Balder endorses that warning. A blue-water sailor sued him after hitting a coral reef off Hawaii while using one of his charts. The case was thrown out, because the sailor had ignored the disclaimer and relied totally on the chart.
Now Balder is looking much farther afield, investigating the possibility of compiling a chart book for New Zealand, home of the America's Cup, and an island nation fixated on sailing.
He also is pondering packaging a CD-ROM with new "Mariner's Atlas" editions to bridge the gap between old and new navigating technologies.
"You can't rely on computers to the same extent you can rely on a chart," he cautions. "Everything you need to know about the water - you can very much rely on a chart for that.
"GPS is fine," he says of the satellite-based ground positioning system found on most modern boats. "It's called `backup.' "
If you have a boating event or story to share, Gilbert Lewthwaite can be contacted at 202-416-0262 or 410-206-0242. E-mail at: email@example.com.