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1. Position

  • Dead reckoning and estimated position

  • Satellite-derived position

  • Use of waypoints to fix position

  • Radar fixes

  • Techniques of visual fixing

  • Fixes using a mixture of position lines

  • Relative accuracy of different methods of position fixing

  • Areas of uncertainty


2. The Magnetic Compass

  • Allowance for variation

  • Change of variation with time and position

  • Causes of deviation

  • Swing for deviation (but not correction)

  • Allowance for deviation

  • Different types of compass


3. Tides

  • Causes of tide - Springs and Neaps

  • Tide tables - sources

  • Tidal levels and datum

  • Standard and secondary ports

  • Tide anomalies (Solent, etc.)


4. Tidal Streams

  • Sources of tidal information

  • Tidal stream information in sailing directions and Yachtsmen's Almanacs

  • Allowance for tidal streams in computing a course to steer

  • Tide rips, overfalls and races

  • Tidal observation buoys, beacons etc.


5. Buoyage

  • IALA system buoyage in Region A

  • Limitations of buoys as navigational aids


6. Lights

  • Characteristics

  • Ranges - visual, luminous and nominal

  • Rising and dipping distances

  • Light lists


7. Pilotage

  • Harbour regulations and control signals

  • Methods of pre-planning

  • Clearing lines

  • Use of soundings

  • Transits and leading lines


8. GPS and Chart Plotters

  • Principles of operation and limitations of use

  • Raster and vector charts

  • Datum

  • Importance of confirmation of position by an independent source and keeping aseparate record of position

  • Importance of paper charts


9. Echo Sounders

  • Principles of operation and limitations of use


9. Echo Sounders

  • Principles of operation and limitations of use

10. Logs (Speed and Distance Measuring)

  • Principles of operation and limitations of use


11. Deck Log

  • Importance of log as yacht's official document

  • Layout of log, hourly and occasional entries


12. Meteorology

  • Basic terms, the Beaufort Scale

  • Air masses

  • Cloud types

  • Weather patterns associated with pressure and frontal systems

  • Sources of weather forecasts

  • Ability to interpret a shipping forecast, weatherfax and weather satellite information

  • Land and sea breezes

  • Sea fog

  • Use of a barometer as a forecasting aid


13. Rule of the Road

  • A sound knowledge of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisionsat Sea, except Annexes 1 and 3


14. Safety at Sea

  • Personal safety, use of lifejackets, safety harnesses and lifelines

  • Fire prevention and fire fighting

  • Distress signals

  • Coastguard and Boat Safety Scheme

  • Preparation for heavy weather

  • Liferafts and helicopter rescue

  • Understanding of capabilities of vessel and basic knowledge of stability


15. Navigation in Restricted Visibility

  • Precautions to be taken in fog

  • Limitations to safe navigation imposed by fog

  • Navigation strategy in poor visibility


16. Passage Planning

  • Preparation of charts and notebook for route planning and making, and use at sea

  • Customs regulations as they apply to yachts

  • Routine for navigating in coastal waters

  • Strategy for course laying

  • Use of waypoints and routes

  • Use of weather forecast information for passage planning strategy

  • Sources of local and national regulations


17. Marine Environment

  • Responsibility to minimise pollution and protect the marine environment

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