US Coast Guard Updates Electronic Chart Policy

by Richard Crockett

The issue of paper charts vs electronic digital charts is one debated in many yachts clubs around the world. I have always viewed the US Coast Guard to be pretty broad-mined in their view to many issues regarding boating.

It is a pity that SAMSA is not as liberal in their thinking, as their hard-ass approach certainly suffocates recreational sailing. I simply hope that they read this and take note.

The U.S. Coast Guard has announced an update to its navigation guidance for the use of electronic charts in lieu of paper charts and publications.

The updated version of Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 01-16 identifies voluntary acceptable equivalencies to paper charts and publications as well as position fixing and plotting requirements under Coast Guard regulations.

The NVIC also provides guidance and recommendations to vessel owners and operators and chart display manufacturers.

“We took into account feedback from agency partners and industry stakeholders to adjust our electronic charts policy,” said Capt. Mary Ellen J. Durley, the chief of the Office of Navigation Systems.

Mariners are not required to use electronic charts or electronic charting systems. The updated guidance offers a voluntary alternative means to comply with U.S. chart and publication carriage requirements.

View the NVIC link HERE