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Introduction to Navigation Course

Do you want to learn practical techniques to plan, navigate, and check your progress on the water? It's not that hard, and modern marine electronics like GPS and Chartplotters make it even easier.


Our eight-hour course will introduce you to using nautical charts to determine safe routes, creating waypoints in your Chartplotter and other GPS devices, and basic electronic navigation and planning using the free downloadable OpenCPN (Open Chart Plotter Navigation) software. This course seminar is a great foundation for our Marine Navigation course. 


You will need a recent edition of America's Boating Course textbook. The second part of the textbook contains the Introduction to Navigation material. It also contains instructions for downloading free NOAA navigation charts and the OpenCPN software application. If you don't have one you can purchase one from us (see below)


You will also need a Windows laptop or tablet, a Mac, or Linux laptop or tablet in class for the practical exercises.



Course outline

  • How GPS works

  • Basic Navigation Concepts

  • Chart Basics

  • Chart Characteristics 

  • Plotting on a chart

  • The Mariner's compass

  • Calculating a Steering Course

  • Distance, Time, Speed

  • The 24-hour clock

  • Digital Charting and Chart plotting using OpenCpn software

  • Practice cruise to Newport R.I and New Bedford and back to Northport using OpenCpn software


You must have a Boating Safety Certificate to enroll in this class. We accept all boating safety certificates issued by organizations which are accredited by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.  For example, the Coast Guard Auxillary, the United States Power Squadrons or the NY State Department of Parks and many more. Just let us know the name of the agency that issued your certificate when you enroll. 



The fee for the class is $25 per student if you have a recent edition of America's Boating Course textbook The fee includes a plotting tool and dividers. Otherwise, it's $45 per student which includes the textbook, plotting tool, and dividers.  The fee for an additional family member is $25 if they share the same textbook. The fee includes a plotting tool and dividers for each family member. 

The class will meet at 8:30 AM on Saturday, June 8th at the Harbor Boating Club in Huntington.  

If you are interested in this course, just fill out the simple form below

Just Enter Your Name, Email and "Intro" in the Subject Line in the form below and click Send. We will get in in touch with you. 

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