Fully waterproof, this chart case travels attached to the deck lines of a sea kayak. Holds charts up to A3 size (30x42cm). When attached with the clips to the deck lines, the map case is also 'surf proof' (to a certain extent).
Axel has used his design chart case for personal use since 1997. Ever since it has proven to be a 100% waterproof design. Early versions made for friends were 1 for 1 hand-made with glued sheets and hack-sawed rods. Some of those early versions can still be found to be in use today. The current version is unchanged since 2004 and uses laminated sheets and machine-cut rods by a manual process. Now, Axel can finally keep up with demand, hopefully!
The chart case is hand-made without state-of-the-art 'high-tech' production facilities. Although care is taken to make them as neatly as possible, small 'aesthetic imperfections' can be present. But every chart case is guaranteed lasting waterproof. This rugged design, albeit produced more or less manually and 'low-tech', works! All map cases are still end-assembled and checked by Axel.
Please contact Axel directly for any warranty issues. And please do supply pictures of any issue to determine appropriate actions, repairs or (part) replacements. The design of the map case is very well suited for localized repairs and part replacements should they ever be needed (very rarely), for a very long-lasting use. While some have reported using an air-filled map case as a seating pad or cushion, obviously, while this might work, does not constitute to intended use; damage, scratches and punctures because of that fall outside the scope of warranty.
- Fiona Whitehead used the chart case for her 2004 circumnavigation of Great Britain and Ireland (more than 120 days of continues use).
- Simon Osborne used it and other waterproof cases based on this design on his 2004 circumnavigation of Ireland (Kayaking for Cancer).
- Justine Curgenven used it on the circumnavigation of Tasmania in 2004, and is using it ever since.
- Philip Clegg, Barry Shaw and Harry Whelan used it on their 2005 circumnavigation of Great Britain.
- Pete Bray, Nigel Dennis, Geoff Allen and Hadas Feldman used it on their 2005 South Georgia expedition.
- Freya Hoffmeister and Greg Stamer used it on their 2006 Iceland circumnavigation.
- Martin Rickard, Pete Jones and Philip Clegg used in Greenland in 2007.
- Shawna Franklin, Leon Sommé and Justine Curgenven used it around Haida Gwaii in 2007.
- Simon Osborne and Philip Clegg used it on their 2007 expedition in Madagascar.
- Barry Shaw and Justine Curgenven used it on their 2008 circumnavigation of New Zealand south island.
- Rowland Woollven used this map case during his 3 year circumnavigation of Great Britain in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and is sticking with it.
- Sarah Outen used it on her rowing boat from Japan to the Aleutians and sea kayaking with Justine Curgenven for 101 days along the Aleutian Island chain in 2014.
Weight (g) 300 Shipping weight (g) 450.0000 Manufacturer SeaKayak.NL Herkomst Nederland
Put one hand under one of the bungees of the closure system. Slide hand towards the end cap opposite of the clip. While the thumb holds the end cap, pull on the end cap while keeping good hold of the end cap and bungee. The end cap on the bungee can hurt or create damage when allowed to 'shoot' loose. Roll the clear plastic off the closure system. When the map case is brand-new the plastic sheet 'sticks' together and could need a little fiddling to open before first use.
Getting trapped air out
After a map is put into the case and before closing, run the map case a few times over your upper leg allowing the air to escape from the case on the still open side.
The clear plastic sheet needs two full turns around the closure system. Try to avoid 'wrinkles'. The bungee within the end cap should align with/in the widened groove. Sometimes a little force is needed to 'click' the end cap into the groove. The sheet inevitable will develop wrinkles around the closure rods. This will not affect the waterproofness as long as the ends of the sheet run inside the groove and have at least two full turns around the closure rods.
Securing to the deck lines of a sea kayak
Most modern sea kayaks have a row of three (or four) recessed deck fittings each side in front of the cockpit that have separate holes for the deck lines and the deck bungees. By letting the deck line 'skip' one set (or two sets) of deck fittings, the map case can then run freely along the deck line. While paddling, the map case rests on the spray deck while secured to the deck lines. Upon entering/exiting the sea kayak it can be slid forward, or flipped over.
Making the map case narrower
The map case is designed to hold charts and maps up to A3 size. It can be made permanently narrower by trimming one of the open sides. The clear plastic needs to 'settle' to get the turns without wrinkles for the first few uses. It is no problem to make more turns around the closure rods to make the map case narrower.
When a map is replaced, sand might find it's way into the map case. Sand between the clear plastic in the closure system might compromise the waterproof ness. When sand is visible near the closure system rinse the sand away and clean your hands from sand before opening the closure system to prevent sand from entering.
When replacing maps in moist environments or whilst at sea, condensation might be a result. Getting moisture out of the map case is easiest done by removing both sides of the closure system and leave it to dry while both ends are kept open for air to flow through it. If fogging-up while paddling is a problem, you can remove as much trapped air as possible to have the map flush with the plastic.
Although the clips strongly fit to the bungee, it has been observed that the power of strong (dump) surf break rips the bungee off the clip. To minimize the chance of this happening, one can additionally secure the clip to the bungee with needle and thread. Or make a habit of storing the map case away before launching or landing through surf. If you would ever try to pull the clip off the bungee with brute force, you will 'appreciate' the force that breaking (dump) surf has!
The type of bungee clips used has been selected for strength, durability and a reliable connection to the deck lines, not to lose the map case. In effect this might pose an unexpected hazard when one has to get rid off the map case in an emergency situation for whatever reason (i.e. tow line entanglement). Please experiment and familiarize yourself with how to release the clips from the deck lines that works best for you, or choose not to use the clips.
Temperatures at or below freezing will make the clear plastic less flexible and will make it a little more difficult to get maps in and out of the map case. Be carefull not to pressure-fold the plastic in cold temperatures for 'kinks' could occur that can 'break' the plastic (especially along the seams) and thus creates leaks.
At temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius (105 degrees Fahrenheit) the clear plastic will get 'soft'. This is especially a risk when the map case is left in the car under the wind screen on a hot day. In these extreme conditions the rigid plastic closure rods might even 'warp' with permanent damage.
The most common (if any) damage that might occur is a leak in the plastic because of punctures or 'kinking along the seams'. The plastic sheet can be repaired with soft PVC glue and a small piece of sheet material. Others have reported good results with only applying SeamSeal (SeamGrip or AquaSure).