Okay so you’re getting ready to go sailing, your passage plan is done and it’s time to plot your course to steer, where do you start? Well of course these days you have GPS to provide your Course Over Ground (COG), however it’s essential to ensure you can work out where you are, and where you’re heading, should your GPS or other electronics fail.
You will need:
Remember: sailors use magnetic headings when using a compass so when we are working with True degrees on a chart we need to convert this to a magnetic course to steer for our helm.
It is a good idea to do your course to steer for the first leg of your passage before leaving the marina, based on your expected time of departure, tide and leeway. That way you don’t have to rush down below and do it once you get out of the marina.
Now it’s time to start sailing! Once you have departed the marina keep an eye on boat speed, weather conditions, tide and other factors that may mean you need to adjust your estimated arrival points at each waypoint. For example if you’re sailing at eight knots rather than five, due to an inaccurate wind forecast, you will reach your first waypoint faster and need to be ready to alter course early or adjust your course to steer. Always keep time of your route and be ready to adjust as needed.
Created by sailors for sailors, savvy navvy is a startup working to build the best navigation solution for sailors worldwide. Instead of using multiple apps, you can now do everything in one place. This is the first sailing navigation app to combine real-time weather and chart data to provide a comprehensive passage plan suited to your boat specifications.
We are working to develop and release new features all the time. Currently our app provides your Course Over Ground (COG), once we implement tidal calculations we will then work to bring you a course to steer in the app for future updates, along with marina recommendations, rain avoidance and even greater coverage.