Coastal Navigation teaches you to demonstrate the navigational theory required to safely navigate a powerboat in coastal or inland waters using paper and pencil techniques. Navigation includes determining your location and the best route to your destination plus a continual assessment of progress being made. The navigator must consider land masses, channels and the sea bottom, other traffic, obstructions, navigational aids, forcast and actual weather and sea conditions.

Prerequisites: None

Specific topics to be learned include:

1.  Explain the chart symbols and conventions on U.S. nautical charts.

2.  Identify a source of official U.S. Coast Guard navigation publications.

3.  List the publications required for prudent navigation in the local area including the following ASA minimum requirements:
• Large scale charts of the area and chart #1
• Federal Requirements for Recreational Boats
• USCG Navigation Rules
• State small vessel regulations
• Local rules and regulations, if applicable
• Tide and current tables, if applicable
• List of lights, buoys, and fog signals
• Radio aids to navigation (if using radio or RDF)

4.  List the instruments required for prudent navigation in the local area including the following minimum requirements:
• Steering compass and deviation table
• Handbearing compass and / or pelorus
• Binoculars
• Protractor or parallel rule
• Depth sounder or leadline
• Pencil, eraser, and notebook
• Dividers
• Watch or clock
• Log / Knotmeter

5.  Describe the purpose of "Notice to Mariners."

6.  Use the tide and current tables to find:
• Times and heights of tides at reference and secondary ports.
• Direction and rate of current at referenced and secondary stations.

7.  Convert courses and bearings between true, magnetic, and compass.

8.  Check compass deviation by means such as a transit bearing.

9.  Plot a dead reckoning position on a chart using speed, time and course to steer.

10. Allow for the effect of current and leeway to plot the estimated position.

11. Determine a course to steer which takes into account known current and leeway.

12. Determine current given the course steered and speed and two observed positions.

13. Plot a chart position from terrestrial objects using:
• Two or more bearings on different objects taken at one time.
• Bearings at different times (i.e. a running fix).
• One bearing and transit range.
• One distance (i.e. a sounding or dipping a light) and one bearing.

14. Use the above techniques to chart a course of at least 20 miles and 3 course changes.

15. Explain the terms and characteristics used for lighted navigation aids.

16. Explain the significance of shapes, colors, and lights used in the buoyage system.