Take separate coastal, offshore, Navigation, courses? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 11-18-2007
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Take separate coastal, offshore, Navigation, courses?

or all in one? (Realistically Coastal is all I may ever do.) Should I just take a Coastal course someday? Would navigation be a course in itself?

What books or materials would be good suggestions for home study?

the CG aux here has a coastal course, and I think there's a sailing school based on Barnegat Bay NJ


Thanks all!
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Old 11-18-2007
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Denise....Would that be Nelsons Sailing School in Island Heights, N.J.? If so, it's where we live and where we dock our boat!
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Old 11-18-2007
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Navigation courses are handy things to participate in, knowledge has never "grounded" anyone. Coastal or offshore - same rules apply but maybe on a different scale. As far as books go, I have to pass cause the ones I can recommend you wouldn't be able to read. You don't speak German do ya?
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Old 11-18-2007
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You could use the new edition of Dutton's or Boater's Bowditch and do some self studying. All other books are based on Bowditch which is American Practical Navigator, Pub 9. You can download the latter from the net for naught or just get the book itself which has a nice price, around fifty or so dollars. After studying those two books, what ever your mentor or instructor says will start to make sense.
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I'd recommend the CG Aux. class, they'll teach you how to maintain a DR plot and correct using coastal "piloting" methods. That is, taking sights on 1 or more identifiable objects on your chart and figuring your position. Also teach "distance off" by the height of objects if I remember correctly. Out of sight of land most people use a GPS to determine position (insight of land also, actually), to not rely on GPS out of sight of something known on a chart you'll need celestial nav. so you can figure position using the angles to celestial bodies.
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Old 11-18-2007
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I took the Coastal Navigation Course from NJ sailing school. It was a very long weekend of 8 plus hour days. My head hurt by Sunday night. It has been a long time since I've been in school. But well worth the effort.
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Learn piloting in the Coastal class first. It is the most important as the intention of every voyage is to begin and end in some type of port. Tides, light characteristics, soundings, radio procedures, piloting and chart work are all necessary skills to master and will provide the basis for any future offshore education and sailing you choose to take up. Many end up pursuing the offshore educational skills even without immediate plans to employ them-it's just a logical extension of a topic that fascinates them.
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Old 11-18-2007
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I've taken ASA105, which is coastal navigation. I can't say enough good things about it. I knew much of the basics before, but they really tweaked me in with the finer points of coastal nav. Very much worth the money. Check here, not to far from Bristol ( i used to live in Burlington btw).

http://www.newjerseysailingschool.com/

http://sailphiladelphia.com/

And to download Pub9 for free, as recommended by Boasun, go to this link at the NGA (the NGA also has FREE downloads for all other pubs if you search for what you need, good stuff). There is a drop down list to download each chapter, DO NOT download each chapter. Right above the dropdown is the selection for the complete pub, it's a 35mb pdf. Download the whole thing.
http://www.nga.mil/portal/site/marit...c24fd73927a759



If you like sailing the bay you could try the Maryland School of Sailing, they are excellent and the owner wrote some courses (including the coastal nav) for ASA, so the know thier stuff.
http://www.mdschool.com/

And thier next coastal and celestial classroom courses are in Plymouth Meeting and Willow Grove this spring, but you can do at home if you'd like.
http://www.mdschool.com/nav07.htm#top

Disclaimer: Sapperwhite has no professional affiliation with any of the above links, have just been a patron and student of some in the past.
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Old 11-18-2007
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Unfortunately, I'm going to have to agree with Sailaway. Coastal pilotage skills are very important. Since most people start out doing coastal cruising... the skills for coastal pilotage are the ones you'll need near term to start with.

The USCGAux has excellent courses, as do the US Power Squadrons.

A book I'd highly recommend is the Boater's Bowditch, which is a navigation book specifically designed for small craft navigators.
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Old 11-18-2007
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7Psych! Yes! Thank you all for the great input! Much to think about! Although I'm able to sail my boat I've allot to learn about coastal if I'm ever to make that Journey up the coast to Maine!
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