21st Century Navigation, and indeed many other aspects of modern life, is vulnerable to GPS failure. Hackers might penetrate the system, terrorists might jam the signal, solar storms might take out satellites or, more likely, your own onboard systems could fail. Exactly this happened to our school principal after a lightening strike.
The ultimate backup is a sextant, accurate time-piece, nautical almanac and a set of sight reduction tables but there are shortcuts and anybody equipped with a cheap plastic sextant, digital watch, mobile phone app or spreadsheet can plot their position quickly and accurately. Even the app or spreadsheet can be dispensed with by carrying a copy of Reeds Astro Almanac, one slim volume costing around £20.
So we're working on 2 new online courses which teach Astro Navigation.
Basic Astro Navigation Online
Teaches you to use a sextant in conjunction with an accurate watch, mobile phone app, spreadsheet or copy of Reeds Astro Almanac to find your position quickly and accurately.
RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Theory Online
Expands on Basic Astro Navigation to teach you everything you need to pass the RYA Ocean Yachtmaster Theory Exam and includes the exam itself.
One Step at a time
So if you're thinking of making passage out of sight of land and want a backup to GPS or if you are just curious about how astro navigation works, then Basic Astro Navigation is all you need. On the other hand, if you want or want to qualify as a RYA Yachtmaster Ocean, you need to take the associated course. Uniquely among training providers, we are offering the opportunity for you to take take it in two bites. Start with Basic Astro Navigation and, when you've mastered that, move on to RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Theory.
Kipper Sailing are offering you the opportunity to pre-purchase Basic Astro Navigation Online at a reduced price. The course will be released in mid-December, well in time for Christmas if you want to treat yourself, put it in your letter to Santa or buy it for a loved one or friend.
The pre-purchase price is just £95 vs. the ongoing list price of £125. Not only that but, if you subsequently wish to go on to study our full RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Theory Online course, which will be released in the first quarter of 2018, you'll be entitled to upgrade for just another £155 giving a total of £250 vs. the ongoing list price of £295.
To take advantage of this offer, simply complete the booking form and we'll send you login details for the course the moment it's released. You can also purchase a Davis Mk15 Sextant to practice with, for just £200 (+shipping). Don't worry if you don't live by the sea, we'll show you how to make a simple artificial horizon using a washing up bowl to practice with in your back yard.
Alternatively, if you're handy with basic tools, you can make your own sextant in a few hours by following these instructions. Maybe something to do on Boxing Day?