This two-day class is for everyone from novice to experienced boaters looking for formal training in piloting and navigation. Students receive lecture and hands-on training utilizing charts, plotting tools, government publications and workbook exercises. Upon completion of the class, students are able to plot a course, create a route log, plot their position by various types of fixes, calculate time, speed & distance, and perform set and drift vectors. Participants learn the same techniques used in the plotting module of the USCG deck officer license exam.


  • Chart orientation

  • Use of government publications such as:

    • Tide Tables

    • Tidal Current Tables

    • Light List

    • Coast Pilot

    • Notice to Mariners

    • Navigation Rules

    • Chart No. 1

  • Plotting positions

  • Creating routes

  • Plotting three-bearing fixes, running fixes and electronic fixes

  • Understanding aids to navigation

  • Rules of the Road

  • Trip planning (use of cruising guides, planning fuel stops, etc.)

  • Dead Reckoning

    • Time, speed and distance

    • Set and drift vectors

The charts, publications, plotting tools and calculators are provided for use in class. However, students are encouraged to bring their own plotting tools.

NAVIGATION II: iNavigation

Modern integrated navigation calls for the mariner to blend traditional navigation skills with the use and knowledge of sophisticated networked electronic aids. This two-day (12-hour) class is focused on marrying paper chart navigation with electronic navigation systems, tablets and smart phones. Students will receive lecture, demonstration and hands-on training that utilizes the Annapolis School of Seamanship bridge simulator. The simulator allows students to engage in a virtual voyage in all weather conditions and can interface with tablet based navigation systems such as iNavx®.

Students for this class must have previously taken Basic Navigation or have a solid foundation in traditional paper chart navigation and plotting.


  • Electronic Navigation Basics

  • GPS Chartplotter, Radar, and AIS

  • Relative Motion, Collision Avoidance, ARPA, VRM, and EBL on a radar display

  • Tablet and phone based navigation using iNavx® and other mobile apps

  • Fully integrated navigation experience using our full-size ship simulator


In this 12-hour celestial navigation class, students receive both lecture and hands-on instruction utilizing a sextant, the Nautical Almanac, sight reduction tables and calculator. This course provides boaters with an overview of the celestial sky and a practical method for finding their position at sea without depending on GPS.


  • Introduction to the celestial triangle (GP, LHA, Dec, AP)

  • Relating time and arc

  • Measuring altitude and recording time

  • Taking Sights with a Sextant

  • Using the Nautical Almanac & Publication 229 (Sight Reduction Tables)

  • Reducing Sights by Calculator Method

  • Celestial Body Identification