Celestial Navigation
ASA107 Course Materials
Instructor Teaching Guide by Tom Tursi The
ASA107 Celestial Navigation Course uses the items shown above. These
materials should be provided to students in advance of class to
permit study prior to coming to class. Ask students to read at least
Chapter 1 in the Celestial Navigation for Sailors text, and to
attempt to do the Chapter 1 homework prior to the first class day. Students will need one copy of the NGA 925 position plotting sheet during class to complete homework assignments and a second copy when taking the ASA107 exam. The Homework Plotting Sheets shown above can be used for some of the homework assignments, but cannot be used for the exam. Appendix L provides answers to all homework questions in the Celestial Navigation for Sailors text, and the Solutions to Celestial Navigation for Sailors workbook gives stepbystep solutions to all of these questions. For
classroom instruction, I suggest that projection images be prepared
from the figures in the textbook. It's also helpful to handdraw some
images on a flip chart during class to help students follow the more
difficult procedures. I suggest that instructors require students to hand in homework assignments for review and coaching. Otherwise, some students fall behind and hesitate to ask questions. Also,
show in class examples of actual items such as navigational charts,
plotting tools and publications. If extra copies of charts and pubs
are available, pass them around and make them available for student
perusal during class breaks. Students
need adequate time between classroom sessions to do homework and
practical exercises. I suggest scheduling class day #1, followed by a
twoweek gap, then class day #2, a twoweek gap, and then class day
#3. These should be full 7hour class days each. An
alterative to this schedule, is to hold six halfday sessions with
adequate time between for students to complete homework and practical
exercises, plus the final exam day as discussed below. Here is how I conduct the fourday course:
Day #4 (exam day) is for final review of key topics, answering of last minute questions, and for the ASA107 written exam. I have found that student take from three to six hours to complete the exam, and instructors should plan the timing of this day to allow students adequate time to complete the exam. After grading the exams, instructors should critique each student on the results of the exam, whether this is done on the same day or at a later time. The NGA 925 plotting sheet is mandatory for use in the exam. The commonly used Universal Plotting Sheet will not work and cannot be used for the exam, and students and schools need to know this up front. The NGA 925 plotting sheet can be ordered directly from Ocean Grafix Print on Demand at http://www.oceangrafix.com/chart/detail/925PlottingChart925 We provide this plotting sheet to students for the exam.
The HO229 Volume 3 Sight
Reduction Tables for Latitudes 30º
to 45º
may be needed during the exam if the student has made a
slight calculation error that places them off of the HO229 extract
pages included in the exam booklet. In this case, without the full
volume available, the student will be stopped and not able to
complete the exam. So, I always make the full HO229 Volume 3
available during the exam in case they need it. Schools can readily
obtain this volume from Amazon and others, or can download
the PDF file.
The exam lists the
correct GMT times needed for the five sight reduction calculations
in the exam. It provides shot times as Eastern Daylight Time
and students need to convert these to GMT for the sight reduction
calculations. If they make an error when converting EDT to GMT, they
will be unable to complete the remainder of the exam. So, I have found it
desirable to give them the GMT times,
and instruct them use these GMT times for their sight reduction calculations even if
they are unable to successfully convert EDT to these GMT times.
Schools and students need to understand this up front.
I
welcome and encourage instructor feedback, comments and suggestions on
any aspect of this program in the interest of improving and making it more useful to both students and instructors. Good
Sailing!
Some References from the Internet
NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration)

