Here are the Navigation Course Full Content Details – each topic is video learning, step-by-step.
Hit play, sit back and absorb the techniques and then practice yourself.
Bite-sized: (scroll down on this page) We are pleased to say you can now sample and tackle one section at a time. With 15 bite-sized sections, plus a small booklet of Q&A. This way you can select only the elements you would like to learn more about.
For the Complete navigation course: click here (38 videos).
For the 4 in 1 course bundle: Navigation, Weather, Passage Planning, Col Regs, please click here.
Navigation Course Full Content Details
Understanding how degrees, minutes, and seconds are measured really helps you understand latitude and longitude and how it all works. This leads to fewer mistakes because instantly you can see when something isn’t right. For example, 61° or 60° 01’
This topic includes:
- What do the co-ordinates mean
- How the angles are measured
- Longitude (meridians)
- How the angles are measured
- The great circle
- Time conversions: from minutes to decimals of a degree and from second to decimals of a minute
- Sample conversions
- Practice quizzes
We must know how to calculate each one of these elements. We may need to work out the speed to maintain to reach port before dark, or the distance left to traverse. Knowing the time it will take to cover a distance is important too.
Here we learn and utilise the simple formulae for the calculations. This includes tips on the kinds of errors to watch out for. You will also use your practice in conversions (part 1).
- Formula and Calculations
- Example Q&A
This is an in-depth look at charts, symbol by symbol. Why do we have charts? And when we find out where we are, what does that mean to us? The entire chart is packed with important information, we must understand every element.
Once you have covered the chart, we look at how to update the charts with Notices to Mariners. This will show you how easy it is to maintain your charts, and actually, it is a very satisfying job (and it’s not a big task). All via video, so you can sit back and absorb all the information. Once you are comfortable then practice.
- The purpose of charts
- Where am I? What does that mean to me?
- Chart Errors
- Zone of Confidence
- Possible errors in depth
- Defining Position
- Symbols and Abbreviations
- Notice to Mariners
The three videos show:
- The techniques for plotting latitude and longitude
- Finding the latitude and longitude of an item on your chart
- Picture description (via video) with a step-by-step description of plotting. First with the pencil compass on a southern hemisphere chart. Then with parallel rulers on a northern hemisphere chart.
- Navigation Equipment/List
- Position: Correct chart work and Symbols (conventions)
It isn’t as simple as just measuring a space between two objects. There is plenty to consider, what scale you measure on? Why there is a difference, and if I am measuring minutes, what is that in nautical miles? And just what is one tenth of a nautical mile in reality?
- Video one contained detailed instructions, step-by-step on how to measure distance and what to watch out for.
- Video two shows the task itself, on a chart, using dividers.
- Measuring over long distances
Here you will look at the True measurement of bearings on a chart. The two most popular techniques are videoed (1) Using a Portland Plotter (protractor ruler) and (2) with Parallel rulers.
- Bearings: Direction/True
- Reciprocal Course
- What to watch for
- What do bearings actually mean to me
- Practice Exercises
- Includes Transit bearings
There are two parts in this section, firstly understand what Variation is and calculating your location’s variation for the current year. Then using Variation and Deviation to convert True to Compass and Compass to True. Included are some tips to create your own Deviation card, or at the very least, to check your ship’s compass deviation.
The exercises are fairly intense, this is purely to help embed this knowledge and help you remember it. When cruising in an area the Variation remains the same, the Deviation only changes with your course. So don’t feel overwhelmed it is just condensed practice to really ensure you remember it when out on the water.
- Step-by-step instructional video
- Details of different techniques for calculations
- How to instantly spot errors
- Tips and tricks to keep it simple
- Magnetic North
- Cardinal points and steering
- Total error
- Memory aids
- Sample questions/answers
The three bearing (or point) fix is the mainstay of traditional position fixing. It is an important technique to master to find out where you are WITHOUT your GPS, or at the very least, check the accuracy of your GPS unit.
By taking three bearings on widely spaced objects, we increase the accuracy and can easily spot an error, over two objects/bearings. Invariably, the three bearings will not cross perfectly, but provide a ‘cocked hat’ or a ‘witches hat’ detailed in the following videos.
- Video 1: Diagrammatical video of images, with step-by-step technique for plotting the 3-bearings
Video 2: Actual plot on the chart
- Cocked Hat information
How to find set and drift and how to counteract it are two important techniques to learn. There are a lot of words and numbers in the explanation – but once you get to grips with it – you will find it is a relatively simple process. It’s also very satisfying to be able to put this skill into practice, especially if you are rescuing someone – we used this on many occasions when heading out to rescue a vessel on the East coast of Australia.
In the “Finding Set and Drift” video there is a practice question. Work through the first part (finding Set and Drift via deduced reckoning and a 3-bearing fix), then use that Set and Drift for the next part of the journey/exercise.
(1) Step-by-step detailed tutoring on set and drift
(2) Chart work on calculating set and drift
(3) Practice question worked through to find set and drift
Once mastered, this is a quick, neat technique to check your position.
Ensure you read the short explanation of Isosceles Triangles (download) as it helps to consolidate the learning.
Here you will learn how to construct the diagram to understand how this technique works. Then we move on to show you how to apply this to your chart and find your position.
There are a few things to watch for/consider. But it’s a super quick and simple way to double check your position. Have fun with it.
- 2 x instructional, step-by-step videos
Deduced Reckoning relies upon having a good position (that is a good fix) – to calculate your current position at a later date without the use of GPS.
During courses we find attendees admitting they lost their electrics at one stage or another – as you’d expect, it is usually at night in big seas! But whatever the weather you need to always know where you are and if you keep your log book up to date hourly with a quick note of your latitude and longitude, should the GPS fail then you can extend your course and distance on your chart from your latest fix and know where you are and what your next action should be.
You can also use these techniques to find set and drift.
- Instructional Video
You are now bringing together many of your new skills. Or refreshing your skills if you already have the prior knowledge (modules).
As mariners we should utilise all equipment on board, and ranges are found with our radar.
- Instructional video
This technique is used to find your position (without GPS) when you have no means of measuring the range (no radar).
- Instructional video
Understanding the effect the wind has on your vessel comes from experience. Different vessel structures have different windage effects. This is your vessel’s leeway.
Here you will learn how to easily counteract the leeway.
- 2 x Instructional videos
16. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q&A Booklet $15 *Buy Now
Test all your knowledge!