Coastal Navigation for Sailors Course   - Tacoma - 2019

Sailing Course

Coastal Navigation for Sailors Course

Coastal Navigation for Sailors Course - Tacoma - 2019

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers course.

Become comfortable navigating a sailboat on the Salish Sea (within sight of land) for a day sail or overnight cruise. This course will build on the navigation skills learned in the Mountaineer's Basic Crewing Course and will consist of two classroom sessions plus one on-the-water day sail.

First classroom session - Saturday, May 25th, 9am - 3pm, Tacoma Program Center,  North 30th & Carr Streets, in Old Town Tacoma, upstairs classroom.

Second classroom session - Saturday, June 1st, 9am -3pm - same location.

Day sailEither Saturday, June 8th or date agreed by class.

After completing the course, you will have learned:

  • Tools of the Trade - paper charts, compass, difference between true and magnetic north, plotting aids, computer-based charts;
  • Dead Reckoning - using speed, time traveled and distance traveled to plan a route;
  • Piloting - Using known landmarks, chart information and currents to determine and track your position;
  • Basics of Computer-based Navigation - Introduction to use of GPS and electronic charting software at home and onboard.

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment


Classroom materials:

  • Coastal Navigation book from US Sailing ($20.95 on Amazon)
  • Rolling rule or parallel ruleDividers (I strongly recommend rolling rule)
  • Pencil, paper to take notes and eraser to clean chart after exercises
  • Chart 18448 (Puget Sound, Southern Part) will be provided for in-class use. If you would like to bring your own copy of 18448 so you can leave the class with work plotted on the chart, that is fine.

Day-sail gear:

  • Personal PFD (boat owners may have extras)
  • Non-marking or light soled shoes
  • Appropriate clothing for the expected weather conditions (it is always cooler on the water)! Sunglasses, hat and sunscreen
  • Personal food and water
Course Materials
Can't Replace the Navigator

Reprint of article from Practical Sailor discussing the importance of knowing the art of navigation.

Chart Accuracy

Reprint of article from Practical Sailor detailing different levels of accuracy used in charts.

Coastal Nav for Sailors References

Links to websites and information referenced in course.

Coastal Nav for Sailors, Course Outline

Outline of topics covered in course.