How to Read, Use and Interpret Charts,
plus segments on Visual Distress Signals,
Useful Knots, Aids to Navigation.

Official USCG training footage... 120 minutes

Nautical Chart InterpretationHow to Read, Use and Interpret Nautical Charts, plus segments on Visual Distress Signals, Useful Knots, Aids to Navigation and much, much more (see outline below). This Official USCG training footage was previously only available on 16 mm film rented from the U.S. Archives, but Magic Lamp now makes it available for all boaters on DVD. The knowledge from this program combined with the information contained in our 2-hour DVD #301 on Coastal Piloting will give you the confidence to take your boat out, get to your location and return safely. Remember... the experienced sailor knows that the sea isn't his enemy... it's the hard stuff around the edges!
Ordering Info
--- Complete DVD Table of Contents ---
I. CHART INTERPRETATION Part 1 :"Understanding a Chart"

A. Great Circles
B. Meridian (defined)
C. the Greenwich Meridian
D. Longitude and Latitude illustrated
E. Parallels of Latitude
F. the Mercator Projections
G. Charts Scales

1. large
2. small
3. coastal

II. CHART INTERPRETATION Part 2: "Reading the Chart"

A. Selecting the right chart
B. Sounding Datum
C. Color Scheme on Charts
D. Lettering on Charts
E. Symbols & Abbreviations (ref. to Chart Number 1)

III. CHART INTERPRETATION Part 3: "Using the Chart"

A. the Meridian Grid
B. Arc Distance (the nautical mile)
C. Measuring Distance and Finding Position w/dividers
D. Determining Direction w/parallel rules
E. Scaling Distance on the Latitude Scale


A. Illustrative Examples of Lateral Systems of Navigation Aids

1. Intracoastal Waterways
2. Great Lakes
3. Western Rivers
4. other areas of United States

B. Following directions

1. Buoys
2. Cans
3. other markers

C. Navigation Aids by Day and by Night


15 valuable knots most commonly used by boaters with step-by-step instruction on how to tie them. Knots covered include: Sheet Bend, Carrick Bend, Clove Hitch, Rolling Hitch, Anchor Bend, Bowline, Bowline on a Bight and many others. Also includes instructions as to their use and how to treat the ends by searing or whipping and then coiling for storage

VI. VISUAL DISTRESS SIGNALS An explanation of the United States Coast Guard Visual Distress Signal Law.

A. Requirements
B. Types of Signals
C. Pyrotechnics

1. smoke signals
2. flares

D. Signal Flags
E. Lights (and when to use them)
F. Safe handling techniques and Storage Methods


This program deals with the three major causes of loss of life in pleasure boating, of which Capsizing is usually an average of approximately 47% of annual fatalities. Covered are the balancing of forces between buoyancy and gravity and how this ratio affects the safe operating level of freeboard and therefore the stability of a vessel.

Ordering Info