The Waukegan Yacht Club is dedicated to providing a wide range of educational opportunities in any topic related to boating, the Great Lakes and the nautical life. Classes are taught by experts and members with significant experience in the subject. Many classes and seminars are free to members or offered at a reduce cost. Classes are open to the public except as noted in a class description. Students who have taken the Celestial Navigation previously can retake the class at no cost on a space available basis. Students retaking the class do not receive new class materials. Updated handouts can be purchased for a small fee.

Celestial Navigation Seminar Series

illustrations of the earth, a sextant and a compass rose
Learn a modern method for an ancient art.

Most boaters and travelers have been spoiled in recent years by handheld GPS devices, smartphones and Google maps. But, what happens when you are beyond the reach of the cell towers? What happens when the power goes out or the batteries go dead? What’s your backup method for navigation? When you are a thousand miles offshore it’s too late to look for alternative options.

The Celestial Navigation course provided by the Waukegan Yacht Club is designed to teach you everything you need to know to navigate around the world using observations of the sun, stars and planets, along with a dead-reckoning track. The class is taught in 4 sessions:

Session 1: Dead Reckoning (prerequisite for all other sessions)

Date: Sunday, November 14 (10am-2pm)

In this session you will learn:

  • How to obtain, read and use nautical charts
  • How to identify latitude and longitude
  • Measurement scales and other notations
  • Navigation terms and terminology.
  • How to plan a navigational track
  • How to create and maintain a navigation logbook
  • How to obtain fixes from visual observations
  • How to compute ETAs
  • How to identify set and drift and how to compensate for it
  • How to identify magnetic variation and apply compensation
  • How to create and maintain a dead reckoning track

Session 2: Navigating by the Sun

Date: Sunday, November 21, 2021 (10am-2pm)

In this session you will learn:

  • How the sun can used for obtaining navigational fixes
  • How to use a sextant (hands on)
  • How to calibrate a sextant (hands on)
  • How to obtain visual observations of the sun (hands on)
  • How to use the Nautical Almanac and site reduction tables
  • How to calculate Line of Position
  • How to advance sight lines to create a fix

Session 3: Obtaining Latitude and Longitude

Date: Sunday, November 28, 2021 (10am-2pm)

In this session you will learn:

  • How to test and calibrate chronometers and digital watches to ensure accurate observations and computation
  • How to compute Local Hour Angle (LHA) for obtaining assumed LAN
  • How to use a chronometer or digital watch to identify your longitude
  • How to shoot Local Apparent Noon (LAN) with sextant (hands on)

Session 4: Navigating by the Moon, Stars and Planets

Date: Sunday, December 5, 2021 (10am-2pm)

In this session you will learn:

  • How to use the moon, stars and planets for navigation
  • How to compute sunrise, sunset and dusk
  • How to compute Sidereal Hour Angle (SHA)
  • How to identify stars and planet for observation
  • How to obtain visual observations of planets and stars with sextant (hands on)
  • How to compute a Line of Position (LOP) from stars and planets
  • How to create a fix from the moon and multiple stars and planets

$60 Members / $160 Non-members

Click Here to Register for Celestial Navigation