Thursday, October 31, 2013



Our Thanks to Bill Riley of Baltimore's Marine Alliance Group, Inc.
affectionately know as "the Magi" for this contribution and correction
we have added a correction to our original post.If you ever have need for the "wise
men of the maritime" for hull or cargo surveying, accident investigation, or cargo loss investigation consider contacting the MAGI at 410-284-8175.

"There have been a number of stark raving panic articles recently about NOAA ceasing to publish nautical charts. Many of the commentators seem to be people who have never purchased a chart. Just to clarify: NOAA does the surveying and cartography. In the past they have sold paper charts, by mail, through the Government Printing Office outlets, and through ship chandlers. For a number of years recently, the actual printing of charts sold by NOAA was done by the FAA, along with their Air Navigation Maps. This year, the FAA decided to get out of the printing business, so NOAA announce it would stop selling paper charts. This actually makes no difference to the modern user of paper charts. The modern user buys charts from a ship chandler, who prints them on demand from digital files provided by NOAA. These print-on-demand charts are up to date to the latest Notice to Mariners. If you purchased a paper chart from NOAA by mail, you would have to spend time correcting the chart for all the NTMs issued since its printing date, which might be weeks or months ago. The typical ship arriving in Baltimore, for example, needing a paper chart to satisfy a Coast Guard Port State Examination, would call their agent, who would then order the chart from Maryland Nautical Sales, who would print the chart that day. The agent would send a messenger to pick up the chart and deliver it to the vessel, along with an invoice for the chart and a hefty markup for their services to obtain and deliver it."

 Best regards, 
William M. Riley Marine Surveyor,
 Maritime Alliance Group, Inc.

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