South Pacific Charts

We have received a few questions about the charts we used in the South Pacific.   We pulled together all of the charts we used throughout our travels across the SoPac islands from fellow cruisers in Mazatlan, Mexico.  All of our charts were full sized copies made at several different printers for about 8 pesos a meter or about $2 for a 2 meter chart.  Some of our charts were copies of copies and this worked fine as long as the original copy was good.  Quality would drop off after 20 or 30 copies at one printer and we would then take our business to another printer.

We organized the charts from several boats and handled all of the copying in return for the use of their charts and we were able to compile the complete set listed for under $100.  It was a lot of work and we made over 100 copies total for all of us which was a challenge just to carry but they is chart set served us well. 

Copies work fine though I prefer full sized copies.  We have a small chart table but I found the 4/5th scale charts we purchased for Mexico hard to read.  Being as they are cheap I don't mind folding them.  Color originals are useful when in reef infested waters like Fiji or Ha'apai in Tonga but otherwise a copy is just as good. 

The following is a list of charts we took to the South Pacific.  We needed no other charts until we reached Whangarei in New Zealand and then we wished we had a harbor chart.  We supplemented the charts with cruising guides.  We had Charlie's Charts for the South Pacific which was very useful.  We had Anchorage's of the South Pacific which was occasionally useful.  We had Landfalls in Paradise which was rarely useful but inspirational reading before we left.  Jimmy Cornell's Cruising Handbook was occasionally useful.  The South Pacific Handbook didn't provide anything about anchorages but it gave us everything else we needed about the islands we visited.

The following list has some duplication because we were getting them so cheap that we went for the DMA and BA charts of the same place.  If I had to choose I would tend to take the DMA chart because they more often provide a Datum which is required to transfer waypoints to your GPS with any accuracy.  Many areas of Tonga and Fiji are being resurveyed right now so wait until the last minute to buy new charts if you feel compelled to spend the bucks.

Here are the charts we used with the most frequently referenced in bold:

Go West South Pacific Charts

Chart Coverage

Type

DMA Nbr

BA Nbr

Eastern Pacific, Mexico and the French Polynesia

West Mexico

BA

4802

East Pacific

BA

51

4051

So. Pacific Pilot

BA

5128-3

So. Pacific Pilot

BA

5128-4

French Polynesia

DMA

607

Marquises

BA

1640

Tahiti to Rangiroa

DMA

83023

Ile Makemo to Ile Tahiti

BA

998

Plans of Society Isles

BA

1107

Paeete

DMA

83385

Tahiti Approach

BA

8234

Tahiti & Morea

BA

1436

Moorea

DMA

83383

Tahaa to Raiatea

BA

1103

Huahine to Maupiti

BA

1060

Bora Bora

DMA

83397

Cooks,Tonga, Samoa and Isle Wallis

Western Pacific

DMA

526

Tasman and Coral Sea

DMA

602

Cook Islands

DMA

83425

Samoa

BA

83473

1730

Samoa

DMA

83473

Isle Wallis

DMA

83495

NZ to Fiji, Samoa

BA

605

Tonga

BA

82

Vavau Group

BA

8234

Ha'apai Northern Group

NZ

8247

Ha'apai Southern Group

NZ

8248

Lifuka Approach

NZ

8249

Nomuka Group

NZ

8259

Nuku'alofa

DMA

83567

Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia

Fiji

BA

2691

Fiji

DMA

83034

Fiji Northeast

DMA

83590

Fiji Southeast

DMA

83580

Fiji West

DMA

83570

Suva Approaches

DMA

83572

Suva Approach

BA

1674

Vanuatu

DMA

82543

Vanuatu

DMA

83571

Vanuatu

DMA

82684

Vanuatu

DMA

82025

Vanuatu

DMA

82564

New Caledonia

DMA

82689

New Caledonia

DMA

82690

New Zealand

North Island East Coast

NZ

52

Approaches to Auckland

NZ

532

N. Isl. Taroa Pt to Cp. Brett

NZ

51

Doubtless Bay

NZ

5114

Bay of Islands

NZ

5125