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Introduction to Coastal Navigation

This three-day workshop (March 1, 8 and 15) will provide a hands-on approach to determining your position using charts and features in the water and ashore, including an introduction to latitude and longitude; interpretation of nautical chart symbols; chart height and depth information; plotting courses and bearings; computing speed, time, and distance; and basic planning for a passage.

In this class, you’ll learn:

  • how to recognize and interpret chart notations for and characteristics of aids to navigation;
  • the proper use of tools, including parallel rulers, two triangles, dividers, rulers, etc.
  • how to determine latitude and longitude, given a location on a chart and vice versa
  • how to determine the bearing to an object given a position; and the difference between relative and true bearings;
  • how to plot lines of position (LOPs) and how to determine location, given two or more LOPs;
  • how to determine the distance between two positions;
  • how to determine the geographical distance to an object, given its height;
  • how to determine rate, time, or distance, given the other two factors;
  • how to properly interpret chart datum for height and depth;
  • how to generate a proper dead reckoning (DR) plot, given a set of sailing instructions.

Charts will be provided; navigation instruments will be available for use during class and for loan. If you have your own instruments, by all means bring them. If you do not have any, do not purchase any until after the first class.