What sailor does not dream of being able to maintain a business whileliving aboard his boat, preferably in the warmer climates? German entrepreneur Hasko Scheidt, founder of Nautical Publications, has found an enjoyable solution by producing charts of his favorite cruising areasthe Baltic and Caribbean seas.
Scheidt’s charts, which are the combined result of thousands of his own soundings and government surveys, are as beautiful to look at as they are useful. Voyagers who have had them aboard exclaim at the quality: Colors are brilliant, the paper is heavy, and they are a manageable size for a yacht’s confined nav station, 17×23 inches.
Nautical Publications, based in the small village of Arnis on Germany’s Baltic coast, produces sets of paper and electronic charts that rely on Scheidt’s soundings and on government surveys. Conventional charts for the Caribbean, Scheidt explained, are based on soundings that were made between 1870 and 1880.
“I thought that if I were to sell my own charts it would be important to go back to these areas and collect new information,” explained Scheidt, who said his success in charting is due to his interest and commitment to doing research himself.
“I spent almost three years doing research in the Caribbean alone. But the work is a never-ending story; there is always more to do.”
Packages of paper charts, which cost $69 U.S. and are available in the U.S. through most large dealers, contain one passage chart and six large-scale charts, including numerous detailed areas that are printed on the reverse sides. Nautical Publications’ charts are renewed every two years, but users of the charts can also subscribe to the company’s updating service.
From his 46-foot classic English pilot cutter Olaf Trygvason, Scheidt and his family are presently circling the Caribbean, performing research (while they are not attending such diversions as the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta) for their upcoming collection of electronic charts. These charts, which are to be made entirely by electronic means and not by scanning paper charts, will be distributed by Maptech in the U.S. They will be available in November 1998.