Celestial Navigation

Starpath Celestial Navigation Online Home Study Course

Starpath celestial navigation materials

This course covers how to find position at sea from timed sextant sights of the sun, moon, stars, and planets plus other routine and special procedures of safe, efficient offshore navigation. No previous navigation experience is required....


  • Online Home Study
  • Printed Materials, including Celestial Navigation
  • Software, including plotting sheets and Bowditch extracts.
  • Optional Starpath Certification (prepares you for any certification system)
  • Prices & Registration
  • Island Sailing members and students receive a 5% discount*

Course Description

This course covers how to find position at sea from timed sextant sights of the sun, moon, stars, and planets plus other routine and special procedures of safe, efficient offshore navigation. No previous navigation experience is required — the only math involved is arithmetic (adding and subtracting angles and times).Read More

This is a practical, how-to-do-it course, which also includes clear explanations of how it works and how to do it well. Plus this course includes other crucial factors of ocean navigation besides just finding out where you are from the stars, such as logbook procedures, dead reckoning, error analysis, route planning, etc. At the end of this course, you will be ready for ocean navigation. Thousands of students have successfully learned celestial from these materials and gone on to cross oceans or circumnavigate the globe.

And you will not be left studying on your own. Registered for our course, you are just a keyboard click away from individual personal help whenever you need it.

All text materials are provided to complete the course. The only thing extra you might need are basic plotting tools (parallel rules, dividers and protractor). If you have no tools now, then our plotting tool kit will provide what you need... not just for the course, but for all of your future navigation underway as well.

You do not need a sextant to work the course. See discussion in Frequently Asked Questions on celestial navigation.

Celestial Course Topics include:

  • Lat, Lon, and nautical miles
  • Principles of celestial navigation
  • Sextant usage and care
  • Noon sights for latitude
  • Running fixes from the sun
  • Ocean dead reckoning
  • Time keeping
  • Sextant sights and sight reduction of sun, moon, stars, and planets
  • Star ID and sight planning
  • Daily procedures and logbooks
  • Route planning
  • Compass checks at sea
  • High seas radio usage
  • Landfall procedures
  • Use of calculators
  • Use of NAO sight reduction tables
  • Plus emergency navigation techniques and notes on the latest developments in GPS

Included Materials

The course fee includes all of the following Read More

Online Course:
  • Assignments
  • Lectures
  • Discussion Groups
  • Direct Instructor Contact
  • Quizzes for every lesson
Printed Materials:

Course Details

Includes a total paper course package, a complete electronic version of the entire course plus additional software resources, an electronic chart viewer and simulator as well as enrollment in the Starpath Online Coastal Navigation Course. Read More

With this combination you can choose the media that is most convenient to you at the time. Use the search engines and software resources from the computer, while you work through the lessons, assignments and quizzes in the interactive online classroom. And when you are away from the computer, study with the printed texts, and paper chart.

Most important, however, with this versatile package you can learn both traditional and electronic navigation at the same time — solve the practice problems in the traditional manner on a paper chart with standard plotting tools and also solve the problems electronically in an echart program using waypoints, bearing lines, and range rings.


Starpath offers certification, but even better this course will prepare you for certification tests offered by any sailing association in any nation.  For more information, read Starpath's Certification Program.

Exceeding All Sailing Standards!

starpath and nauticed certification

To Register:

Contact us at (503) 285-7765 to purchase the course, and we'll certainly answer any questions.

Prices (purchase conditions are below):

  • Starpath Inland & Coastal Navigation Online Home Study Course $279.00 per sailor
  • Island Sailing Member & Student Price (5% discount) $265.05 per sailor
  • + $7.50 Shipping on included Books and Materials

Member and Student Discount

Simply, existing Island Sailing Member and Registered Students receive the 5% discount.  To qualify, you must order through Island Sailing by contacting us.