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Understanding a Nautical Chart


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Table of Contents

1-What is a Chart? 2-A Chart is Never 100% Accurate. 3-What the Chart-Maker Does for Us. 4-Other Relevant Documentation. 5-How to Use a Chart. 6-Orientation. 7-The Basics (and Where to Find Them). 8-Depth and Elevations. 9-Landmarks, Lights and Coastal Features. 10-Dangers: Wrecks, Rocks and Obstructions. 11-Navigation Restrictions and Limits. 12-Radar and Radio. 13-Tides, Tidal Streams and Currents. 14-Small Craft Features. 15-Other Charting Authorities. 16-GPS. 17-Digital Charting. Symbols & Abbreviations used on Admiralty Paper Charts.

About the Author

Paul Boissier was formerly a senior Admiral in the Royal Navy, and has spent much of his career at sea in a wide variety of vessels, commanding two submarines and a warship. He is also a very experienced yachtsman and has cruised extensively. He is now the Chief Executive of the RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea, and operates over 340 lifeboats around the UK and the Republic of Ireland.


"Highly recommended... a very valuable resource... almost everyone will take something from it." (Sailing Today) "Not only does the book provide a complete key to chart symbols, it explains the way they are compiled." (Yachting World) "With fascinating anecdotes, including the opening line 'I have been lost at sea on a number of occasions', this is essential reading for professionals and enthusiasts alike." (Practical Boat Owner) "Any skipper, of any level of experience, will learn plenty from studying this book. You may be shocked at the revelation that a chart is never 100% accurate but, knowing the limitations of the tools at your command, may one day keep you out of trouble. This is an author who displays an in-depth command of his subject." (Yachting Life) "Boissier is exacting, as befits a former admiral but his approach is genial and includes a tip to collect seaside postcards to supplement the directions" (Yachting Monthly, Jan 2019) "I thought I knew enough about nautical charts... but a chapter in Paul Boissier's book, entitled 'A chart is never 100% accurate', alerted me to the need to understand nautical charts a bit further than I had assumed necessary... His text is beautifully written; it is clear and full of helpful explanations and illustrations... This is a book which should be in every yachtsman's library." (Little Ship Club, Spring 2019)

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