Navigation Practical Exercise

Sailing to a Waypoint

The Question: Can you predict how to sail the most efficient route to a waypoint?

The Exercise:

Here is a simple exercise to practice sailing (navigating) to a waypoint. The exercise is for you to plan to sailing upwind and to a waypoint with 2 tacks.

1. Download and print out this PDF blank worksheet.

2. Start at F5 and sail to the waypoint N46.

3. Your Assumptions:

  • Your boat speed through the water is 6 knots
  • There is a leeway of 10 degrees
  • You head off on a port tack
  • Your boat can head closest to wind at 45 deg TWA
  • You make your first tack at the 10m water depth mark just off Oval Island
  • You start at 10:00am
  • There is no current
  • Do 2 tacks only

4. Plot the most efficient track and find the intermediate times of each tack. Find your arrival time at waypoint N46.


Close Hauled sailboat

The Answer:

Here is the answer plot ›
NO CHEATING. Plot it first – you won’t learn if you don’t do the plot yourself first – seriously!

Coastal Navigation Course

This and many other navigation teachings and training exercises are in the online NauticEd Coastal Navigation course. Gain access today plus 2 other free online sailing courses. NauticEd International Sailing Education is a United States Coast Guard recognized sailing education body. Over 20 sailing courses and practical training instructors worldwide. With NauticEd you can earn a sailing license (the SLC) which is valid for sailing worldwide including the Mediterranean.

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Last updated on April 6th, 2022