Boat navigation basics

When you have experienced your first time sailing and you’ve liked it a lot, the next step is to learn boat navigation basics (how to sail on your own) by learning how to navigate at sea. Learning how to navigate a boat at sea is one of the most important things you need to know. Surly, you are introduced with navigation in your every day life, but navigation tips for navigation at sea are a little bit complexed than every day version.

Wheter you have motor yacht, sailing yacht or just a dinghy you should know boat navigation basics at sea, cause there are no trafic signs and roads to drive onto on the water and also there can be lack of visibility due to fog, dark during the night, etc. The main things you should be carefull about, that basic navigation tips learn you how to avoid, are shallow zones and underwater obstructions.


There are two ways of boat navigation, traditional and modern/electronic navigation (which most of bigger boats have). Traditional navigation, beyond electronic navigation systems such as GPS and chartplotters, is always number one navigation, cause your are firstly leaning on your sight.  Beyond your eyes, first traditional navigation tool is COMPASS which tells you in which direction your boat is going, north, south, east, west. CHARTS are nautical maps and for Croatia yacht charter  (Adriatic sea) you can get all charts hereDIVIDERS are used to meausure distance on the chart. PARARELL RULES are a set of two rules which are attached by swiveling arms and the arms allow you to open and close the rulers, “walking” them across a chart, while maintaining the same angle. ERASABLE PENCIL is used in order to mark necessary points on the map. The last one is STOPWATCH  used to perform one of the most basic forms of navigation—ded reckoning. So when you are planning to get from point A to point B, use the upper traditional navigation tools in following order: firstly you need to point (locate) your position on the map, than you should create a route with bearings, than determine a reciprocal course and finally plot your position with Ded Reckoning.

Here is a video of how to determine your position (by

Here is a video of how to create a route with bearings:

Altough things became a lot easier when electronic navigation came, every sailor needs to know traditional navigations basics, cause we all know electronic can cancel obedience some times.

Here are some of the units boats have in terms of electronic navigation (not all of these are necessary): CHARTPLOTTER is the most important electronic navigation unit because it has a digital chart that simply can be used for plotting a course or getting a fix on your current location and many other things, DEPTSOUNDER is used oftenly when water level changes (a chartplotter has this function but it is not accurate always), MULTIFUNCTION DISPLAY are informational hubs that sit at your helm, and can integrate all of the electronic units listed here onto one LCD screen, Automatic Identification Systems  or AIS are transmitters and/or receivers that identify most commercial ships and boats and last one is RADAR which broadcasts pulses which are reflected by solid items that may be beyond visual range, like distant ships or land.