Nautical Navigation

Although I’m far from having the experience and confidence to handle large open water, I do find that I’m getting quite interested in learning the basics of nautical navigation. I did a small amount of internet searching and found this site that offers this course.

Wondering if anybody has taken this course or heard anything + or - from others who have.

Also, can anybody suggest some good online sites that might cover basic nautical navigation how-to, tips,reading a nautical chart, etc.?

Thanks in advance!


here is one

More designed to inlandlakes, but the same principles apply to coastal cruising.

Go look for this book at, Fundamentals of Kayak Navigation by David Burch

coast guard
the coast guard auxilliary in your area will probably offer a class on coastal and advanced coastal navigation. the cost of the class is free - yes…free, except for the materials you will need. there is a book/study guide and then the practice chart (TR1610?) that has chart #1 on the back that shows the different icons used throughout all the NOAA charts.

they offer an excellent introdution into the world of nav.

mind you, even after having taken it, i have known to “discover” islands that weren’t exactly what i was looking for…but never the less interesting, in my time on the water!

have fun!

Another book
by Lee Moyer is good for basic navigation. Both this one and Burche’s are available from Sea Kayak Mag.


Coast guard exam prep course
As mentioned above, there are good books. Also, a very thorough way to learn would be to enroll in a Coast Guard Captains License prep course. These are readily available and I think they’d let you sit in on various class sessions for a reduced rate, as you are not actually teting for your Masters licence. What you will learn about the “Rules”, navigation, etc., will put you way ahead of most paddlers, and I think you would find the experience extremely valuable on many levels. Perhaps the auxilliary can do likewise, though I doubt as thoroughly. Good luck.

Here is a good one

I found this very useful . Nice site.