Skipper’s Cockpit Navigation Guide is useful for crew members of different abilities and a useful aide-memoire for everyone on board, particularly if some systems are unfamiliar, says Julia Jones

Skipper’s Cockpit Navigation Guide
René Westerhuis
Adlard Coles, £12.99

There’s a clue here in the small print. This book is a reprint from the Dutch Navigatie voor Begineers – I think most readers will be able to translate that.

Re-purposing it for ‘skippers’ in English was, I would respectfully suggest, a marketing mistake.

I certainly wouldn’t want to be sailing with a skipper who needed a fold out guide to remind him/her of the colours used for land masses on different charts.

Much better to consider this publication as an aid for the Skipper to keep crew members of different abilities and experience constructively involved on passage.

As such I’d recommend it.

Even if a crew member has undertaken a competent crew or day skipper course before setting off on passage it’s surprising how different everything seems through a grey drizzle or with the anxiety of sail management, following a compass course or experiencing a hint of nausea.

This simply-presented reminder of the cardinal mark symbols or the abbreviations for light characteristics, for instance, offers the chance to connect class-room learning with actual examples.

And of course it’s an aide-memoire for everyone on board, particularly if some systems are unfamiliar – such as electronic tidal information for those more used to a tidal stream atlas.

Contents include chart familiarisation, plotting a compass course, tides and currents, position finding, speed and depth, GPS use and some weather introduction.

It’s the format that makes this book worth considering – information all on single pages, weatherproof and able to lay flat with enough weight to deter the pages from flipping over.

The next volume planned for this series is the Skipper’s Cockpit Weather Guide by Frank Singleton.

Skipper’s Cockpit Navigation Guide

Price: From £12.99

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