Managing the Waterway Chart Guides
An Illustrated Cruising Guide to the Great Loop Inland Waterway: Chicago to Mobile

Vol. 1: Chicago, IL to Paducah, KY



Boaters like the easy-to-follow, mile-by-mile style of the Managing the Waterway cruising guide series. In this new guide we overhaul the design, adding even more information by including an in-depth planning chapter, full-color annotated chart screenshots of the entire trip, and over 500 documentary-style navigation photos.

The first entry in our new illustrated MTW Chart Guide series covers the Inland Waterway portion of the Great Loop, specifically the Illinois, Mississippi, and Ohio Rivers from Chicago, IL to Paducah, KY.

The popular features of the Intracoastal Waterway and Florida Keys MTW guides are still part of this new format, including the detailed mile-by-mile navigation coverage, the page-specific Rolling Header™ of safety information, and the interpretive vignettes on local history, wildlife, and attractions. In addition, this guide includes:

Guides Within the Guide—The new design envelops three guides: a 30,000-word preparation and planning guide; a complete mile-by-mile cruising guide; and an annotated chart guide for the entire 580-mile transit.

Annotated Chart Screenshots—The mile-by-mile text is supplemented by annotated screenshots of government charts created using Coastal Explorer™ navigation software. Every mile of the route appears in the chart guide as one would see it on a laptop running e-charting software, richly annotated with navigation objects and waypoints.

Documentary-Style Navigation Photos—Over 500 photos visually preview the trip, showing on-the-water views of marinas, anchorages, DR landmarks, lock approaches, and other items of piloting interest.

Full Color and Large Format—All chart screenshots are full color, augmented with red-or-green boat and navigation aid icons. Additional color icons provide quick planning insights such as marking marinas with dockage and fuel availability, summarizing anchorage protection, and highlighting upcoming locks. The guide is 12¾ x 17¾ inches, with lay-flat spiral binding and color section tabs.

Timely Updates—A valid concern is that “paper goes stale” as soon as it’s printed. Each geographic region in the series is now updated immediately using Twitter feeds. Chicago to Mobile readers subscribe to receive week-ahead or late-breaking “tweets” by email, Web, RSS feed, or SMS text by following:



An Illustrated Cruising Guide to the Great Loop Inland Waterway: Chicago to Mobile

Vol. 1: Chicago, IL to Paducah, KY

US $49.95

168 pages

ISBN 978-0-2019617-3-8

Lay-flat spiral binding

12¾ x 17¾ x ½ inches

3 pounds

187 chart screenshots

548 photos and illustrations

180 GPS waypoints

172 marinas and anchorages

182 bridges and locks

115 boat ramps

309 websites and telephone numbers

182 interpretive vignettes

Sample Pages


Sample Pages

Test drive this Managing the Waterway Chart Guide with several sample pages. We include a route map, a page from the preparation and planning chapter, a page from the chapter on "How to Use The Guide," two sample navigation pages, and a page from the Mississippi River introduction. Click on a page image below to view the Sample Page in Adobe PDF format.


Big Picture Big Picture
A boater-centric detailed map of the trip. [inside cover]

Planning For the Trip Planning For the Trip
The equivalent of 120 pages (30,000 words!) on planning and executing the trip. [page 12]

How to Use the Guide How to Use the Guide
A mile-by-mile visual cruising guide is illustrated with annotated chart screenshots and navigation photos. [page 5]

Two Navigation Pages Two Navigation Pages
Follow along with the screencasts using these two sample navigation pages. [pages IW-78, UM-111]

Route Appreciation Route Appreciation
Nearly 200 Interpretive Vignettes on the attractions, towns, and history of the Inland Waterway route. [page UM-102]