Basic Coastal Navigation Course
The U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary's Basic Coastal Navigation
(BCN) course is a comprehensive course to introduce the advanced
boater to the methods 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.
Individuals who successfully complete the course and exam
are awarded certificates.