Using Nautical Charts

How to Use Nautical Charts Lesson 2

Nautical Charts Lesson 2


Navigation Marks:


You will notice that in addition to the depths that there are numerous navigation marks in both the yellow, blue and white areas on the chart Don’t worry about these yet as we will be covering them in depth once we start to navigate at the moment we need to concentrate on where we are


Additional Information:

 If you look at the top left hand quarter of Chart 5041  you  will see that there is a considerable amount of information available

This information   includes the chart number, the chart title, the units used for measuring height and depth, the scale of the chart, the datum used, the buoyage system in use, the type of projection and sources of information from which the chart has been compiled Once again, we will cover these in detail as we progress

Warnings and Cautions:


Below the Chart Title and Additional Information are the warnings and cautions that relate to this particular chart As you can see they include warnings and cautions regarding shellfish beds , historic wrecks, sand waves, firing practice areas, high speed craft and traffic schemes to mention a few The warnings and cautions are by no means exhaustive and the navigator should always check to ensure that they have the latest information

Tidal Streams:

Looking just to the right of the Chart Title you will see a table of Tidal Diamonds Each diamond refers to a specific geographic area on the chart and gives the rate and direction of the tidal stream for that area for a particular time before or after high water at a particular port In this case the tidal streams refer to HW Sheerness

Chart Corrections:

You will notice that in the margins at the top and bottom there is a warning NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION There are two reasons for this
This Chart No 5041 is an instructional chart based on Chart 1183 It may contain symbols to illustrate a wider range for instructional purposes so features that appear on this chart may not exist in reality

If you were using the pucker Chart 1183, the chart would have been continuously corrected from the Notices to Mariners as is the good practice of seaman so would not necessarily remain relative or consistent with the exercises and lessons in training publications

Chart corrections are an extremely important aspect of chartwork and so deservedly warrants a chapter to itself and is a subject we will revisit later in some depth


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