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In November of 2013 I was surfing the NOAA website, looking at chart catalogs to plan for the next coastal cruising season, when I read the announcement that the NOAA Coast Survey would no longer be printing Nautical Charts. This was sad news indeed!
I am what you might call a chart junkie. At home I keep a large metal flat file stuffed with charts collected over the years. For me charts represent aesthetics as well as utility. Oh I use my charts, you can be sure of that, but sometimes I just like to look at them. In the off season, charts allow me to be an armchair adventurer, and imagine myself anchoring my little yawl in some snug uninhabited cove or exploring some unfamiliar island group. Of course, I usually have trips planned and courses drawn for summer cruises long before the snow melts. Charts are a wonderful thing and my hat goes off to all the folks at NOAA who have unknowingly served my addiction all these years.
Oh yes, I know, there is an amazing array of electronics these days that navigators can use to cross the waters and I don't begrudge you commercial mariners from using them to the fullest. I'll admit that I am a recreational boater and, for me, navigating by chart is half the fun. I wonder, though, whenever I read of some humungous and sophisticated cruise ship disabled and drifting in the Caribbean if the utility of paper nautical charts might not be with us for years to come.
I am thankful that NOAA will continue to do what they do so amazingly well, charting our waters for the safety and security of the nation. When I learned that they were looking for agents to introduce a new era of "on demand" distribution, I decided to throw my hat in the ring. In a small way, I hope to help preserve this tradition started by Thomas Jefferson and maybe, at the same time, contribute to the safety of the boating community. By keeping our prices as low as possible I hope more people can keep charts on their boats; even if they're only to be used as back-up to their electronics.
So send us your orders and we will do our best to uphold the quality and consistency (along with the aesthetic) that you have enjoyed from NOAA in the past. You can rest assured that we at Frugal Navigator believe in this product and are truly excited to send it to you. I just hope you don't mind a few seconds of armchair exploring before I roll it up and ship it! (click here if you would like us to send you a free sample chart)