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The Coos Bay Power Squadron will be putting on the Electronic Navigation Course starting March 22. Classes will continue weekly 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesdays for seven to nine weeks ending around May 17. The course will be at the Power Squadron Building, 90346 Guano Rock Lane in Charleston. The cost for the course will be $90 or $60 to Power Squadron members. To register, call 541-888-6178, 541-756-4408 or 541-290-2957.

Electronic Navigation Course Description

Electronic Navigation introduces GPS technology from the most basic receiver to chart plotter systems for navigation on board. The process of navigating by establishing waypoints and routes, and then running the planned courses, is demonstrated. Electronic charting software for the desktop computer also is examined, with creation of waypoints and routes on the desktop and subsequent download to the on-board unit. Despite differences among the various manufacturers' offerings, a thorough discussion of the features being made available is included.

Special attention is paid to apps for tablets and smartphones that provide the electronic navigation function at the helm, for relatively little cost.

Students should be familiar with basic charting concepts such as latitude, longitude, the compass, course plotting, and time/distance calculation, to get the most out of the course.

The student materials include a soft-bound course text and a Windows-compatible CD for electronic content. The course menu provides all the class presentation PowerPoints, an interactive homework tool, hands-on exercises on the PC that simulate GPS function, as well as the Maptech Chart Navigator software and a chart plotter emulator from Standard Horizon.

This course omits radar and depth sonar technologies.