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welch 10-19-2003 02:08 AM

Navigation courses
I am looking at purchasing a coastal navigation home study course. Has anyone used these or can you recommend one? Here are the ones I am condidering:
1. ASA 105 Coastal Navigation
2. USCGAUX Adv. Coastal Navigation
3. Starpath Coastal Navigation

Also will be looking at purchasing plotting tools. Is W&P 32 NavPak a good set?

pblais 10-19-2003 03:45 AM

Navigation courses
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.

Stede 10-19-2003 05:43 AM

Navigation courses

Years ago, I took an excellent home study navigation course through "International Navigational School"-Toronto,Canada.The course was fairly inexpensive.I believe they have a website. You might want to check them out.

RichardElliott 10-19-2003 08:04 AM

Navigation courses
The United States Power Squadrons classroom courses are inexpensive and excellent. They have a counterpart in Canada.

welch 10-19-2003 04:49 PM

Navigation courses
Thanks for the help and ideas. I will check these out.

WHOOSH 10-20-2003 03:58 AM

Navigation courses
Dave, I''d like to suggest a supplemental ''home study'' source. Some years ago, several of us in the local USCG Aux course got together after the course ended and formed our own study group. The approach was for each member to pick an area s/he wanted to know more about (or perhaps already knew a fair amount about), prepare an informal lesson plan of sorts, and then deliver it to the rest of the group, with Q&A encouraged.

It was a good experience for me, as nothing ever sticks quite as well as what I worked hard at teaching others...and the burden was only mine once every few sessions, so perhaps one lesson per month. Yeah, we ended up with some Q''s we couldn''t A, but those got put on a shelf until someone worked them out later...or we could research the issue further on our own time.

I also met a really nice guy that way, who we remained in touch with for some years.


welch 10-20-2003 03:59 PM

Navigation courses
Thanks for the idea. My wife and I have joined our local sailing club to gain experience on a variety of boats. I will ask the members if they are interested.

My thinking is like this- I have ''Chapmans'', ''Bowditch'', ''Reeds'', Nigel Calder and others and I thought it would be a good idea to take an actual course to beef up my proficiency.

Thanks again- great idea.


paulk 10-26-2003 03:17 PM

Navigation courses
Cannot think of a better "quick" course/reference on piloting for sailors than the US Sailing book on the subject. Many others focus extensively on powerboat situations, where a compass correction error of 2 degrees can put you way off target after a half hour at 25 knots. Sailors are more concerned with the effect of spending hours in current, or changing wind directions, which are more easily compensated for on powerboats. US Sailing''s book is succint, pretty complete, and uses good examples that are relevant to sailors. It''s also not too expensive. Check their website for more info. Celestial, if you''re into that, is another issue.

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