Preparing charts

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by pawsplus, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. pawsplus

    pawsplus Paddler

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    I have my SJI chart book. They are on waterproof paper, but I don't want them getting folded and bent. I was planning to tear out the ones I need and have them laminated. Then they can be rolled into a chart tube and kept safe until needed. Is that the right way to go about it?
     
  2. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    That's what I do. Works pretty well. I do not use a chart case. Instead, I just wet them and slide the one I am using under my deck bungies. I use the extra fine "permanent" Sharpies to write notes, headings, etc., on the surface of the laminated charts. These can be removed using a quick swipe with rubbing alcohol.

    One caveat: be sure to extend the lamination plastic a half inch or so past the chart edge. Otherwise, water will eventually leak under the laminate.
     
  3. drahcir

    drahcir Paddler

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    I would tend to store them flat and not roll them into a chart tube. If rolled I suspect there would be a tendency to delaminate.
     
  4. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    I agree.
    I find that charts and other paper goods stow well in the compartment (usually aft), flat against the hull, so I probably wouldn't use a tube anyway.
     
  5. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    You may get over that eventually ! :)
     
  6. Kayak Jim

    Kayak Jim Paddler

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    Prior to lamination I cut off about 1 to 1 1/2 inch diagonally across all corners (unless there is critical info there). Then when laminated (along with the 1/2 inch border Dave referred to) there is an area of lamination film only (no chart). I punch a hole in each of these to attach tethers/ clips. The punched hole goes through 2 layers of film only (no chart).
     
  7. pawsplus

    pawsplus Paddler

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    OK. I'm not sure I get how to store the ones I'm not using. . . In the bottom of the aft hatch, under everything else? There will be days when I need two or even three charts in a day. . . I will need to have those handy.
     
  8. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    I have used welding rod cases to store rolled up, laminated charts, for years. Some have been held inside a tube, rolled, to about a 2 1/2 inch diameter for 20 years, with extraction for use every couple seasons. They do not delaminate. Welding rod cases are capped with twist off threaded caps, and come in a couple lengths. Available at any welding supply outlet, maybe eight to ten bucks? And fly tying shops, for takeapart flyrods, for a lot more money.

    Cheaper, and easy to make, are variants made of Schedule 20 drain pipe, aka PVC downspout pipe. Schedule 40 is more common but heavier and overkill. Drain pipe comes in 3 inch and 3 inch diameters. White, typically, and takes marking pen well. The 3 inch is a lot easier to store underdecks. Acquire some PVC pipe dope, cut the pipe to length, glue a cap on one end, and a threaded fixture on the other end.

    This video covers the bases, with some hubris added for flavor.

    I have some short bungie pairs anchored to padeyes, about a foot apart, under my foredeck, which allow easy extraction for swapping charts while under way. Also handy for a granola bar or two, celery sticks, whatever.
     
  9. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    If you won't be stopping where you can pull out charts from the compartment, perhaps you will need to use your chart case for controlling multiple charts, or just put a couple of laminated charts back-to-back on the deck.
    Or paddle slower, or use a smaller scale chart? :)
     
  10. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    I do what John describes. Once wet, they stick well to the deck, and to each other. Clipping the charts to deck lines or pad eyes will likely annoy you pretty fast. One day, Becky and I used four or five large scale charts, and we just kept a couple on deck and swapped them for others as needed. They get kind of icky with salt, so evenings we would give them a quick wipe with a rag moist with fresh water, air dry a bit and restash elsewhere, or back in the rod case once it got dry.

    The welding rod cases are convenient for separating trip segments on a very long trip, or if you are car camping and paddling day trips or overnighters en route. Mishmashed, it is easy to misplace a chart piece.
     
  11. pawsplus

    pawsplus Paddler

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    Well, the SJIs being what they are, the charts are chunked up in ways that don't necessarily comport with a particular route. :) Some days there is just a corner of one map that's involved and then on to another one!

    Dave--welding rod case--is that the cylindrical blue case your charts were in on our trip?
     
  12. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Paws wrote:
    Dave--welding rod case--is that the cylindrical blue case your charts were in on our trip?

    Good memory. Yes. Orange in that video. They are about two and a half inches in diameter, with the caps slightly larger, rubber gasket, and very sturdy. Fourteen or eighteen inches long. I expect Amazon sells them.
     
  13. jamonte

    jamonte Paddler

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    This thread is making me curious what scale folks prefer. Practically all the charts I own are 1:80,000 scale, since if I use a smaller scale chart like 1:40,000, I'm frequently paddling off the chart and needing to change out charts in the middle of the day, which is a PITA. A 1:40,000 scale chart is great for putzing around intricate passageways, but it's not very practical if you plan to make miles. Also, as you gain experience, the amount of detail shown in a 1:80,000 chart is usually more than adequate to affirm what you are seeing with your own eyes and keep you out of trouble. OTOH, I've navigated using everything from Green Trails Hiking Maps along the Olympic Peninsula to a AAA road map down in Baja Sur! Whatever works.
     
  14. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    I favor 1:40,000, but as you say, there is a lot of chart swapping on longer days. The reality is that my older mapping GPS is my primary navigational reference, with selected waypoints sometimes preloaded before a trip using MapSource so that I can establish orientation quickly if needed. Or, when a crossing is anticipated, waypoints at either end of the crossing so I can detect drift and avoid getting washed down current. Tricky stuff gets more attention, but the charts are fun to pull out in the evenings to talk about sights we saw, etc.

    When visibility is sketchy or intermittent, we monitor the route closely on a chart, in coordination with the GPS.

    Finally, I like to have a smaller scale chart beyond 1:80,000 along to see the whole route on very long trips of the two week variety.

    PS, I see jamonte and I use "small scale" differently. I think it is more common to use small scale to refer to charts with a given feature depicted in smaller size. So that a 1:80,000 chart is at smaller scale than a 1:40,000 chart.
     
  15. designer

    designer Paddler

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    When you laminate, remember that there are different degrees of stiffness (weights) for the sleeve material. So if you are going to roll them, you might want the most flexible. That was a good hint on cutting off some corner material to give the laminate more "stick" surface area.

    In one lecture, Chris Duff - circumnavigator - said he just uses street maps. But then he was following large land mass contours and using coastal city lights for markers.

    Because I seldom visit the same area twice - or if I do I know the area very well - longevity of the chart is not a primary concern. NOAA has free San Juan charts online. In the past, I bought my share of $25+ charts. Now, for kayaking in known areas (Gulf Islands, etc.) I get by with recreational kayaking maps with less, but enough, detail.

    My chart is just under the deck bungee or under a pad in the kayak. I primarily reference it on shore. I've been fortunate, weather-wise, not to need it much while on the water.

    But I was thrown off on a simple paddle to Wallace Island. I had read a person's report about totem poles on Secretary Island. But they are on JackScrew Island which is in front of Secretary. Thinking JackScrew was Secretary, that made Secretary or Wallace seem like Galiano. Once I got closer, consulted the chart, and let go of the idea that the totem poles were on Secretary (most important - letting go of bad data), everything fit.
     
  16. jamonte

    jamonte Paddler

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    Dave: I think you're right re: large and small scale. Born dyslexic, I often get confused by terms like larger/smaller... seriously! As you note, a 1:80,000 chart covers a larger area than a 1:40,000 chart, but has features depicted in smaller size. Does that make it larger or smaller? These things mess with my brain.

    Anyhow, when I first started buying my own charts in 1990, I didn't have a GPS. Now that I use one, I think it makes it even easier to use 1:80,000 charts since you can use the GPS to let you know where waypoints or camps or hazards are located. Plus, you can zoom in with a GPS if you need more detail about one particular area.

    I never laminate my charts, so there's no way I'd swap out charts anywhere but on shore (and in my tent if it's raining.) Over the years, I've accumulated a box full of trimmed, annotated charts covering everything from Prince Rupert down to La Push including both sides of Vancouver Island. That was a huge investment of both time and money. If there were 1:40,000 charts available for all those sections (there aren't) the total cost would be prohibitive, and there simply isn't enough room in my kayak to take so many charts on a long haul trip anyway. Even for day trips in the San Juans, I find 1:80,000 to provide more than enough detail.

    But my main point is that you have to learn to trust your own eyes. If I see three boomers going off at two o'clock, I don't need to look at a 1:40,000 chart to verify that there are rocks there. I know it already. Ideally, I like to have everything agree: my chart agrees with my GPS agrees with what I see with my own eyes, but two out of three ain't bad, either!
     
  17. jamonte

    jamonte Paddler

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    I like to play a game when I paddle called, "What do you see?" Can I name every island in my view? Every point? Every mountain top or cliff? Every pass or channel or bay or buoy? If you play this game while you paddle, you will always know where you are. (At least if you have enough visibility.) And if you play it over and over in the same area, you will learn what Eagle Cliff (on Cypress Island) or Turtleback Mountain (on Orcas) looks like from every angle. I always bring a chart when I paddle the San Juans, but it's really only there for backup. I lived on Lopez for eight years, and I played this game every time I rode the ferry, too.

    And if you're paddling in a group, don't rely on the trip leader to do all the navigation for you. You should have your own charts and be able to identify everything in view, as well.
     
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  18. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    jamonte,

    Thanks for the very insightful posts. You raise issues I had never thought about or encountered. Plus, like you, in a familiar area, I also pretty much do not need a chart. Takes me several trips to reach that state, though.

    jamonte wrote: But my main point is that you have to learn to trust your own eyes. If I see three boomers going off at two o'clock, I don't need to look at a 1:40,000 chart to verify that there are rocks there. I know it already. Ideally, I like to have everything agree: my chart agrees with my GPS agrees with what I see with my own eyes, but two out of three ain't bad, either!

    The above, in particular, is really important. Boomers that only go off when the larger swells wash through are nasty. Paddlers split into those who carefully, almost unconsciously catalog these as they pass through an area, and those who do not. I have been nailed a couple times by these, but never capsized. Often, swirly features on the surface will show on average swell washthrough, as harbingers of a boomer.
     
  19. jamonte

    jamonte Paddler

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    Dave, your comment about cataloguing boomers really brought back a memory for me... back in 2001, a friend and I launched at Neah Bay, rounded Cape Flattery with a brief visit to Tatoosh Island, and then continued down the coast to Hobuck. While we were at Tatoosh, a swell from the SW started crisscrossing the existing swell from the NW, and as we kept paddling, it grew larger and larger. By the time we got to Hobuck Beach, the surf landing was huge, so we kept paddling down to Anderson Point (on Macaw land) and found a small wrap-around beach that offered some protection from the SW swell. We bivvied there for the night (tents not up til after dark, no fire), and then launched again the next morning. (We had left a car at LaPush, so that was ultimate goal.)

    The swell was still big the next morning (big enough to steal my boat off the beach while we got prepped!), but it didn't appear to be worsening, so we launched. Rounding Anderson Point was like entering a mine field while under artillery fire... there were boomers going off everywhere! For the next hour, we kept up a constant back and forth "commentary" about where different boomers were located relative to our current position and what was the safest route forward. As you mentioned, a boomer might show itself with a swirl or a "boom" depending on the height of each wave, so you have to pay attention to every little detail... and remember where you are (while moving) in relation to a bunch of things you might have seen five minutes ago. Heck of a day and a great memory. Thanks for dredging that up!
     
  20. benson

    benson Paddler

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    With the 7 to 10 day trips I've taken I've been able to color copy chart sections and laminate (5mil) back to back which I'm guessing is what others...2 sided to reduce #. The 5 mil stores well and is quite sturdy.