An Old Salt's Guide to Free Maritime Websites [NOOK Book]

Overview

More years ago than I care to admit, I was a junior quartermaster on a Coast Guard Cutter. I had the job of maintaining and looking up all sorts of nautical information and Federal laws. In the age of paper this could sometimes be a daunting task. It could take hours if you didn't fully know your way through the labyrinth of paper produced by our government. (I didn't) Today you can find this information on the Internet very quickly.
Another source of difficulty and expense in ...

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An Old Salt's Guide to Free Maritime Websites

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Overview

More years ago than I care to admit, I was a junior quartermaster on a Coast Guard Cutter. I had the job of maintaining and looking up all sorts of nautical information and Federal laws. In the age of paper this could sometimes be a daunting task. It could take hours if you didn't fully know your way through the labyrinth of paper produced by our government. (I didn't) Today you can find this information on the Internet very quickly.
Another source of difficulty and expense in the age of paper was to acquire, pay for and store all of the necessary charts and publications necessary to properly operate a vessel. Today you can search government records and download charts, publications and other nautical information directly from the Internet. Furthermore, what a lot of people don't realize is that the US government gives away all of this information for free. It's free as long as you access and download it yourself in electronic form over the Internet. You can still buy paper versions, but even these are no longer provided by the government. They are reprints from government information. Some are authorized reprints under government sanction and others have no legal/official value as they lack that sanction.
All vessels can download these electronic publications for free. Commercial vessels can still be in full compliance with the laws for carriage of this information as long as they can show a correction procedure for them and redundancy. It is required to have a backup computer system for this data. Nautical charts can be carried in electronic form as well, but most commercial interests are still required to carry paper charts anyway. They can use the electronic variety, but paper charts need to be available. That will probably change in the near future. So the reality for many commercial vessels is to buy and correct paper charts up to date while actually using the electronic variety. I have actually taken a two week trip from Louisiana to New York using only my laptop computer for reference and navigation. Be sure to have a backup in the form of paper or another computer (I did) anything can happen.
Correcting these publications and charts to the latest Notice to Mariners is not as bad or difficult as it sounds. Corrections are downloadable for each in the same locations where you find the main publication. With charts it's easier to just download new copies for your cruising area. I do this monthly, remember, they're free.
Below is a list of the various websites that I have found to be of use to the mariner. Some is real time information, like weather and sea conditions; other sites are for the charts and pubs that I have been discussing. Besides being extremely useful and convenient, these sites could save you anywhere from $100 to $1000 or more depending on your cruising area or voyage intentions. All web locations are hyperlinked for easy reference.

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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940032893103
  • Publisher: Donald Brands
  • Publication date: 11/28/2011
  • Sold by: Smashwords
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 920,289
  • File size: 170 KB

Meet the Author

Boats and the sea have been my life. I think I was about eight years old when I got my first boat, a dilapidated canoe. A few years later I graduated to a healthier canoe with a lateen sailing rig. This was my first sailboat. I capsized it a lot, but had thoroughly caught the boating bug. I started racing sailboats by the age of 12.In 1968 I joined the Coast Guard at the age of 17 and was discharged in 1975 with the grade of First Class Quartermaster. My first tour in the Coast Guard was an oceanographic trip to Africa on the CGC Rockaway. It was a three month tour with most of the time at sea, but it was my first adventure out of the country and I loved it. My second oceanographic tour on this ship took me to the Barbados, Trinidad, the Bahamas, and Puerto Rico. Later in this hitch I was transferred to the CGC Lilac, a triple expansion steam buoy tender, a fugitive from museums built in the early Thirty’s. I believe it is now being refurbished in NY City for display in the near future. I returned to the CGC Rockaway to finish my first hitch and made a Cadet cruise to England.Discharged from the Coast Guard on Oct 22, 1971, I returned to England for a 3 month tour by bicycle. In January of 1972 I rejoined the CG and reported aboard the buoy tender CGC Firebush at Governors Island NY. In the summer of 1972, I took leave from the CGC Firebush and enjoyed a two week cruise along the south coast of England with a British friend on his 27’ Trident class sloop. This was a bilge keel rig that proved to be fairly important in an area with 30 foot tides. Many times at low tide we were aground, but vertical resting on the two keels.After returning stateside to the CGC Firebush, the wanderlust hit me again and I requested and received a transfer to the CGC Gallatin which was making a cadet cruise through Europe. On this trip I got to Gibraltar, Portugal, Germany, Denmark and England. In 1974 I bought the Chesapeake Skipjack "Pale Moon" and sailed it from Maryland's Eastern Shore to NY for Opsail '76. Throughout this period I was involved in one design racing.Since my discharge from the Coast Guard in January of 1975, I have been working on large seagoing tugboats and currently hold a 1600 ton Ocean Master's License as well as Unlimited Third Mate and an Unlimited Radar Observer endorsement. Additionally, I hold a certificate from the Coast Guard as a "Designated Examiner". This certificate qualifies me to evaluate the competence of other mariners to hold a Coast Guard License. I have written extensively on marine safety for Offshore Magazine and other publications. On my free time, I enjoy cruising with my wife on our Catalina 22 on Long Island NY's Great South Bay.
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