Considering a sailing adventure to Mexico? Just look at how engrossed that guy is in the book! Grab a copy of the Unauthorized Guide to Sailing in Mexico, and you too can find yourself sitting on a Mexican dock with an oversized (but very attractive) hat.

Unauthorized Guide to Sailing in Mexico

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Thursday
Oct292009

use your noaa coast pilot

The Coast Pilot is a free (in digital form; $25 or so in print), available from NOAA, and probably one of the best navigation and piloting resources that a sailor can have.

There are several Coast Pilot volumes out there, covering any US waterway up and down the east and west coasts. Also included are US overseas territories such as America Somoa.

You'll get accurate and detailed information about the area that's covered. Specifically, for every navigable body of water and harbor, you'll get:

  • Channels
  • Depths
  • General description
  • Anchorages
  • Bridges and cables
  • Caution regarding aids to navigation
  • Local weather
  • Tides
  • Currents
  • Freshets
  • Pilotage

If you don't want to carry the full printed version, at the minimum keep the digital PDF version your laptop, and use the Coast Pilot to research your routes and destinations.

Reader Comments (2)

hope to learn along with you. being a computer guy, could you help me (us) navigate through the noaa website and the choices it presents?
i managed to download the SeaClear software, but not sure if that was the best choice. i have not managed to find any of the pdf charts you mentioned, but did manage to download - and view - a few charts in the .kap file format. i guess a primer on the free chart software and file formats is what i am after. thanks

October 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterboom.dock

The Coast Pilots come in PDF form; for the San Diego (southern Pacific) area, we're on Coast Pilot #7. It's just a book; it won't provide any charts or information that can be automatically consumed by your chart plotter.

If you go here: http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/nsd/coastpilot.php?book=7

You'll see a link called "Download Coast Pilot 7 complete .pdf". Right click on that link, and save it to your desktop. You can open it up with any PDF viewer (such as Adobe Acrobat Reader), and you're set!

For help with the SeaClear chartplotter software, there's a yahoo group out there that can offer a lot of help. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/seaclear_mapping/.

October 31, 2009 | Registered CommenterEric

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