What is the best way of obtaining coastal charts printed by noaa or the coast guard?
few ways depending on preferences
For full, proper printed charts just head to some place Marine supply shop like West Marine and buy one.
print one from http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/staff/BookletChart.html
Or use software to help you plan a trip then print a custom map for a trip with both the standard NOAA chart and your routes, etc. Can give examples of this if interested.
Be sure to encase the chart in plastic if it is not waterproof. You can go to a place like Fedex Office, copy the portion or portions of a chart that you need, and then encase them in a plastic sleeve.
I use a two programs Open CPN is one and the other is seaclear. You can try both and pick which one you like more.
One more DIY
Bryan also has a link to the official chart printer
If marine store doesn’t have it
Or it's a little out of date, I like using nauticalchartsonline.com. You can pull up any NOAA numbered chart on their site and make sure it covers what you're looking for. Shipping is quick. I think I've got over a dozen different charts I've ordered from them. The waterproof charts are nice.
I could use your assistance in using software and noaa charts to plan out a trip. Thanks. Glen
PC or Mac or??
I need to review the names of what I've used when I get home tonight. I've tried various free and pay software on both platforms though lately I'm using a Mac. Some are good for planning and some for printing and fewer do both well (intuitive and hassle free) and bug free.
On a Mac I found the pay program MacGPS Pro had an easy way to scale and split into pages an area and showed my route lines nicely on the map.