Join Date: Jul 2002
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I know the local instructor for the the USCGAUX Advanced course and they do a great job. The trick is they don''t offer many classes all the time. Typically these are ex military folks with lots experience. They volunteer their time and they want to help folks learn how to navigate. You can attend some or all of the classes and also do home study then take their examination. The price is hard to beat too. they do a lot more classroom work than any of the other courses offered by anyone I''ve ever heard of too. Anyone that has trouble with all the math may want to take this course just for that reason.
I''ve done a lot of the ASA courses and if you want to work through their system you need the 105 course for the last ASA passage cousrce. US Sail has the same type of thing too. The ASA course is just a few evenings and a book, but it does include all the content you need. It just requires you to do a lot of work on your own.
I''m not personally familiar with the Starpath course so I can''t say.
The W&P NavPak is a good set of tools to start with. You may find you want to purchase additional specialized plotters or and or the handy circular slide rule calculators. They all come in handy for a quick accurate estimnate as you sail along. getting familiar with these tools really will set you up for more as you go. I would start with the bascis as you just can''t go wrong starting with these tools now. Other stuff can make it faster and easier but you need to master the basics first.
One other source I found for decent coatal navigation is the chapter in Chapman Piloting. Thick book with a lot in it besides navigation but it will cover just about everything needed for costal waters. It does not deal with plotting advanced global courses but uses all the tricks with examples for all the important coatal things you could ever need. If you have the basic math down it is clearly good enough.
When you get beyond all this it gets into a lot of cartography and some serious math to get into all the different mapping systems and long distance navigation stuff, but it all starts with the basics.