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Sunset Sailboats

ASA 105

Coastal Navigation

ASA 105 - Coastal Navigation

A 2 day class where you will apply navigational theory and practices for safe navigation of a sailing vessel in coastal and inland waters.  You will learn about navigation publications and tools, how to use current and tide tables, plot a chart position, and more.  Using the skills you learn, you will plot a course of at least 20 miles and three course changes. 


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Sailing Knowledge 

  • Explain the chart symbols and conventions on U.S. nautical charts in accordance with the terminology of Chart #1.

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

  • List the publications required for prudent navigation in the local area including:

Large scale charts of the area and Chart #1
Federal Requirements for Recreational Boats
USCG Navigation Rules and Regulations Handbook
State small vessel regulations
Local rules and regulations, if applicable
Local cruising guides
Tide and current tables, (paper or electronic)
List of lights, buoys, and fog signals


  • Describe the instruments required for prudent navigation in the local area including the following minimum requirementsSteering compass and deviation table

Handbearing compass and / or pelorus
Protractor or parallel rule
Depth sounder or leadline
Pencil, eraser, and notebook
Watch or clock
Log / Knotmeter

  • Describe the purpose and example contents of a “Notice to Mariners.”

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

  • Explain the significance of shapes, colors, and lights used in the U.S. Aids to Navigation (ATON) system.

Sailing Skills 

  • 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.

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

  • Check compass deviation by a transit bearing or other means.

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

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

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

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

  • 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.

  • Chart a course of at least 20 miles and three course changes using the above skills.

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