Yachtmaster Ocean

Astro-navigation & ocean passage planning

"This is the best RYA theory course"
Practicing with a sextant

New course dates announced - see below

Perhaps GPS and chart plotters make us think it's not necessary to learn about celestial navigation these days. But aren't you fascinated to know how mariners of old navigated by the sun and the stars?

"John is a first class instructor who presents what at times seems daunting material in a clear & easy-to-follow way.  The online resources between Saturdays were excellent."  Dave

There is one assessment paper. You will be awarded a certificate on successful completion of the course.

The course pack contains:
  • YM Ocean Text Book.
  • Exercises and Course Information.
  • Nautical Almanac Extracts.
  • Sight Reduction Tables.

It doesn't involve difficult maths.
While there are a lot of calculations involved in astronavigation, you don't have to do them yourself!  It's more a matter of looking up the answers in tables.

If you can add or subtract minutes up to 60' & add or subtract up to 360°, you're good to go!

For example: Add 245° 51.7' to 120° 18'

The minutes total = 69.7' but that's more than 60 so it actually becomes 1° 9.7'

The degrees total = 365° + the extra 1° from the minutes, so that's 366°. This is 6° too many from the 360° available.

So the answer to the sum becomes 6° 9.7' and that's pretty much as hard as the maths gets! 

Dolphins in the Celtic Sea
Yachtmaster Ocean course topics:
  • How to set up and use a sextant.
  • Astronavigation, including the Sun, Moon, planets and stars.
  • Ocean meteorology.
  • Ocean passage planning.
  • The knowledge to skipper a yacht on ocean passages.
Dates Autumn / Winter 2023 Start Time Places Left
Sundays 3rd 10th & 17th December
And Thursdays 7th & 14th December
9.30 am 10

Course joining instructions

"As always, the course was presented in very strong practical application terms. Celestial navigation appeared daunting, but was presented in a very enjoyable and understandable manner."

Plotter & Dividers

A plotter & dividers is essential.

Rules of the Road

RYA International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Buy this book

5 Day Course

Location: Morecambe.

Included in the course fee: Course pack, course completion certificate, refreshments.

Duration: 40 hours plus homework and assessment.

Student to instructor ratio 12:1