Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 23-09-2011, 13:45   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: INDIANA
Posts: 199
Smile Navigation Education

Ok, husband used to race motor boats and we both lived on lakes, like to dive so we know we love the water. We have 3.5 years to retire. Plan to try a week on sailboat with water sailing">Blue water Sailing school out of St. Thomas in March of 2012. Husband currently learning refrigeration and when we get closer to date I will go to diesel mechanic school (husband already knows that). Plan to also do 1 week crossing gulf with instructor and one week out in ocean (celestial navigation), etc. Know that just three weeks is not enough to be any good (don't need that lecture) but will be a start.

When we purchase our boat in fall or spring when I retire (husband already is), we will have the summer to day sail when weather is good for practice then down to the Bahamas and Caribbean for first winter and maybe Tobago area during hurricane season. Also have read all the stuff about not buying too big the first boat, but we don't plan to buy one, then wait for it to sell to move up, so it will be 40-45 ft. right off the bat (don't lecture on that either.)
Problem is that we are in Indiana. How do we learn navigation. I expect some of that might be covered in the sailing school weeks but I figured there were probably some navigation classes separate that we should take or other things we need to learn that I haven't even thought of. Do we just wait until we are on the coast that summer before we go or is there some way to get some education the year before that from here?
I'm a planner and need to map out our plan and watch the progression or else I feel it will not happen. Figured there are others out there that were in my position some years ago and can give direction.
Thank you.
__________________

__________________
In Training is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-09-2011, 14:03   #2
Registered User
 
Dsanduril's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: South Pacific
Boat: Outremer 50S
Posts: 1,451
Re: Navigation Education

First off, welcome to the forum. Sounds like you have your head pointed in the right direction.

I have not personally used them, but I have heard good things about:

Boatsafe Navigation

That would give you the basics regardless of how close to the water you are.

If you are serious about the celestial (I would highly recommend), you can get started cheaply with a Davis plastic sextant (Davis Sextant), make sure you also get the artificial horizon for inland work (Artificial Horizon). Lots more expensive models you can get that are higher precision/slightly easier to use/etc. But these would get you in to it for less than $100, and make good spares if you decide to get something higher class later on.

For an intro level thing you can try this:

Celestial Navigation

or here (maybe a little more polished?):

Celestial 2

Then, come back here often with questions. Still a bunch of crusty old salts around here that know more than the buttons on the GPS.
__________________

__________________
Dsanduril is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-09-2011, 14:05   #3
Registered User
 
Jamel's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Beautiful South West Western Australia
Boat: Catalina 42 Pacific cruise to Australia
Posts: 223
Re: Navigation Education

Over here in Australia we have goverment colleges that offer maritime theory courses. The country being so vast with population living sometimes thousands of miles from the Tech college they offer correspondence courses in whatever subject you are interested in.

I did that very thing 25 years ago working as I did in those days 1500 miles away on a gold mine in the Great Sandy Desert! You can work at your own pace and submit assigments by post for marking and comments by the lecturer. I ejoyed it and passed with distinction!
__________________
Jamel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-09-2011, 14:38   #4
CF Adviser
Moderator Emeritus
 
Hud3's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Boat: Island Packet 380, now sold
Posts: 8,929
Images: 49
Re: Navigation Education

The US Coast Guard Auxiliary has a very good course called Basic and Advanced Coastal Navigation. The manuals are available in hard copy, but I've seen them available for free download on the Internet, too (sorry no longer have the link). If you don't have a USCG Aux unit nearby, you could teach yourself if you got hold of the manuals.
__________________
Hud
Hud3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-09-2011, 14:39   #5
Moderator
 
Boracay's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Pelican Bay, Great Sandy National Park
Boat: Steel Roberts Offshore 44
Posts: 5,175
Images: 18
What is navigation?

Wikipedia defines navigation thus:-
Quote:
Navigation is the process of monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another. It is also the term of art used for the specialized knowledge used by navigators to perform navigation tasks. All navigational techniques involve locating the navigator's position compared to known locations or patterns.
At the risk of getting down and grubby much could be learned by getting a GPS and using it to navigate your car. Similarly much could be learned by using a plotter if you are still doing some boating.

You should already be familiar with compass, chart and watch. The pleasures and pitfalls of using them on a boat may take some learning, but book learning then practice...

Other equipment like radar, AIS, depth sounder, weatherfax, GRIB software and autopilot can all help to settle down that feeling of anxiety as land fades into the distance, and the destination is nowhere in sight, but they all need to be fully operational and their limitations understood.

A more modern view of navigation may involve being always able to fire up a big reliable diesel and run it continuously while on autopilot for a considerable period.

I would disagree with Wikipedia about navigation always involving locating the navigator's position. For mine navigation is also about operating in a dynamic multidimensional environment where variables like weather, wind, temperature, water depth, engine management and the tiredness of the crew always have to be factored in.

So if you're doing courses I'd suggest more general boating ones rather than specialized navigation ones.
__________________
Rust never sleeps
Boracay Blog.
Boracay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-09-2011, 14:59   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Chambly, Québec, Canada
Boat: It will be an Island Packet 38 most probably
Posts: 119
Re: Navigation Education

Personally, I will be doing the coastal and celestial navigation courses offered by the ASA this winter. You can do them in the comfort of your home before doing your sailing class in St-Thomas.

Here are the links :

Coastal navigation
Coastal Navigation Course - ASA 105 Certification - American Sailing Association Standard

Celestial navigation
Celestial Navigation Course - ASA 107 Certification - American Sailing Association Standard

And you can find the textbooks on this page
ASA Sailing Gear Outlet - American Sailing Association Accessories

Have fun!!!
__________________
Fair winds and following seas!!
Dominique

Missou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-09-2011, 15:02   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Abaco, Bahamas/ Western NC
Boat: Nothing large at the moment
Posts: 820
Re: Navigation Education

Good for you. Sounds like you are on the right track. Start of with a plotting, coastal navigation class. One of the basic captains license courses will teach it, along with rules of the road. Both more useful and important than celestial. As for celestial it will just be a back up to the wizardry of GPS so if you master sun shots you will be fine. Have fun and look us up if you get to the Bahamas.
__________________
Tingum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-09-2011, 15:22   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Corsica (France)
Boat: Bavaria 37
Posts: 239
Re: Navigation Education

Well,
I am lucky and I have been born along the seaside 60 years ago... And as I remember from 5 to now I have always not been far from a "floating something" and then different sailboats... Never crossed an ocean and navigations distances limited to 4 or 500 Nautical Miles...
I did study "celestial navigation" in the 1970'. But to be honest, I have never had to use it !
So IMHO, the most important fort what you want is to learn the sea, Yes, (sorry for my basis english knowledge) "learn the sea", feel the wind and the waves, the sky and the clouds and this looks to me far more useful than a "celestial navigation program"... Learning to sail is a long distance program, even if it can be progressive. We use to see so many people now with an ICC or other sailing certificates on charter boats who do not know anything of how to "feel the sea", how to behave in a small port with the wind on the side, so many people anchoring in 5 meters depth with 6 meters of chain, that I thing we have to tell it : welcome on the sea and in the world of sailing, but please, do not forget that the first thing is to respect the sea !
Sorry, maybe this evening am I a little bit nostalgic ...
__________________
Jacques2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-09-2011, 15:39   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: INDIANA
Posts: 199
Re: Navigation Education

Thank you everyone. I didn't think the celestial navigation would be useful, so much as just fun. It would just be another week with an instructor to get more comfortable being out of sight of land and doing something different. Since neither my husband nor I have been out on the ocean by ourselves -- alone (cruises and charter dive boats don't count) it will take awhile for me to let go of the nervousness. And, that is the last instruction we would do. Need to get basic navigation first. Appreciate everyone sending me in the right direction for classes.
Again, thank you.
__________________
In Training is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-09-2011, 15:56   #10
Registered User
 
knottygurl's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Picton, ON
Boat: Grampian 26
Posts: 227
Re: Navigation Education

celestial navigation is worth every penny and fun to do as star gazing is always good with some wine and my wife. As for practice you have some great links provided by others so follow through, then over the next year head off to a state park, pull out the compass and handheld gps, use the topographic map, charts are laid out the same just cover water as apposed to land, then find a place to go and start navagating, as you get a feel for it then plan out a route where you have to make a few direction changes for a determined amount of miles, say 1 change direction, then 2 and so on as you are doing this there will be objects and markers like high hills, or stream, power line, road that you can then use to get a bearing on where you are and also dead reckoning where you shoot these to find your location and as part of the exercise say from this point on map car should be xx miles, reset the gps distance over ground and compass your way out and see if it was where you expected it.
After you can do this, you will have minimal trouble with navagation on anything for that matter.
40 - 45 is a awsome starter, I am hoping to go 34-38 next season.
Oh, for celestial practice do the exact same as i mentioned but during the night, remember to bring some wine for the destination, candles and a couple flashlights

play hard stay safe
Bill
__________________
knottygurl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-09-2011, 15:58   #11
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: floating around ... hopefully in aqua clear swimming pool water!
Boat: 1985 Passport 37
Posts: 172
Re: Navigation Education

You sound like me! I was in Indianapolis Indiana when we bought our boat in 2001. I took Seamanship, Piloting and Advanced Piloting from the U.S. Power Squadron. They were a bit behind on the electronic age, but learning how to use the charts and dead reckoning etc. has really helped me understand what's up with the electronics. And we still plot our GPS position on paper charts regularly just for practice and then compare to the electronics.

Not sure where you are in Indiana or if there's a U.S. Power Squadron near you. The courses may be available online, but I thought it was fun to go across town to class and interact with others learning the same stuff. Here's a link: USPS Educational Department - Member Courses

Buena Suerte! Jan
__________________
Cheers! Jan

http://commutercruiser.com
sv Winterlude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-09-2011, 16:05   #12
Registered User
 
Jamel's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Beautiful South West Western Australia
Boat: Catalina 42 Pacific cruise to Australia
Posts: 223
Re: What is navigation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boracay View Post
Wikipedia defines navigation thus:- At the risk of getting down and grubby much could be learned by getting a GPS and using it to navigate your car. Similarly much could be learned by using a plotter if you are still doing some boating.

You should already be familiar with compass, chart and watch. The pleasures and pitfalls of using them on a boat may take some learning, but book learning then practice...

Other equipment like radar, AIS, depth sounder, weatherfax, GRIB software and autopilot can all help to settle down that feeling of anxiety as land fades into the distance, and the destination is nowhere in sight, but they all need to be fully operational and their limitations understood.

A more modern view of navigation may involve being always able to fire up a big reliable diesel and run it continuously while on autopilot for a considerable period.

I would disagree with Wikipedia about navigation always involving locating the navigator's position. For mine navigation is also about operating in a dynamic multidimensional environment where variables like weather, wind, temperature, water depth, engine management and the tiredness of the crew always have to be factored in.

So if you're doing courses I'd suggest more general boating ones rather than specialized navigation ones.

With respect sir, I think you need to re-read the OP. The lady is talking about learning BASIC navigation....from scratch!

From my point of view you do not introduce things like GPS, AIS, weatherfax, GRIB software and all the other myriad of navigational aids intil way down the track and long after the basics are learned, absorbed and most importantly UNDERSTOOD!

With the intrduction of GPS and All the othe nav aids more and more people are out there on the oceans without a clue.....not a clue of how to navigate without these things!
__________________
Jamel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-09-2011, 17:29   #13
Registered User
 
VirtualVagabond's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Australia
Boat: CT 54... for our sins!
Posts: 2,084
Re: What is navigation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamel View Post
With respect sir, I think you need to re-read the OP. The lady is talking about learning BASIC navigation....from scratch!

From my point of view you do not introduce things like GPS, AIS, weatherfax, GRIB software and all the other myriad of navigational aids intil way down the track and long after the basics are learned, absorbed and most importantly UNDERSTOOD!

With the intrduction of GPS and All the othe nav aids more and more people are out there on the oceans without a clue.....not a clue of how to navigate without these things!
The big question now is, Do you really need to know chart and sextant navigation these days?
Everything changes so damn fast the old idea of having to know the basics to have a depth of understanding doesn't seem to apply anymore.

The "you don't have to understand electronics to run a fridge, microwave, aircon etc" thinking appears to have spread to modern navigation too.

The idea being, have some cheap back up equipment and a box of batteries and you'll be fine.

Personally, I'm uncomfortable with that, but I'm an old bastard trying to live in a modern world...
__________________
One must live the way one thinks, or end up thinking the way one lives - Paul Bourget

www.windwanderer.weebly.com
VirtualVagabond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-09-2011, 17:53   #14
Registered User
 
Jamel's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Beautiful South West Western Australia
Boat: Catalina 42 Pacific cruise to Australia
Posts: 223
Re: What is navigation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
The big question now is, Do you really need to know chart and sextant navigation these days?
Everything changes so damn fast the old idea of having to know the basics to have a depth of understanding doesn't seem to apply anymore.

The "you don't have to understand electronics to run a fridge, microwave, aircon etc" thinking appears to have spread to modern navigation too.

The idea being, have some cheap back up equipment and a box of batteries and you'll be fine.

Personally, I'm uncomfortable with that, but I'm an old bastard trying to live in a modern world...

I acknowledge your point and yes celestial navigation is a fine but nowerdays redundant art. But the basics of coastal navigation, chartwork, reading a compass taking into account compass variation....remember the jiingle " variation east, compass is least , variation west compass is best"?
Most people havn't got a clue anymore because they don't need to!

It's a bit like knowing your times table by heart, you don't need it anymore with the advent of calculators and checkout tills at the supermarket efficiently adding up your bill and correct change....all very quick and easy but isn't it all dumbing down society too?

I'm ranting too much here.....I need to get back to sea ASAP!!!
__________________
Jamel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-09-2011, 18:23   #15
Registered User
 
Jamel's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Beautiful South West Western Australia
Boat: Catalina 42 Pacific cruise to Australia
Posts: 223
Re: Navigation Education

Here's a little navigation story my wife has just reminded me of from when we were cruising. A couple we knew loved their GPS waypoints and followed them religiously when sailing. Anyway, on approach to Norwegian Bay in the NW of WA, skipper was heading in on his saved middle of the bay waypoint, not realising that a slight current was running down the coast across the bay entrance which was flanked by reefs each side. He continued to zero in on his waypoint, getting closer & closer not realising his heading was changing all the time due to the current pushing him gently sideways. So he thinks he's right on track to the waypoint until a reef appears right infront of the boat....requiring a very sharp turn to avoid it!

Took him ages to figure out why his waypoint let him down!
__________________

__________________
Jamel is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
navigation

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Online Celestial Navigation Course Cruisingoneday Training, Licensing & Certification 69 25-11-2016 19:18
PC Navigation Nuts and Bolts jokinjoel Navigation 5 06-11-2012 16:03
New Cat - What Navigation / Radar ? delcrest Navigation 1 20-09-2011 13:54
iPad Route Navigation Cotemar Navigation 3 05-05-2011 07:25



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 17:33.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.