ASA 105 Coastal Navigation

Learn the basics of coastal navigation including piloting and navigation: chart skills, course plotting, dead reckoning, impacts of wind and current, and determining tides and currents.  Whether new to sailing or want to brush up on your piloting and navigation skills, this course is for you.

We are offering this class over 3 Saturdays, including a review/exam day.  Upon successful completion, you will earn your ASA 105 certification.  Course Fee:  $275

You may take this course as an "auditor" and skip the exam if you do not need ASA certification.  ASA 105 certification is a prerequisite for ASA 106, Advanced Coastal Cruising and for ASA 107 & 117, Celestial Navigation.


The course will cover navigation aids such as buoys, day-marks, and lighthouses; how to read charts; other publications; magnetic and true north direction; checking for compass deviation; how to use a hand-bearing compass and get a position fix based on charted landmarks; how to find the boat’s position on the chart using both the bearings and Lat/Long; plotting courses, deduced reckoning (“dead reckoning”); use of depth sounder and charted depth contours; reading tide and current tables; and impacts of weather, wind, and current on navigation.


§  The desire to learn navigation and apply the skills in a classroom setting, no other ASA certifications are required


The class will be based on ANSA provided materials and practice problems.   

It is also recommended that students use at least one of the following references or sources to help prepare for the course. 

  • Chapters 9-13 of The Annapolis Book of Seamanship, Third Ed., by John Rousmaniere
  • Chapters 13-18 of Chapman Piloting & Seamanship, 66th Ed., by Charles B. Husick
  • Chapters 4-5 of The International Marine Book of Sailing, by Robby Robinson
  • Captain Tursi or Captain Pyzel’s reference materials available from ASA
  • Navigation Workbook 1210Tr: For Power-Driven and Sailing Vessels, by Burch & Brandt
  • Chapter 5 in both the ASA 103, Coastal Cruising, and ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising ASA Textbooks


§  One full size paper chart for practice and exam - Chart 1210 TR_NL (No Loran lines) - Order your own chart at the link below, select the "Water Resistant" format. 

Order Chart Online

Students will need to buy or borrow navigation tools for the class. Recommended tools include:

  • Pencils & sharpener
  • Gum Eraser
  • Dividers (example: Weems & Plath Matte Nickel 7″ or Traditional One Handed)
  • A Plotting tool:
    • Roller Plotter (example: Weems & Plath Roller Plotter 120)
    • Protractor plotter
    • Parallel plotter
  • Straight edge
  • Magnifying glass
  • Head lamp

These items are readily available from most marine supply stores, including West Marine, Fawcett’s, or order online from Weems & Plath Navigation Tools or Amazon.

ASA 105 Winter Class

    • Saturday, January 27, 2024
    • Saturday, February 24, 2024
    • 3 sessions
    • West River Sailing Club, 4800 Riverside Dr, Galesville, MD
    • 6

    Learn to navigate over the Winter! Take ANSA's Coastal Navigation class and earn ASA 105 certification. Get a Fix, plot a course, dead reckon, understand set and drift, leeway, and plan accordingly.  Understand the impact of tides and currents and when it matters on the Chesapeake Bay. 

    The fee for this class is $275.  In addition students must have a current ANSA membership ($55 - $75), renewed as of Jan 1, 2024. Become a member.

    We will use a combination of Zooms and three Saturdays at the beautiful West River Sailing Club, starting with beginning basics on Day 1 and advancing to more complex plotting and calculations on Day 2.

    Zoom 1 - Jan 24 - Intro, Q&A, schedule, resources

    Day 1 - Jan 27 - Basic concepts, definitions, plotting skills & math

    Day 2 - Feb 10 - Advanced plotting, problem solving, set and drift, danger bearings, running fix

    Zoom 2 - Feb 21 - Q&A, review

    Day 3 - Feb 24 - morning review and practice, afternoon exam

    There are many resources available for studying and practicing marine navigation and in addition some sailors may already have a good knowledge base.  

    Following registration, ANSA will provide our training materials that provide a complete tutorial and guide to all of the navigation skills and requirements, including previous class videos.  However, students are also advised to utilize at least one other reference source as well as additional practice problems to fully prepare for the exam.

The Annapolis Naval Sailing Association is a 501 (c) 7 non-profit organization in Maryland and a Chapter of the United States Naval Sailing Assoc

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