British Canoeing Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning

This comprehensive one-day course in Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning is a blend of theoretical knowledge and hands-on practice, designed to elevate your sea navigation skills. You'll engage in practical exercises to interpret information, plan coastal journeys, and apply weather forecasts, leaving you well-prepared for moderate sea environments.

Plas y Brenin

2 Days

Instructor Ratio1:6


Plas y Brenin


2 Days

Instructor Ratio


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This one-day land-based British Canoeing module focuses on equipping you with the tools to plan and navigate proficiently in a moderate sea environment. Ideal for those looking to develop or fine-tune their navigational skills, this course combines theory with practical application.

Course Details:

  • Navigation Skills: Enhance your ability to navigate coastal journeys, including islands up to 2 nautical miles offshore, in areas with tidal movement up to 2 knots and winds up to force 4.
  • Theory and Practical Learning: Although rooted in theory, the course is highly hands-on, involving various practical planning exercises to interpret maps, charts, coastal pilots, and tide tables.
  • Essential Techniques: You’ll learn to navigate on water using visual references and simple pilotage techniques, such as transits, dead reckoning, and a compass.
  • Weather Forecasting: The course includes guidance on sourcing, interpreting, and applying weather forecasts to the marine environment.
  • Coastal Journeys Planning: By the end of the course, you’ll have planned at least two coastal journeys to take home for future reference and gained an understanding of the resources needed for trip planning in the coastal environment.
  • Safety Awareness: You’ll also learn about the role of the Coastguard and the importance of liaising with them.
  • Duration and Format: The Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning course consists of eight hours of teaching, segmented into several modules over one day.

The Objectives 

By the end of the course you’ll have planned at least two coastal journeys that you can take home as references for further trip planning. You’ll be aware of the range of resources you require to plan trips in the coastal environment. You’ll be aware of the role of the Coastguard and the value of liaising with them.

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What to Expect

The Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning course is delivered in eight hours of teaching time, over one day of several modules.Whilst this is a theory-based course the intention is that it is highly practical and you’ll participate in a variety of practical planning exercises.

Experience Required

There are no formal pre-requisites. And the course is open to anyone with interest in sea kayak navigation and tidal planning. This module is a pre-requisite for the British Canoeing Four Star Sea Kayak Leader training/Sea Kayak Leader Award Training. This course can also be registered with British Canoeing if you wish (for an additional cost).

How Should I Prepare?

This is the ideal starting point for planning sea kayak journeys and the only prerequisite is a willingness to learn!


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