Port Credit Marine Survey
& Yacht Delivery
12. Charts, Maps & Guides

Maps are things that few cruisers will think of until they are well underway on this trip however they are an invaluable source of information not available on charts. Maps help provide an overview of where you are, what may be just off the strip charts and longer distances more easily calculated than flipping pages of a chart book.

Many of the NOAA weather reports you listen to will reference weather by counties. Do you have any idea where Cataret County is ? It's not on your chart.

An east coast road atlas will provide this and more. Each state tourism office will gladly send you information packages which will incude toursit type maps and a lot of info on places you may want to visit. The more you know about where you are the more you will enjoy the trip. Many museums in the US are free and some small town museums and galleries are surprisingly good.

Skipper Bob’s” guides are indispensable but NOT infallible. These are the only ICW guides worth buying as they provide a tremendous amount of information with on-line updates.

Most other guides to the east coast seem to be little more than glossy ad’s for over priced marinas.
Even if you do not intend to stay in marinas I recommend you purchase Bob’s “anchorages” and “marina” guides as you will need information contained in both. Bob relies heavily on cruisers to keep up to date and some of the info is subjective. When Bob says an anchorage has room for 1-2 boats he means a canoe and a paddle boat, when he says room for 2-3 boats he must be thinking of 16 footers. Bob also scours the USCG and Army Corp of Engineers web sites for ICW updates. If you do purchase these guides you can go to Bob’s web site for updates since the date of publication.I have found Bob's to be totally unreliable for the whole New Jersey inland route. Do not take this route if you draw more than 3’ and then only on a rising tide. * Bob died but his efforts continue under a new editor.

Collection of maps and Tourist brochures.

Skipper Bob's Guides

Easy to follow strip chart book

ADC Chesapeake - Explorer Bahamas chartbooks
The Intracoastal Waterway Chartbook sells for about $90.00 in Toronto but we got ours for $7.00 (new & current) on E-bay. This is the ICW "proper" chartbook that we use as it’s in strip chart form and its handy 9” X 11” size makes it convenient to use. The print quality is reasonably good and this is important after 10hrs of staring into glare. It does of course, like all other charts have its deficiencies. The strip format cuts off many areas outside of the waterway proper including parts of some inlets (photo below) and many of the pages do not show lat/long or a compass rose where I consider them a necessity.

The photo above shows a page from the “Intracoastal Waterway Chartbook” where mark numbers have been changed, there is no compass rose and lat/longs are missing. Most of this can be fixed by marking in the lat/longs yourself, as I have. Despite its short falls I think it’s the way to go. We just take the time to mark in the lat/long lines and rose. 
We stumbled across the incomparable “ADC” chartbook for the Chesapeake in a book store which, like the ”Explorer” chartbooks for the Bahamas are high quality printing on very good quality paper with a tremendous amount of useful information thrown in. I have never seen any better chartbooks than these.

The Bahamas “Explorer Chartbooks” charts have almost every necessary waypoint painstakingly corrected by real cruisers to real GPS positions (not so with some others) and are unquestionably the best Bahamas charts available . Paper quality begats print quality and if you are staring at these things 6-10 hrs/day crisp clean print becomes an important issue. Why can’t the big chart printers like Richardson, BBA or Maptech print good quality charts like ADC or Explorer

You can buy a New York State canal chartbook through the usual marine sources or you can get an excellent cruising guide / chartbook for half the price from the
New York State Canal Corporation .

Other great resources ..........

The Salty Southeast Cruisers Nets.
This site is constantly updated with all the changes on the ICW from bridge closures to shoaling report. You must visit on a regular basis.

The Active Captain. On this site you can view all the ICW charts, satellite photos and then overlay them for a frontseat view of the entire ICW at your computer.

Oh yeah … don’t forget the eye drops as hour after hour of squinting at charts or staring into the glare can be really hard on tired old eyes.

Chapter 13. Weather, Wind & Waves.

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