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New Marine Navigation Course (N1) – Replacing the Piloting Course

January 16 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Event Series Event Series (See All)

Students who have completed the Piloting Course (P) and or the Boat Handling course (BH) are encouraged to take this new Marine Navigation course (N1).  This new course incorporates electronic navigation tools which were missing from the prior Piloting course. Students who have completed any of the Advanced Navigation Courses (AP, JN or N)  will also benefit from taking this course.

Class Registration is on-line at the National website:


Starts Tuesday, January 9, 2024  (Jan 9th class starts at 6:30pm)

Meets Tuesday evenings for 8 sessions from 7 to 9 PM

This is a Zoom Class with local America’s Boating Club Cape Cod Instructors

ABClub Cape Cod is a local boating club which teaches numerous boating safety and skills classes, has frequent social events and is part of the National United States Power Squadrons organization which was founded in 1914.


Marine Navigation is the first course in the sequence of USPS/ABClub courses on navigation, covering the basics of coastal and inland navigation.

This course focuses on navigation as it is done on recreational boats today and embraces electronic navigation as a primary tool while covering enough of traditional techniques so the student will be able to find his/her way even if their electronics fail.

Students must have a Laptop, access to a printer and the internet.

Software requirements:

 – Windows XP, SP3, Vista, 7 – 11

 – Macintosh MAC OS 10.10 – 12.3

 – Ubuntu Linux

 – OpenCPN – Note: OpenCPN is free software but will not run on Apple IOS or ChromeBooks

Learn about:

  • Charts Symbols and their interpretation
  • Aids to Navigation
  • Plotting courses – Direction & Distance
  • Using the OpenCPN Navigation Software

            – GPS Displays, Waypoints & Routes

            – Preplanning Routes

  • Monitoring progress by both GPS and traditional techniques
  • Fixes and Bearings
  • Cruising the ICW
  • Using the “Seaman’s Eye”

OpenCPN free software is used to teach basic electronic Navigation



John Crawford



Class Fee:   $120

boating is fun … let’s do it together©

Cape Cod Sail and Power Squadron, Inc., a Unit of United States Power Squadrons®, is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization.



Class details and Schedule


January 9, 2024 – March 5, 2024

Class Manager/Instructor: Nick Vandemoer, N 508-737-2045 vandemoer@comcast.net

Instructor: Charles Burke, AP 508-394-0918 cgburke15@comcast.net

Assisting Instructor: Joe Kiceina, JN 908-455-2022 jkiceina@yahoo.com

Course Coordinator & Zoom host: John Crawford, SN 508-240-4003 Johncr181@gmail.com

TEXTS: download Student Manual (SM), Plotting and Labelling Standards (PL)

REQUIRED MATERIALS: computer either PC or MAC, laptop preferable; printer; mouse; 4 X 15 USPS plotter; compass/dividers; #2 lead pencil and latex eraser.

SOLUTIONS to chapter questions and Practice Cruise are in SM Appendix E. These will be reviewed in class, but any pressing questions contact Nick or Charles.

December 26, 2023 – January 9, 2024

You will be provided with instructions and a video on how to download OpenCPN to your computer. Please do so before the first class January 9th . Please call Nick or Charles for any difficulties.

Tuesday January 9-6:30 PM

SESSION 1: SM Chapter 1: Introduction to Marine Navigation Paper and Digital charts, Getting Way Point Coordinates, ATONS

HOMEWORK Read SM Chapter 1, Do Review Questions, Read Chapter 2

Note pattern of the rest of the course: read SM ahead of lecture, attend lecture, do homework based on lecture.

Tuesday January 16 – 7:00 PM

SESSION 2: SM Chapter 2: Navigating Waterways Getting There in 3 Steps, Marine Electronic Navigation Systems, Planning Safe Routes, Navigation Underway.

HOMEWORK: do Review Questions, Read Chapter 3a 3.1- 3.7.9, Make Sure OPEN CPN is working!

Tuesday January 23 – 7:00 PM

SESSION 3: SM Chapter 3a: OPEN CPN Basics Get to Know the OPEN CPN Window, Creating Routes, Tides and Currents

HOMEWORK: do Review Questions, Read Chapter 3b 3.7.9-3.9

Tuesday January 30 – 7:00 PM

SESSION 4: SM Chapter 3b OPEN CPN Route Planning Introduction to Practice Cruise

HOMEWORK: do Review Questions, read Chapter 4, start Practice Cruise

Tuesday February 6 – 7:00 PM

SESSION 5: SM Chapter 4: Paper Chart Navigation Plotting Tools, Planning a Route on Paper, Navigating and Checking Using Plotting Tools, Course Distance and Time, Bearings and Fixes

HOMEWORK: do Review Questions, work on Practice Cruise, read Chapter 5.

Tuesday February 13 – 7:00 PM

SESSION 6: SM Chapter 5: Navigating Coastal Waters Steps in Coastal Navigation, Tides, Currents, ICW, Navigational Challenges

HOMEWORK: do Review Questions, Read Chapter 6, Work on Practice Cruise

Tuesday February 20 – 7:00 PM

SESSION 7: SM Chapter 6: Inland Navigation Rivers and Lakes, Charts, ATONs, Reading the River, Eyeball Navigation

HOMEWORK: do Review Questions, Finish Practice Cruise

Tuesday February 27 – 7:00 PM

SESSION 8: SM Chapter 7: Review Practice Cruise, Review Marine Navigation in general

HOMEWORK: Optional Open Book take home Exam Given Out

Tuesday, March 5 – 7:00 PM

Optional Open Book take home Exam Due Back

boating is fun … let’s do it together

Cape Cod Sail and Power Squadron, Inc., a Unit of United States Power Squadrons, is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization




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