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Old 08-02-2017, 14:23   #46
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

In the test math is only a tool don't worry about it. Can you balance your checkbook? That's about it maybe some basic triangle work. I am not familiar with the test you reference but I did take and pass the Coast Guard test for a 6 pac. license.


Coastal nav. can be handled with a GPS, that will tell you where you are with the oppropiate charts (buy two GPSs in case one fails) West Marine used to give classes on how to handle GPS probably still does. A depth sounder should be standard equip. I have navigated many times in the NW fog with only a depth sounder and compass. Of course you have to know if you are going North or South that takes the compass. Going North or South seasonal follow the wild geese. Going West to Hawaii follow the jet trails. Don't even think of going East if you are on the West coast, as you stated. Otherwise Easy.
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Old 08-02-2017, 14:47   #47
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

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In the test math is only a tool don't worry about it. Can you balance your checkbook? That's about it maybe some basic triangle work. I am not familiar with the test you reference but I did take and pass the Coast Guard test for a 6 pac. license.


Coastal nav. can be handled with a GPS, that will tell you where you are with the oppropiate charts (buy two GPSs in case one fails) West Marine used to give classes on how to handle GPS probably still does. A depth sounder should be standard equip. I have navigated many times in the NW fog with only a depth sounder and compass. Of course you have to know if you are going North or South that takes the compass. Going North or South seasonal follow the wild geese. Going West to Hawaii follow the jet trails. Don't even think of going East if you are on the West coast, as you stated. Otherwise Easy.
You nailed it. Paper and a hand held GPS will get you home when all else has failed.
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Old 08-02-2017, 14:56   #48
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

The real question is why the RYA continue to teach archaic forms of navigation that not only deter the mathematically challenged, like the OP, but are a danger on the open seas, owing to the heightened risk of error. Instead, they should be teaching people to use modern navigational instruments and how to ensure they have adequate back-ups.
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Old 08-02-2017, 15:05   #49
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Old 08-02-2017, 15:09   #50
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

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The real question is why the RYA continue to teach archaic forms of navigation that not only deter the mathematically challenged, like the OP, but are a danger on the open seas, owing to the heightened risk of error. Instead, they should be teaching people to use modern navigational instruments and how to ensure they have adequate back-ups.
Maybe it is because archaic forms of navigation will get you home in a pinch.
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Old 08-02-2017, 15:16   #51
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

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Maybe it is because archaic forms of navigation will get you home in a pinch.
So will OpenCPN on your phone and you are more likely to have used your phone since you attended your RYA course.
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Old 08-02-2017, 15:26   #52
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Old 08-02-2017, 15:29   #53
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

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At the risk of being snarky....I agree that all you need to get started is basic math, and a grasp of (not expertise in) plane geometry. Trig is a necessity for celestial nav. However, a copy of Bowditch and the ability to use the appropriate hardware will do.
Trig is not a necessity for celestial nav. Only addition and subtraction are needed.

Now if you average your times and sights you need multiplication and division.

For a sight (one sight not averaged)

HS + or - instrument correction
+ Dip correction

(you read your sextant and add or subtract instrument correction, then Add Dip)

you can add atmospheric correction if you like, and if you are doing a planet or the moon, you add for those corrections.

You then take the GHA and add for the increment and if you are doing stars SHA, moon you add a v correction. for a total GHA

then you take the declination, add or subtract the increment and a d correction

gives you an assumed latitude, add or subtract "same/contrary"

out of the books you get a computed altitude add Declination subtract the lessor from the greater, gives you an intercept and once again add or subtract to get ZN

NOTHING BUT ADDITION AND SUBTRACTION.

Now, the hard thing is you have to learn to add and subtract in degrees minutes and seconds.. which simply means you stop at 60 instead of 100

it is like adding time...

ie 45 +20 = 1 05

no heavy duty math here..
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Old 08-02-2017, 15:49   #54
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

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So will OpenCPN on your phone and you are more likely to have used your phone since you attended your RYA course.
If you have a sat. phone off shore. Nothing wrong with basic training. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
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Old 08-02-2017, 17:38   #55
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

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The caret is a different notation of "to the power of" when your typewriter doesn't do superscript.
It's the way you write "power of" in source code in the majority of programming languages (including formulas in spreadsheets).
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Old 08-02-2017, 21:34   #56
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

Like you, I was terrible at math however, my interest in sailing encouraged me to give navigation a solid try.
You do need basic addition and subtraction, but a good sense of logic will help you with the other stuff.
Celestial Nav. initially looked intimidating but, as it was explained to me; if you can look up numbers in a telephone directory and balance your check book, you can do this. You do have to read enough to understand the concept though.
I'd recommend the American Sailing Association coastal navigation course, for starters. Then, get out and practice with that.
In the ocean, I do a sun fix every day we have sun, and gained confidence as the fixes became closer to the GPS. It also helps me not be afraid of losing the electronics. I may not be the best, but I will find my way to our destination.
(I use a $10 Davis Mk 25 sextant, that I got at a swap meet.)
If I can help you, please don't be afraid to let me know.
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Old 08-02-2017, 23:15   #57
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

Suspect it makes more sense on the boat than in the class room.
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Old 09-02-2017, 01:51   #58
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

He's only doing Day Skipper. There is no celestial navigation and no geometry. As long as he learns to use a plotter and can add up that is all that is required. You do not need to know about right angled triangles or square anythings!
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Old 09-02-2017, 02:24   #59
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

Speaking as a Geologist, who failed his A-Level Mathematics twice (with a U grade each time) and for whom +/- 1 Million years is close enough I can safely say I passed my RYA Day Skipper Theory without too much trouble.

If you can take a small number away from a larger number, add any two numbers together and remember which way around time zones are shown then you'll be fine. As with anything practice makes perfect.

I still use a pencil and paper to calculate basic navigational things and at work I do p&p calculations for some complex calculations (along with my trusty 1.99 calculator). I could do it all by computer but unless you know the fundamental basics of the process how can you be sure the computer is correct? If the programmer has made an error in the coding then everything you do is wrong. That is why the RYA still teach "archaic" methods rather than fancy electronics. Yes we all use them but when the power goes or the satellites fail if you can add, subtract and draw a line on a chart you can get yourself home.

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Old 09-02-2017, 07:40   #60
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

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Originally Posted by Octopus View Post
The real question is why the RYA continue to teach archaic forms of navigation that not only deter the mathematically challenged, like the OP, but are a danger on the open seas, owing to the heightened risk of error. Instead, they should be teaching people to use modern navigational instruments and how to ensure they have adequate back-ups.
Having qualified to the level of
RYA Coastal Skipper/Tidal
What exactly do you consider "Archaic" ???
Celestial navigation was not part of the syllabus.

If one can Add,Subract,Multiply,Divide
Have an understanding of basic geography (lat & long)
you will have no problem.
It's really not rocket science.
Just have to remember the sequence of what to do and when and what results go where.
I think the real question is Do you rely on GPS as the only way to know where you are????
Did a lot of three point fixes and am now confident that with
a hand bearing compass and three points of reference,charts I know
exactly where I am. Even did a bunch of running 2 point fixes.
I don't consider these Archaic, not for a heartbeat
Cheers
Neil
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