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Old 11-03-2019, 01:29 AM   #1
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City: Vacaville, ca
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maps, atlas or books where do I find them

Its me the newbie again. Our boat has old chart maps but I was wondering if there are atlas like books that show waterways, ports, anything we can easily access over the old maps or is that what everyone uses? I was watching a video of Mischief in Florida and it looked like he was using an atlas I could see the bindings on the maps. Hope its not a silly question. I Love this forum and we greatly appreciated all the replies received on my previous post.
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Old 11-03-2019, 06:14 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard TF and the boating lifestyle.
Yes there are several "books" available with charts and Port info. Two I have, use and familiar with are...

Richardson's- a spiral bound set of charts for a cruising area. I have several for the great lakes.
Ports Books - a cruising guide with info on a waterway, towns, marinas, anchorages, etc. Again I have several - Lake Ontario, Georgian Bay/ North Channel Lk Huron, Trent Severn Waterway, etc.
Not sure where your intended cruising ground would be but look at those 2 as a start to see if they offer something for your area.
I have loaned and borrowed these types of resources for the occasional cruise to a remote area outside my normal / frequent cruising grounds.
Another great info source I've used is Navionics on a tablet. Not only do you get access to the charts but also the Active Captain data on anchorage & marina info and user reviews. All of the US was $15/yr for a subscription and you get updates for the year and can continue to use downloaded charts $ info you just don't get updates or ability to download after it expires. The subscription cost is a minor $ in boating even if just to have a backup nav source in case your GPS/ MFD craps out.
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Old 11-03-2019, 09:53 AM   #3
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The atlas style chart books can be found at many marine supply stores. Two excellent sources for all things nautical navigation are Cruising guides, Navigational Charts and other supplies - Bluewater Books & Charts and https://www.captainsnautical.com/. Both have online and brick and mortar stores. Both will answer your questions. Those are the two I used, but I'm sure there are others.
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:24 AM   #4
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Up in the PNW, there are a number of atlas type products for areas of varying geographic scopes. Some are spiral bound sets of the actual official charts of certain popular cruising areas (Gulf Islands, Sunshine Coast, etc.) with all markings shown, and other sets of charts have less detail but might cover more ground. As you shop around, have an idea of what you need/want because all atlases of this type were not created equal. And have fun!
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:39 AM   #5
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The books of charts are almost great. But, try to make sure you have the latest edition of each.
I am not to far from BlueWater so every now and then, I venture into FT Lauderdale to add and update. They do have a computer site for ordering charts etc to fill your heart's desire.
I heard tell of a guy who would go from Ft Lauderdale to the Caribbean regularly using a map (place setting paper) he got from a restaurant. Someone was finally able to convince him to buy a book of charts.
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Old 11-04-2019, 10:40 AM   #6
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Aqua Map integrates both ActiveCaptain and Waterway Guide PoiS. It let to download a portion of charts for free.
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Old 11-04-2019, 11:01 AM   #7
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https://www.richardsonscharts.com/parent-categories

Maptech Embassy Cruising Guide's: These are good for information local marine resources and local information. (I use Active Captain, which has recently replaced the cruising guides. However Active Captain requires a data connection).

Maptech Chart Kits and Chart Books: Bound collection of charts (various scale) for a geographic region.

I use the chart kits and chart books for initial navigation and plotting. Then plot into a my plotter.
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Old 11-04-2019, 11:19 AM   #8
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Buy the proper paper charts of the area you will be starting out in. If possible, pin them up where you can see them regularly and stop and stare at them for minutes at a time to familiarize yourself with the methods of charting and the areas charted. Do this long enough and you won't be stumped by the notations, lights, bouys, shallows, hazards, etc when you encounter them out on that water, or, later, an any waters.

Just a start, but will speed you along the learning curve.
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Old 11-04-2019, 01:20 PM   #9
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The Coast Pilot book are available online, NOAA site I think...

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