United States Power Squadrons®

Come for the Boating Education...Stay for the Friends℠

Piloting Manual CoverPILOTING

Learn the essentials of safe coastal and inland navigation using basic GPS in conjunction with charts and other marine data.  The Piloting course teaches you how to use the GPS along with traditional dead reckoning techniques for planning and laying out safe routes, as well as ensuring that you are on-course while underway.

What's Included?

  • Charts and their interpretation
  • Landmarks and navigation aids (buoys, daymarks, lights, etc.)
  • Plotting courses and determining direction and distance
  • The mariner's compass and converting between True and Magnetic
  • Use of GPS - basic GPS displays and information they provide, setting up waypoints and routes, staying on a GPS course
  • Pre-planning courses and entering them into the GPS
  • Monitoring progress and determining position by both GPS and traditional techniques such as bearings and dead reckoning
  • The "Seaman's Eye" - simple skills for checking that one is on course

Ten classes of two hours each normally are scheduled for presentation of this course. In addition the students have seven days to complete an open book exam.

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