© david jerrard 2022

The Yachtmaster Ocean shorebased course explains the use and care of the sextant and how to determine a yacht’s position by taking sights of the sun, moon, planets and stars. The course also deals with long distance passage planning and world weather patterns but its main focus is on the calculations and plotting that follow after a series of sextant sights.

People who do this course do so for two main reasons. Firstly there are those who hope at some time to do long offshore and ocean passages and secondly there are those who are just interested in learning how traditional ocean navigation is done.

Finding your position at sea from a series of star sights is fascinating, particularly when you consider that many of these stars have died countless millions of years ago yet the light from them is still travelling through the universe.  

No particular knowledge of maths is required for the Yachtmaster Ocean shorebased course, just the ability to add and subtract simple numbers. You don’t need a sextant for the course which is fully supported with Sea~ Craft’s own highly regarded comprehensive course notes nor do you have to be able to recognise any of the stars.

As this course focuses for the most part on one subject only and the numbers on this course are usually small we have found that it works best if completed over a series of 5 full days rather than a longer series of evenings. For this reason we normally complete the course over 5 consecutive Saturdays or Sundays.

The RYA course completion certificate is issued following a written exam completed on the last day of the course.

“..I thoroughly enjoyed the Ocean course. The classes were not only informative, but also fun - a very necessary ingredient to success! The course notes were excellent. I will have no hesitation in recommending your classes”.

“...I certainly appreciated your efforts - and I think that goes for all the other participants - to make sure that we all understood the basis of what the course was about...”.

“...The purpose of this note is to say a sincere thank you. I really did not believe last October that I would be able to cope with astro-navigation. You made me believe I could do it and I did...”.

"...I am writing to thank you for a most enjoyable ' Ocean' course.  In a nutshell, the course was excellent, and having attended many courses over the years, I can truthfully say that your enthusiasm and professionalism was way above average..."

"...transited the [Panama] canal last week safely. ..Hope to sail for the Galapagos & French Polynesia later in the week ..."