Navigation at sea is half art, half science. As seasoned expedition skippers who navigate all around the world, we want to share with you how we do it: the techniques we use, the apps we use, where we get our information from and why. The course lasts a full day and is 8 hours of intensive tuition and explanation delivered by an expert navigator. You will learn the real world skills, hints and tips that will transform your confidence and abilities in navigation. To learn usable, real world navigation skills, this is the course you need to come on.
- Candidates must have RYA Day Skipper theory or above (or equivalent experience) or have taken our introductory navigation course: Yacht Navigation Essentials.
- The course is not suitable for those completely new to navigation at sea.
1. Refresh the basics: chart work, tidal heights, bridge clearance etc
Everyone can do with a refresher. We'll start by cleaning up any errors, show you best practice and make sure you remember how to do all the basics.
2. Understanding the essential rules of the road
Knowing the rules of the road is very different to understanding them in a practical sense. We don't care if you can tell us the day shapes for a semi submerged tow more than 100m. We do care that you know exactly what to do in restricted visibility, crossing Traffics Separation Schemes (TSS) or when you've got a spinnaker-powered yacht screaming down on you.
3. Appraising a passage
We'll take you through our planning processes, checklists, presumed speeds and how we separate hard fact from fiction. We will show you how we decide if this is a sensible passage and if it is the right time frame in which to do it.
4. Planning a passage
See the publications and charts we use, the websites we use and the apps. See what notes we take as we plan a passage, to how much detail, and how we organise our information into a useful, practical plan. A particular emphasis here on weather: both for long range and short range planning
Our pilotage protocols at Rubicon 3 are very strict. We'll show you what we do and why, including key hints and tips that will help keep you safe.
Should you inform the coastguard before you leave? Do you need to check in to a foreign country? Who will you alert and how if you are getting in to trouble, especially if you're out of mobile phone range and no one answers the VHF? We have some suggestions.
7. Executing the passage
How closely would you expect to follow the passage plan? Do you make a log entry every 1 hour, every 3 hours or less? Why? What information should you be recording in your log? Again, there's no one way to do this but there are good ways and bad ways. We'll show you what we do.
8. Monitoring progress
Paper charts or electronic charts? We use them both, for very specific purposes. Are your paper and electronic charts up to date? Which type do you use? Again, we'll show you what we do and tell you why.