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Thread: Learning navigation while land-locked? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
06-02-2014 02:30 PM
Re: Learning navigation while land-locked?

Asa 105 is the best, most methodical coastal nav course anywhere. It is more intensive than that which is required for the USCG Captain's exam. Unlike Power Squadron (which is a great organization), ASA certifications are accepted at virtually any Charter base worldwide. You can learn on your own if you are reasonably comfortable with concepts of vectors and trigonometry. The course prepares you to navigate in all waters within sight of land.

Otherwise, if you're just looking for a good book, The Weekend Navigator by Bob Sweet covers topics the vast majority of recreational boaters would need.

Have Fun!

Doug Powers
ASA Instructor, 101, 103, 104, 105
Seattle, WA
06-02-2014 01:36 PM
Re: Learning navigation while land-locked?

StarPath nav school in Seattle WA. has a wide variety of good home study courses complete with online participation. Not too expensive and very imformative.

I agree with TQA about learning about the weather. Setsail has two free online books. Dashews book on the weather in interesting.

09-20-2013 09:16 AM
Re: Learning navigation while land-locked?

Anyone in the Army or who goes bush walking has learned.

Hand held GPS plotters like the Garmini 76 CX have nav games on them that can help you, in a fun way, to become more orientated to the environment... eg learning what north 'looks' like.

As on-land exercises you can use Google Earth (or wifey can lay a course) to plot a course in a large local park (Central Park in NYC would be perfection.) most cities have one, then navigate you way aound it.

09-20-2013 07:43 AM
Re: Learning navigation while land-locked?

Navigation in books is far more complicated than necessary. Come on my boat and we will cover up the chart plotter and you can get me across 500 miles of open water or just a few 50 mile jumps.

We once had two people refuse free berths on an English Channel crossing because I refused to use the GPS and planned to use the lighthouses that you can see from 20 nm...providing it is not foggy...when it helps if you do know what's in the books!
09-20-2013 12:54 AM
Re: Learning navigation while land-locked?

I recently joined the CG Auxiliary and they had a workshop on navigation. Really intense and much to practice before I take the test, but what an awesome learning experience. Except for the dues and uniform, all this training is free. Something I never knew -- many of the auxiliary members are part of the air patrol and never set foot in a boat.
09-19-2013 11:24 AM
Re: Learning navigation while land-locked?

Another thing to become familiar with is 'reading' the weather.

Get used to listening to forecasts, reading synoptic charts and using sites like Passage Weather.
09-19-2013 03:30 AM
Re: Learning navigation while land-locked?

Free books-

"Step By Step Sextant User's Guide" - Andrew Evans -

celestial navigation:
Celestial Navigation

"American Practical Navigator" - Bowditch
Maritime Safety Information

Coast Pilots & Charts from NOAA:
United States Coast Pilot®
09-18-2013 07:16 PM
Learning navigation while land-locked?

Power Squadron, or Sail and Power Squadron, as now renamed in our region, offer excellent courses in navigation, weather, cruise planning, sail, etc. Courses I have taken are usually multi- week, are very affordable, and also allow you to connect with other sailors, as well as ....stink potters..... In your area. Check them out!
09-18-2013 01:48 PM
Re: Learning navigation while land-locked?

I would add that if you have a Coast Guard Auxiliary or Power Squadron close by take a class. Start with the basics and keep practicing them as you learn more. You get a cheep GPS and use it to find locations and learn Latitude & Longitude and get comfortable using them. You can use the GPS for geo-cashing as well, fun with the kids. Celestial is the last step and not for the faint of heart, have good working knowledge of the rest before starting celestial. One last thing, this not like riding a bike, if you don’t use it you will forget it. The basics are all that hard but practice using different ways to find your location. You can get a training chart for less than half of a regular one but do not scrimp on tools. See you can use someone’s before you buy so you have an idea of what you like.
09-18-2013 01:33 PM
navigation has some online classes. I have only taken their sailing class and it was topnotch compaired to others I have taken
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