NAVIGATION
The U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary's Navigation course is a comprehensive course to prepare the boater with the knowledge needed to safely pilot a boat.
Taught in two parts, the course begins with Basic Navigation (Chapters 16) then concludes with Advanced Navigation (Chapters 712).
TOPICS INCLUDE
 Introduction to Coastal Navigation  Course overview; names and definitions of various types of navigation; steps of voyage planning and underway navigation; earth's coordinate system and its use to specify location; how direction can be measured on the surface; conversion of direction (true, magnetic, compass and relative) to another.
 The Marine Magnetic Compass  Parts and principle of operation of the marine magnetic compass; concept of deviation and distinctions between compass north, magnetic north, and true north; "swinging ship" and deviation table preparation; rapidly and reliably solving TVMDC and/or CDMVT computations.
 The Nautical Chart  Characteristics of nautical charts, particularly Mercator and polyconic projections; plotting positions in terms of latitude and longitude; various chart types/scales and their appropriate uses; basic knowledge of chart symbols; rapid and reliable measurement of direction, distance, and location on Mercator and polyconic nautical charts.
 The Navigator's Tools & Instruments  Navigator tools used in everyday practice; basic skills and familiarity with the use of plotting instruments; use of other instruments and equipment used in the practice of navigation.
 Dead Reckoning  Working knowledge of dead reckoning methods including plotting, labeling, measuring, and determining DR positions; speed, time, distance formulas and problem solving; speed estimation, tachometers and speed curves.
 Piloting  Line of Position (LOP) concepts; bearing use in LOPs; running fix by advancing or retiring an LOP; danger bearings; estimated positions when the data are lacking for a FIX.
 Current Sailing  Understanding current and the motion of the vessel; current problems on both the nautical chart and maneuvering board including determination of EP given set and drift, course steered, and speed maintained; determination of actual set and drift given course steered, speed maintained, and a FIX; determination of course to steer and resultant SOA given set and drift and intended track; determination of course to steer and speed to maintain given specified track and speed of advance and current set and drift.
 Tides & Tidal Currents  Understanding tidal phenomena, causes, and typical variations; appreciate the practical reasons why tides are important to the mariner; know how to use the Tide Tables to estimate the height of the tide at any time; know how to use the Tidal Current Tables to estimate the strength and direction of the current at any time.
 Radionavigation  Understanding the
basics of RDF, LoranC, Radar, and GPS, their respective advantages,
disadvantages, limitations and how they can be used to fix position;
radar use for collision avoidance CPA and target course and speed.
 Navigation Reference Publications
 Acquaintance with the U.S. Coast Pilot, the Light List, and the
Notices to Mariners; computation of visibility of lights given height
of light, observer, prevailing visibility and nominal ranges; importance
of uptodate charts and other publications.
 Fuel & Voyage Planning  Understand the basics of fuel planning, including the definitions of fuel efficiency, fuel reserves, endurance, and range; fuel consumption affects of such factors as hull design, engine horsepower, throttle settings, condition of bottom etc.; developing a fuel consumption curve; effects of current in fuel planning; preparing and using a "Howgozit" chart for a voyage.
 Reflections  Examples of 10 principles of navigation learned the hard way.
Individuals who successfully complete the course and exam
are awarded certificates.
