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John Dollin Printing Services Ltd.

Sea Charts

In 2007, one of our customers wanted to launch a new series of sea charts, which were to be for the use of yachtsmen and motor craft users in the leisure side of the marine industry.

They needed to be:

  • 100% waterproof

  • Robust & durable

  • Simple to update

  • Easy to read

Initially, we needed to source the appropriate material. This could obviously not be ordinary paper, and we worked with our customer to source the waterproof and tear resistant material upon which the charts are now printed.

The inks and coatings used on the chart printing also needed to be waterproof, very robust and able to withstand the many rubbings out of the pencil marks used when yachtsmen do their chart plotting.

We invited our customer to visit Heidelberg’s showrooms with us to look at a revolutionary new printing press, which, although a conventional offset litho press in every other aspect, does have a completely new method of inking, which enabled the charts to be printed successfully on this waterproof paper.

With Heidelberg’s help, we then produced a number of different samples trying out different inks and coatings to give the best possible result. These samples were in turn subjected to rigorous testing, being immersed in sea water for several weeks, for example, to see how they would stand up against the criteria set by the customer. The trials continued during 2007, and happily the sheets passed all the tests.

We produced the first production runs of a select number of sea areas towards the end of 2007, the product being officially launched at the London Boat Show in January 2008, at which they were well received and liked by the yachting fraternity.

The finishing of the charts was also an important part of the product, in that they are round cornered, collated, punched and spiral bound into an A3 landscape booklet, being easily managed on a yacht chart table, or even in the more exposed cockpit area.

Subsequently we were awarded a contract to supply these sea charts for a number of other areas around the British coastline.

From initial contact through all the trials to the award of the contract, has been an interesting and eventful journey for both parties. We have been able to forge and develop a partnership, which has resulted in a relationship between customer and supplier, of which we feel justifiably proud.