NOAA Kicks Off Transition Exclusively to Electronic Navigation Charts – gCaptain

I thought NOAA had already started this but I see the previous announcement was that the phaseout was to run from mid to late 2020 to 2025.

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What is the point in phasing out print on demand charts?

If people want to print them, let them. I can see phasing out raster charts so that they don’t have to be updated.

What? They aren’t phasing out print on demand. You will still be able to get printed vector charts after the raster ones are gone.

What could be the purpose of such a printout and how will it supposed to look?

Navigation with paper and pencil, planning,reference, overview, etc.

For oceangoing vessels with two ECDIS units, that would otherwise need to carry and correct hundreds of paper charts, there probably isn’t much point in carrying any paper charts.

For smaller vessels without ECDIS, and vessels with limited routes that may only need to carry a dozen charts, print on demand charts are quite handy.

Paper charts are sometimes more convenient for planning, don’t have to scroll around as much and be prudent maybe to keep a few small scale paper charts of the operation area. Not really needed, more along the lines of nice to have.


I would think in order to draw pilotage you would still need a paper chart.

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For a vessel without ECDIS, a limited area of operation (half a dozen charts), and seasonal operations, paper charts and a non-ECDIS chart plotter are about the only option. With a small number of charts there is no need to bother with chart corrections, just have some more printed.

For every large vessel with ECDIS, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of small vessels without it.

I’d think an electronic chart plotter for navigation and small scale paper chart of the area on the chart table would be good setup.


It is. Typically, there will be at least two chart plotters and a paper chart (which is un-corrected) and stamped “For Reference Only.”

Canada requires ECDIS or a plot on corrected paper charts (non-ECDIS chart plotters do not count).

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No I don’t need them and even I have to use the Portable Pilot Unit (PPU) with official ENC.

Are we talking about ships/vessels or boats/crafts but even on small commercial boats it is cheaper, easier and safer to work on official ENC.

What would be the legal status of such a map? How will you set up them before printing? Who will update them and to what standard?

My point is that you need a paper chart in order to get federal pilotage (in the US). So if there’s no more paper charts what’s the Coast Guard going to do? Waive the requirement? I doubt it.

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It will probably be like Celestial, somebody will be reprinting charts needed for pilotage.

It could be that they’ll stop drawing charts on paper and require us to draw in blank charts on an ECDIS.

I prefer to have a paper chart for planning but with a good trackball mouse with a scroll wheel it’s really not an issue. It’s just a personal preference and I recognize that. Outside of areas with high seismic and volcanic activity most of the chart corrections aren’t of interest. In those areas trusting a chart isn’t wise.

I think I’ll have the 2/M order the general charts and we’ll set them aside in a large tube labelled “Sacred Scrolls”.

I do prefer paper for planning wx routes and odd ball trips, though.


money wasted, checked :wink:

for wx routing you should have and used dedicated tools/software :thinking:

I do not know what this exam looks like, but why tested someone with skills that will never be used in practice? Anyway, they have a few years to check procedures and maybe change mind.

I don’t understand, do you neglect to update your charts and have worked with outdated?

Again, what are these “new paper charts” supposed to look like?
I’ve heard of possibility to defining a database before printing but can’t imagine it in practice. Should it be ship, voyage or operator specific data printout?

Weather routes on the Lakes are not like ocean sailing-you chew on the forecast, look over the NDBC site, monitor the glass, and figure out the best place to be as a system passes. Let me plop the triangle on the chart and look at the wind direction and shifts, walk off distances with the dividers… Can I do that with the plotter,? I suppose you can but I much prefer a big picture and a place to work with pencil and dividers.

Yup, old school. Additionally, I want to see fixes on the chart where the mates have to plot radar ranges/bearings or the GPS position to show they are actively engaged in the watch…not using a video game to show where we are.


Well, there goes my gift wrapping paper from old charts.


When a new edition of paper chart arrives instead of throwing out the old one it can be marked “obsolete” and kept separate from charts used for navigation. Rolled up in an office closet for example.

Mostly in my office I used the INavX s app on my personal Ipad to familiarize myself with a new route or port but sometimes it’s more convenient to have a paper chart spread out on the table with the other planning pubs.

It’s often the case that the captain using the ECDIS interferes with the mate on watch and/or the navigators work.

The test is to memorize the chart and regurgitate it in the exam room. Completely useless, but that’s what the requirement is.