Title: Marine Navigation 
Location: Stetson M.S., 1060 Wilmington Pike, West Chester, PA 19382
Cost: $40 to register. Students will also need to pay a materials fee of $45 to the instructor at the first class.
Dates: Thursdays, Mar 14 - May 2, 2024
Time: 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Registration: Register by going to Chester County Lifelong Learning. https://chestercountynightschool.org/wconnect/ace/CourseStatus.awp?&course=24SSP1382A
Contact: Russ Jones (wrjones3@verizon.net)

Marine Navigation is a course which covers the basics of coastal and inland navigation. This course focuses on navigation as it is done on recreational boats today and embraces GPS as a primary navigation tool while covering traditional techniques so the student will be able to find his/her way even if their GPS fails. OpenCPN, free software that runs on Windows, MAC and other systems, will be taught in the class to demonstrate to students how to use electronic charting software. OpenCPN is a marine navigation program that is state-of-the-art and in wide use by commercial and recreational boating enthusiasts. The course includes in-class exercises, developing the student's skills through hands-on practice and learning.

Topics covered include::

  • 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 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
  • Use of OpenCPN navigation software
  • Monitoring progress and determining position by both GPS and traditional techniques such as bearings and dead reckoning
  • The “Seaman’s Eye” – simple techniques for checking that one is on course.