Links to useful Boating information
Responsible boating requires a good understanding of the Navigation Rules. We recommend that all boaters get a copy of the rules and understand them -- no matter what vessel you operate YOU ARE REQUIRED TO FOLLOW THE NAVRULES!
U.S. Aids to Navigation System
Navigation Aids Verifers go here: http://a0701103.uscgaux.info/navaids.html
Understand Aids to Navigation (ATON). See the U.S.C.G. Boating Safety pages on the US ATONSystem.
US Coast Guard Boating Safety Website
U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center (NAVCEN) (GPS, DGPS status, Local Notice to Mariners)
Dates of Latest Editions, Nautical Charts, and Miscellaneous Maps
2010 Light List/ Summary of Corrections
NOAA Chart Viewer (Posting of all up to date NOAA charts for viewing on Internet browser to be used for ready reference or planning)
Coast Pilot Corrections
NOAA Weather Buoy Sites
Tides, Currents, Ports
Boater Safety Resource Center
Vessel Safety Checks
File a Float Plan before you head out
Listed below are links to two free chart viewing programs. Each one will open free official nautical charts that can be downloaded from NOAA.
· Each utility gives the position of the cursor wherever it is on the chart.
· You can add waypoints and created routes.
· You can get the course and distance for each leg of the route
The Maptech Chart Viewer can be downloaded at: http://www.maptechnavigation.com/support/doc.cfm?docid=123&plid=24&CFID=2426423&CFTOKEN=18985535
This one will only read “raster” charts
The OpenCPN utility can be found at: http://opencpn.org/ocpn/ This one will open raster and vector (ENC) charts and work seamlessly between types.
The free charts can be downloaded from NOAA at : http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/staff/chartspubs.html Look for Raster Navigation Charts or Electronic Navigation Charts.
I suggest you put all raster charts in one folder and vector (ENC) charts in a different folder so that the viewer can find them easily.
Read the user manual for each utility. The first step with either one is to set up the chart listing.