Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

Top Types of Marine Navigation Methods

Marine navigation skills are essential when you want to sail the seas in your own boat. There are many different methods to try, which means you have a chance to explore each one and decide what works best for you. Here are some of the top ways sailors use to traverse the ocean.

Radio Navigation

With this type of navigation, radio towers must be present to locate your position. Radio waves are measured from the radio source to your location using marine electronics for navigation. GPS is leading the way with this type of method.

Celestial Navigation

One of the oldest types of navigation skills uses the location of planets, stars and other celestial bodies to pinpoint your position on the water. This can be a backup method if more modern tools malfunction or you can try it just for fun. A sextant is used to measure the angle from the celestial body to the horizon. Two measurements are taken and compared to charts.

Coastal Navigation

Using coastal landmarks as your tool is another way to keep track of where you are on the ocean. By keeping track of the direction of the coastline and locating coastal landmarks, you have the ability to locate where you are on the water.

Satellite Navigation

The most modern form of navigation is a satellite location. This is the most accurate method that uses multiple satellites to locate your position in space.


Pilotage is a useful skill for when you are in restricted waters and harbors. It uses high frequency to locate your position in the area to prevent you from entering shallow waters and damaging your boat or the dock.

Experienced sailors don’t rely on electronic methods alone. Make sure you learn how to travel the seas with more than one tool.