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Welcome to LearnToCruiseOnline’s Intermediate Coastal and Electronic Navigation Module!


Building on Basic Coastal Navigation, Intermediate Coastal Navigation provides additional knowledge and skills needed by skippers that wish to venture beyond familiar waters.  Intermediate Coastal Navigation provides more indepth coverage of topics such as tides and currents, more advanced position determination, and other topics that are beyond the scope of Basic Coastal Navigation.

Our Intermediate course covers all the requirements defined in Sail Canada’s Intermediate Coastal Navigation standard (see https://www.sailing.ca/files/Intermediate_Coastal_Navigation_March_31_2017_effective.pdf).  Graduates of our course are certified according to this standard, which is a prerequisite for Advanced Coastal Cruising, and for going on to learn more in-depth knowledge and skills in Advanced Coastal Navigation.

In addition, however, LearnToCruiseOnline’s module goes beyond the standard to provide more in-depth coverage of various aspects of marine electronics, including use of AIS, chart-plotters, and mobile devices.

Approach and Materials

Our approach to Coastal Navigation supports aspiring navigators through a unique combination of online and traditional learning / instructing approaches. Course materials include:

  • A detailed text and accompanying exercises, authored by Jamie Gordon, one of Canada’s leading experts in cruising and navigation (downloadable in PDF form)
  • A set of modular screencasts on each topic, using a presentation with voice-over commentary to explain and illustrate key concepts and techniques.  These screencasts can be viewed as often as desired.
  • Email access to the course instructors the ability to obtain personalized support as required
  • We provide an online practice exam that participants can take to prepare themselves for the real exam (coming soon)
  • The Sail Canada Intermediate Coastal Navigation exam.  Arrangements can be made for you to complete the exam within a defined time period and send it to us for marking
  • Post-exam feedback will provide participants with an opportunity to review their personal exam results and gain further clarification on any questions they had difficulty with.
  • After completing the course, participants will have ongoing access to the Intermediate Coastal Navigation course material for update and review purposes.

While you likely already have the required navigation tools, at the outset of the course, participants will be given guidance on how to obtain basic navigation tools (dividers, parallel rules or plotter), required publications, and the teaching charts used in the course.

Benefits of our unique course design

Our course design enables you to complete the course based on your own schedule and availability.

  • In contrast to in-person courses, you don’t have to travel to be in a particular geographic location, and have the flexibility to work through the course material at times that meet your schedule.
  • A benefit of in-person courses is interaction with instructors.  We offer email contact with instructors to respond to any challenges you encounter along the way
  • Access to a unique online practice exam that accurately simulates the experience of writing the official Sail Canada exam
  • Subscribers to any course will have on-going access to course materials, even beyond the timeframe of the specific course they participate in.  This will enable course participants to become updated on any future additions or changes in the course material, and to refresh their knowledge in future, for instance, while preparing for a cruise.

Course Outline

The course is organized in 4 sessions plus the exam process. Each of these is intended to be completed in roughly 4-6 hours of study.  As noted above, LearnToCruiseOnline’s Intermediate course is not limited to the minimum knowledge required to pass the official Intermediate Coastal Navigation exam.  We believe that in today’s world, it is important to understand both modern electronics AND traditional navigation techniques.  In the outline below, a topic designated with “*” covers modern electronic navigation content that goes beyond the knowledge requirements in the standard.  If your main objective is to pass the exam, you may of course omit these topics.  However, if you want to know more about how to use modern navigation electronics, you will find these topics of great interest.

Session 1:

  • Topic 1.1 Introduction
  • Topic 1.2 Navigator’s responsibilities revisited
  • Topic 1.3 COLREGS rules 5, 6, 10 and 19
  • Topic 1.4 Navigation system revisited
  • *Topic 1.5 Overview of AIS
  • Topic 1.6 Homework

Session 2:

  • Topic 2.1 Introduction
  • Topic 2.2 Session 1 Review
  • Topic 2.3 Intermediate Position Determination Overview
  • Topic 2.4 Checking deviation
  • Topic 2.5 Ship’s log revisited
  • Topic 2.6 Running Fix
  • Topic 2.7 Other ways of obtaining a LOP
  • Topic 2.8 Plotting Currents
  • Topic 2.9 Leeway
  • Topic 2.10 Homework

Session 3:

  • Topic 3.1 Introduction
  • Topic 3.2 Session 2 Review
  • Topic 3.3 Intermediate Tides and Currents: overview
  • Topic 3.4 Tides revisited
  • Topic 3.5 Currents revisited
  • Topic 3.6 Chart-embedded current information
  • Topic 3.7 Current atlas
  • Topic 3.8 Intermediate GPS
  • *Topic 3.9 Overview of boat networks
  • *Topic 3.10 Using Chartplotters
  • *Topic 3.11 Multifunction devices
  • *Topic 3.12 Other navigation electronics
  • Topic 3.13 Homework

Session 4:

  • Topic 4.1 Introduction
  • Topic 4.2 Session 3 Review
  • Topic 4.3 Passage and pilotage planning overview
  • Topic 4.4 Passage plan
  • Topic 4.5 Pilotage plan
  • Topic 4.6 Checking instrument accuracy
  • *Topic 4.7 Using mobile devices and apps for navigation overview
  • *Topic 4.8 Navigation apps
  • *Topic 4.9 Weather apps
  • *Topic 4.10 Instruments
  • *Topic 4.11 Other apps
  • Topic 4.12 Exam preparation

Session 5: Online Practice Exam

Session 6: Exam preview, preparation, and administration

Session 7: Exam take-up

The Basic Coastal Navigation Online Practice Exam (COMING SOON)

LTCO offers a unique online practice exam that simulates the process of  the official exam and enables you to guage your readiness for taking the official Sail Canada exam.

The Intermediate Coastal Navigation Exam

To be certified according to the IntermediateCoastal Navigation standard, course participants must achieve a mark of 70% upon writing 2.5 hour exam that covers intermediate navigational knowledge (Part A) , and intermediate plotting skills (Part B).  More information about the exam is available from the “Session 6” link above.

If for any reason you do not achieve 70% on the exam, arrangements can be made for you to rewrite after a 14 day interval.

Course cost and subscription

Course fee of $200 plus HST includes course materials, screencasts, email-based instructor guidance, online practice exam and the final Intermedidate Coastal Navigation exam and exam result feedback.  Guidance is provided for obtaining the Instructional Charts and navigation tools.

TO SUBSCRIBE, FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS HERE: https://learntocruiseonline.ca/subscriptions

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