Waarom je papieren zeekaarten aan boord moet houden

Why you should still keep paper nautical charts on board

For decades, paper nautical charts were one of the main navigation items aboard yachts and motorboats. They contain sea routes, shorelines, navaids, depth soundings, danger zones and restricted areas amongst other things, in order to allow you to navigate safely. Find out why you should still have a paper chart on board, how to read it and keep up to date.

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Why you shouldn't be without a paper nautical chart on board

Times are changing, technology is advancing. Today, most boats have long since started using multifunctional displays with electronic sea charts or smartphone or tablet apps for navigation. Nevertheless, technology isn't perfect, so we recommend that you always carry an up-to-date paper chart on board. If your on-board electronics were to fail, as the skipper, it is your due diligence to be responsible for the safety of your crew on board.

How to use a paper nautical chart correctly

Navigating with paper charts is part of basic training for (German) water sports license holders. In basic training, the student learns how to determine their current position and possible route by using charting instruments (protractor, pencil and dividers) and coordinate systems/scales. On-board, the chart is this placed on a charting table, in order to prevent it from sliding around in stormy seas. We offer various textbooks on how to learn to navigate with a paper chart or brush up on skills already gained.


Which paper chart is the right one for me?

SVB offers chart sets for pleasure craft from BSH, and paper charts from various private providers, such as: Delius Klasing, NV-Verlag and inland waterway charts from Kartenwerft. One can generally say that there isn't one "best" charts provider, as this depends on the select chart's quality and accuracy in the select maritime area. For example, the North Sea, when compared to the Baltic Sea is a much more varied area, where the currents regularly change - such specific information must be included in the chart. Therefore for safety reasons, our specialists recommend BSH paper charts for this region. However, in the Baltic Sea area, NV-Verlag charts have an excellent reputation, as SVB's boss says himself. For the most part, all of the paper charts that we offer are available either individually or as a set.

Many private chart providers are licensees for chart materials from official agencies, however, private chart providers meet the specific needs of water sports enthusiasts, such as: local recommendations of beautiful beaches, optimal fishing areas and tips on particularly exciting routes. We also encourage you to use the largest scale possible (detailed charts) when navigating in unknown waters or coastal districts. This ensures that you don't overlook any dangerous objects or obstacles (wreckage, shallows, rocks, etc.). Many sailors use so-called "overview charts" when sailing or passing through certain areas - these charts only represent a general overview of the area.

How do I stay up to date with my paper chart?

Always keep your paper cards up to date! Our SVB specialists recommend that you periodically replaced your charts in the spring, just before the season starts. Be mindful of the release dates, edition dates and correction dates of these charting materials. You may have to rework some of the details on your chart depending on the area, currents or other circumstances during different seasons. Changes can be followed very easily by weekly news / BSH's correction service for mariners. In addition, NV-Verlag and Delius Klasing also provide corrections and correction sets for your charts via email and this Website.

SVB Tip:To help you with this, select the correct paper chart from our Online Chart Finder, which shows a variety of different charts, both digital and paper. The Online Chart Finder displays our selection of various charts on a detailed map, which highlight different areas and chart types.

Written by our SVB (technical) experts

Written by our SVB (technical) experts

Our team of SVB technical experts is there to give our customers professional advice on all matters relating to technology on board. Their expertise is the result of regular training and many years of experience.