I discovered a new product available through NOAA. They have introduced an experimental product called BookletChart™. You can now print charts on your home computer for FREE, as in free beer. Very handy. If they decide to adopt this new feature full time, the charts will be updated weekly for all Notices to Mariners, for now in the experimental stage they are not.

You can download the charts as PDF files and then print them at home. They are designed for two-sided printing and then stapled together to form a booklet. I tried printing one this morning and was pleasantly surprised at the results. I think this a great feature from NOAA and encourage everyone to try it out.

If enough of us make use of this new program I’m sure NOAA will keep it going. It would be so nice to be able to print charts from home whenever we need them and not have to worry about ordering one ahead of time. Especially for those of us who are not necessarily living in the most nautical areas of the country. I plan to make use of the Lake Superior BookletChart later this summer when we are attending the Tall Ships® Duluth 2010 festival in July and August.