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  • #3940

    I am confused about charts and chart plotters.

    I want some useful charts to aid my cruising around the UK, starting with the East Coast and the Solent area. Two reasonable chart packs in paper form seem to offer the detail I need: Admiralty Leisure and Imray 2000 Series. Any thoughts on which is better?

    Also Admiralty Leisure seem to offer very reasonably priced chart plotter software covering the whole of UK and Ireleand for 5 lots of £42.50 – but I cannot work out if I use this whether I can print anything. Views?

    I have an old GPS, but for position fixing only – does not have an interface with computer.

    All input gratefully received.



    If you can afford them then the Admiralty Tough Charts are very good. They offer good coverage of the Solent and some parts of the East Coast and are as tough and waterproof as they say. Thus there is no need for complex methods of waterproofing or chart cases. Not cheap, but I feel worth the cost for dinghy sailing in a Wayfarer if you are a regular to the areas. Beyond that I believe the Imray charts also do a water resistant version. Not as tough but still good – I have used them in Scotland.


    I opted for Maptech Digital charts, covering pretty much all Admiralty Charts for UK & Ireland for £85 from Map Warehourse.

    The pack I bought means I have all of these charts on my PC, and I can then choose to print whichever chart – or section of chart – I wish.

    I then print onto ‘Toughprint’ Paper – which is water proof and tear proof, and can be printed on from my home printer.
    This proves extremely versatile.

    Here are a couple of screen shots for info of the Maptech product.
    The first is an example of south coast charts available (the black rectangles indicate charts available)

    The second is an example of a screen shot of Calshot Spit and Bramble Bank.

    I can plot routes, distances etc, though the package I have bought does not in itself upload the charts to my GPS.
    So I load waypoints into the GPS, and use the charts printed on Toughprint paper.

    I hope this is useful as understanding one option.



    Very interested in your purchases (Jon) and googled map warehouse, it came up as Maps warehouse, is that who you used? Also looked up the price of Toughprint paper and in one place it came up as £15 for 25 sheets. I have no justifiable need at present for what you use but it does sound a very good system.
    I’ve got Imray charts of the Solent and the people on my Day Skipper course (on a yacht) preferred them over the Tough Charts as the detail was demonstrably better. However in a Wayfarer the Tough charts durability and size would be an asset. I have bought an Ortlieb waterproof mapcase to protect the Charts for just over £20 so infact the Tough Charts would have been a cheaper option.
    Thanks to Dave’s help here I am using my GPS with the PC and its brilliant fun……

    PS The image shows our track to East Head from Itchenor (Chichester Harbour) in a north-easterly. On Google Earth itself getting a closer image is even better….obviously this is not navigating though…..

    Bob Harland

    I settled on the Imray C series – quite a few years ago – just as they brought out the water resistant version. We tend to cruise quite widely so it’s means we have continuity around the coast. And as we went to a new area we just bought the relevant C series chart. Each chart covers a fairly big area so they are perfect for passage planning and you get a handful of detail harbour plans printed on insets.

    For detail we use OS Landranger 1:50k Maps

    We did buy the odd detail chart as well, but they never seemed to offer anything over and above the OS Maps. And I always felt that the OS map had valuable detail that charts did not show (e.g. nearest pub).

    I have used some of the portfolio charts overseas – Holland, Denmark – but it was never that easy to find the right sheet.
    In a small boat having everything on one sheet folded to the right place has worked best for us.
    We use our charts/maps in an Ortlieb waterproof map case A3 size.

    This season we have gone onto Garmin g2 charts on a GPS which for navigation is superb. But for passage planning the Imray C series are for me best.


    Like Bob, I primarily use Imray C series for sailing; they take good helpings of mud and water and remain useable.

    I also have copies of the Admiralty CD for my area (Bristol Channel., Wales etc) and the Imray CD that covers the same area. With both you get what is on the paper chart. Taking a small area that I know, the Admiralty chart is slightly more detailed, but not enough to matter in a Wayfarer; the Imray chart is easier to use and has free updates for a year. Neither hide the fact that they are digitised charts, but the Imray interface is smoother. For those that have done any training, the Admiralty interface is the same as the RYA training plotter in raster. Both are good value for armchair planning, I mostly use Imray.

    So to the original question. Both Admiralty and Imray provide the option to print the screen as viewed, and I think Imray also allows you to print the chart. Both come with disclaimers about the use of such prints for navigation, and I believe that the use of charts printed in this way is also in violation of copyright. Of course, I would never violate anyone’s copyright, but if I were to do so, it would be to print critical small sections that supplement my C series.


    I use Imray C series and get them laminated by a local printer. This makes them stiff and easy to use in the boat and very hardwearing. To store them I just roll them and stuff them between the slats in the seats – crude but it works and they are easily got at. The snag is the price and its difficult to update them. If I was in just one area ie one chart this is a good method to use but I do like the idea of printing them myself on waterproof paper. Its about £20 a go to laminate them!

    Dave Bevan

    @Bob Harland wrote:

    This season we have gone onto Garmin g2 charts on a GPS which for navigation is superb. But for passage planning the Imray C series are for me best.

    Hi Bob
    As well as using the charts on the handheld, can you use the Garmin software to print the charts? I believe Garmin currently have an offer of a free G2 chart with certain Oregon handhelds.

    Dave Bevan

    @Adrian Pery wrote:

    If you can afford them then the Admiralty Tough Charts are very good.

    For those going to Cornwall this summer for a bit of cruising, the falmouth to Plymouth tough-chart is available on ebay for <£20 (£23.40 with postage), other areas also seem to be available – Solent is under a tenner.

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