Navigation

Navigation, derived from the Latin words "navis" (meaning  "ship") and "agere" (meaning "to drive") is the process of accurately determining the position and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle along a desired course. This is accomplished by finding the navigator's position compared to known locations or patterns.

Early instruments used for determining latitude were the quadrant, (which measured the altitude of the polestar or the noonday sun,) the astrolabe and the sextant. Longitude was originally fixed using chronometers and tables showing yearly positions of celestial bodies. The first mariners to explore the world’s oceans developed standard ways of observing and recording their location, the routes they traveled, wind and water currents, and other useful facts. These records, logs, and journals made it possible find their way home and pass along their observations. Each successful voyage became a part of an expanding collection of reliable maritime information.

Modern navigation systems are part of a tightly coordinated and widely integrated transportation system in which each vessel must be responsible for staying on course, avoiding collisions, minimizing fuel consumption, and keeping on schedule. Modern navigation systems make use of many traditional tools, such as compasses, charts, instruments; but over the past century radio beacons, satellite networks and global positioning systems have been relied upon with increasing frequency to determine a ship’s position.

Ship compasses are usually stabilized by gyroscopes and installed in housing which properly compensates for the vessel’s motion. Charts are another essential navigational tool- position is fixed using charts of known locations in concert with instruments that calculate a vessel’s relative bearing. Dead reckoning is a method which relies on recording the accurate velocity calculated by gyroscopes and computer analysis of the vessel’s acceleration.

Tags: Navigation

Jennifer Carpenter (Photo: AWO)

Insights: Jennifer Carpenter, AWO President & CEO

Jennifer A. Carpenter serves as President & CEO of The American Waterways Operators (AWO)…

Photo: Jumbo Shipping

Radio Holland Renews MSA with Jumbo

Jumbo Shipping has renewed its MSA (Managed Service Agreement) contracts with Radio Holland…

Photo: Wärtsilä

Wärtsilä Navi-Port Tested for Just-in-time Sailing

Wärtsilä, together with project partners Carnival Maritime and HVCC Hamburg Vessel…

(Photo: Jessica Haas, USACE)

2020 Vision

The Congress worked hard and most importantly together at the end of the recently…

Photo: Sperry Marine

Sperry Marine Launches NAVIGAT 2500 and 3500

Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine has announced the launch of NAVIGAT 2500 and 3500…

Image: Bennett Goldberg (Lindblad Expeditions)

National Geographic Endurance Completes Sea Trials

Lindblad Expeditions’ National Geographic Endurance successfully completed its first…

© John McQuiston / Adobe Stock

US Ports Get More Than $280 Mln in MARAD Grants

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced…

Image: Netherlands Coast Guard

OOCL Loses Containers off Dutch Coast

The Dutch registered container ship OOCL Rauma lost at least five containers on Tuesday afternoon…

(Photo: Dredging Contractors of America)

Dredging at the Forefront of Corps' 2020 Work Plan

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' FY2020 Work Plan release on Monday places dredging…

(Photo: Lee Roberts / U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

WCI Applauds Corps’ FY20 Work Plan

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) offered praise for Congress, the U.S. Department of…

© Warren Price / Adobe Stock

Trump's FY21 Budget Request 'Inadequate' -WCI

President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) budget request released on Monday is "astonishingly…

Image: NYK

NYK Orders 2nd LNG-Fueled PCTC

Japanese shipping and logistics company Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) has placed…

Related Articles

Offshore Oil

"Offshore" refers to the discovery and development of oil and gas resources which lie underwater. Usually the term refers to ocean-based oil extraction , though the term can also apply to drilling in lakes and inland seas. The remote locations…

Winch

A winch is a mechanism used to reel in, to let out, or otherwise adjust the tension of a rope, wire, or cable. Boats and ships make use of multiple winches to handle halyards, sheets, as well as anchor or mooring lines. The basic mechanism consists…

Maritime Security

Maritime Security is a term which applies to a large variety of technology, devices, and operations both on deck and on shore. It can mean the simple measures used by boat owners and operators to protect individuals, vessels, and cargo from theft, sabotage, or piracy.

Ship Repair

All ships need maintenance and repairs. Many repair and maintanance operations can be performed at sea or by the crew in port. Complicated or large-scale repairs might require the ship to be removed from commercial operation. Classification…

Ship Simulators

A ship simulator is an advanced training device; an electronic or mechanical system used to expose vessel operators and crew members to typical shipboard conditions and systems. Simulation training is not a substitute for the experience of training on an actual vessel…
Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the maritime industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email five times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News