Navigation & Seamanship


Well, the title by Nigel Calder, who is also the author of the Instant Handbook of Boat Handling, Navigation, and Seamanship, is quite self-explanatory. This small yet very useful publication was released with the final intention to be used by people as a quick reference source - it is, in fact, the on-board guide to the basic symbols and notations that are used on the various nautical charts.

We all know that the nautical charts contain a huge amount of useful information but it is very important to know how to decipher them, otherwise the charts are next to useless pieces of paper. In order for the chart to get bewildering, a key is to be found to its symbology. This nice and helpful booklet was prepared by Nigel Calder, who is one of the most respected boating authors of today, and he did his best to help readers make sense the very complex system of graphic elements and signs used on the nautical charts.

We would definitely recommend this publication for practical use because it is so compact yet very rich with useful information. At the same time, it will be very good for people who are not intending to go to the sea and use it right now, but rather need some simple and small book to get familiarized with the nautical signs and graphs in order to be able to use the nautical charts when they are finally on board the vessel.

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This volume by A. Saunders was released to serve as a valuable reference tool for the students of navigation. It will be equally useful for the professional experienced mariners and the novices. The publication will provide both categories of readers with the detailed and understandable explanations supplemented with the hundreds of informative illustrations and nautical charts to make sure that the learners have duly grasped the essentials of marine navigation.

The text part of the volume presents all required info so the readers will find all they need in the pages of a single title. The beginners will appreciate the information provided on the use of the basic shipboard equipment as well as the navigation rules, usage of the nautical equipment and charts etc. the more experienced boaters, in turn, will definitely like the update on the advanced piloting techniques and many other useful information.

Having started with the basic navigation rules and regulations, the readers will then proceed to the buoyage systems, compass, nautical charts and compass errors, maintaining the log and performing elementary plotting activities, and after that the chapters covering the running fixes, review of the positioning, sextant, etc. will follow.

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This compact booklet was prepared to provide readers with the absolutely basic information about the celestial navigation. In fact, we can say that the essential principles of the subject science are quite simple. Of course, when it comes to the more detailed calculations, you will have to apply good mathematics.

The document shall be used to get some understanding of the calculations and should be used by the people making their first steps in the celestial navigation. Note that it is based on the celestial mechanics, which is a pretty precise. What it means is that it will be possible to precisely determine the location of the bodies at any given time. Well, and once you know the star position, and make other measurements using the ship’s sextant – it will be sufficient to determine the coordinates, i.e. longitude and latitude of your position.

Of course, one should not treat the present publication as a textbook of celestial navigation, but it will still give reader some idea of what it is. Take some time going through the pages; as you can see, it will only require not more than one hour to read it from the beginning to the end, and you will definitely get to know something new and apply it whenever needed.

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The present publication is covering all stages that shall be undertaken when preparing a good passage plan for your ship. The authors have explained all steps involves, from appraisal to the monitoring, in a logical and detailed manner. The volume shall be readily available on the bookshelf of all bridge team members regardless of their skills and professional experience, and it shall be referred to at all times.

The authors made every effort to present the relevant techniques very clearly, making the content easily understandable even to the people with not too much of the practical experience, so it is something to start with. Right now, the national and international requirements have been developed and are available for application to the passage planning. However, this volume provides a ready check sheet to be used by the bridge team to ensure that the high competency standards are met.

The document shall be used together with the Passage Planning Practice by the same authors. The fully worked example has also been provided for illustration. The passage planning using the electronic charts is covered in a separate chapter. There is also a glossary explaining the terminology used throughout the text of the publication.

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The present volume was released with the intention of the authors to cover the knowledge requirements for the certificate of competency. It opens with such basic topics as the courses, position lines, the Earth, relevant formulae, nautical charts, sailings, and the associated navigation tools including sextant. Then the readers will proceed to the altitudes definitions and corrections, followed by the useful information on the stereographic projection.

The Earth-Moon system and Solar system have been covered in detail. Apart from that, the attention was paid by the authors, who are two professional sea captains, to the star recognition and great circles, ex-meridians, tidal theory, stars and star identity, composite great circles, latitude by Pole Star, and many other topics – it is very important for the ship navigators to have sound understanding of the theory of the celestial navigation.

There are many exercises included for tracking the learning process, and all of them have been provided with the answers, making a book good even for studying at home. Even today, in a world of electronic navigation means, the navigators should still be familiar with the basics of the celestial navigation.

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The present publication is another classic work on the naval architecture. It was released more than a century ago to meet the special training requirements of the Merchant Marine officers as well as to serve as the all-covering textbook for the general students. All of them will definitely find everything they need when preparing for their examination; moreover, the information included by the author, will be of both theoretical and practical interest to the practicing mariners.

Each of the chapters in this book is devoted to the specific problem that is analyzed and explained in detail. The proofs related to the corresponding problem are included and this approach makes the learning process easier for the reader. All necessary astronomical rules have been covered and supplemented with the examples.

Of course, one should consider the age of the book but understand that the theoretical essentials of the thing remain unchanged and having a good knowledge of them will be beneficial to any navigator. The book also embodies the necessary elements from the Nautical Almanac. The trigonometry aspects have also been dealt with allowing students to get acquainted with the construction of the plane and spherical triangles.

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The main objective of the present publication at the time of its release was to acquaint students with the major rules and most common problem in marine navigation. It was expected to be of the practical use when carrying out their day to day activities on board vessels. The theory of navigation is presented using the short definitions. The whole experience of the author has been reflected in the pages of this volume.

Numerous problems of navigation have been covered. One of the remarkable features of this book is that the author made every effort to avoid digging too deep into the theory so that the reading and understanding the subject is easier to the people with no background. All of the terminology used in navigation has been covered and explained in detailed.

Moreover, the information has been presented in the way making it very reader-friendly – each of the articles deals with some particular topic. For example, there are articles on compass adjustments, ship’s business, arithmetic of navigation and o many others. This approach used by the author guaranteed the popularity to this book and this is the main reason why it is still used today, more than one century after it had been first published.

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When we thing about the number of the good titles devoted to the problem of marine navigation, available today, it appears that most of them are discussing the subject from the more or less same angle. In fact, the ultimate aim of the authors of most of them is to give readers some essential instructions. This book, in contrast, was prepared for those who carry put their work by rote and would like to know more about the basic reason and foundations of what they deal with during their day today activities.

It will also be great for the people willing to extend their knowledge horizons. Many of the points covered in the pages of this volume, have been intentionally repeated, as desired by the author, who wanted to closely follow his line of thought. Such an approach was aimed to let people understand the material easier. In fact, the book was supposed to serve as a supplement to the well known American Practical Navigator publication, but it will also be useful when used separately, as a textbook.

This one used to be very popular book one century back and the contents is still actual and interesting to all future navigators as well as to the practicing professionals wanting to get better and deeper understanding of the subject.

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