For cruisers and blue water sailors, learn about tides and currents and plotting a course allowing for their effects to safely arrive at your destination.

The Piloting course is the first in the sequence of USPS courses on navigation, covering the basics of coastal and inland navigation. This all-new course focuses on navigation as it is done on recreational boats today and embraces GPS as a primary navigation tool while covering enough of traditional techniques so the student will be able to find his/her way even if their GPS fails. The course includes many in-class exercises, developing the student’s skills through hands-on practice and learning.

Course Content:

Charts and Publications
Charts and their interpretation
Navigation aids and how they point to safe water
Plotting courses and determining direction and distance
The mariner’s compass and converting between True and Magnetic
Use of the GPS
Typical GPS displays and information they provide
Setting up waypoints and routes
Staying on a GPS route
Pre-planning safe courses and entering them into the GPS
Monitoring progress and determining position by both GPS and traditional techniques such as bearings and dead reckoning
The “Seaman’s Eye” – simple skills for checking that one is on course


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