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Author Topic:   Charts?
compounder posted 11-13-2000 05:44 PM ET (US)   Profile for compounder   Send Email to compounder  
Anyone know of an economical source of nautical charts? Especially interested in the East Coast Intracoastal Waterway. The individual charts are $15-22 most places and the complete book of charts is around$100. Seems they would be on the net, but I haven't found them. Thanks.
sport15er posted 11-13-2000 09:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for sport15er  Send Email to sport15er     
I personally like the NOAA charts, send for their free catalog at 1-800-638-8972;
ask for Catalog #1 Charts & Publications. Another source for waterproof charts is
NOAA charts are updated online btw; peace of mind..........
bigz posted 11-14-2000 05:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
The MapTech ICW chart book collection of NOAA charts isn't discounted anywhere more than $10 bucks or so --- buy it where ever and you don't have to feel you paid to much --- now if you want a cruising guide set up like a AAA tip tic thingie the best by far is ICW Chartbook Third Edition by John and Leslie Kettlewell -- Norfolk to Miami -- this one you can get at discounted --

Now if your serious about doing the entire trip or even long segments you need both of the above and very helpful is a GPS unit with a build in world background map used in conjunction with the above chart books --- Z

PS We used all three this past Spring coming up from Daytona FL to the Delaware Bay NJ --

compounder posted 11-14-2000 09:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for compounder  Send Email to compounder     
Thanks for the info guys!
compounder posted 11-14-2000 09:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for compounder  Send Email to compounder     
Since you have made the trip on the ICW, you passed right by my house. I live on the ICW (Coosaw River) in Beaufort,SC. Having boated only local waters and inland lakes, I want to broaden my horizons with 1 to 5 day trips aboard the Montauk, probably venturing into NC and FLA waters. Would appreciate any advice or tips you could give.
I have added a compass, tool kit, depth-finder, dual battery set-up, and 4hp kicker to the Montauk. I'm a little concerned about distance between re-fueling stops. I have a 27 gal fibreglass tank under the seat and should get about 4mpg with the Yamaha 90. Should I attempt to carry extra 6 gal tanks?
What's the best way to get information on the location and hours of operation of fuel sources?
I have a Horizon HX350S handheld VHF and am considering GPS (which I know nothing about).
Recommendations on GPS units?
Also,I don't plan to sleep on the boat. How should I go about finding marinas or towns with sleeping accomadation on-site or within walking distance of docking?
Many thanks.
triblet posted 11-14-2000 10:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
A chartplotter GPS makes navigation MUCH
easier, though I'd still recommend having
paper charts too.

I have a Garmin 162. You can get nautical
charts of the whole country on CD-ROM for
about $60-80. I actually use the topo sheets
rather than the nautical charts because the
topo sheets, at least in the Monterey area,
have more detail and all the same NavAids
as the nautical charts. The Topo sheet
CD is about $120. You can use either of
these CDs either with your computer or
the current family of Garmin chart plotters
(162, 168, eMap, and one or two others)
You download the charts from your PC into
the GPS. The GPS has about 2.7M of chart
storage, which is enough for about seven
or eight typical topo sheets. The
nautical charts should use less space because
they have less detail.

The downside is that they don't have bottom
contours in some (many?) areas. I think this
will change over time, but not now.

You can see what the charts look like at

Chuck Tribolet

dgp posted 11-14-2000 11:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
A good source of maps and navigational project information is the Army Corps of Engineers. .
Great maps of the Mississippi and Arkansas rivers. Don
bigz posted 11-14-2000 11:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Yep came up the Beaufort river, then we entered the Coosaw just after Brickyard Point if I remember correctly --- about 8 -10 miles on it to the Ashwgoo (sp) Coosaw cut off ----

That main bridge at Beauport Rt 21, we got to that narrow area about noon on I think the Saturday before Memorial day, and it was jammed packed looked like and was like an amusement park dodge'm ride boats all over the place --- yikes --- heh heh
link to trip tic book Amazon
order early or right now very slow to ship --- best marina and facilities guide for east coast ME to FL, also giving tells if there are overnight facilities like a local motel or the availability for transport to one ---
best price on the complete chart book --- order clear case to keep it in --- the best bargain by far over individual charts --- handheld unit GPS, w/map
nice unit fully waterproof

Lowrance/Eagle --- if you can locate either one of these large handhelds Eagle AccuMap 12 which is still in the Eagle current line or Lowrance GlobalMap Sport either used or NOS is a great buy, both with map features and 12 satellite receivers --- fully waterproof

Join Sea Tow, have a good waterproof full sized VHF, make sure you carry at least three fenders, two anchors small lunch type and a full sized one for your Whale, dock lines at least 4-6 at 20' min. length ---- would purchase a couple of SeaLine or equivalent (Cabala's) dry bags for clothes, sleeping bags, etc ---- 5 gallon fresh water jug, spare prop and cotter pins etc., and yes a spare 6 gallon fuel container plus extra oil --- would get one of those battery booster portable things and or carry a spare battery w/jumpers (take jumpers regardless) then all CG required stuff --- just figure your on a water camping trip --- a cell phone comes in handy at times ---

The most important thing is to have your trip well planned --- get each segment laid out and then add contingency plans just in case the weather goes haywire or you have mechanical problems ---


PS if you don't have a dodger for your Montauk would get it!

compounder posted 11-14-2000 01:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for compounder  Send Email to compounder     
Thanks dgp, Chuck, and especially you Tom for the thorough reply----every bit of it useful information! I'm going to start with a simple overnighter from Beaufort to Georgetown SC. There's a nice Hampton Inn right there by the Georgetown Landing Marina.
Kind of a shakedown cruise to show me what I would have forgotten on the weeklong trip.
Thanks again for the great response.
bigz posted 11-14-2000 02:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    

That's not a bad stretch just remember north of you to Charleston the services can be few and far between and again north of Charlestown all the way to Winyah Bay into Georgetown --- give yourself plenty of time --- lots of areas you have to keep your speed down ---

When we entered Winyah Bay about 1/2 way up to G'town --- stopped by a Sheriffs patrol safety check --- surprised to see a NJ boat the size of our 27 cruising north on the ICW --- nice guys --- older boat but brand new Optimax 150's --- said they missed their old Yamaha's -- Tom


triblet posted 11-14-2000 06:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
> > handheld unit GPS, w/map
nice unit fully waterproof

The UNIT is waterproof, the battery pack is
NOT, and doesn't have any pretenses of
being even splash proof. And the charts
are the old Garmin G charts, $99 and up
EACH. I have one. I replaced it with the
162. I use the 175 on other people's boats.
And the 175 is still relatively expensive.

Chuck Tribolet

Chuck Tribolet

bigz posted 11-15-2000 03:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Chuck I didn't realize the battery pack wasn't "waterproof" --- guess who cares if you dunk the thing the batteries would or should be replaced anyway --- that aside it still is a nice large screen "handheld" unit which on a Montauk and for the cruising that Joe intends to do is waterproof enough to be left out in a shower or some spray without having to worry about it --- and the plus it uses Navionics cartridges in addition to the G-maps ---- just about all of the better chart cartridges are in the 100 buck range ---- with the 162 your stuck with Garmin's do it yourself map programming and or the built in world map back ground map --- now the Lowrance/Eagle units not only can take advantage of Lowrance map do it yourself create software but also one can use the IMS map cartridges which are offered through Lowrance ($ 50 each at Cabala's) or C-maps

Aside from the above I don't recommend any particular one --- if would be up to the person to determine his/her own need --- either a large handheld map unit --- a small hard to read hand unit fine for land based travel I guess, a fixed mount larger combo unit like you have ---- or as we use the Lowrance GM 2000 chartplotter unit which you have to add all components (GPS, DGPS, Sonar, and Cartridge Reader/s) in our case we have the 2000 set up with GPS, DGPS and reader --- and use an Interphase Advantage dual frequency sonar unit ----

Again thanks for the warning on the Garmin battery pack will qualify it when I suggest it to someone --- Z

Tom L posted 11-15-2000 05:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom L  Send Email to Tom L     
Tom: I have the Lowrance GlobalMap 100, I think. Gonna go rambling and find it. I have the Lowrance CD and do-it-yourself stuff. Haven't spent much time with it, but not exceedingly user friendly, to my lights. Is this other stuff you mention compatible with my unit? I'm not sure I have a recepticle for plugging cartridges? Also, I believe my specific unit isn't waterproof. The keys project through a template with no membrane covering. Regs, TL
blackdog posted 11-15-2000 06:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog     
I looked at the Garmin chartplotters at West Marine today—The 162 & 180. They had a knowledgeable sales person who ran me through some different units. West Marine is nice because they have the units set up and you can play around with them to see which one works best for you. The sales rep tried to steer me towards the Lowrance/Eagle as they are good values, packed full of features as Tom mentioned above. I asked the sales person which was the easiest to use and after a brief moment he said “Garmin. .
The big difference I could see between the 180 and 162 besides the price tag was that the 180 used the cartridges instead of the CD’s you buy and download for the 162. The 180 had more detail in the chart but the chips are very expensive. Garmin is offering a $200 rebate when you buy the 180 and a $299 chip so it balances out. I think the 180 was $569 and the 162 was $379. You can get the 162 with an internal antenna also which for us smaller boats is nice; it’s even $20 cheaper. West Marine also had a combination unit called the Garmin168i. Internal antenna with a depth and fish finder for around $570 ish, same features as the 162.
I am adding the 168i to my x-mass list.


Keith Silliman posted 11-15-2000 07:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Keith Silliman    
I picked up the Lowrance GM100 handheld GPS unit with the mapping software last week. After playing with it (solidly for five days) I think I like it a lot. The mapping software does give you a great deal of detail. It is also possible to download topographic info (I hike when I'm not on the Whaler).

Keith Silliman

Ed Stone posted 11-15-2000 10:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ed Stone  Send Email to Ed Stone     
I picked up the 168 garmin,waterways Cd,and
the quick release surface mount kit.The Ac/pc
adapter has been back ordered.I've got to run
the transducer cable and the external antenna
Ed Stone
bigz posted 11-16-2000 07:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Tom L,

In a simple word no! The 100 depends totally on the software and computer interface to enhance or up load maps you create, plus it has no sonar capabilities. The only unit today Lowrance makes which uses map cartridges is the GM 2000 unit that is a chartplotter designed to interface with various components. It does not have the ability to interface with the Lowrance computer mapping software! (we solved that by purchasing a GM Sport, which is now discontinued, that has the ability to download and flash cartridges for use in the map reader of the 2000 unit. Plus, the GM Sport makes for a nice GPS in the our 13 Sport and/or back up for the 2000). The 2000 will be replaced shortly with the GM 3000. You can travel over to Lowrance click on new products and compare features if you like between the 2000 and 3000 units ---

Guess it is how much you use anything determines the learning curve for any of these units. After we got the hang of the 2000 unit was amazed at all the capabilities. Since we coupled it with DGPS it has become awesome almost has pin point accuracy quite incredible. I might add the GM Sport also is a fine unit able to handle dual map cartridges, and the built in background map like the 2000 is fine under most circumstances.


PS "GM" refers to Global Map and yes the GM 100 is waterproof

triblet posted 11-16-2000 10:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
You have to worry about corrosion inside
the battery pack if it gets wet there.

This is the first I've heard that the 175
can use Navionics charts. I can't find
anything on Navionics website that says
they make G-chart format.

"Garmin's do it yourself map programming" is
pretty decent, except that not all areas have
depth contours. I think that will change.

For those contemplating a 162/168. First,
both are available in both internal and
external versions. Secondly, think real
hard about getting the external version.
My 175 worked a LOT better with an external
antenna than it did with the builtin antenna.
This was sitting on the console of my
Montauk. I suspect that this was because
the internal antenna was below console rail
and the external was above.

DGPS is a lot less important now than it was
a year ago. Earlier this year, the military
stopped ecrypting the most accurate part
of the signal ("Selective Availability", "SA") and non-DGPS accuracy went from 300'
95% of the time to 45' 95% of the time
(those are published figures, in practice
both were a bit better). DGPS is 3-15'
95% with or without SA. You gotta ask
yourself if you need that sort of accuracy.
I have DGPS from the days when SA was on
and it was necessary to find the dive site.
I'm not sure I'd buy it today.

Chuck Tribolet

bigz posted 11-16-2000 10:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Hi Chuck yep your right do have to rinse and clean it if that battery pack gets wet ---

Hey as far as DGPS is concerned wouldn't be with out it or our charts --- to each his own --- Z

bigz posted 11-16-2000 10:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz

Chuck not sure what they mean by optional on the N-charts --- Garmin's are nice but I'll stick to my Lowrance units until we can afford either a Furuno or Si-tex unit plus radar Z

lhg posted 11-16-2000 02:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Like BigZ, I used a fully loaded Lowrance Global Map 2000, with DGPS& dual frequency sonar. Works fine, but I guess it's already about to become obsolete, considering their new models. One just can't keep up with the technology.

I hear there's a new GPS unit, soon out by Raytheon, that obsoletes the DGPS antenna. It evidently has the correction signals incorporated into the single GPS receiver, with the correction signal coming from satellites instead of land based antennas.
Can't remember the name of this new system.

compounder posted 11-16-2000 03:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for compounder  Send Email to compounder     
Guys I still can't see the need for GPS when strictly cruising the ICW and charted surrounding waters (no intention of going off-shore). Charts are in front of me and seem easy to read and apply, so why do I need GPS. It sounds as though all of you seem to think its vital. As popular as the technology is, I'm sure my ignorance is blinding me---please enlighten me---tell me exactly why I need it!
bigz posted 11-16-2000 03:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Joe -- well GPS is just an aid to basic navigation in your case line of sight coastal/river -- but when your not at all familiar with the area even on the ICW those "sign" post aren't as easily spotted as you might think so a GPS comes in handy to plot out your course before hand entering waypoints where it could be very easy to screw up --- when your traveling at 25 -35 mph and the wind is blowing and your trying to drive the boat look at a chart use the binos to spot landmarks you'll see how useful even an inexpensive GPS can be --- and in the case of big water and there is quite a bit on the ICW whether wide rivers, bays, or sounds trying to juggle navigation particularly in a small craft isn't exactly like having a cup of tea --- then you have the visibility problems which can sort of crop up out of no where ---

Anyway no you don't need one --- that is if you know how to coastal navigate --- charting out each course leg, keeping track of heading, time and distance then plotting your current position and then recalculating your next segment based on how far you might have misjudged the current and or your speed or heading --- etc Tec. --- you still should know how to do all this with or without a GPS or Loran unit --- as I said they just make life easier but still don't take the place of basic nav skills --- Tom

triblet posted 11-16-2000 11:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
My reading is that the G-charts for offshore
got their data from Navionics. I'm now
recollecting that Garmin did buy it.

Why GPS? One word: FOG. I've come up
from a dive on an offshore pinnacle and
found that the nice sunshine when I rolled
in had turned to pea soup. Didn't see
shore till we were back at the mouth of
Monterey Harbor. About an 8 mile run,
two major course changes (W 2 miles,
N 3 miles, SE 3 miles). Lotsa rocks on

Chuck Tribolet

bigz posted 11-17-2000 07:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Wide Area Augmentation System or WAAS

Well Larry the primary intial use is for aviation and the FAA is developing the system.

Appears like this is a Raytheon ball game at present in producing receivers for marine use, hasn't been approved but looks very promising --- here's the link that explains it all for the present anyway (going to be costly at first I think and might not offer much more than ground based DGPS)


dgp posted 11-17-2000 09:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
For everything you wanted to know about GPS go to
It's primarilary devoted to handhelds but the GPS knowledge is immense. Don
bigz posted 11-17-2000 09:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
To add to the excellent link Don mentioned two other sites which might be usefull

Peter H. Dana, Department of Geography, University of Texas at Austin

and of course the USCG navigation site is a must have link

compounder posted 11-17-2000 10:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for compounder  Send Email to compounder     
Thanks for the great info. The Mehaffey site is truly amazing!

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