Navigation: Rate and Direction (Set and Drift) exercises

Here are some Navigation rate and drift with leeway exercises that you can practice on for your SLC Mediterranean sailing license on-the-water, on-the-day exam. The assessor will give you some problem navigation exercises and you will need to nail them quickly and accurately to prove your competence.

Or, just practice them anyway for a greater understanding and repetitive learning for general Coastal Navigation.

Note: We describe current by “rate and direction” rather than by the typical American vernacular of “set and drift” because it is more used internationally and because you can not get them mixed up. Many people have trouble remembering what set means and what drift means. Rather, rate is easily identified with speed and direction is direction.

Download the Rate and Direction exercises on an 8.5 x 11 PDF here and print it out.

This is just an image to show you the set up of the problem

Navigation Exercise

You will need to use a protractor and we recommend the Breton Plotter as it is the most accurate means of determining angles and directions. (Throw away the parallel rulers – they are too difficult to use on a rocking boat with limited space – they slide all over the place and you can never get an accurate plot.) Bretton plotters are relatively inexpensive and we have even set ours up on Amazon so that you can get it delivered next day if you are in the USA.

Here is a link to our Breton Plotter on Amazon

Here is how to use the Breton Plotter

Here are the answers (don’t download these until you have had a good attempt at the above)

If you have completed the NauticEd Coastal Navigation course online, you will find these exercises relatively simple along with many other aspects of Coastal Navigation.

Coastal Navigation Course

NauticEd’s Coastal Navigation Course

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Grant Headifen
Last updated on July 8th, 2022