NOAA encourages mariners to use ENC latest updates

NOAA released latest updates and other advantages that mariners can benefit from. Electronic Navigational Charts (ENC) are the main nautical chart of NOAA’s production and mariners are encouraged to prioritize using the new ENC data before other secondary options. 


The following is a snippet of a news release from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) discussing the maintained channel depth values on raster nautical chart products, which include paper nautical charts and the corresponding digital raster navigational charts (NOAA RNC).

Project depths will replace controlling depths to provide greater clarity and safety for mariners. Mariners are encouraged to use NOAA ENC’s for critical safety information as these products are typically updated up to one month ahead of raster products. Standardizing depth presentation on these products will improve data consistency and overall safety. 

Coast Survey makes the depth information from recent surveys available before NOAA nautical products are updated and published. NOAA prioritizes making updates to ENC over RNC products. This often results in other products not accurately reflecting the most current controlling depth values. To eliminate inconsistencies among controlling depths, the initial implementation of this change will focus on deep-draft shipping channels where the primary product used for navigation is the ENC.

NOAA recommends that mariners take advantage of the most recent chart updates by using the NOAA electronic navigational chart (ENC) for navigation in US waters. ENCs provide the most up-to-date information whereas paper and raster nautical chart updates may be up to one month behind the corresponding ENC coverage. 

To strengthen the new nature of ENC-first chart production, NOAA began to place a note on all paper nautical chart products that will encourage mariners to take advantage of the ENCs.


Advantages of using ENCs

Low Cost Option – Click here to learn more about how to acquire NOAA ENCs:

Large Scale Coverage – Larger scale charts are more detailed data that is only available in the ENC format.

Easier to Update – ENC revision files will automatically apply all the latest ENC updates.

Less Clutter/Smarter Data – This database keeps important and most relevant features for a particular activity  in which a ship is engaged. ENC enables systems to include information about the date and origin of the source data used. 

Added Level of Safety – Take advantage of the ENC’s database that enable systems to initiate visual and auditory alarm to alert crew when a ship is heading towards a dangerous condition. 

Always Oriented Correctly – The text and symbols on the digital chart display will always be facing up for easy reading and interpretation. 

NOAA Custom Chart – This chart will enable nautical chart users to define the extent, scale and paper size of their own customized paper chart created from the latest ENC data:

Mariners sailing on non-SOLAS class vessels that are not required to have an Electronic Chart Display & Information System (ECDIS) on board can select from any of our digital navigation products as an alternative to printed nautical charts for the following manufacturers: Garmin, Navionics, Nobletec, or Rosepoint Electronic Chart System (ECS) products.