The Advanced Piloting course provides you with additional skills needed to navigate under more challenging conditions, including conditions of limited visibility and extended cruising in unfamiliar waters. Electronic navigation tools are explained to provide you with insight on how to use what you already own, or to help you make decisions as to what additional equipment would help you on your boat.


AP has two main subject areas. First, use of electronic tools and other techniques for plotting and tracking your progress. Secondly, how to predict and correct for the effects of tides, currents, and winds. The course uses an excellent commercial textbook, The Weekend Navigator, along with a supplementary USPS student guide.


Topics include:
  • GPS (Global Positioning System)
  • Radar
  • Electronic charts and chart plotters
  • Positioning techniques (fixes)
  • Danger avoidance techniques (pre-plotting)
  • Tide prediction
  • Tidal current prediction
  • Piloting with wind and currents present (determining the course to steer)


After completing this course, you should be able to pilot a boat with confidence in coastal waters under all conditions, with or without electronic navigation equipment. The USPS Piloting course is a necessary prerequisite for this course.


Suggested readings:
Don Hagen
P/R/C Don Hagen, SN
P/R/C Don Hagen, SN, is a past chairman of the national Marine Electronics Committee, past squadron commander, and past district commander. He is a registered professional engineer with a Ph.D. in electrical engineering. His career in the defense electronics industry spanned 40 years. Now retired, he holds a USCG 100-ton Master's License, and has sailed for over 30 years in New England coastal waters. He has taught this course six times, and has a Chapman award for excellence in teaching.
Contact Instructor at 508-655-1143 or


For course dates, check the "Calendar". If not scheduled, call Call SEO P/C Jim Mahoney, AP at 508-655-5244. Courses will be offered based on Member interest and requests.