We offer classes from traditional navigation with paper charts through cutting-edge Pilothouse Simulation courses—our goal is to make you a better, safer and more confident mariner. Class sizes are small and are designed to be hands-on, so that you are learning while doing—whether it’s Radar or Dead Reckoning. If you have a group or club that would like to schedule a private class, please contact ace@nwmaritime.org to make arrangements.

Pilothouse Simulator at the Northwest Maritime Center

Pilothouse Simulator Classes


Learn to interpret the images your radar is displaying in hands on radar exercises in our Chart Room. This class includes an introduction to true and relative motion, range, bearing, and what that means to you and your vessel. You will also learn how to mark targets and track other vessels. This class has a four-person minimum.

[Register online] [Download current schedule]

Radar & Night Navigation

Build on your basic radar skills with simulated collision avoidance exercises. Use vectors, bearing lines and range rings to navigate safely. You will learn to recognize other vessels, aids to navigation, harbor entrances, and hazards at night. The class features our state-of-the-art marine simulator, which accurately demonstrates the lights of Puget Sound and the vessels you might encounter. This class has a four-person minimum.

[Register online] [Download current schedule]

Custom Pilothouse Simulator Classes

Get a group of 6-8 folks together and we’ll schedule a class for you on your schedule! Please contact ace@nwmaritime.org to make arrangements.

Paper chart for navigation classes

In the Classroom

Essentials of Safe Navigation

An 8 hour course that introduces you to all of the basics of navigating safely in our Pacific Northwest waters: paper charting, rules of the road, aids to navigation, vessel lights, electronic navigation and radar. This course is taught in a single 8-hour class on a Saturday, and has a four-person minimum.

[Register online] [Download current schedule]

Navigation & Piloting

This classroom based program focuses on chart reading, navigational aids, navigational tools, compass use, latitude and longitude, dead-reckoning, triangulation, tides and currents, trip planning, boating resources for the Puget Sound and San Juan Islands, and how to safely cross the Strait of Juan de Fuca!

[Register online] [Download current schedule]

Marine Weather

The Marine Weather Course teaches the practical application of both atmospheric science and oceanography in relation to sailing. Whether you’re planning a day sail or a long-distance voyage, sail safer and faster with a better understanding of the weather. This class will explain sea breezes, local wind patterns, and storms at sea in terms of basic weather concepts. Tropical and middle latitude weather systems will be discussed. You will learn the similarities and differences between the weather in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Learn where to find weather data ashore and on-board, how to read weather charts and interpret the weather forecasts. Combine weather data from other sources, your observations, and natural signs to make your own weather forecast.

[Register online] [Download current schedule]

Surprise! You’re in Command

NEW IN 2017! A 3-hour class on what you need to know if you are suddenly in command of your powerboat. Learn the basics of communication, helm, and navigating safely home.

[Register online] [Download current schedule]

Powerboating Electronics at the Helm

NEW IN 2017! A 3-hour class on the navigation electronics at the helm of your powerboat. Learn what you need to know about your instruments, chart plotter, and radar to navigate with confidence.

[Register online] [Download current schedule]