The availability of paper "print-on-demand" nautical charts continues to expand, as NOAA's Office of Coast Survey has added three more printing companies to its roster of certified agents for paper charts. Today's action brings the total to ten companies authorized to sell NOAA nautical charts that are printed when the customer orders them -- or "on demand."
"The most recent printers to join the NOAA paper chart program represent the enduring connections between maritime tradition and progress," said Capt. Shep Smith, chief of Coast Survey's Marine Chart Division. "Companies with histories going back decades, and even centuries, support a firm foundation for the continuing production and delivery of U.S. paper nautical charts."
Iver C. Weilbach & Co. A/S, which became a NOAA-certified printing agent this week, is one of oldest private owned companies in the maritime industry -- established in 1755 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Granville Printing has provided services since 1988, and East End Blueprint has also been in business for over 25 years.
With the expansion of the paper "print-on-demand" nautical chart program, Coast Survey officials are confident that mariners will have a wider choice of options and special services when they purchase NOAA paper nautical charts. The companies have the flexibility to offer different color palettes, various papers, a cleaner margin, and a range of services to customers.
NOAA maintains the information on the charts, and corrects them with Notices to Mariners up to the week of purchase.
The latest three companies join previously announced printing agents East View Geospatial, Frugal Navigator, Marine Press, OceanGrafix, Paradise Cay Publications, The Map Shop, and Williams & Heintz Map Corporation.
Coast Survey continues to examine applications from additional companies wishing to be certified as NOAA chart printing agents. The examination process includes testing of applicants' sample charts, to make sure they stand up to normal on-board usage conditions.
The paper charts sold by the NOAA-certified printing agents meet carriage requirements for ships covered by Safety of Life at Sea regulations, specified in Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
NOAA Office of Coast Survey is the nation's nautical chartmaker. Originally formed by President Thomas Jefferson in 1807, Coast Survey updates charts, surveys the coastal seafloor, responds to maritime emergencies, and searches for underwater obstructions that pose a danger to navigation.