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Old 01-04-2008, 04:14   #1
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Handbook - navigation

Hello!
I have just registered so I am really sorry if I made some error posting in a wrong section etc.

I am looking for some good book about navigation (preferably, aimed to people sailing on yachts).
It would be nice if this book included a few elements:
a)theory
b)exercises
c)answers
I would prefer to have it all in one, max. two books (e.g. one as a handbook, the other one with exercises).

My friends recommended me:
-The Macmillan Reeds Yachtsman's Handbook by Neville Featherstone
-RYA Navigation Handbook + RYA Navigation Exercises

I would be grateful for your opinions on the above as well as your own recommendations.

Best regards,
Theriel
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Old 01-04-2008, 04:33   #2
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I found one of the UK Training sites gave on their web site previous RYA exams and training literature. Not a great deal of it but it did help me to understand 'Charts' and to understand the complexity of things that have to be remembered.
Colours, shapes, sound signals, sightings, crossed sightings, courses and their correcting factors, route planning for time and tide. Good grounding work that will make hitting the classroom less daunting.
It may have been 'Top Cat' devon, sorry, i'll look it up when i get the chance.
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Old 01-04-2008, 04:53   #3
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The American Practical Navigator was originally by Nathaniel Bowditch is a available free as a PDF file from the NOAA web site Maritime Safety Information . It originates back to the early 1800's but has been updated over the years and includes a great discussion on Navigation. This PDF version is from 2002. it's a 40MB download and includes 882 pages. It has a full set of sight reduction tables and other references for navigation. You can also buy the printed version on Amazon.com.

A book that is a full reference but has a good piloting and navigation section is:

Chapmans Guide to Piloting Also has a lot of color pictures and this is a monster book that any sailor could keep for a lifetime. I like this one myself. It's not a cheap book.

I think you above refeences might serve you well too. Sometimes it takes afew authors before the light bulb inside your head suddenly goes on and then most any reference works.
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Old 01-04-2008, 05:02   #4
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Pblais, I continue to be amazed at your breadth of knowledge. Your a one man forum for useful information. I'll be looking it up too. Many thanks, all knowledge helps a dry lander.
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Old 01-04-2008, 05:03   #5
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The “American Practical Navigator” (Bowditch) can also be downloaded by chapter.
Chapter 1 Introduction to Marine Navigation
Chapter 2 Geodesy and Datums in Navigation
Chapter 3 Nautical Charts
Chapter 4 Nautical Publications
Chapter 5 Short Range Aids to Navigation
Chapter 6 Magnetic Compass Adjustment
Chapter 7 Dead Reckoning
Chapter 8 Piloting
Chapter 9 Tides and Tidal Currents
Chapter 10 Radio Waves
Chapter 11 Satellite Navigation
Chapter 12 Hyperbolic Systems
Chapter 13 Radar Navigation
Chapter 14 ECDIS and The Integrated Bridge
Chapter 15 Navigational Astronomy
Chapter 16 Instruments for Celestial Navigation
Chapter 17 Azimuths and Amplitudes
Chapter 18 Time
Chapter 19 The Almanacs
Chapter 20 Sight Reduction
Chapter 21 Navigational Mathematics
Chapter 22 Navigational Calculations
Chapter 23 Navigational Errors
Chapter 24 The Sailings
Chapter 25 The Navigation Process
Chapter 26 Emergency Navigation
Chapter 27 Navigation Regulations
Chapter 28 Global Maritime Distress and Safety System
Chapter 29 Position Reporting Systems
Chapter 30 Hydrography and Hydrographic Reports
Chapter 31 The Oceans
Chapter 32 Ocean Currents
Chapter 33 Waves, Breakers, and Surf
Chapter 34 Ice in The Sea
Chapter 35 Weather Elements
Chapter 36 Tropical Cyclones
Chapter 37 Weather Observations
Chapter 38 Weather Routing
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Old 01-04-2008, 05:06   #6
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If by "Navigation", you mean Coastal Navigation, the US Coast Guard Auxilliary offers a very good course on the topic. It's divided into two parts--basic and advanced--but often the two are combined into one longer offering.

I had been boating for decades when I took the course, and yet was still able to learn new things about safely navigating in coastal waters.The text book that accompanies the course is a good reference source.

This is where you should start before thinking about offshore navigation.
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:10   #7
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From the same web site ypou can also get the pilot Charts. These are often the basis of a lot of the world crusing books published. Pilot charts take some practice to read but are a great tool when planning a long distance trip. They also have information about local knowledge as well.
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Old 01-04-2008, 11:54   #8
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For a basic introduction, written in simple plain english for the begginer. Look at this book. Boat Navigation for the Rest of Us. Covers charts, DR, GPS, Piloting, etc... Start with this one if you have never navigated before. Great book.
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:09   #9
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Thank you for your responses. Maybe I will be more precise so you would know better what I am looking for:
-I have sailed for about seven years
-I have SRC, coastal skipper certificate (european system of certificates)
-I have participated in two workshops on navigation.
...and I am looking for some book which would cover almost everything which relates to navigation in case of yacht sailing, especially more interesting issues as calculating the spherical triangle, determining orthodrome etc.

Something like this awesome The American Practical Navigator but in a printed version, a little bit smaller , and preferably up-to-date.

Do you know maybe something more about "The new complete sailing manual" by Steve Sleight ???

Thanks for your help!
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:42   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theriel View Post
...and I am looking for some book which would cover almost everything which relates to navigation in case of yacht sailing, especially more interesting issues as calculating the spherical triangle, determining orthodrome etc.
Bowditch contains spherical trig formulas.

I just did a search on Amazon for "Spherical Trigonometry" and it brought up a number of books. You don't really need spherical trig to do celestial navigation in the sense that the sight reduction tables are all generated from spherical trig formulas...you just have to know how to use the tables but you do not have to know the theory.

If you want to learn spherical trig, then all the more power to you. It will certainly teach you exactly how celestial navigation works and about the celestial sphere This level of knowledge would certainly be one level above what most people who have learned celestial nav, know about celestial nav.

Personally, I think it would have been boring to learn celestial simply by learning how to grind away at numbers and never really understanding what those numbers mean. So good for you!

Amazon.com: spherical trigonometry: Books

I don't have any books I would recommend but you should probably get one that relates back to celestial navigation.
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:54   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theriel View Post
T... and I am looking for some book which would cover almost everything which relates to navigation in case of yacht sailing, especially more interesting issues as calculating the spherical triangle, determining orthodrome etc.
Something like this awesome The American Practical Navigator but in a printed version, a little bit smaller , and preferably up-to-date.
I don't think there's been any recent advances in Trig', so Bowditch would be absolutely up-to-date, in that regard.
See the chapters, and download (print) only what you need.
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Old 01-04-2008, 13:04   #12
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One thing about Bowditch that has never really been discussed in this forum is that Bowditch is great as a reference book but is lousy at teaching theory. A good textbook on the same subject that Bowditch is referring to is usually of great help in understanding the concepts. Bowditch was never intended to be a textbook and when trying to use it as such, can be very frustrating at times. In my own opinion, it is not possible to learn spherical trig by Bowditch alone...perhaps Einstein could figure it out by reading Bowditch alone, but probably not the typical person.

One thing about Bowditch (amongst many others), is that Bowditch is good at jogging the memory after you have learned the theory.
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Old 01-04-2008, 17:12   #13
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Theriel, try looking for "Mixter's Primer of Navigation" which is a classic primer on the subject covering traditional to modern in bite-sized chapters. Not a question-and-answer book but one that covers all the basics in a logical fashion, small enough to slip in large coat pocket, hardcover. Probably 1/4 the size of a printed Bowditch and much easier to read.<G>
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