FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Here are answers to common questions about the coastalnavigation.com program. If you have a question that isn't answered below, write to us at: instructor@coastalnavigation.com .

How long will it take me to complete the course?
How do I access the course material?
I'm interested in bareboat chartering. How will this course help?
What is the Sail Canada "Basic Coastal Navigation Standard"?
What is the EXTENDED course material?
Are there any prerequisites to this course?
What experience do I need before I take the course?
How was the course content created?
How do I get practice doing plotting?
How do I write the Sail Canada exam?
Can I rewrite the exam?

 

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[Table of Contents - American Edition]
[Table of Contents - Canadian Edition]

 

How long will it take me to complete the course?
   

Most students take about six weeks to complete the course.

It takes about 6 hours to read the course material. The exercises at the end of each section, and the practice cruise take about another 8 hours to complete. Add four hours for review and study for a total of 18 hours. At 3 hours a week, this works out to 6 weeks.

Of course, one of the big advantages of an e-learning program like coastalnavigation.com is that you can work through the material at your own pace. It's important that you progress at a speed which allows you to understand and practice what you're learning, while retaining the material you've covered earlier. Too fast and you may not acquire the necessary skills. Too slow and you may have trouble remembering what you've learned.

   

 

How do I sign up?
   

You can register as a student by e-mail or by calling a toll-free phone number. The registration fee can be paid by Visa or Mastercard. Click below to see more information on how to register.

[How to Register - American Edition]
[How to Register - Canadian Edition]

   

 

How do I access the course material?
   

When you register as a student, a user name and password is sent to you by e-mail. These allow you access to the course material. All you need is a computer, a printer, an Internet connection, an e-mail account, and an up-to-date browser. Chrome is recommended.

   

 

What will I learn?
   

This course teaches you the theory and practical skills needed to safely navigate a sailing or power cruiser in coastal or inland waters.

You learn how to read a nautical chart, plan and plot your course, determine your position, understand tide and current tables, and much more. See the Table of Contents for a complete outline of the course contents.

[Table of Contents - American Edition]
[Table of Contents - Canadian Edition]

   

 

What do I do if I need help?
   

When you register as a student you're assigned a coastalnavigation.com instructor. Your instructor has many years of teaching and boating experience.

You can get prompt e-mail assistance from your instructor whenever you need it.

[Meet the Instructors - American Edition]
[Meet the Instructors - Canadian Edition]

   

 

What materials do I need?
   

You are provided with all the materials needed to complete the course, except for a sharp pencil with a good eraser. These materials are sent to you by post or courier when you register.

A course plotter is a type of ruler that allows you to plot a line on a chart in a specific direction, or find the direction of a line or between objects. The course plotter your receive is made of durable acrylic.

Dividers allow you to measure distance on a chart, or transfer latitude and longitude co-ordinates to and from the chart. Our metal dividers come in a plastic case.

An official nautical training chart (a nautical map) is provided for plotting exercises.

   

 

I'm interested in bareboat chartering. How will this course help?
   

This course teaches you how to navigate in coastal and inland waters, the conditions in which you're most likely to be cruising aboard a chartered sailboat or powerboat.

As well, proof that you're taken this course and/or achieved the Sail Canada or ASA navigation standard can help you demonstrate to charter operators that you have the experience and knowledge needed to get a boat back safely and intact.

   

 

What is the Sail Canada Basic Coastal Navigation Standard?
   

Sail Canada is the national governing body for yachting in Canada. Its training division is responsible for all training programs offered by Sail Canada, including dingy, cruising (including coastal navigation), windsurfing, and certification of judges and race officers.

coastalnavigation.com follows the curriculum of Sail Canada, and you can achieve the Sail Canada Basic Coastal Navigation Standard upon successful completion of the exam. This Standard is recognized worldwide.

The Basic Coastal Navigation Standard comprises 16 learning objectives. Reference is made to each objective as it is covered in the course material.

   

 

What is the EXTENDED course?
   

extended

Our course goes beyond the basics to cover important topics you'll need to be a successful and safe navigator. Find out more.

   

 

Are there any prerequisites to this course?
   

There are no prerequisites for either this course, the Sail Canada Basic Coastal Navigation Standard, nor the ASA Coastal Navigation Standard.

   

 

What experience do I need before I take the course?
   

Ideally you should have some experience at the helm of a power or sailboat. However, some students have never stepped aboard a boat and have successfully completed the course. You need only know basic arithmetic and have a willingness to learn.

   
How do I achieve recognition for completing this course?
   

When you've completed the course, contact your instructor. He or she will send you your signed certificate of completion.

   
How was the course content created?
   

The American Edition of this Internet course follows the ASA Coastal Navigation Standard. The Canadian Editions covers the curriculum of the Sail Canada Basic Coastal Navigation Standard.

Both editions were designed, written and illustrated by two boating and navigation instructors. Both have many years of experience teaching experience.

For years, this course content has been used in the classroom to teach coastal navigation and prepare students for the exam. The instructors boast that of students who have chosen to write the exam (a large majority), more than 90 per cent have passed.

   
How do I get practice doing plotting?
   

An important part of this course is learning how to plot your course and position on a nautical chart. Plotting takes practice to develop both accuracy and speed: Time spent at the chart table is time not spent steering the boat away from danger, or enjoying the view!

The course contains 8 plotting exercises as well as a practice cruise that simulates a short passage. Plotting exercises fit on a letter-size sheet of paper: you simply print the pages to do the plotting. The cruise is plotted on the training chart you receive in your student kit.

Plotted answers are provided for the exercises and cruises so you can check your work.

   
How do I write the Sail Canada exam?
    There are a number of ways of writing the Sail Canada exam. We'll be happy to help you find the way that works best for you. Contact us.
   
How do I write the ASA exam?
   

ASA exams must be written at an ASA affiliated sailing school. There are hundreds of schools in the United States. When you are ready to write the exam, notify your instructor by e-mail. He or she will put you in contact with a school near you.

There is a three-hour time limit on the exam. Details of the exam requirements are posted in the student-only section of the coastalnavigation.com site.

   
Can I rewrite the exam?
   

Yes. If you don't receive a passing grade, the exam can be rewritten. There may be a fee for rewriting the exam.

   


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[Table of Contents - American Edition]
[Table of Contents - Canadian Edition]