Ok…I’d like to set forth the facts that seem to be somewhat missing this week following the recent announcement from NOAA that they will cease printing paper charts.
Fact: NOAA will no longer print paper charts and sell them in the printed format via local agents or retailers.
Fact: NOAA has clearly made the decision to exit the printing business.
Fact: NOAA produced charts will continue to be printed and sold by commercial entities.
Fact: Paper nautical charts will continue to exist since everyone will still be able to buy a paper chart that is up-to-date and drafted by NOAA.
Fact: Paper nautical charts will be printed by “print-on-demand” retailers, and will actually be more accurate since they reflect all current Local Notice to Mariners and Chart Updates
Fact: A majority of non-government chart users have already switched to print-on-demand charts anyways, so many will see absolutely no change.
So…is it really a sad day? Not really….
For more, be sure to read the FAQ by NOAA on the topic.