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How to Read a Nautical Chart

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Charts, whether paper or electronic, are your most fundamental navigational tool. Using them to your best advantage requires a thorough understanding of the symbols and abbreviations and an awareness of the limits of accuracy in positions and soundings.

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HOW TO READ A NAUTICAL CHART
by Nigel Calder

Charts, whether paper or electronic, are your most fundamental navigational tool. Using them to your best advantage requires a thorough understanding of the symbols and abbreviations and an awareness of the limits of accuracy in positions and soundings.

Did you know, for example, that hydrographic standards used to collect the majority of data on modern charts are considerably less accurate than GPS position fixes? That the majority of soundings still come from lead-line surveys? That a wreck symbol surrounded by a dotted circle means it is considered dangerous? That there are four different kinds of rock symbols, each with a different meaning? And that the definition of “danger” has changed over time and will depend on the age of your charts?

In How to Read a Nautical Chart, trusted boating authority Nigel Calder answers these and hundreds of other questions clearly and consisely. SC, 2002, 240 pages. SW 1.0 lb.

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Weight1.0000 lbs
Dimensions0.0000 × 0.0000 × 0.0000 in

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