Comprehensive Ocean Navigation

Starpath Celestial Online Home Study Course

Why study celestial navigation in the age of GPS?

Includes a complete, self-contained home-study course in printed materials, a complete electronic version of the entire course including additional software resources, as well as enrollment in the Starpath Online Celestial Navigation Course.

With this combination you can choose the media that is most convenient to you at the time. Use the search engines and software resources from the computer, while you work through the lessons, assignments and quizzes in the interactive online classroom. And when you are away from the computer, study with the printed texts, table sections, and work forms.

For Mac and Windows.

$349.00   ...item# 1701c

Celestial Navigation course materials

About The Course...

This course covers how to find position at sea from timed sextant sights of the sun, moon, stars, and planets plus other routine and special procedures of safe, efficient offshore navigation. No previous navigation experience is required — the only math involved is arithmetic (adding and subtracting angles and times). This is a practical, how-to-do-it course, which also includes clear explanations of how it works and how to do it well. Plus this course includes other crucial factors of ocean navigation besides just finding out where you are from the stars, such as logbook procedures, dead reckoning, error analysis, route planning, etc. At the end of this course, you will be ready for ocean navigation. Thousands of students have successfully learned celestial from these materials and gone on to cross oceans or circumnavigate the globe.

And you will not be left studying on your own. Registered for our course, you are just a keyboard click away from individual personal help whenever you need it.

All text materials are provided to complete the course. The only thing extra you might need are basic plotting tools (parallel rules, dividers and protractor). If you have no tools now, then our plotting tool kit will provide what you need... not just for the course, but for all of your future navigation underway as well.

You do not need a sextant to work the course. See Frequently Asked Questions link below for details.

Celestial Course Topics include:

  • Lat, Lon, and nautical miles
  • Principles of celestial navigation
  • Sextant usage and care
  • Noon sights for latitude
  • Running fixes from the sun
  • Ocean dead reckoning
  • Time keeping
  • Sextant sights and sight reduction of sun, moon, stars, and planets
  • Star ID and sight planning
  • Daily procedures and logbooks
  • Route planning
  • Compass checks at sea
  • High seas radio usage
  • Landfall procedures
  • Use of calculators
  • Use of NAO sight reduction tables
  • Plus emergency navigation techniques and notes on the latest developments in GPS

No prerequisites are required, we start from the basics. Many thousands of students have successfully learned navigation from these materials and gone on to bare boat chartering or day sailing or world cruising in their own boats. Please see General Course Information and Frequently Asked Questions for more details.

With the electronic components, you can take the complete course with you as you travel, or use it to search the complete set of materials for specific topics. If you prefer to work on your own without computers, you have a complete syllabus with practice exercises and answers in the printed materials. If you want extra structure to your training, then take part in the online course for more discussion and individual quizzes at each lesson.

Each Starpath course includes free access to our online Resources and discussion groups. The Student Discussion Groups are similar to our Public Discussion Groups, but they are much more extensive including all classroom discussion since 2003. We have instructors in five different time zones, so if any question comes up, just post it in the Student Discussion Group for a quick answer—or search to see if someone has already asked the question for an even faster answer.

The course fee includes the following

Printed Materials

(Optional ebooks)


Auxillary Materials
  • Pub. 249 Sight Reduction Tables
  • Pub. 229 Sight Reduction Tables
  • NAO Tables
  • Bowditch on Cel Nav
  • Plotting Sheets (printable)
  • Workforms (printable)
Online Course
  • Overview
  • Lessons
  • Discussion Forums
  • Direct Instructor Contact
  • Instructor graded quizzes for every lesson

This course will prepare you for certification tests offered by any sailing association in any nation. We also offer our own certification tests if you care to challenge yourself this way or to prepare for other tests.

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