null Marine Navigation Instruments - Nautical Navigation | Defender Marine
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Navigation - Defender

Since the first mariner watched the shoreline disappear over the horizon as they turned their boat towards the vastness of open water, there came the need to navigate this featureless landscape and reach dry land again.
Over the centuries, mariners have relied on the sun and stars, compasses, and now electronic global positioning systems and other marine navigation instruments to find their way.


In order to plot a course and stick with a heading you are going to need to see where you're going.
A globe allows you to find your location and navigate to it using a system of grids, known as latitude and longitude.
Latitude is a series of parallel lines which run East and West on a globe. Longitudinal lines run North and South.
The points at which these imaginary lines intersect can give you precise locations which you can use on your map/navigation system to plot your course.
Distance and speed are important factors in navigation as well, since they will help you to determine the length of your voyage, as well as help you prepare for other requirements such as how much food and water you will need for the trip, and what sorts of weather conditions and tides you may encounter.

Marine Navigation Instruments

Nautical navigation is made simple with an easy to use route planner.
With the proper plotters and charting kits, you can disperse the confusion of maps and charts with tried and true methods.
Even electronic charts which use GPS technology put your craft within reach with the use of satellites and computer technology.
Whether it is centuries old methods such as sextants and compasses or radar systems, there are many marine navigation instruments to help you find your way:
  • Binoculars:

    Useful when traveling near land and established landmarks. These will allow you to get a heading from a distance as well as see any potential hazards on the water and to avoid them before they get too close.
  • Compasses:

    The magnetic field of the Earth is a consistent force that is very useful in finding your direction. Used by sailors for centuries, compasses work without power in any weather. However, they must be calibrated and protected against interference.
  • Paper:

    Paper charts and maps allow a tactile process of nautical navigation that doesn't require batteries or good radio reception.
  • Electronic charts:

    Lesser experienced navigators can trust the accuracy of electronic charts without the training required for paper charts and maps.
  • Autopilots:

    Keep your vessel on course and compensate for the variation of water and wind while maintaining a heading.
  • Radar:

    A live representation of what is going on around you, perfect for knowing what to expect from the weather.
  • Navigation lights:

    Sometimes it is important to be seen as well as to see. Navigation lights will help other boaters see you on the water.

  • Why Defender

    Defender has a wide selection of marine navigation instruments to meet your requirements.
    We carry chart plotting instruments, navigation aids, sextants, autopilots, fish finders, radars, and many other instruments.
    With over 80 years of experience out on the water, Defender is owned and staffed by boating enthusiasts and welcome any questions you might have! Contact us today!