics and all that. I still feel comfortable with the paper version.

Why can't we have the equivalent of the French Bloc Marine? That would sort the problem, well make it less of a problem.

Good luck, hopefully you will not be seduced by the West of Scotland and forget what the objective was.
 

Uricanejack

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Well there is a lot of them.
Used to be they are sold for a standard price at chandlers.
So I would just by what I needed as I go. Using the chart catalogue. Skipping the charts of areas I didn’t intend to visit. Also by going and looking at charts for each intended section I could decide which ones I need and which I don’t.

I did run into a problem with this plan once though. The chandler had sold out of a couple of popular charts.
I like cruising atlases. And have the official ones for my local, I also have some for areas less well traveled but they tend not to be official. Still they are usfull in the cockpit.
I believe imray are approved.
 

mbroom

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Go digital...! This is the 21st century.

There is no way you can carry, collate and possibly afford all the necessary paper charts easily. Get a couple of digital sources (chart plotter and tablet perhaps) and you have redundancy. Add a few large scale paper plotting charts together with an almanac and pilots and you are ready to go. There are some great deals on UK charts such as VMH, it would be silly not to have them on board.
 

Iliade

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I bought the entire Admiralty portfolio from Memory Maps for about £100 a few years ago. For a long passage I just printed my own charts onto A3 Art books* and combined them into the log.

*e.g. https://www.theworks.co.uk/p/sketchpads/crawford-and-black-a3-sketch-pad/5052089000308
beware, inkjet ink is not waterproof so you may prefer to buy a laser or lacquer the charts.

I no longer have an A3 printer, but if you do you are welcome to use my computer to print them off.

Something akin is still available for only £25! https://www.memory-map.co.uk/maps/marine/2018-memory-map-uk-and-ireland-marine-charts
 

Tim Good

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I'd have to agree and say it could be done perfectly safely on electronic charts. And if you want to passage plan in the comfort of you cabin then buy a cheap iPad2 with GPS and out navionics on it also.

However if you intended to circumnavigate without GPS and using charts only then hats off to you and i respect that decision. It's something I'd like to do one day when my boat comes back to the UK.
 

prv

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I could go all digital, with multiple backups/ redundancies, but I know that is generally frowned upon.....

I like paper charts, and maintain a corrected folio for my cruising area of the central and western Channel.

But nowadays I think it's entirely practical to have a responsible degree of redundancy in electronic charts and their display devices and power sources. Anyone still frowning on that is just being a luddite on principle.

Pete
 

alant

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Hi all, I want to circumnavigate the UK via the Caledonia canal, and a significant expense is getting the required paper charts. I had hoped I might use www.chartsales.co.uk to get some second hand corrected charts, but it seems they don't do that any more. I've been keeping an eye on the For Sale section here and posted in the Wanted section, also checking eBay etc, but I was hoping someone might have some brilliant ideas that have yet to occur to me.

I won't be making epic daily passages, so I'm not sure how useful small scale charts will be, but if they help to keep the cost down, then I think Imray have some good ones. Still adds up though.

I could go all digital, with multiple backups/ redundancies, but I know that is generally frowned upon.....

Bit late for the portfolio's of rhe South Coast I had, now all sold.
 

JumbleDuck

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Hi all, I want to circumnavigate the UK via the Caledonia canal, and a significant expense is getting the required paper charts. I had hoped I might use www.chartsales.co.uk to get some second hand corrected charts, but it seems they don't do that any more.

They still seem to do second-hand but uncorrected ones.

In your place I would go for Imray C-series, You can do the whole trip with about fifteen of them. I used to turn my nose up at anything that wasn't proper Admiralty, but I bought a couple of Imrays at the chandler's in Tobermory after they did me a huge and not very profitable favour, and I'm now a convert.
 
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Leisure Pirtfolios and Imray are cost effective. Even more effective is any tablet or laptop with Navionics.

You don’t need paper charts. I would make sure I had two digital sources of electronic navigation.

Don’t get me wrong about paper charts but I would not lose any sleep over all digital these days.
 

AntarcticPilot

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Leisure Pirtfolios and Imray are cost effective. Even more effective is any tablet or laptop with Navionics.

You don’t need paper charts. I would make sure I had two digital sources of electronic navigation.

Don’t get me wrong about paper charts but I would not lose any sleep over all digital these days.
+1 except that I'd suggest having a few small scale paper charts for getting an overview of the passage as a whole. It should be possible to cover the whole of the UK in 5 or 6 charts that will give a useful basis for planning the broad outline, and for offshore navigation (if you go down the East Coast, your passage may well be far offshore). But electronic charts for detailed planning and pilotage are fine, especially if you have redundant copies (I have the chart plotter, a tablet and my phone all with independent charts).
 

Minchsailor

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+1 except that I'd suggest having a few small scale paper charts for getting an overview of the passage as a whole. It should be possible to cover the whole of the UK in 5 or 6 charts that will give a useful basis for planning the broad outline, and for offshore navigation (if you go down the East Coast, your passage may well be far offshore). But electronic charts for detailed planning and pilotage are fine, especially if you have redundant copies (I have the chart plotter, a tablet and my phone all with independent charts).

+ 1 for all that. I find it it is near impossible to passage plan on a plotter, so carry charts for an overview of unfamiliar waters.
 

kalanka

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I tend to go for fairly small scale paper charts like Imray or some small scale Admiralty as a back up to the chartplotter and the
CA Pilot- with an additional belt and braces backup on an iPad, which stays below. I would not be willing to sail with only electronic charts - although the chart plotter is brilliant, the iPad is designed for operation in a cafe, not an ocean storm!
 

Seasick Ian

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Thanks for all the replies so far, interesting to hear how widespread an all-digital approach is. I definitely plan on using digital, probably just a couple of smart phones and a tablet, and now it looks like I can source useable paper charts as well without blowing the budget. I like having the skills that come with chartwork on paper and being able to do things the old fashioned way.
 

jdc

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I much prefer 'real' charts, ie paper ones. And in fact I do have charts for nearly all UK waters (ok, not the east coast). However we went to Norway one year. Have you any idea idea how many charts are needed to cover Norway? It would have cost many thousands to buy sufficient, so I went electronic.

It still scared me, and still does, to be without paper charts so I also bought 1:200,000 paper charts. The idea is that should there be a GPS failure I still have enough to get me to a safe place / major port. I recommend this approach: it's what I have done in S. America and the Caribbean as well, and when helping on a delivery trip from Athens to the UK. I don't recommend entirely electronic, but buy a set of UK charts (and because 'zoomed-out' corrections are not so important - hence second hand is fine) and get electronic for most harbour entrances. So maybe only 10 - 20 paper charts.
 
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dgadee

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Visit my harbour digital package and pilot books are what I used. I had paper too but they are just a nuisance on board.

I'm one of those who think it's not really a circumnavigation if you miss out Cape Wrath.
 
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prv

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should there be a GPS failure

GPS failing doesn't make electronic charts disappear.

Plotting bearings to give a fix could be fiddly on some systems, but most do at least have some way of drawing a line on a particular bearing. OpenCPN has some very complete drawing tools plus plugins intended specifically for doing trad nav (plotting fixes, DR tracks, EPs, etc) and celestial.

Pete
 
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