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Old 07-02-2017, 16:10   #1
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what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

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?
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Old 07-02-2017, 16:15   #2
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pirate Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

Welcome to CF Cuttle..
Basic Arithmetic and Geometry is sufficient..
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Old 07-02-2017, 16:53   #3
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

High school Geometry. T'aint that hard.
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Old 07-02-2017, 16:53   #4
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

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!
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Old 07-02-2017, 16:57   #5
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

Not any more. I was hopeless in math, went to sea, and had to learn spherical trigonometry. Yuk!

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Old 07-02-2017, 17:08   #6
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pirate Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

He's going for RYA not Master Mariner..
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Old 07-02-2017, 17:15   #7
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

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Originally Posted by cuttlefisch View Post
.... RYA skipper course.....RYA Navigation book.....
I'm assuming here that your gravitation towards RYA indicates that you may originally be from UK/Europe? If so, then you don't even need "high school math", and will probably have covered the basic geometry concepts needed when you were 12-13 years old at secondary school.

I wouldn't worry about it, it's really not difficult to learn. If you can learn a couple of "that times that, minus that" type rules you'll be fine!
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Old 07-02-2017, 17:16   #8
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

Hi , why does one need to know geometry ?
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Old 07-02-2017, 17:20   #9
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

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Hi , why does one need to know geometry ?
RYA Day Skipper theoretical (OP's question) involves rudimentary navigation including basic trig (eg. difference between angles/bearings) along with some Pythagoras (e.g. cross-set current and course-made-good etc.)

"Know geometry" would suggest ALL geometry, but a very basic understanding of angles and triangles will get most people where they need to be.
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Old 07-02-2017, 17:32   #10
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

Cavalier, thank you .
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Old 07-02-2017, 18:46   #11
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

Thanks for all the feedback, answers and questions-
I am American, living on the West Coast for the time being, however I was living in the Canaries, and learning from an Italian Instructor, Belgian Yacht Master, and given support, materials and recommendations for the RYA. The fact is, I fell in love with sailing, and my partner (who is 10+ years on the ocean) is looking into buying a ketch. We have been planning this for the last year, and am giving myself an extra year for theory. (No sailing opportunities here.) I would like to prep myself to the best of my abilities, and I am a great kinetic learner, however I am definitely hopeless at math. I want to become sufficient at Navigation but Trig scares the crap out of me, frankly! Right now I am comparing online "sailing schools" and reading various books. ...It was easier on the boat.
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Old 07-02-2017, 18:50   #12
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

Find an evangelical math tutor...


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Old 07-02-2017, 18:50   #13
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

If you can solve a^2+b^2=c^2 you'll be fine.
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Old 07-02-2017, 20:21   #14
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

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If you can solve a^2+b^2=c^2 you'll be fine.
You also need some sin cos and tan familiarity. But that's about it.
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Old 08-02-2017, 02:14   #15
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Re: what math level do I need to complete a sailing/navigation course?

Just done RYA yachtmaster refresher. No cosines sines pythag. Just need to know when to add stuff up and when to take away. Biggest challenge was being in a classroom again which caused bit of brain freeze. Take your time, set it out and you will be fine. On the current papers when doing a 3 point fix there is no cocked hat, the bearings will be bang on, if not, you've got it wrong. Good luck
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