Nav. course
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This is an advanced online course on marine navigation, providing you with the “conditio sine qua non” of offshore sailing. Nowadays most sailors tend to rely on modern equipment like differential GPS or Radar to navigate them through hazardous waters. Not only is such reliance unwanted and possibly dangerous, also the act of navigating by yourself is actually a lot of fun, especially when sailing in Greece or Turkey, which are the perfect cruising areas to learn how to sail.

What is navigation?

Navigare necesse est, vivere non est necesse” is latin for: to sail is vital, to live is not. This phrase tells us that both sailing and the “conditio” of positioning are highly intertwined. Indeed, the art of navigation enables you to set a course and sail to your destination by using only nautical charts, a compass and your common sense.

The aim of this course is to teach you how to navigate safely while using the minimum of resources: methods that have been in use since the Middle Ages, and are still applied by the professionals. This course greatly extends on - for instance - the ASA and RYA courses and gives you the insight and feel of a seasoned navigator.


This is chapter 0: Use the moving anchor logo on the right of this page to navigate through the course.
Alternatively, click on the links below to study the chapters or download the complete navigation course as well as exercises and answers as PDF PDF download

Chapter 1 - Positions    
Chapter 2 - Nautical chart    
Chapter 3 - Compass    
Chapter 4 - Plotting    
Chapter 5 - Piloting    
Chapter 6 - Tides    
Chapter 7 - Tide prediction    
Chapter 8 - Currents    
Chapter 9 - Navigation aids    
Chapter 10 - Lights and Shapes    

        Math - Running fixes    
        Math - Distance of horizon    
        Math - Vertical sextant angles    

        Compass deviation table    

Anchors, anchoring and
Mediterranean mooring techniques    

Flags and etiquette    

Style guide: notation of distances
and coordinates used on this website    

Celestial navigation course — zipped PDF


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4 April 2019
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