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Storing Your Charts

As we’ve discussed previously Canadian law requires people to carry charts aboard their boats. When you’re following the law (and I know that you all follow the law!) this means that you have to find some way to store your charts.

The most optimal way to store your charts in a chart table (like we have at the store) or even a smaller version. This allows them to be stored flat (or folded, depending on the size), in an organized way that will allow you to retrieve your charts easily and protect them. However, this is impractical for most people and most boats.

So, the other options are to roll your charts, or to fold them, and then to protect them.

There are several options. One option is to roll them, and put them in a tube. This could be a cardboard tube, however these are not waterproof. Other options include this one and this one. Chart Tube  Telescopic Chart Tube

These plastic tubes all have the same benefits- a tough material that is usually waterproof. However while rolling charts can be an efficient way to store them, if you have multiple tubes it can be awkward. More importantly, you’ll need to remove all the charts from the tube in order to get one, which means they’re difficult to use on the fly. Further, the charts may be difficult to keep flat on the table.

The other option is to fold your charts. Now a standard chart, when folded properly (so that the chart number is visible in the corner) fits in a No. 7 shipping envelope, with internal measurements of roughly 14″ by 19″. Charts do not use that entire internal volume, but that’s the size to shoot for.

There are a number of pre-made options.  Richardson’s does a pouch/clear envelope that fits their chartbooks perfectly, and there are vinyl covers for 18″x24″, and 24″x36″.

However, there are other options. For example, Ziploc makes bags which are water resistant (but not waterproof). The XL and XXL sizes are large enough for folded. charts. These also have the ability for you to use the chart and keep it protected.

These solutions should allow you to protect, and keep on using your charts.

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