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Ted Lavino
Username: tlavino

Post Number: 237
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Monday, January 25, 2021 - 12:05 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Folks, the NOAA will soon start to phase out raster charts (RNC) in lieu of vector charts (ENC). They are also moving away from publishing paper charts, relying on charts created from PDF's of ENC charts printed by either the consumer or NOAA's chart agents. Please see the discussion hosted by the SSCA with representatives from the USCG and NOAA:

application/pdfNOAA and USCG Discussion of the future of charting
NOAA Migration from RNC to ENC.pdf (253.6 k)

Ted Lavino
Senior Member
Username: Tlavino

Post Number: 402
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 11:39 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Greetings folks, Susie Cambpell and I were having a conversation regarding charts for our upcoming Saddleback voyage, and the topic turned to third party charts, i.e. charts published by other than official government hydrographic offices such as Maptech's waterproof line of charts. I pointed out Maptech's disclaimer that their charts were "NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION", which she found a bit disconcerting!

I believe that this language stems from the requirements that passenger carrying vessels have on board nautical charts, and the question is what satisfies that requiremnet? From what I understand, only paper or now electronic charts published by an official hydrographic office constitutes a nautical chart as used in the SOLAS and therefore USCG requirements. Third party charts do NOT meet these requirements, and hence the disclaimer.

From -14015-filed

NOS is responsible, under 33 U.S.C. 883a et seq., to provide charts and related information for safe navigation in United States waters. Requirements for the mandatory carriage and use of these nautical charts by certain vessels are established by the U.S. Coast Guard and are published in Titles 33 and 46, Code of Federal Regulations. In
revisions to SOLAS that will enter into force in July 2002, "nautical chart or nautical publication" are defined as "a special-purpose map
or book, or a specially compiled database from which such a map or book is derived that is issued officially by or on the authority of a Government authorized Hydrographic Office or other relevant
government institution and is designed to meet the requirements of marine navigation." As these terms had not previously been defined, and as Coast Guard regulations require carriage of nautical charts, NOAA believed it appropriate to state the products that meet the SOLAS definition.

Ted Lavino
Senior Member
Username: Tlavino

Post Number: 233
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Friday, November 12, 2004 - 12:46 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Many people ask me the difference between the U.S. Notices to Mariners and the Local Notices to Nariners.

The U.S. has two different hydrographic offices, serving two different consituencies. Within the U.S. Commerce department is the National Ocean Service (NOS)( which is charged with publishing and updating charts and navigation publications covering the U.S. and its territories. Updates to these charts and publications are disseminated by the U.S. Coast Guard via its Local Notices to Mariners program (

Another hydrographic office called the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agence (NGA-formerly NIMA or National Imagery and Mapping Agency) ( This agency is charged with publishing charts and navigation publications covering the entire globe outside US waters. Its main focus is the military, but it also publishes charts and publications for the public at large. NGA charts and publications are upated via the U.S. Notices to Mariners program published by the NGA, which is available at

So the bottom line is that if you have charts of the U.S. published by the U.S. government they will be updated via Local Notices to Mariners. If you have charts of foreign waters published by the U.S. government, they will be updated via the U.S. Notices to Mariners. Of course charts of either areas published by other hydrographic agencies will be updated by the hydrographic agency that publishes them.

Hope this clears up any confusion people may have...

Ted Lavino
Senior Member
Username: Tlavino

Post Number: 232
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Friday, November 12, 2004 - 12:01 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Greetings All, a primer on keeping charts and navigation publications published by the US government up to date:

From the USCG Navigation Center:
"What is a Local Notice To Mariners (LNM)?

The LNM is the primary means for disseminating information concerning aids to navigation, hazards to navigation, and other items of marine information of interest to mariners on the waters of the United States, it's territories, and possessions. These notices are essential to all navigators for the purpose of keeping their charts. Light Lists, Coast Pilots and other nautical publications up-to-date. These notices are published weekly. They may be obtained free of charge, by making application to the appropriate Coast Guard District or the LNM's are available on the World Wide Web. Vessels operating in ports and waterways in several districts will need to obtain the LNM's from each district in order to be fully informed"

The USCG publishes Local Notices to Mariners on a Monthly and Weekly basis, meaining the Monthly publication is cumulative up to the published date, and each weekly thereafter is NOT cumulative, i.e. they only contain information since the last weekly LNTM. To be up to date, you will need the Monthly and all subsequent weekly LNTM's for each applicable Coast Guard district.

You can sign up for email notification of LNTM as well as USCG Light List and Summary of Correction updates at

Ted Lavino
Senior Member
Username: Tlavino

Post Number: 131
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Saturday, March 06, 2004 - 01:16 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Greetings All, one of the most time consuming tasks facing a navigator is keeping charts up to date. I can't help with the process of actually performing updates, but I found a great link that is essentially an electronic version of the quarterly Summary of Corrections publication, and its real time vs, every 3 months for the printed version.

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