List of Resources for Marine Navigation
Updated: July 16, 2022
Navigation Rules – USCG 72 COLREGS Official US government publication on the rules for marine navigation. Includes International and Inland rules, now combined into one document and viewable for free online. If you would like to purchase a hard copy (required for commercial vessels) you can find it here.
US Chart #1 – Official US government publication that is the reference booklet for reading nautical charts. Explains the meaning of all chart symbols. Great reference to have and keep with your nautical charts. Available for free online or you can purchase a hard copy here.
Nautical Charts – It’s always a good idea to have up to date paper nautical charts aboard. Everyone has GPS and probably a chart plotter these days but you never know if technology will fail. West Marine in Honolulu usually stocks a limited supply of some of the most important Hawaii charts if you need one right away. The best place to get the most current up to date chart is online and have it mailed to you. NOAA doesn’t print nor sell them to the public anymore, this has been outsourced to companies such as OceanGrafix who will print them on demand with the most current corrections.
Other great resources:
Bowditch – The American Practical Navigator, US Pub #9 Official US government publication that is the complete reference for marine navigation. Every book on marine navigation is based on this most authoritative reference book. Available for free online or you can purchase a hard copy here.
Nautical Almanac – Published jointly by the UK and US Naval Observatories, this annual publication lists the positions of celestial bodies for the purposes of celestial navigation. Essential reference for navigating out of sight of land if you don’t have GPS. Available for free online or you can purchase a hard copy here.
Other free downloadable US government navigation publications from the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, such as Pilot Charts, USCG Light List, Sailing Directions, etc. are available at this link.