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Old 08-02-2017, 05:15   #16
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

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Originally Posted by SV DestinyAscen View Post
If you can solve a^2+b^2=c^2 you'll be fine.
Got a college degree (BA). Don't think I've ever seen that in my life. Never did anything with a caret in it.
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Old 08-02-2017, 05:35   #17
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

One thing Ive noticed is that no matter how poorly I did at a subject in school, once I had a real interest in the subject in my adult life, all the correct info came back to me like magic. Have no fear, you will do fine!
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Old 08-02-2017, 05:36   #18
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pirate Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

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Originally Posted by SV DestinyAscen View Post
If you can solve a^2+b^2=c^2 you'll be fine.
Stop showing off.. there's no Algebra in Navigation.. unless you create some..
Cuttle.. the hardest maths is being able to read a compass and subtract and add a few degrees of variation and deviation from the card..
And the Geometry is the ability to draw to straight lines from two fixed points or more from compass bearing taken/given and ten using the compass rose on the chart.. where the lines meet is your approximate position.
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Old 08-02-2017, 05:41   #19
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

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Originally Posted by Madwand View Post
Got a college degree (BA). Don't think I've ever seen that in my life. Never did anything with a caret in it.
Let me rephrase tthat "programming speak" for you:

a + b = c

But Boatie's right. You don't need it for navigation.
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Old 08-02-2017, 05:53   #20
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

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Find an evangelical math tutor...


meatservo
Indeed

You might not need much maths to pass the test.

But if you want to understand navigation and really be good at it -- then you really can't do it without mathematics -- geometry, trigonometry, basic calc etc.

Math is beautiful -- uses the same parts of the brain as music. A great teacher can work wonders and open up new worlds.

Navigation is also beautiful -- and the beauty comes from math. You can learn to do practical navigation without math, more or less, but you will never feel the beauty of it, which would be a pity.
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Old 08-02-2017, 06:13   #21
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

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"Know geometry" would suggest ALL geometry, but a very basic understanding of angles and triangles will get most people where they need to be.
This ^^^^^

And you're not "hopeless," unless you decide that you are. Stop telling yourself that, and start telling yourself that this is all simple math, and you can do it. Because you can.

Anyone who is smart enough to figure out how to use an internet discussion forum like this one, is smart enough to figure out the math needed for simple navigation.
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Old 08-02-2017, 06:20   #22
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

This ^^^^. You're stressing over something needlessly. Relax, do your prep work. If you can add, subtract, multiply, and understand angles, you'll be ok. The principles of vectors are useful, but just as an additional way of thinking about the forces at play.

You will do fine. I would work more on the test anxiety than the math. Maybe a sports psychologist?
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Old 08-02-2017, 06:26   #23
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pirate Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

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Indeed

You might not need much maths to pass the test.

But if you want to understand navigation and really be good at it -- then you really can't do it without mathematics -- geometry, trigonometry, basic calc etc.

Math is beautiful -- uses the same parts of the brain as music. A great teacher can work wonders and open up new worlds.

Navigation is also beautiful -- and the beauty comes from math. You can learn to do practical navigation without math, more or less, but you will never feel the beauty of it, which would be a pity.
There ya go..!!! using all them scary titles..
I did not study Trig at school.. got expelled and joined the Navy.. and had trouble parroting the Theorems but still enjoy navigation.. I put it down to my love of Geography.
Likely why although I can't play an instrument I can still appreciate beautiful music and carry a tune vocally.. don't try approaching the problem from a single tunnel perspective.. look down on the whole picture and magic happens.. its all just mainly common sense but folks do like to shroud the 'Dark Arts' with complex mystery and ritualistic gobbledegook..
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Old 08-02-2017, 06:28   #24
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

Almost everything is done for you these days with gps and modern chart plotters, the days of a real navigator are over, not that it's a bad thing.
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Old 08-02-2017, 06:37   #25
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pirate Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

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Almost everything is done for you these days with gps and modern chart plotters, the days of a real navigator are over, not that it's a bad thing.
True out there on the Briny.. however they're not allowed in the classroom and to be frank I'm glad they're not..
I was against calculators being allowed in school but they were.. and as a result we have many who struggle with basic addition and subtraction without one.
I look on basic navigation the same way.. a calculator may not be always to hand..
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Old 08-02-2017, 07:26   #26
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

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True out there on the Briny.. however they're not allowed in the classroom and to be frank I'm glad they're not..
I was against calculators being allowed in school but they were.. and as a result we have many who struggle with basic addition and subtraction without one.
I look on basic navigation the same way.. a calculator may not be always to hand..


Very well said.
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Old 08-02-2017, 09:28   #27
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

The level of math you need depends upon how "deep" you want to get into celestial nav. If you have basic algebra down pat, you can probably make it through. Geometry will be helpful, at least take you from the cookbook approach to understanding a little more about what you're actually doing. In order to master it and understand what's really going on, you must have a good grasp of trigonometry.

So, if all you want to do is figure out where in the heck you are, as long as you can look things up in a table and do basic algebra, you are there. If you want to understand it, delve into the higher levels of celestial navigation, then a working knowledge of trig is pretty much a necessity.

BTW, I have the utmost respect for those who can figure out where they are. Even though I have mastered math classes through calculus II, when navigating of the coast of California, I have done sights and calcs that proved I was in the Ural mountains in Russia, 100 miles off the coast of India, and dead center in the Arabian Peninsula. Gee, did I read that table wrong? LOL

Enjoy your nav class. I think navigating by Sextant is way, way cool. And, yes, most of the time I get it pretty much right. If you want to read a wonderful book about navigation and the sea, try Endurance, Shackleton's Great Adventure. It's mind blowing.
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Old 08-02-2017, 09:31   #28
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

Taught Nav for years. Basic math is all you need. Take lots of practice tests and you will be fine. Set & Drift.
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Old 08-02-2017, 09:37   #29
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

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Hello, new friends!

I started the practical part for the RYA skipper course, and have since been landlocked due to illness in the family. While I have this time, I wish to study theory and prepare myself for the test and course, which I will take in 1 year. At that time I will joining a friend on his ketch and wish to be ready for the pacific.

32y/o, practical minded however I am incredibly poor in math and science, and get test anxiety. Most of the course is being absorbed great, however I really need a maths refresher to complete navigation. I am considering getting a maths tutor, and would like to know the courses needed for Nav prep. I am pretty far away at the moment, I downloaded some basic Nav chapters and have the RYA Navigation book. Unfortunately, I don't even know how far back to go. Any advice?
Get the various RYA prep books and simply add and subtract accurately. It's a bit tricky using a plotter and being aware (as is the case in the U.K.) when you've got east or west of the meridian, but working with charts on land helps.

Same as with true versus magnetic courses, accounting for variation and deviation. It's all add and subtract, but sailor awareness is the key. The math's a doddle. I suggest crewing with friends who know these things and explaining you need hands-on experience with a hand-bearing compass in order to "internalize" the process. Often, those who are "bad at math" are "good at tactility".

Tidal calculation is more problematic, but learning about "tidal ladders" and showing you grasp "the rule of twelfths" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_twelfths) isn't too hard, if you show your work.
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Old 08-02-2017, 09:41   #30
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

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Thank you! I had heard previously that I needed to work my way up through trigonometry, which would require much more. I appreciate the quick reply!
Only true if you are doing celestial navigation the very hard way. Almanacs and simplifying tables in which you input various observations have made trig largely unnecessary for celestial.

Geometry is helpful, as is visualizing how angles taken on their sides with a sextant or, more roughly, via a hand-bearing compass, can give you distance off and speed calculations, which can reveal set, drift and current information.

I'm very happy I took all this sort of work in 1999 and didn't buy a cheap handheld GPS until 2000. It means I trust my eyes, my charts and compass and look to the GPS as a backup.
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