Sea Kayak  Navigation - Tacoma - 2023

Sea Kayaking Course

Sea Kayak Navigation

Sea Kayak Navigation using traditional charts and compass.

Consists of both lecture and classroom sessions, one day each. You will not get "credit" unless you complete both. Formerly this was titled Trip Planning and Navigation, but with only one day in the classroom we are limiting the trip planning to that which comes hand-in-hand with navigation.

The classroom session (Saturday) will be all day at the Tacoma Clubhouse.  We will cover tides, currents, weather,  compass use, navigational tools, and chart reading in much more detail than the Basic Class. We will show you how to plan a trip involving currents. We will teach the concepts of piloting and dead reckoning but not cover electronic (GPS) navigation.

The on-the-water portion is likely to be held at Owen Beach in Tacoma but may move if weather is an issue.

You need to either be a sea kayaking student or have the basic sea kayaking badge to sign up. Preference is given to those who are already or in the "pipeline" to be a trip leader.

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment

Captains Nautical Supply

In addition to the 20 essentials, you will need

  • Chart(s) of Puget Sound. Ideally, purchase Print-on-Demand Puget Sound NOAA charts 18441 and 18444, which cover both North and South Puget Sound, and purchase these on coated "waterproof" paper. You can find them from several dealers but you can buy them locally from Captains Nautical Supply. These are 1:80,000 scale and suitable for both planning and on-the-water navigation. However, you are welcome to use  MapTech Chart no. 100 which is so-so for planning and not great for on-water use. 
    1. A hand-held compass- do NOT purchase one with the declination adjustment screw. (If you already have one and want to use it, remove the correction.)
    2. string- maybe 18" or so
    3. Smartphone with tide/current app (or a laptop or tablet to access this data on a website)
    4. A basic calculator (or smartphone).
    5. For the on the water portion, a deck compass will be exceeding beneficial but if you don't have one you can make do with a hand-held compass. If you do have or get a deck compass, make sure you can read it from the cockpit; you may need the strap-on variety mounted closer to the cockpit than the ones installed in the boat's compass mount. You will need a waterproof watch
Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.