Sea Kayak  Navigation - Tacoma - 2024

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 will be all day at the Tacoma Program Center.  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.

Completing the two-day class meets the requirements for the Intermediate Sea Kayaker Badge.

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment

Captains Nautical Supply

In addition to the 20 essentials, you will need

1. A waterproof chart of the area.  MapTech Chart no. 100.  You can also order print on demand NOAA charts with a waterproof coating which are harder to work with (#18448 south Puget Sound) from Captains Nautical Books and Charts.

2.A hand-held baseplate compass- do NOT purchase one with the declination adjustment screw. (If you already have one and want to use it, remove the correction.) You do NOT want an orienteering compass with a mirror and magnifying lens.  You will want a lanyard on the compass.

3. A piece of string- maybe 18" or so

4. Smartphone with tide/current app (or a laptop or tablet to access this data on a website.

5. A basic calculator (or smartphone).

6. For the on the water portion, a deck compass will be 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, and a long billed cap.

Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.