United States Power Squadrons®
America's Boating Club®
Pensacola Sail and Power Squadron

Marine Navigation Course
Marine Navigation (P) (Formerly Piloting) is the first in the sequence of USPS courses on navigation, covering the basics of coastal and inland navigation. This all-new course focuses on navigation as used on recreational boats today. The course embraces GPS as a primary navigation tool while covering enough of traditional techniques so the student will be able to find his/her way even if the GPS fails. The course includes many in-class exercises, developing the students skills through hands-on practice and learning.

Topics covered include:

  • Charts and their interpretation
  • Navigation aids and how they point to safe water
  • Plotting courses and determining direction and distance
  • The mariners compass and converting between true and magnetic
  • Use of GPS – typical GPS displays and information they provide, setting up waypoints and routes and staying on a GPS route
  • Pre-planning safe 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 “Seamans Eye” – simple skills for checking that one is on course

Upon successful completion of this course, the member is awarded the grade of Pilot (P).

There are no pre-requisites for this course although completion of Boat Handling is recommended.