Learn to sail on San Francisco Bay. Tradewinds stands apart from other sailing schools. Stop by and visit our sailing school and club.
Learn to sail on San Francisco Bay. Tradewinds stands apart from other sailing schools. Stop by and visit our sailing school and club.
Our ASA course offering prepares you for sailing the Bay or anywhere in the world. Sailing schools on San Francisco Bay.
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Sailing School

Celestial Navigation (CEL - ASA 107)

Let the Sun and Stars Guide you!
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  • None, however, a basic understanding of Dead Reckoning and how to do a Running Fix is desirable. And, guess what? Contrary to popular myth, the math is not that difficult. Can you add, subtract, multiply and divide? If so, you are good to go. We VERY HIGHLY recommend having the ASA 105 (Coastal Navigation) certification before signing up for this course!


This class is held on two weekends -- a Friday evening from 6 to 10pm and Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 6pm. Then you skip a week for home study and repeat the schedule on the third weekend.


You will learn Celestial Navigation theory and practice required to safely navigate a sailboat on an offshore passage. The practical application is conducted in our Offshore Passagemaking course.

The first weekend session focuses on using the Sun to determine your vessel’s position. The Sun is big and most people find it pretty easy to locate. We discuss the overall theory behind celestial navigation practice and learn how to do such things as determining Local Apparent Noon, Latitude at Noon and actually determining our fix.

Once we’ve tackled the Sun, it’s on to the Moon, Planets and Stars for the second weekend. The theory is the same with just a few minor variations. You’ll also learn how to use the Rude Star Finder.

Our course is presented in a multimedia format using PowerPoint slides, movies, worksheets, software programs, the Artificial Horizon and plenty of hands-on experience. You’ll be able to tell your friends that you know how to use a sextant!

Review the complete ASA course description with a knowledge and skills list for more detail about the fun things you will learn.

Not only is the class important for Offshore Passagemaking, but it is very fun and rewarding  to be able to determine your position the old fashioned way without any electronics!

When You Complete this Course

You are eligible to take ASA 108--Offshore Passagemaking

In Your Kit provided with the course:
Textbook – Celestial Navigation by Tom Cunliffe
Sight Reduction Tables for Air Navigation
100 Problems in Celestial Navigation
Universal Plotting Sheets

2006 Nautical Almanac (to be returned after class)

Current Nautical Almanac (optional -purchase separately


Instructor Recommended Tools:

Parallel Rulers
Nautical Slide Rule or basic Calculator
Writing tools Drafting pencils w/sharpener and eraser


Last modified on: Saturday, 13-Jan-2018 14:27:51 MST