I was just invited to observe navigation and shiphandling classes at the US Coast Guard Academy. They had a digital camera set up over the instructor’s chart table and monitors positioned around the room so the cadets could see his examples. What I found interesting is that he used a set of colored sharpie ultra fine point markers for doing advanced Maneuvering Board work and it really helped me visualize the examples. I also really liked the crispness of the pen lines vs a traditional pencil.
Obviously using a permanent sharpie outside the classroom is a bad idea but what about using these new Pilot FriXion erasable pens? I’ve used my FriXion 4-color pen for a few years now and it works great plus my Pilot FriXion BIZ2 is one of the best looking/writing pens I own… but I never tried it on charts.
I’ve written before about my love hate relationship with pencils and how #2 grade pencils are the wrong choice for chart work but colored pencils might be an option too. Colored pencils are harder to erase than their graphite cousins, but some colored pencils are specifically made to be erasable. f you plan to use erasers to lighten specific areas (like the danger areas on a chart) or often want to remove stray lines, it might be worth looking for colored pencils that erase well.
So… has anyone here used colored pens or pencils for chartwork?