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Coastal Navigation Course

Coastal Navigation Courses in Naples, Fort Myers and Marco Island.

Coastal Navigation Course

Our Coastal Navigation Course will teach you the fundamentals of how to navigate with paper charts. For those recreational boaters who want to enjoy coastal cruising, this course is essential for enhancing your navigation and voyage planning skills. This course is NOT for people who want to earn a Captain’s License. You must attend a Coast Guard approved training program to accomplish that goal. This course is designed with the recreational boater in mind and assumes that GPS will still be the primary navigation tool. The cost of the course and materials is $425. Please review the FAQ’s below for more information. 

Our program is broken down into four sections:

Navigation Tools and Resources

When it comes to nautical charts and coastal navigation, it is important to understand what charts and resources that you will need, selecting the right plotting tools, and how to find the most up-to-date navigation information. In the first part of this course we will cover:

  • How to find and select the charts for your desired area
  • How to use Chart Number 1 which is the key to all of the information and symbols found on nautical charts
  • How to use the Coast Pilot Book to help you make safe and informed navigation decisions
  • How to find Local Notices to Mariners issued by the Coast Guard
  • How to select and use the most common plotting tools

Understanding Nautical Charts

Nautical charts contain a vast amount of information that can be difficult for the novice navigator to interpret. In section two of our Coastal Navigation Course you will learn to:

  • Identify chart information such as chart number, edition number and the date of the last chart update or correction
  • Identify the unit of measure for depth soundings such as feet or fathoms
  • Understand how chart scale can effect the level of detail in a nautical chart
  • Determine latitude and longitude 
  • Measure distance
  • Understand the importance of the colors on the nautical chart
  • Understand MLLW (Mean Lowest Low Water) depth readings and how they relate to tides
  • Identify and interpret ATON’s (Aids To Navigation)
  • Identify Territorial Sea Boundary Lines
  • Understanding the compass rose on nautical charts and how it relates to the magnetic compass aboard your boat
  • Variation and Deviation of magnetic compasses

Plotting Courses

Navigating your way from one location to another used to be done with nothing more than a paper nautical chart, some basic plotting tools, a compass and some good old fashioned seamanship skills. Today we rely almost entirely on our GPS and other electronics. In part three of our Coastal Navigation Course we will step back in time and you will learn: 

  • How to plot course lines and create routes
  • Calculate compass headings in both true and magnetic north
  • Determine latitude and longitude of waypoints
  • Measure distances between waypoints and calculating the total distance of a route
  • How to estimate your position along an intended route using Deduced or Dead Reckoning
  • How Set and Drift will affect your intended course

Calculations for Navigators

Knowing the time it will take to arrive at your destination, the overall distance and the amount of fuel that will be consumed may not be important for short distances, but play a critical role in navigating your vessel on longer voyages. In part four of our Coastal Navigation Course you will learn to:

  • Calculate the time it will take to complete your intended voyage
  • Calculate the total distance of your voyage
  • Calculate speed based on time and distance
  • Calculate the overall fuel consumption to ensure that your vessel can carry the required amount of fuel to safely complete the voyage


FAQ’s about our Coastal Navigation Course

What is the prerequisite training requirement for the Coastal Navigation Course? The Florida Safe Boating Course must be completed first.

How much does the Coastal Navigation Course cost? The price of the Coastal Navigation Course is $425 which includes the nautical chart, plotting tools and the instructor fee. The nautical chart and plotting tools are excellent quality and yours to keep at the end of the course.

How long does it take to complete the Coastal Navigation Course? This is a private 3-hour class completed at your home, office, or any location with a table or counter space to unfold a large navigation chart.

How many people can participate in the Coastal Navigation Course? Ideally 1-2 people to maximize the effectiveness. We can accommodate larger groups but costs will vary depending on how much additional time is needed to complete the course and additional materials. Give us a call and we will give you a customized quote for larger groups. 

Coastal Boat Navigation Course