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The Future of Paper Charts

Will traditional paper charts soon be a thing of the past? And what will that mean for recreational boaters?

Last fall, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the source for official US government nautical charts, abruptly announced it would no longer distribute lithographic nautical charts as of April 2014. The printer of NOAA charts, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), made the decision to stop printing charts after the US budget shutdown last September. Is this the beginning of the end of paper charts as we know them? Will printed charts from the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) be next?

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See and Be Seen At Night

Navigation light repairs and replacements you can do yourself.

In researching this article, we spoke to a number of marine industry professionals and started by asking, “Have you ever noticed boats on the water at night with incorrect or missing lights?

“Or none at all!” was the frequent response we got as people laughed out loud about how common it is for navigation lights to be faulty.

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Perfect Docking…Every Time

Effective communication is the key to smooth, stress-free docking. I am an extraordinarily lucky guy. My wife Corinne is the skipper of our American Tug 41, Ocean Mistress, and she loves and excels at her job! I am completely delighted when we bring the boat into a difficult docking situation and make the perfect no-fuss, no-stress landing. I’m even more tickled when folks on the dock see Corinne come out of the pilothouse and are surprised to learn that she just docked that big boat. She has received everything from whispered compliments to standing ovations.

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`Boating Oops Awards 2014

What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever done while boating?

That’s the question I asked fellow-boaters over the past year. About half reported some real doozies, while the rest reported minor mishaps such as running out of gas in their dinghy or losing their winch handle overboard. Accidents happen to the best of us. The key to happy boating is to learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others so we don’t repeat them.

Read more: `Boating Oops Awards 2014

Boating Ed

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced boater, nothing helps build competence and confidence like boating courses and instruction. There’s nothing like being out on the water, spending time with family and friends, letting the wind fill our sails and whisk us away to new adventures.  Or if power is your preference, casting off and throttling up catch a few waves or discover a new destination.

Read more: Boating Ed