Navigation is becoming a lost art among those new to boating. With GPS and access to smartphone and tablet apps, many feel that navigation is as easy as pushing a few buttons. This is true if you stay in your local area and remain inland, but for anyone venturing away from the site of land, you better have some idea of how to get where you need to be when all your electronics die -- remember they still do that.
We've put together a few pages and resources that may get you interested in more indepth learning that we provide, but that's exactly what we're hoping will happen!
The Coast Pilot Supplements the navigational information shown on NOAA nautical charts. You should never pay for this publication and some commercial versions are quickly outdated and inaccurate.
The Coast Pilot is updated WEEKLY, and is available for FREE from the NOAA website HERE
A Few More FREE Navigation Downloads You May Enjoy Having:
The American Practical Navigator
Chart Symbols, Abbrev, Terms PDF
Aids To Navigation
International Code Of Signals
Radio Aids To Navigation
US Coast Guard Navigation Rules
Those who navigate with complete dependence on electronic devices either require multiple redundancy or must accept that one day they might rely on a paper chart. Knowing what to do next is the difference between a good day and a possible mayday.
Just because you see land anywhere you boat does not relieve you of knowing how to read a paper chart. It’s not what you can see while boating that’s a concern; it’s what you don’t see below the surface of even a calm body of water. Hidden shallows, submerged pilings, commercial fishing gear, old structures; these are the hazards to simple navigation every boater needs to understand.
You can’t rely on always having a nice electronic screen to guide you. So understanding how to navigate “the old way” is a must for everyone who accepts the responsibility of controlling a boat.