Advanced
Coastal Navigation
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.
Topics include:
 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
of navigation.
 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
and drift.
 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, LoranC, 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 uptodate charts and
other publications.
 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.
