Home Travel  Do we need paper charts on a cruising yacht?

 Do we need paper charts on a cruising yacht?


Behan uses a chartbook in the cockpit of the Giffords’ Hallberg-Rassy 352 Mau Ke Mana In 2003.
Behan Gifford

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Many mariners were shocked when NOAA announced in 2013 that it would no longer produce paper nautical charts. They wrung their hands and gnashed their teeth. In ten years, the majority of cruisers have stopped using paper charts. (Many had already stopped using them before 2013). Is it a tragedy, or is this just the marching of time and technology? What are we doing on Totem?

We spent several years gunkholing in Puget Sound, with our growing family aboard. We had a Garmin MAP76 handheld GPS and a paper mapbook of the area. We bought a Garmin MAP76 and a paper chartbook for the region. Totem Jamie rebuilt the table of the navigation station in 2007 before we started cruising. The table was not completely rebuilt, but Jamie did rebuild it before we left for our 2008 cruise. Totem’s build predates the era of widespread GPS cruising, you…

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