Coast Guard Auxiliary boating class: Navigating Midcoast Maine

Oct. 4, 11, 18 and 25, Nov. 1 from 6:30 to 8:30 each night
Tue, 09/13/2022 - 12:15pm

Midcoast Maine has one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, but within the beauty are hazards that can quickly ruin your day on the water. Geography, tides and weather can combine to make even the most experienced mariner opt to stay ashore. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 2-5, located in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, offers an introduction to navigation course that can help recreational boaters cruise the area. The basics of coastal navigation are covered using the chart of the Boothbay area. What we cover applies to all National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) navigation charts.

Navigating Midcoast Maine” is a five evening, 10-hour course offered via Zoom that will introduce you to the basics of navigation and trip planning while taking you to the far corners of the local “Cape Small to Pemaquid” #13293 chart. Our experienced instructors have hundreds of hours cruising the waters covered in this course as recreational boaters and on the water conducting Coast Guard Auxiliary patrols. They are certified CG Auxiliary Small Boat Coxswains and Boat Crew members as well as local residents.

Topics include basic navigation using both traditional paper charts and various electronic chart formats, understanding navigational aids, and buoy systems.

Problem sets will help you understand the building blocks of course planning including exercises on tides; time, speed, distance; and course layout and labeling.

Dates and time: it will be held five Tuesday nights from 6:30 to 8:30 beginning Oct. 4 and ending Nov. 1. Cost: $30.

To take the course you need either a printed chart or access to an electronic chart of the Boothbay Harbor area.

Paper Chart Option: We recommend charts printed on quality paper so you can draw (and erase) course lines using a pencil and add information easily. The NOAA chart of the area is The Three Rivers Chart (#13293). Marinas, boat supply outlets, and many bookstores sell the cart. If you are in the Boothbay region and want a NOAA paper chart, we have them available at a cost of $28. Along with a paper chart you should have two navigational tools. One is a divider (compass) cost: $10. The other is a roller plotter or parallel rule cost $20. We also have them.

Electronic Chart Option: There are several chartplotter applications that can be used for coastal navigation, as well as GPS chartplotters. Each has its own set of menus to access various charting functions. You should have some basic familiarity your program’s menus in order to follow along in class and to complete the exercises.

Registration: Contact David Eastwood @ 207-633-4748 (cell: 865-603-5106) or

Registrations must be received by Monday, Sept. 30 in order for materials to be sent to participants or to be picked up in Boothbay Harbor. Late registration is possible if you can make arrangements to pick up the reference materials in Boothbay Harbor. Cost: $30.