The U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary's Advanced Coastal Navigation
(ACN) course is a comprehensive course to prepare the advanced
boater with the knowledge needed to safely pilot a boat.
- INTRODUCTION TO COASTAL NAVIGATION --
course overview; names and definitions of various types
of navigation; steps of voyage planning and underway navigation;
earth's coordinate system and its use to specify location;
how direction can be measured on the surface; conversion
of direction (true, magnetic, compass and relative) to another.
- THE MARINE MAGNETIC COMPASS -- parts
and principle of operation of the marine magnetic compass;
concept of deviation and distinctions between compass north,
magnetic north, and true north; "swinging ship"
and deviation table preparation; rapidly and reliably solving
TVMDC and/or CDMVT computations
- THE NAUTICAL CHART -- characteristics
of nautical charts, particularly Mercator and polyconic
projections; plotting positions in terms of latitude and
longitude; various chart types/scales and their appropriate
uses; basic knowledge of chart symbols; rapid and reliable
measurement of direction, distance, and location on Mercator
and polyconic nautical charts.
- THE NAVIGATOR'S TOOLS AND INSTRUMENTS
-- navigator tools used in everyday practice; basic skills
and familiarity with the use of plotting instruments; use
of other instruments and equipment used in the practice
- DEAD RECKONING -- working knowledge
of dead reckoning methods including plotting, labeling,
measuring, and determining DR positions; speed, time, distance
formulas and problem solving; speed estimation, tachometers
and speed curves.
- PILOTING -- Line of Position (LOP) concepts;
bearing use in LOPs; running fix by advancing or retiring
an LOP; danger bearings; estimated positions when the data
are lacking for a FIX.
- CURRENT SAILING -- understanding current
and the motion of the vessel; current problems on both the
nautical chart and maneuvering board including determination
of EP given set and drift, course steered, and speed maintained;
determination of actual set and drift given course steered,
speed maintained, and a FIX; determination of course to
steer and resultant SOA given set and drift and intended
track; determination of course to steer and speed to maintain
given specified track and speed of advance and current set
- TIDES AND TIDAL CURRENTS -- understanding
tidal phenomena, causes, and typical variations; appreciate
the practical reasons why tides are important to the mariner;
know how to use the Tide Tables to estimate the height of
the tide at any time; know how to use the Tidal Current
Tables to estimate the strength and direction of the current
at any time.
- RADIONAVIGATION -- understanding the
basics of RDF, Loran-C, Radar, and GPS, their respective
advantages, disadvantages, limitations and how they can
be used to fix position; radar use for collision- avoidance
CPA and target course and speed.
- NAVIGATION REFERENCE PUBLICATIONS --
Acquaintance with the U.S. Coast Pilot, the Light List,
and the Notices to Mariners; computation of visibility of
lights given height of light, observer, prevailing visibility
and nominal ranges; importance of up-to-date charts and
- FUEL AND VOYAGE PLANNING -- Understand
the basics of fuel planning, including the definitions of
fuel efficiency, fuel reserves, endurance, and range; fuel
consumption affects of such factors as hull design, engine
horsepower, throttle settings, condition of bottom etc.;
developing a fuel consumption curve; effects of current
in fuel planning; preparing and using a "Howgozit"
chart for a voyage.
- REFLECTIONS -- Examples of 10 principles
of navigation learned the hard way.
Individuals who successfully complete the course and exam
are awarded certificates.