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  #1  
Old 08-07-2007
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Formal education courses

Hello.. This is my first post, ever...
I would like to know your opinion about formal navigation courses.
I'm a regular sailor on Inland waters and I'm planing ahead to make a long cruise on the sea. to do that I would need to know how to go to a desired place.
What would you think is the best approach to learning navigation and all things involved.
also I'm making a list of the essential instruments to have on board to make a safe cruise.
Thanks
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  #2  
Old 08-07-2007
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The Coast Guard offers a good navigation course, which I took. I also took an ASA coastal navigation course offered by a sailing school. I learned a lot from both.
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Old 08-07-2007
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USCG Auxilliary and US Power Squadrons both offer good navigation courses for the small boat navigator. The ASA courses are also pretty good.
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Old 08-07-2007
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Reading reading reading. Get as much on the subject as you can. I'd say start with:
The Anapollis Book of Seamanship
Duttons
The Marine Almanac
Singlehanded Sailing
Sailing: Basics to Cruising
The Biggest Boat I Could Afford: Sailing Up the U.S. Coast in a Dinghy

I bet one could find these on Amazon or something for less than $120.00 for everything.

Also - get videos or user guides for your GPS, and watch Sailing with Confidence & Sailing in Heavy Weather. these should make you very proficient when combined with an ASA or other formal course. There are good courses at usasailing.info as well on cruising and nav.
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Lancer-

You forgot David Seidman's The Complete Sailor, and Beth Leonard's The Voyager's Handbook.
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Old 08-07-2007
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Bluewater Sailing offers a number of good courses and excellent instruction. Check them out here:
http://www.bluewatersailing.com/courses.php
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alecs123,

Can't say as to the school, but these three threads I started may help with books and tools:

Book Recommendation?
Navigation/Charting/Plotting Tools?
Hand Bearing Compass Recommendations?

Keep in mind: My focus was, and currently remains, basically coastal navigation. Your needs are somewhere different.

HTH,
Jim
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Old 08-21-2007
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I teach this subject (USCG license, sailing and boat handling, offshore cruising, nav etc). I get many students who have prior nav training. Their abilities vary tremendously. It's been my experience that the best and most consistently well trained were trained by the Power Squadrons. I think they are the best by far and coincidentally the cheapest. BTW I'm never had anything to do with the USPS or been a member; but I've seen their results. They turn out competent navigators who are so well practiced they can operate under stressful conditions at sea.
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I am just finishing the Coast Guard Auxillary's Advanced Coastal Navigation. I could have figured most of it out by studying on my own, but I have found the course to be valuable.

At $50 plus supplies that will come in handy later, it was well worth the money.

Fair Winds

Jason
S/V Astraeus
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When I began I took an Colgate Offshore course, then I did a series of navigation course given at the Hayden Planetarium for coastal navigation, celestial and meteorology. I found them very useful.

If you are serious... get some formal education... and then lots of hours on the water.

jef
sv shiva
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