Sunsetting NOAA raster nautical charts has started

As the US is going full ahead with their paper chart withdrawal, any word on how they plan to test for First class Pilotage? 90% of SE Alaska gets cancled within the next month, half the great lakes is going away in April, I just saw Palm Beach is losing their chart in July, a lot of Northeast harbor charts getting cancled…

…Is there a plan? Maybe that NOAA Custom chart generator?

From this thread, back in December:

Applying corrections to these are going to be next to impossible especially since they don’t put out change history for ENCs like they do the paper charts, this will be nice for… Wall art. NMs only reference chart numbers. Changes wont show up on charts that don’t exist anymore.

The NOAA custom chart generator seems to be the logical answer, but since SE Alaska lost half their harbor charts yesterday, I’m just wondering if there is guidance from the NMC or States on parameters for generating the charts to study for pilotage.

I haven’t tested for pilotage. Do you need to correct the chart for the test, or just remember the names of the point , waterways, etc. ? Not being argumentative. Just wondering how the testing worked…

The specifics very from REC to REC from what I’ve gathered, but in general you need to draw the lights, buoys and their characteristics which is probably the most common thing to change in corrections. Also depths and contours sometimes change, and sometimes you can have landfill/excavation projects change the shoreline. I’ve run into this problem trying to update a chart that hadn’t been updated in years, you can piece together most of the changes, but when they publish a new edition there are some mystery undocumented changes that you can miss, or they can change the scale completely.

The problem I see happening with the NOAA Custom chart maker thing is that you can pick your own scale, size and exact position. This is rad for making custom charts, but there is a lot of room to introduce error. It could be really useful for First Class Pilot candidate’s if the made a feature to remove all the layers except land, making blank charts remarkably easy to make.

Edit to add: the old edition charts would genuinely make much better wall art than the ENC based charts, they’re ugly.

No. The chart can be up to a year old.

Honestly I found zero value in drawing the chart for FCP. It’s an exercise in cartography and not useful for piloting. Although it changes from REC to REC, so YMMV.

I would think you can just draw the last version of the chart and it would be fine. We’ve tested on charts from 1983 for years and nobody seems to care.

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That’s highly dependent on the port and the OCMI/COTP (whoever is setting the FCP standard). When I tested, the official standard was you had to reflect the latest corrected version of the chart for the day you drew it. The practical matter, was that (unless it was a permanent change in an ATON) it didn’t really matter.

I agree that the chart drawing doesn’t really test piloting per se, but it does have value in proving you at least know the layout of the local waters, the relative position of various hazards (as charted) and the geographic names. In especially large districts like the Alaska ones, Puget Sound, Chesapeake, etc, this is perhaps more valuable than, say, Port Everglades.

All that being said, any state group/commission worth its salt is going to have internal local knowledge testing that goes above and beyond what FCP requires anyways.

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They are still phasing them out gradually over the coming years, just extending the final timeline.

The 3/4 year timeline that they had before did seem a bit too quick, companies who have to fit an ECDIS system might have ships that are busy and would only have time to do it at the next dry dock.

It is now 7 years until they will be phased out so it gives companies time to have ECDIS systems fitted at their next dry docks. Fitting ECDIS properly is not that simple in some cases, they will have to do a bit or rewiring to connect them to the emergency switch boards.

NOAA Nautical Chart 18665 - Lake Tahoe has been canceled already. Either version can be purchased here.

From NOAA:

Suitable for framing or as a historical reference, previous editions of all NOAA charts - including the “Last-Edition” of each paper nautical chart - may be downloaded for free from the NOAA Historical Map and Chart Collection. Nautical charts, other maps, and documents, such as the Coast Pilot, dating back to the mid-1800s are included in the collection.

Traditional training charts are “frozen in time” and are used by many mariner training and testing institutions. Training chart numbers include a “TR” suffix, such as 1210TR, “Martha’s Vineyard to Block Island” and are marked, “For instructional purposes only. Not to be used for navigation.” The Historical Map and Chart site has a direct link to Training Charts and paper copies may also be purchased from many commercial providers for about $10.

If i were a betting man, I would not have been placing my bets on the current pattern they are using for canceling charts. Even since I made the first post yeterday the entire ICW from from Wilmington to Palm Beach just got marked as Last Editions, along with most of Massachusetts’ coastal and harbor charts.

You would think they would start with canceling the general and sailing scale charts, where those vessels likely already are on ECDIS under STCW, but no. Theyre canceling the charts where the tugs and small vessles who are struggling to transition to ECDIS are sailing.

NOAA’s paper chart locator is like that scene from endgame, all the charts are turning to dust in front of us. :frowning:

Not within my area of expertise but I imagine those vessels are using Rose Point or similar systems during their transition to ECDIS.


Actually I mispoke, I the ecdis requirement for vessels over 1600 tons. Rosepoint satisfies carriage requements for chart carriage as it stands i believe.

Also it still looks like the offical time table is January 2021 -January 2025.

So hopefully any companies that are still paper primary found where to stick their 2nd ECDIS if they’re going to Boston after August.

Presumably most if not all foreign flag ships use BA charts in the U.S. BA charts are accepted by the U.S. Coast Guard. The target date for the UK hydrographic office is late 2026.

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Its been my experience that UKHO just takes the data from the NOAA OCS charts (or just slaps their seal on it), if NOAA cancled would BA be able to maintain the chart? The BA catalog is not public and user friendly like NOAAs.

Also worth mentioning that it seems like these ships would all likely be paperless by now anyway, given how often inspectors laugh at the fact Im using paper charts still.

It’s going to be the same as for Lake Tahoe, NOAA canceled chart 18665 but it can still be purchased as print -on-demand. Chart 18665 was replaced by 18665G Lake Tahoe which can be purchased as print-on-demand or as a ENC.

NOAA plans to continue producing hydrographic data for U.S. waters to maintain the ENC charts, both paper and electronic.

Interesting. Whats actually happening here, these OG charts we’re seeing is just someone at Ocean Graphics (OG) using the NOAA Custom chart generator to make a paper chart that is the same size, and listing it on their website. You can do the same thing and sent it off to anyone with a largeformat plotter for about half the price.

The problemn with say, 11412OG, is that you’re going to have a hard time keeping the chart up to date, as the NMs arent going to tag a chart that doesnt exists.

See I can make chart 42069 GcaptainLandia that looks suspiciously like New York Harbor, but no one is publishing corrections for this chart, so its only good for when its printed.

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It’s not particularly difficult to make a database that solves this issue.

Continued chart correction on raster charts is not a big deal. It does require techniques and methods different from what people are used to which as always can cause problems.

I like my raster charts. They’re soothing. Unless I’m doing some particularly detailed task I’m keeping them. It’s a bit of extra work but not too bad.

NOAA Chart 18665 - Lake Tahoe can still be purchased but it is no longer updated. NOAA Chart 18665OG can also be purchased and, presumably, the paper version can still be updated using the NTM.

The corrections for all charts still have to be issued otherwise the ENCs could not be kept current.

Or, maybe not.

The USCG Local Notice to Mariners and Light Lists, and the NOAA U.S. Coast Pilot® make copious references to NOAA chart numbers. These help users find the document sections that cover the areas they are interested in. When a NOAA paper chart is canceled, it no longer meets USCG carriage requirements and the Coast Guard will stop issuing local notice to mariners (LNM) for the chart. References to canceled charts will not appear in LNMs, Light Lists, or the Coast Pilot.

Yeah this is my main cause for concern, i feel like ive seen an ENC cell number on Admiralty Notice to Mariners, but ive never seen on on any form of US Notice to Mariners. Also that would be crazy to track because the paper charts we’re looking up here are made up of multiple ENCs.

The Admiralty Digital List of Lights us all GIS based, so no need to sort by charts, I suppose the USCG will have to sort that out.

I love paper charts too, but this would just be paper charts with extra steps as far as OCS is concerned. :frowning:

Especially when the changes arent going to be published.

It an outfit really loved paper charts it could be worth it to buy a $3,000 large format printer and just print their own charts every few weeks. But even then they will look like a printed ENC and not our beloved rasters.

Also, 18665OG is not a NOAA chart, it is a Ocean Graphics Custom chart.

My understanding is that these paper charts, at least for now, do not meet carriage requirements.

As to the naming, NOAA says ‘Any references to NOAA traditional chart numbers will eventually be replaced with standard “harmonized” waterway and other place names to provide the general location of changed features in addition to the precise longitude and latitude of the changes.

If you are interested in tracking corrections in a particular area, there are two options. One easy way is to look up the weekly chart updates on this map app: NOAA Weekly Updates. However, I find the location descriptions provided in the LNMs to be rather straightforward. I suspect the main issue with applying corrections would be knowing to which scales they are intended.