Kayarchy - the sea kayaker's online handbook and reference


Sea kayak navigation contents


Small estuary at low tide



1) Introduction


Introducing navigation :
— informal navigation for easy trips
— formal navigation for advanced trips

The nautical mile

Kayak speed

Effect of wind & tide

Navigation marks

Night navigation marks
— fixed navigation lights
— lights on vessels

2) Chartwork

  Maritime charts :
— maps & charts compared
— what a chart does not show

Chartwork ashore

"North", headings, bearings & reciprocals

Magnetic variation

Latitude & longitude
Distances on a chart

3) Chartwork continued

  Features on a chart
Co-ordinates on a chart

Navigation tools ashore

Navigation tools afloat

First, take your chart...

Adjusting your plot for currents

4) Chartwork continued

  Using tidal streams
Adjusting your plot for wind

Aiming off

5) Navigation checks while afloat

  Visual check on the effects of current & wind using:
— stationary rocks, boats & buoys
— ranges

— timing

— compass checks

6) Plotting your position, compass, satnav


— plotting your position
Using a compass afloat
GPS satellite navigation

7) Other

  Distance to horizon
Check your depth
Night navigation



Buoy on sunlit sea


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