The CYA Coastal Navigation certification is a
prerequisite for most bareboat chartering companies on the West
Coast of Canada and the Northern U.S. as well as the East coast of
Canada and the U.S. where strong currents and high tides are
Electronic navigation, map over
GPS and radar, chart plotters, telephone apps. etc. have changed the
way we approach navigation but unfortunately, non of these systems
are fail safe. The experienced sailor will never rely solely on
electronics for navigation without an alternative back-up system and
that's where the skills you learn from coastal navigation are
It's not uncommon for GPS blackouts to occur or
for the ship's electronics to suddenly shut down due to an onboard
power issue. Coastal navigation requires nothing more than a paper
chart, a compass, a set of parallel rules and a divider and a watch
to enable you to plot a safe passage.
This course builds on water confidence because it
enhances your chart reading skills, which are transferable to using
electronic charts, but also provides you with the knowledge that if
all else fails, you will still be able to navigate your way to
Coastal Navigation topic overview:
- reading charts (small scale/large scale, Mercator, Polyconic,
- compass variance, deviation and converting from degrees True
to degrees Magnetic and vise versa;
- the relationship of time, distance and speed and plotting
- lines of position (bearings, depth contours, bobbing lights,
- estimated position (EP), two point, three point and running
- danger bearings;
- leeway, current set and drift and how to calculate a course
to steer to allow for the same;
- reading tide and current tables and calculating the height
of tide or speed of current at any time;
For a complete listing of CYA Coastal Navigation Standards,
please see below.
This course is offered as a home study or as
an in class course depending the number of students taking the
No prerequisites are necessary. Materials required
include: parallel rules and divider (offered at cost), geometry set
and chart #3463. The text book is included in the course cost and is
specific to the CYA coastal navigation course.
CYA - Coastal Navigation
(Standards as set out in the CYA
International Log Book)
COASTAL NAVIGATION STANDARD
To be able to demonstrate the navigational theory required to safely
navigate a vessel in coastal or inland waters.
The concepts are introduced in the Intermediate Cruising and Power
Standards. The Coastal Navigation Standard is applied practically and tested
in the Advanced Cruising Standard.
None. You can attain this standard by passing the CYA Coastal Navigation
Examination. This is a prerequisite to the Advanced Cruising Standard.
The candidate must be able to:
1. Explain the chart symbols and conventions on Canadian Hydrographic
charts, in accordance with the
terminology of Chart 1.
2. Identify a source of official Canadian government navigation
3. List the publications required for prudent navigation in the local area,
including the following minimum
a) Large scale charts of the area and Chart 1, Symbols, Terms and
b) Sailing Directions;
c) Tide and Current Tables;
d) Collision Regulations;
e) Local rules and regulations;
f) List of Lights, Buoys, and Fog Signals;
g) Radio Aids to Marine Navigation (if using electronic
h) Safe Boating Guide.
4. List the instruments required for prudent navigation in the local area,
including the following minimum
a) Steering compass and deviation table
b) Hand-bearing compass
d) Protractor, plotter or parallel rule
e) Watch or clock
f) Depth sounder or lead line
h) Pencil/eraser/note book
5. Describe the purpose of Notices to Mariners.
6. Use the Tide and Current Tables to find:
a) Times and heights of tides at reference and secondary ports;
b) Direction and rate of current at reference and secondary
7. Convert courses, headings and bearings between true, magnetic, and
8. Check compass deviation by means of a transit bearing.
a) A dead reckoning position on a chart, using speed, time, and course
b) The estimated position allowing for the effect of current and leeway.
10. Determine a heading that counteracts:
a) Known current;
11. Given the course through water and speed, and two observed positions,
determine the current.
a) Estimated time of arrival (ETA);
b) Revised ETA.
13. Plot a chart position from terrestrial objects, using:12. Determine:
a) Two or more bearings on different objects taken at one time;
b) A running fix on one or more objects;12. Determine:
c) One bearing and a transit range;
d) One distance (i.e. sounding, or dipping a light) and one bearing.
Use correct plotting and labeling procedures.
knowledge of passage planning, as follows:
a) Prepare a plan of a coastal passage of at least 20 miles in three
i) An overall plan on a small
ii) A detailed plan on
a large scale chart;
iii) A departure or
arrival plan including tide and current information;
transits, lead marks, stern marks, clearing marks, danger/clearing bearings
in piloting and passage planning;
c) Transfer positions between charts using the nearest compass rose and
d) Demonstrate a working knowledge of the Canadian buoyage and aids to