12 - Course, Heading and Bearing, Oh My!



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Course, heading and bearing all have direction, but they are not the same.




Course is the planned path that you intend to achieve. It consists of one or more segments of direction and distance. Course 345 degrees magnetic for 6.0 nautical miles is a properly describer course.

Heading is simply a direction that the vessel is pointed. A heading of 330 degrees magnetic might be necessary to maintain a course of 345 degrees magnetic if there is a strong west wind.

Bearing is the direction to an object from your current position. The water tank bears 34 degrees magnetic.

If there is no current, no wind and no waves and the object is where your course is going then course, heading and bearing to the object all have the same direction.


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EVEN THE BEST BOATERS CAN FIND THEMSELVES IN SERIOUS TROUBLE ON THE MILDEST OF DAYS ON THE WATER. PARTICIPATION IN THIS SPORT IS A STRENUOUS ACTIVITY. CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN BEFORE UNDERTAKING ANY SUCH ACTIVITY. PLEASE BE AWARE THAT EACH BOATER TAKES FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR HIS OR HER OWN SAFETY, AND IS TOTALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR ASSESSING THE DANGER LEVEL AND ACCEPTING THE CONSEQUENCES OF PARTICIPATING IN THIS SPORT.


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