Basic Celestial Navigation

Basic Celestial Navigation: ASA Course 117

Register for Basic Celestial Navigation

Classroom Location

Sailcrafters, 7450 Oxford Street, St. Louis Park, MN 55426


We offer both traditional Celestial Navigation (ASA 107) and the new Basic Celestial Navigation (ASA 117). Either one can be taken as a classroom course or independent study / correspondence.

Northern Breezes Sailing School has chosen the best Celestial Navigation textbook on the market! We, Captain Tony Green and Captain Thom Burns, are supported by the best in the business, Starpath Navigation. We have switched to Starpath Navigation's Celestial Navigation Second Edition by PhD David Burch. David, in addition to writing the Celestial Navigation textbook, wrote Radar for Mariners and Marine Weather textbooks. Starpath has graduated over 20,000 Celestial graduates since starting over forty years ago! No one else in the country, including American Sailing Association, even comes close! Tony and Thom have decided to team teach this class so that you will have a great student-to-teacher ratio of five-to-one and so that they, the trainers, stay as sharp as possible on the material.

Basic Celestial Navigation (ASA 117) meets the standards for Offshore Passagemaking (ASA 108). We are excited to pass on to you the methods and techniques of eighteenth and nineteenth century mariners while eliminating the often frustrating process of seemingly endless references to various publications in order to complete one round of sights. Add a little historical perspective to your nautical skills. The sky's the limit!

The Basic Celestial course provides students the basic knowledge needed to fix their position at sea when completely out of sight of land using the Sun and Polaris. Coastal Navigation is a prerequisite for this class. Basic Celestial does not require students to learn and master the more cumbersome calculations required in ASA’s 107 level Celestial Navigation course.

Students will get hands-on experience with the sextant and learn the fascinating concepts that make celestial navigation possible. We highly recommend this course not only as an important skill set for emergency navigation, but also as a fun learning exercise that will allow you to better understand everyday occurrences such as the changing length of the day throughout the year and why the sun never sets in the summer in most of Greenland.


Basic Celestial Course Topics include

  • Lat, Lon, and nautical miles
  • Principles of celestial navigation
  • Sextant usage and care
  • Noon sights for latitude
  • Running fixes from the sun
  • Ocean dead reckoning
  • Time keeping
  • Sextant sights and sight reduction of sun

Independent Study Class / Correspondence

This course can also be completed by students who are remotely located. It usually requires some time spent with a navigation instructor by e-mail or telephone. Cost is $179 which includes the textbook. We like to interview prospective students in this category. Please call.


Course Fee

$299, including text materials. Optional Star Finder and sextants sold separately.


Available for purchase

Navigation instruments by Weems & Plath.
2102-D Star Finder: $42.00
8" Rolling parallel plotter: $18.00* - or - 12" parallel rules: $14.00*
Ultra light 7" dividers: $17.00.
Nautical Slide Rule: $19.00.
Chart Protractor: $20.00.
Chart No. 1: $14.00.
Coast Guard Navigation Rules: $13.00. (All prices include tax.)

*Both instruments are ideal for chart books.


CLASS SCHEDULE for Basic Celestial Classroom Course:

Winter 2018 (Dates are subject to change)
Saturdays 9AM-4PM, with lunch break

N1: Sailcrafters: Saturdays 1/6, 1/13, 1/20/2018 (exam)


Directions to Sailcrafters

7450 Oxford Street, St. Louis Park, MN 55426

From Hwy 169
Take exit for Hwy 7 East
Hwy 7 east to Louisiana Ave S
At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit onto Louisiana Ave S
Turn right onto Oxford St, Sailcrafters will be on the right

From Hwy 100
Take exit for Hwy 7 West
Hwy 7 west to Louisiana Ave S
Turn right onto Louisiana Ave S, make a U-turn
At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit and stay on Louisiana Ave S
Turn right onto Oxford St, Sailcrafters will be on the right.


Prerequisite for this course

Coastal Navigation (ASA 105)


Call Northern Breezes Sailing School at 763-542-9707 to register or with questions.

Register for Basic Celestial Navigation

BVI Tony Sextant