How Frugal Navigator is adapting to the NOAA Custom Chart Era

Replication for Navigation

That's right folks, it's our new motto!  Whether you're into pixels or pencils, there is no need to worry about your favorite chart being cancelled as NOAA shifts from the Raster to  ENC based paper charts. 

Frugal Navigator is here to help!

If you think you'd like to tinker around with making charts, please do give the Custom Chart Tool a try.  We love it and we think you will too.  If, though, you're a busy person, have a love-hate relationship with technology or can't imagine living without your old raster favorite, you are in luck!  We can make these new Custom Charts for you.


Continue to visit our NOAA catalogs at the top of the page and you will see new ENC based paper charts replace the footprints of the old Raster versions as they get cancelled.  Try searching for the number of an old, cancelled, Raster chart and you will find a new ENC paper chart with the same number on it.  If curious, you can see when your favorite Raster chart will flip to ENC by looking at projected cancellation dates here.


Have you created your own Custom Chart?

Frugal Navigator can print it for you!


Chart Table Chatter:
If there is one thing I've learned about boating, change is constant.  The wind shifts, take a tack. The weather deteriorates, pay out chain. The mate made reservations, new course.  The socks are starting to smell, change!


This new idea from NOAA, switching from Raster to ENC paper charts, will cause all of us to change in some way. That's okay.  We've got this.  We're boaters.


At Frugal Navigator we see some challenges.  For most charts, replication will be easy.  For charts of rivers, though, not so much.  We'll need to create a bunch of little charts to make up for one cancelled river chart.  Over all, though, we hope to use the "sun-setting of raster paper charts" to improve our Course Made Good.  We've decided to try and make the most of this and there is a lot to love about custom charts!


You will notice, with our replicated charts, that we can, using the Custom Chart Tool, tweak the scale of the old chart, slightly, so that it fits perfectly in a chart case.  With ENC charts, everything we sell will fit perfectly in a chart case.  I don't know about you but I'm often getting spray to the face when I look at my charts (some of that from the grand kids).  No matter, I still like paper and chart cases are worth their weight.


There is no way to add insets to the Custom Charts like we had on the old rasters.  I always appreciated that the cartographers were thoughtful enough to include a little harbor inset on just the occasion that I  needed it.  Well, that's gone.  At Frugal Navigator, though, we decided to recreate these insets and, where possible, give them to you free via email so you can print them at home.  If you prefer we can print them for a small fee and include them with your order.  Of course, there is no end to the stuff you can create on the Custom Chart Tool and print at home.  We will all have fun with this!


I fancy myself as a bit of a Gunkholer.  Yes, I like to get out in the open with the wind in my hair, just like the rest of you, but pottering around and exploring the quiet coves has its merits too.  (I guess we're all gunkholers now with these gas prices....2022.)  Anyway, for some of the old cancelled raster's  where, from my armchair, I see interesting nooks, I'll be making a new larger scale set of charts for this purpose.  Watch for an old chart number followed by a G, for Gunkhole Series, in our catalog.  Why am I doing this you ask?  Well, because the Custom Chart Tool makes it possible.  Isn't that cool?


One thing I've always thought was that the NOAA Raster Catalog didn't serve, much, the interest of Sea Kayakers.   I'm not sure I could fit in one of those things but how in the heck do you manage a 3 foot by 4 foot piece of paper when your cockpit is completely filled by you and your travel mug?  Why should kayakers be relegated to an itty-bitty smart phone screen?  The Custom Chart Tool will be a welcome new friend for Kayakers.  There will be no end to what you can print at home.  If, though, you'd like something a little nicer than your home printer can manage, watch for the Frugal Navigator Kayak Series (old Raster Number followed by a K) that will be produced and formatted with convenience and a Kayak deck in mind.


So there you have it.  Raster Paper charts are going away but after a minute and a few bearings we see where we are.  We're in the offing.  We're leaving an era with the wind at our back!


 Click here to see one of our new ENC Paper Charts


Thank you for visiting Frugal Navigator.  now... READY ABOUT...
Scott Franz


p.s. Thank you also, in advance, for having patience with NOAA and us P.O.D vendors as we  go through this transition.  There is a lot of change happening behind the scenes, that will enhance boating for all of us, but to do it right, it can take some time get it right.