B.C. Marina's and Anchorages


Nautical Chart Symbols

Many recreational boaters in small boats don't consider it important to have charts onboard. Bad idea, even if you are just operating in your local waters. Perhaps you are not yet a navigator, but if you have a chart or map available, you may relate your present position to objects around you and use this correlation to return to backtrack to previous positions.

Looking at a nautical chart for the first time can be confusing. There is a great deal of information and it may be difficult to decipher what you’re looking at and what it means.


Essentially, a nautical chart is a map of water areas and adjoining land which is intended primarily for marine navigation. It provides the mariner with a vast amount of information such as depth of water, elevation of land, Horizontal Datum, nature of the bottom and the positions of aids and dangers to navigation.


In addition to your nautical chart, the most important publication you must have on board is Chart No. 1 – Symbols, Abbreviations and Terms


This book contains all the symbols, abbreviations, and terms used on navigation charts published by the Canadian Hydrographic Service. Hundreds of these symbols and abbreviations are used on our charts and they are based on international specifications allowing nations around the world to use our charts without confusion.



So whats on your chart


Title Block.

Compass Rose

Aids To Navigation.





3.15 copy