1:1 ON YOUR DATE
Nautical Chart Contents (not a full list)
For images of real charts see here Eastern Solent and Central Solent
You need to recognise and understand most of these. The RYA Training Almanac has one page with common chart symbols. There are many more which you can look up in Admiralty Chart NP5011, which is actually a 75 page book. Use the pictorial index on the inside back cover to locate the correct pages. NP 5011 also has much more information on conventions, buoyage, abbreviations, lights and tides. A copy of NP5011 is essential on any boat.
Projection eg Mercator, Gnomic.
Date of Issue and dates of corrections (bottom left corner)
Geographic Datum (eg Ordnance Survey, WGS 84, ED50)
Latitude and Longitude scales
Chart limits Latitude & Longitude (top right and bottom left)
Chart datum for depths
Depths below chart datum
Heights above MHWS - Mean High Water Spring tide - for lights
Vertical clearances above Highest Astronomical Tide eg for bridges and overhead cables
Compass Rose and Magnetic Variation with annual change
Navigational mark system and Direction of
Buoyage - the large magenta arrows on the chart indicates the direction.
In Europe the direction is IALA 'A' - Port Hand marks on the left in the direction of buoyage, Starboard Hand marks on the right. (Usually when entering ports or rivers and going up tide.
Lighthouses - see Nav
Racons (radar beacons)
Overfalls and tide rips
Tidal Diamonds and tables
Tide heights at selected points
Anchorages and foul ground
Submarine cables, pipelines, outfalls
Bridges, overhead cables and heights
Traffic Separation Zones (shipping lanes)
Fisheries and fish farms
Naval Exercise Areas, Gunnery
and Submarine areas
Conspicuous landmarks - Churches, pylons, water towers, etc
Seabed type sand (S), mud (M), shell (sh), clay (Cy), pebbles (P) rock (R), etc
Facilities - marinas, water, fuel, engineer, cranes, harbourmaster
Posted 8th March 2011