Skipper John

Navigational e-Aids

Click for Oceanside, New York Forecast

For the INSIDE scoop, check out our Salt Water Forum for the North East Area.

Nautical Charts online Arial Photographs
Nautical Calculator (Range & bearing/Miles & Temperature USCG Notice to Mariners
Rules of the Road (USCG d/l) U.S. Navigation Code
Boating and Rules of the Road basics USCG Navigation Center Online
Coast Pilots Chart #1
Historical charts ALL kinds of Knots

Did you know...
Do you know why a Nautical mile is different from a statue mile?
The answer is in the answer to the question "Why isn't there a KEY on a chart" (you know the little thing that shows how an inch is equal to a mile on a map).
Lines of longitude come together at the poles. They touch there and yet at the equator they are almost 2 miles apart (about 0.7625 miles apart on our latitude). Lines of latitude are parallel. They are constantly spaced throughout the globe. Now Latitude (and longitude) divide the globe into 360 segments (degrees which can actually be measured at the poles using the longitude). And consistent with standard mathematics, each degree is divided into minutes and seconds. Well, some early chart maker realized that each minute of latitude was equal (well, almost equal) to a mile. So he didn't need a key because every chart will have latitude on both the right and left sides of the chart. A nautical mile is equal to 1.15077945 Statute miles or 1852 meters (6076.1 ft.). A statute mile = 0.86897624 nautical miles. So, a nautical mile is a minute of latitude and that is damn close to a mile. Why is nautical speed referred to as knots? Years ago a crude speedometer called a chip log was a light line that was knotted at regular intervals and weighted to drag in the water. It was tossed overboard over the stern as the pilot counted the knots that were let out during a specific period of time. The knots were spaced at a distance apart of 47 feet 3 inches (a distance found to produce the desired results) and the number of these knots which ran out while a 28-second sand glass emptied itself gave the speed of the ship in nautical miles per hour or knots.

Actual Scanned Charts
JAMAICA BAY AND ROCKAWAY INLET EAST ROCKAWAY INLET AND HEMPSTEAD BAY LONG ISLAND NY
HEWLETT BAY EXTENSION EAST ROCKAWAY LONG ISLAND NY JONES INLET TO STATE BOAT CHANNEL LONG ISLAND NY
NEW YORK LOWER BAY NORTHERN PART NEW YORK LOWER BAY-SOUTHERN PART
RARITAN BAY AND SOUTHERN PART OF ARTHUR KILL BLOCK ISLAND RI
LONG ISL SND & E RVR HEMPSTEAD HBR TO TALLMAN ISL NY
HUDSON RIVER-DAYS PT TO GEORGE WASHINGTON BRIDGE HUDSON RIVER GEO WASHINGTON BRIDGE TO YONKERS NY-NJ
LONG ISLAND SOUND MIDDLE BAY TO SOUTH OYSTER BAY LONG ISLAND NY
HUNTINGTON BAY OYSTER & HUNTINGTON BAYS S. SHORE LONG ISL SND

Charts grow out of date and soon decrease in value as a true aid to navigation. Follow this link to keep all your charts up to date: Notice to Mariners


Follow this link to create your own cyber-chart on the fly: Nautical Charts

Satellite Arial Photographs can help you orient yourself when considering a new port or an old one when you want to get the "big picture".

Coast Pilots The official description of the Costal Pilots, from the NOAA site is as follows:

The United States Coast Pilots consists of a series of nautical books that cover a variety of information important to navigators of coastal and intracoastal waters and the Great Lakes. Issued in nine volumes, they contain supplemental information that is difficult to portray on a nautical chart.

Topics in the Coast Pilot include channel descriptions, anchorages, bridge and cable clearances, currents, tide and water levels, prominent features, pilotage, towage, weather, ice conditions, wharf descriptions, dangers, routes, traffic separation schemes, small-craft facilities, and Federal regulations applicable to navigation.


In short, the coastal pilots are GREAT books to have in your posession. If you cannot find it in a store, check out these links. If you are from Long Island, NY or New Jersey, Volumes 1 & 2 should be of interest to you. The downloads are large. Full of color pictures of EVERY navigational aid and coastal descriptions. They are designed to get you "unlost". Because of their size, download only the chapters of interest to you as well as all introductory chapters, appendeses and indexes.

Chart #1
Also as important is chart #1. This document contains and explains every navigational aid and chart reference there is. This book is not only important to own, but is a pleasure to thumb through and show to others. Following is NOAA's description for Chart 1:

Chart No. 1 Nautical Chart Symbols, Abbreviations and Terms is a reference publication depicting basic chart elements and explains nautical chart symbols and abbreviations associated with National Ocean Service and Defense Mapping Agency charts. It is a valuable aid for new chart users and a useful tool for all mariners.

For pleasure and fun, NOAA has made available a select few Historical charts which can be obtained through this link: click here

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