The Local Notice to Mariners is a USCG publication which is issued by each district as shown in the map below. This publication lists changes in aides to navigation, chart changes, and other information that may be of interest to mariners.
In order to keep your charts current, you should subscribe to the local notice or check the online version frequently to see what is going on in your area.
Once you follow the link to the Local Notice to Mariners you will be presented with the map below. Let's say you are delivering a boat to a location in Florida - you will click on the District 7 section of the map. (This only works at the site, not in this demonstration.)
Once you have selected District 7, you will be presented with a page of information, similar to the sample below, from which you can select the publication date you wish to view. You can also search the entire database for a particular word set such as "St. Lucie Inlet" in order to find all instances of information containing this phrase. (The search engine was not working when I tried it, but I did notify the USCG that they needed to rebuild their indexes.)
7th Coast Guard District Local Notice to Mariners
|09-98 Monthly Edition (Word97) (PDF)|
|10-98 1st Weekly Supplement (Word97) (PDF)|
|11-98 2nd Weekly Supplement (Word97) (PDF)|
|12-98 3rd Weekly Supplement (Word97) (PDF)|
|13-98 4th Weekly Supplement (Word97) (PDF)
|14-98 Monthly Edition (Word97) (PDF)|
|15-98 1st Weekly Supplement (Word97) (PDF)|
|16-98 2nd Weekly Supplement (Word97) (PDF)|
|17-98 3rd Weekly Supplement (Word97) (PDF)|
From the list above, you have the choice of downloading the Local Notice in PDF or Word format. (If you do not have a PDF viewer or a Word97 viewer, you can download a free copy of either from the USCG Local Notice to Mariners home page.) To download the Local Notice for a particular week or for an entire month, simply click on the Word97 or PDF link. You can then read through the Local Notice and find any changes which might affect you. Once the Notice is downloaded it will look similar to the document that follows.
Department of Transportation - U.S.
Coast Guard LOCAL NOTICE TO MARINERS
JUNE WEEKLY SUPPLEMENT
NOTICE NUMBER 26-98
Issued by: Commander, Seventh Coast Guard District
Brickell Plaza, Federal Building
909 S.E. 1st Avenue, Miami, Florida 33131-3050
Telephone (305) 536-5621 (Office hours 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., M-F)
BROADCAST NOTICE TO MARINERS
Navigation information having been of immediate concern to the Mariner, and promulgated by the following broadcasts, has been incorporated in this notice when still effective:
NOTES: (1) Unless otherwise indicated, missing and destroyed structures are presumed to be in the immediate vicinity mariners should proceed with caution. A dark vertical line in the left margin indicates new information.
RELOCATE Pine Is Snd Daybeacon "2A" from
(26°30'15.784''N, 82°1'46.792''W) to 26°30'16.1"N 082°01'46.5"W
Pine Is Snd Daybeacon "4" from
(26°30'5.3''N, 82°2'8.4''W) to 26°30'05.1"N 082°02'06.7"W
Pine Is Snd Daybeacon "5" from
(26°29'51.33''N, 82°2'26.375''W) to 26°29'52.1"N 082°02'26.5"W
The Local Notice to Mariners consists of a Monthly Edition and Weekly Supplementals. The Monthly Edition should be maintained as a reference. Recurring information is published only once a month.
Obviously, to really update our chart we would have to find all notices related to the area from August of 1995 when the chart was published. This is possible, but perhaps not practical. If I were making the trip, I might do a cursory search to see what I could find and make those corrections but then when I arrived at the unfamiliar area I would try to radio for local information. Usually you can raise a marina or a towing service that will be happy to tell you of any special circumstances that might not show on your chart.
If you often operate in a particular area you should subscribe to, or visit, the Local Notice to Mariners page often to keep your personal charts up to date.
Now that you have updated charts, it is time to start planning the actual trip. You should start by checking the general overall weather for the area. How to Use the National Weather Service Site
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