CPS Flag
Navigating with GPS Vancouver Power Squadron
Vancouver Squadron
GPS Course manual

This course is not currently offered by Vancouver Squadron

This course is the first of a series of courses dealing with Electronic Navigation.

Covers the fundamentals of operating a GPS receiver, navigating with GPS, sources of error, selecting units and importance of chart datum. A demonstration of how to interface a GPS with a PC is included. The CD that comes with the course materials includes a GPS simulator.

Course Outline

The following is (approximately) a list of chapter and section headings in the course manual.

  1. Introduction
    • What is GPS?
    • Who can use GPS?
    • Aspects of Navigation
      • Why Electronic Navigation
      • The Challenge of Navigation
    • A Brief History of GPS
    • The Components of the GPS System, and How They Work Together
      • The Space Segment
      • The Operational Segment
      • The User Segment
    • How a GPS Knows Where You Are
    • How does the Satellite Kow the Exact Time?
    • Acquiring Position
  2. How to Use a GPS
    • Turning on Your GPS
    • The User Interface
      • Man Overboard
      • Looking Around
    • Simulator Mode
    • Basic Setup
      • Datum Settings
      • Distance Settings
      • Directional Settings
      • Latitude, Longitude and UTAM Format
      • Time Displays
    • Digital Displays and Course Deviation Indicator
    • The Main display
    • Zoom Capabilities
    • Satellite Transmissions
    • Features, Functions, and Capabilities of a GPS
    • Unit Sensitivity
    • Screen Displays
    • Standard Symbols
    • Icons You May Place on a Screen
    • The GPS as a Compass
    • Time and Distance for Two Legs of your Trip
    • Setting Alarms
    • Interfacing Your Unit to a PC or to a NMEA Device
    • Sun/Moon Data
    • Installing a GPS
  3. The Basics of GPS
    • Categories of GPS
    • The Hand-Held GPS
    • Fixed-Mount GPS Units
    • PDAs, Palm, Tablet PCs
    • Global Positioning
      • Navigational and Positional Capabilities
      • Converting GPS Positional Information to a Postion on a Chart
      • Charts
    • Waypoints
      • Setting a Pre-Trip Waypoint
      • Mark Present Position
      • Using a Chartplotter to Enter a Waypoint
      • Setting Waypoints Underway
      • Naming Waypoints
      • Projecting a Waypoint
      • Editing Wapoints
    • Routes
      • Grouping Waypoints into a Route
      • Activating a Route
      • Running a Route
    • Dangers while running a Route
    • GPS Screens
      • Customizing a Screen
      • The Highway Screen
      • The Compass Screen
      • Cross-Track Error
      • Data or Naviational Screens
      • The Mapping Screen
    • Heading Home
  4. Navigation
    • Navigation
    • GOTO
    • Time, Speed and ETA
    • The Navigation Screen
      • Using the Cross-Track Navigation Screen
      • Correcting for Cross-Track Error
    • Chartplotting Versus a GPS Display
    • "Bird Dogging "
    • Key Points to Remember
    • Summary
  5. Limits of Accuracy
    • Accuracy
    • Some Background
    • Selective Availability
    • DGPS and WAAS
    • Errors
    • Dilution of Precision (DOP)
  6. Other Uses for GPS
    • Measuring Current/Wind
    • Propeller Efficiency/Speed Curves
    • Setting Trim Tabs
    • Is your Prop Fouled?
    • Speed in River and Tidal Currents
    • Sailboat Tacking
    • Compass Heading
    • Sail Trim
    • Replacing Racing Instruments with a GPS
    • Tidal Waters and Leeway
    • Leeway Due to Wind and Current
    • Wind, Current, and Tide Determination
    • Use of Velocity Made Good Calculations
  • Appendix 1: Latitude and Longitude
  • Appendix 2: Buying a GPS
  • Appendix 3: Mapping/Chartplotters
  • appendix 4: Alphabet Soup - Acronyms
  • Appendix 5: Useful References
Boating Basics
Boating Essentials
Marine Radio Operation
Advanced Piloting
Junior Navigator
Boat and Engine Maintenance
Navigating with GPS
Electronic Charting
RADAR for Pleasurecraft
Fundamentals of Weather
Global Weather
Extended Cruising

gps.html revised 20130610 PB