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Old 02-23-2015, 03:23 PM   #1
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Charts needed for Inside Passage / Alaska?

Planning for first trip north on the Inside Passage this summer. Can anyone recommend a list charts and guides they have found useful for the trip.

Any information regarding paper charts would be helpful.
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:13 PM   #2
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Head on down to your local "Chart Store" (possibly West Marine) and look at the "chart" of all of the different scale charts for the PNW, then pick your charts by scale according to whether you are transiting through or exploring the area.

Spend the money for both American and Canadian waters chips for your chart plotter, it would be money well spent.
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:25 PM   #3
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We used Wagoners cruising guide to help locate harbors and anchorages to stop at.

As far as charts, we went electronic. We had two of each chart chip for the GPS plus I have maxsea on my IPAD.

Other than that we found no use in paper charts for areas we weren't going to be coming back to any time soon.
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:50 PM   #4
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You may also consider buying the coast pilots for BC and SE Alaska.
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:54 PM   #5
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If your boat is 92 ft long, you will have requirements imposed by Canada as to chart carriage, Vessel Traffic Services, and Canada Coast Guard. Do you have a captain? What flag is your boat registered under? You might need a pilot in Canadian waters.

For Navigational info, see the Canada Coast Pilot. For navigating waters off the main track, See the "Exploring the South (also North Coast and Alaska) Coast of British Columbia by Don Douglass, by Fine Edge Publishing. To locate marinas, and facilities, see Wagoners.
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Old 02-23-2015, 05:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jslat1 View Post
Planning for first trip north on the Inside Passage this summer. Can anyone recommend a list charts and guides they have found useful for the trip.

Any information regarding paper charts would be helpful.
When we first did SE Alaska we got "chart portfolios", black and white photocopies of the official charts, at much lower cost than for individual charts. They're available from Bellingham Chart Printers, in full size or 2/3 size. A complete set for SE AK in 2/3 size cost about $500. Too bad they are not available for BC - had to buy those at list price, but they sure are nice to look at in color. For Puget Sound and the San Juans and Gulf Islands, you could go with the Region 15 Maptech ChartKit, a spiral bound book in color, about 1/2 half size.

We keep a very complete set of full-size paper charts for BC and SE AK, storing them folded generally in thirds in two very large zip-locs. To be able to find the one we want, we sorted them into an order that made sense to us (not by their chart number). Then we made Word documents that are tables of contents to the pile of charts in each ziploc. Could send you a copy if you'd like - send me your email. Now that we have very good electronic charts, we don't haul out the paper ones very often any more - but that may also have to do with the fact that space to spread out is limited on our small boat.

Along with Waggoner for BC, we like the Douglass "Exploring" series cruising guides for BC ands SE AK - some of the best info available on anchorages.
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Old 02-23-2015, 05:17 PM   #7
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This company has been helpful for Canada Charts. They can probably put together a package of Canadian paper charts needed for the Inside Passage.

Nanaimo Maps & Charts


8 Church St Nanaimo, BC V9R 5H4
+1 250-754-2513
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Old 02-23-2015, 05:32 PM   #8
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Along with Waggoner for BC, we like the Douglass "Exploring" series cruising guides for BC ands SE AK - some of the best info available on anchorages.
The Douglass and Waggoner books are my first recommendation. They both list all the charts you could ever need, by locale. These charts you can order from Captains in Seattle and get overnighted. Canadian charts can be pre ordered and waiting for you when you enter BC in Sidney or Victoria. You'll likely be missing a few Alaska charts though but they can probably be found in Ketchikan at the ships/fishing/kayaking store North of Safeway.

If your Flag is US you'll be OK with a US Captain. If BVIs or somewhere double check Alaska as they get pretty picky there on registry, place of birth for vessel and citizenship of Captain.

Been on the 86, how does the 92 differ?
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:18 PM   #9
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For the portions in US waters... all the NOAA charts are available for free download as PDFs now. These are the official raster paper charts. I downloaded maybe two dozen, then printed them on a 24" wide large format printer as 24x36" prints. They look great, and are as readable as the purchased charts, and can be on-demand printed anywhere you want. I don't know what local print ships charge, but I would guess maybe $5 for a 24x36 (Super D)? I had access to a printer, so they cost nothing.

One nice benefit is that if you are going out in the dinghy, you can print a letter size segment of the full PDF just using your computer and any printer, and carry it with you. If it gets trashed, so what.

We picked mostly just the overview charts. The only thing we use paper charts for is to lay them out on the table and gather around to make high-level plans. The broad view they provide is very handy compared to constantly zooming on a chart plotter.
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:27 PM   #10
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If your boat is 92 ft long, you will have requirements imposed by Canada as to chart carriage, Vessel Traffic Services, and Canada Coast Guard. Do you have a captain? What flag is your boat registered under? You might need a pilot in Canadian waters.

For Navigational info, see the Canada Coast Pilot. For navigating waters off the main track, See the "Exploring the South (also North Coast and Alaska) Coast of British Columbia by Don Douglass, by Fine Edge Publishing. To locate marinas, and facilities, see Wagoners.
We are in the process of making sure to meet all of the Canadian requirements for a vessel of our size. We have the "Exploring series" as well as Wagoners. Its always nice to hear first hand which guides are preferred.
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:42 PM   #11
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May be a good idea to verify port entry requirements for wherever you decide to go up there. I seem to recall one of the big Nordy's got a surprise when they had to take on a harbor pilot to enter and leave port at Dutch Harbor.
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Old 02-23-2015, 07:01 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by RCook View Post
When we first did SE Alaska we got "chart portfolios", black and white photocopies of the official charts, at much lower cost than for individual charts. They're available from Bellingham Chart Printers, in full size or 2/3 size. A complete set for SE AK in 2/3 size cost about $500. Too bad they are not available for BC - had to buy those at list price, but they sure are nice to look at in color. For Puget Sound and the San Juans and Gulf Islands, you could go with the Region 15 Maptech ChartKit, a spiral bound book in color, about 1/2 half size.

We keep a very complete set of full-size paper charts for BC and SE AK, storing them folded generally in thirds in two very large zip-locs. To be able to find the one we want, we sorted them into an order that made sense to us (not by their chart number). Then we made Word documents that are tables of contents to the pile of charts in each ziploc. Could send you a copy if you'd like - send me your email. Now that we have very good electronic charts, we don't haul out the paper ones very often any more - but that may also have to do with the fact that space to spread out is limited on our small boat.

Along with Waggoner for BC, we like the Douglass "Exploring" series cruising guides for BC ands SE AK - some of the best info available on anchorages.
We used the copied chart books from Bellingham Chart Printers in Mexico and Panama and found them very convenient. This might be the way we fill in the gaps while heading north. We have primary and back up electronic chart capabilities but prefer to keep paper charts out when cruising. It's nice to have the detailed color charts for certain areas.
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Old 02-23-2015, 07:04 PM   #13
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Thanks for the feedback so far!

It's very helpful to read everybody's first hand knowledge.
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Old 02-23-2015, 07:06 PM   #14
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92 is a stretched 86, mostly to accommodate a large swim platform. Jim
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