Erasable Colored Pens/Pencils For Chartwork


Point taken. Crap was a poor choice of words.

I was not more specific in what I like and don’t like about current voyage planning practices because the specifics were baked into the OP. The entire reason I posted this thread was to discuss a way (use of color) to turn the “crap” into something clear and useful.

In short it’s not any specific recommendations/instructions from voyage planning I take issue with but rather the tools that are used (the monochromatic and less than optimal #2 black pencil) to create them.


And I may be biased but I believe there is no topic that could be more inline with fostering professionalism at sea than improving the clarity and usefulness of basic chart work.


Fair enough. Well said.


I have used colored pens for chart work to highlight no-go areas or other significant information.

I do use the overhead camera and colored pen & pencils in teaching to help illustrate the process and information. I have found that using colored pencils for an advanced LOP helps students tremendously when completing running fix problems. But as other posters have mentioned they are hard to erase and the lead breaks easily.


And here I was going to give you a high five for speaking out about that, but it looks like you uttered “fighting words.” I’m in agreement with MateChristine though about the highlighting no-go areas, but that’s about the extent of chart markup I care for really.

Aside from the fixed runs that I draw out and then scotch tape over to make it possible to erase position plots without wearing out the charts from erasing/redrawing the routes all the time, I don’t want to see a lot of… erm, “things” :wink:… drawn all over my charts. But that’s just me.


Any marking on a chart with a coloured pen would classify as a permanent correction, even if you can erase it later. The user doesn’t know if the marking is erasable or not.
T&P corrections are carried out in pencil.
In order to preserve a chart longer, the best solution that I found was one by a former Commanding Officer that I served under. Place a tracing sheet over the chart and Mark a few reference lat/long parallels for future reference and alignment. Then plot everything on the tracing sheet. One could use a pen on the tracing sheet. Doesn’t hurt the chart at all. Plus you can keep the tracing sheet as a record of your voyage.


Now that… is a fantastic idea I hadn’t really thought of. And now, before I hear my former crews call me out on something, Plexiglass over a GoM block chart with a grease pencil is not the same thing as this. You can’t save the plexiglass to show in court very easily.

Thanks for sharing that one Pikeman. But… where does one get chart sized sheets of tracing paper/vellum? Further, how does one convince the office that this is a valid expense on requisitions? :grin:


It was possible to requisition a roll of tracing paper from the naval supplies system. But this item doesn’t figure in the IMPA code for merchant marine. You have to make alternative arrangements.
Next time if I see an airline passenger lugging a roll of tracing paper, I will recognise you.


Looks like gCaptain sells tracing paper that is 36" wide. Would that help?


There u go!



all other discussions asside, i actualy used to own a whole set of these pens and i loved them (i think they were a previous design as they looked different)

im still sometimes at a loss of not having them anymore as they probably ended up somewhere else.

however i never used them on charts, and i would be a bit hessitant to use them there, although now thinking of it i would probably have used them on a ship where the staff required the enviromental lines to be put in with color (4nm and 12 nm both in green)

now a days i hardly do chartwork anymore (A: ecdis B teaching at a inland shipping college )but now reminded of them i will soon order a bunch of them to use in instructionals for our simulator.

also found it actualy slightly amusing that a couple of “wrong” placed words kicked of a bit of a storm…

well, that was it from this side of the pond.

53N 5E


Just like ultra-short baseline and super-short baseline.