Understanding a Nautical Chart

A Practical Guide to Safe Navigation

Paul Boissier

Improve your understanding of charts and you will navigate with increased safety and confidence.
Date Published :
March 2018
Publisher :
Fernhurst Books
Illustration :
284 diagrams / maps & 9 color photos
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781912177073
Pages : 200
Dimensions : 11.69 X 6.69 inches
In stock


We all rely on charts to navigate at sea – but are we missing essential information? A mass of data is included on each chart and deciphering the many symbols and abbreviations can be complicated. The accuracy of some charted depths can be trusted entirely while others should be treated with caution. This book will tell you where to find and how to understand this vital knowledge.

This updated second edition explains how charts are compiled before guiding you through the elements that make up these vital navigational tools. Improve you understanding of charts and you will navigate with increased safety and confidence.
Understanding a Nautical Chart offers superb value as, in addition to a wealth of practical advice, there is a key to all the recently updated chart symbols and abbreviations from Symbols and Abbreviations Used on Admiralty Charts (5011). It includes information on electronic charts, explains how to update a chart and how to establish the accuracy of each chart. It is ideal for professional mariners and leisure sailors.

About The Author

Paul Boissier was formerly a senior Admiral in the Royal Navy and has spent much of his professional life at sea in a wide variety of vessels, commanding two submarines and a warship. He is also a very experienced yachtsman and has cruised extensively. These perspectives, from the cockpit of a yacht and the bridge of a large ship, make him the ideal author for a COLREGs guide that will be equally useful to leisure boat users and professional mariners. Paul is currently the Chief Executive of the RNLI, the charity that saves life at sea, and operates over 340 lifeboats around the UK and the Republic of Ireland.


“Highly recommended… a very valuable resource… almost everyone will take something from it.”

- Sailing Today

“Not only does the book provide a complete key to chart symbols, it explains the way they are compiled.”

- Yachting World

“Any skipper, of any level of experience, will learn plenty from studying this book. You may be shocked at the revelation that a chart is never 100% accurate but, knowing the limitations of the tools at your command, may one day keep you out of trouble. This is an author who displays an in-depth command of his subject.”

- Yachting Life, March 2018

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