So, far we have shed the anemometer and our knot-log. Now for the painful part, the beloved chart plotter. I guess you could say that the chart-plotter is like our underwear (I’ll bet Raymarine, Garmin, Furuno and Simrad never thought their staple product line would never be used in the same sentence with underwear). Both may well be the hardest to shed. But be brave naked sailor want-to-be, we will do it together and get this boat navigation down.
What is it about the chart plotter?
The chart plotter really isn’t all that magical in its basic operation. We attach a GPS antenna, that doesn’t do anything more than receive from satellites our exact position on earth, and places that location graphically onto underlying charts on a TV screen. Yea yeah I know they do lots more buts that’s all extra stuff.
The good news is that if you use your chart plotter then you’re already familiar with using charts. So your dilemma in shedding your chart plotter is just to figure out where you actually are and to locate that spot on a paper chart. That my friends, is known as navigation.
Boat navigation is the skill set that changes everything. It is what separates people that sail (maybe very well) from sailors. Navigation opens the doors to your dream destinations. Having the ability to navigate safely without electronics allows you to travel near and far with confidence. It also gives you something to do while on that long tack between A and B.
When you set out on your naked voyage you have two choices. You can have faith that Poseidon will guide you safely to where you want to go or you can keep track of your location, study your intended route and monitor your progress making changes and decisions along the way to accomplish a safe passage. The first…yeah, not so much. Navigation takes training and practice. Navigation gives you confidence and once mastered it, is very rewarding.
How to learn boat navigation?
So, how do you learn these valuable skills? The best way is to enroll in an American Sailing Association (ASA) Coastal Navigation (ASA105) class. At Sailing Florida we offer a full range of ASA classes including 105. Yours truly teaches this class and I need the work.
The ASA has established prerequisites for ASA105. Those prerequisites are the successful completion of ASA101, 103 and 104. However, they only apply if you actually want ASA certification. You can attend a 105 class and learn the art/science of navigation without getting certified.
ASA class formats
ASA 105 is offered in two formats. The first is a home-study course where you have the study material and you progress at your pace. When you are done you come to class with me for one day and there we review your work, iron out the rough spots and review for the exam. You then chose to take the exam and have it grade in class or you take the exam home, have it proctored, and mail it back to me.
The second option (and the one that I highly recommend) is a 32-hour class. We can set this class up to fit your schedule (days, weekends, or evenings). Contact Captain Dave or myself to discuss all the options. See you there!
Time to go sailing naked!
So there you have it. We have shed the anemometer, the knot-log, and even our beloved chart plotter, learning boat navigation at it’s core. We’ve talked about alternatives to all these expensive power consuming, mind dulling electronics. We have a path to Sailing Naked, wow I feel free already! FEEL THE BREEZE! YAHOO!
Hey, I just got a great idea. Let’s put together a Naked Sailing trip. Let’s set out on a journey! Let’s go to Key West NAKED! I like it! Contact Sailing Florida or myself and let us know your thoughts. We will learn a lot, have a lot of fun and accomplish something that not many have tried. Basic sailing skills will be required (and maybe no cameras) but that’s about it. I love it when a plan comes together.
Thanks for reading and I expect to see a bunch of naked sailors on the dock. You know I’ll be there. Go out sailing and be On the Water…With Captain Frank…Naked!