Carry and Use Nautical Charts and Publications
Source: Transport Canada
An open body of water may seem inviting, but remember that there are no clearly marked traffic lanes on the water. This, as well as the absence of signs that clearly tell us where we are, can make navigation difficult.
To help make navigation safer, you must carry the following for each area you plan to boat in:
- the latest edition of the largest scale chart (when available); and
- the latest edition of related documents and publications, including Notices to Mariners, Sailing Directions, tide and current tables, and the List of Lights, Buoys and Fog Signals.
If you are operating a boat under 100 gross tons, you do not have to carry these charts, documents and publications on board as long as you know:
- the location and type of charted:
- shipping routes;
- lights, buoys and marks; and
- boating hazards; and
- the area’s usual boating conditions such as tides, currents, ice and weather patterns.
Before heading out, you should make sure you know:
- how to plot a course;
- how to determine your position; and
- how to use:
- a compass along with marine charts;
- electronic navigation equipment; and
- references such as tide tables, Canada’s buoyage system, navigation lights and signals, Notices to Mariners and Sailing Directions.
Avoid potential danger by steering clear of rapids and currents, and be sure not to obstruct commercial navigation in commercial shipping channels.
The Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) is the best source for information on these charts, documents and publications. The CHS also offers digital charts that include every detail from the official paper charts. You can buy official paper and digital charts from authorized chart dealers. For more information or to find the nearest authorized chart dealer, please visit www.charts.gc.ca or contact the CHS