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Old 05-03-2014, 08:24   #31
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Home Port: West Palm Beach, Live: Seattle
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 473
Posts: 315
Re: Navigation course?

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Originally Posted by PDA1 View Post
The world isn't a place full of only positive comments....so hang on folks.

Well, you lost the bet. But there's a happy end to this story.

Took the course. Disappointed.

For example- 60DST was mentioned but not one...not one clear example was given of how to use it. It was assumed you knew how to use it. As a result most of the students had no idea how to calculate the answer given 2 of the known factors. The expression "Sixty Dee Street" answers nothing when it comes to solving the problem.

It was mostly a power-point presentation with the teacher reading the screen.

The teacher had never even heard of OpenCPN.

The book, "weekend navigator" is ok for what it is. But, much of the stuff toward the end of the book could've been summarized on one page.

Every class day took 1-1/2 hours to travel 25 miles to the Aux station (no, I was not riding a bike to it) because of horrible traffic.

Then, there was "locked down" nature of getting into the building, giving up your drivers license, signing in. Felt like a prison.

Here's the good part- met a sailor who recommended a yacht club that had/has very agreeable prices. In the final analysis it was his club recommendation that decided everything. We joined the club, bought our boat and are very, very happy with both.

Would I recommend the course, "weekend navigator"? For my purposes- no. Get "The Weekend Navigator" book off of Amazon, read it, study a chart at length, ask questions on a great forum like this one, plot some experimental courses and you might do well.

This post will probably start a fire storm of angry "listen here you- I've been boating since Noah and even I learned a lot" comments.

I'm stating my experience.
Its too bad you discounted the ASA 105 right off the start. I as well had the same feeling as you on the 101-104 texts but was surprised at the depth of the 105. Its not the greatest as I have taken several naval navigation courses and took 105 to refresh and it did do that for $125. 60DST was hammered into you on the many practice questions. Now I am onto the Starpath Celestial course and enjoying that so far. Good luck. You may want to look at one of the Marine Institutes. Maritime Institute in SD for example but there are a few more. Seattle, Annapolis, Florida Texas.
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Old 05-03-2014, 08:52   #32
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Re: Navigation course?

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Originally Posted by Sailing Cowboy View Post
Now I am onto the Starpath Celestial course and enjoying that so far.
That's up next for me. I am wondering about the Starpath Coastal Navigation course for my wife. Anyone have any experience with that?
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Old 05-03-2014, 09:32   #33
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Re: Navigation course?

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Originally Posted by Sailing Cowboy View Post
Its too bad you discounted the ASA 105 right off the start. I as well had the same feeling as you on the 101-104 texts but was surprised at the depth of the 105. Its not the greatest as I have taken several naval navigation courses and took 105 to refresh and it did do that for $125. 60DST was hammered into you on the many practice questions. Now I am onto the Starpath Celestial course and enjoying that so far. Good luck. You may want to look at one of the Marine Institutes. Maritime Institute in SD for example but there are a few more. Seattle, Annapolis, Florida Texas.
I worked with a sextant for over 4 months last year and had a great time learning to use it. I got pretty good using the Saint-Hilaire method. Initially, the hardest part for me was understanding LHA.

Did you ever look at William F. Buckley's book on celestial navigation?

You might find this group to be helpful (preserving the art of celestial navigation)-

http://fer3.com/arc/

Sight reduction and other information-

Sight Reduction Calculator

But the easiest sight reduction method I found was

USPS Educational Department - Offshore Navigation Committee Tools

Download the zipped copy of "Celestial Tools". Rather than having to plot a line of position the program provides you with a fix.

The ASA 101 text is now much improved and is excellent.
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