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Astro Navigation

21st Century Navigation 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 lightning strike. 


The ultimate backup is a sextant, accurate timepiece, nautical almanac and a set of, what are known as "sight reduction tables". However whilst the process of translating a sextant sight into a position line is straightforward it is quite challenging to get to grips with. Unlike classroom training, where time is limited and students progress at different rates, online learning allows you to participate in lessons as many times as you wish. rewind and replay. You can also repeat exercises and, if you struggle to get to the correct answer, we'll guide you through step-by-step.


Kipper Sailing's online RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Ocean Shorebased course comprises 13 online lessons and numerous self-assessment exercises.

  • Introduction & Basic Astro Navigation Theory
  • Using a Sextant
  • Meridian Passage
  • Sun Sights
  • Plotting Your Position
  • Planet Sights
  • Moon Sights
  • Star Sights
  • Latitude by Polaris (The Pole Star)
  • Compass Check by Sun's Amplitude
  • Ocean Weather & Tropical Storms
  • Passage Planning
  • Satellite, HF communications and obtaining weather data

See here to view the first lesson.


 At the end of the course, you'll be set an exam and, if you pass,  we'll issue you with a RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Ocean course completion certificate. See exam guidance for more information.

Studying with friends or family is fun and tends to get better results


Order 2 or more courses and get a whopping 25% off every course. Not everybody has to study the same course.

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