Starpath School of Navigation
Seattle, Washington
(206) 783-1414 |

Starpath School of Navigation is a world leader in marine navigation and weather training. We are a unique resource with over 18 years’ experience in online teaching. Our courses are guaranteed to make your time on the water safer and more enjoyable.


— We have taught classroom courses since 1978, having had more than 30,000 classroom students when we switched to all online training in 2002; We have now had thousands of online students since then. Our extensive classroom experience is the foundation for our online training.

— We produce our own books and software, and our online course infrastructure is all our own, so we can design it to best meet student and instructor needs, and make changes promptly as called for.

— Several of our books are ranked top of the list by professional mariners. Our weather text is used at the USCG Academy and it is the recommended text by the world’s top racing navigators. Our Cel Nav text is the only one cited in Bowditch for a special technique we developed. It is also the top selling Cel Nav book on Amazon by a huge factor.

— Our Radar Trainer software is the most popular radar simulator in the world. It was the first ever PC software radar simulator, and it was the first PC software to be approved by the USCG for professional license training.

— Our instructors have years of teaching experience and thousands of miles practical navigation underway.

— Course fees are very economical

— Our content is thorough and practical and always combines traditional skills with the latest technology.

— We promise students will learn the skills they need *and* they will enjoy the process. We can do this because we are flexible, and can meet the individual needs of students.


When the class you want is not available at your local school, or you are confined to home for any reason, then the answer is easy. Online is not just a solution to carrying on with your sailing related training, you will soon learn that at Starpath it is a very effective and enjoyable solution.

But in all times, good and bad, there are notable advantages to online learning …when done well.

— You work at your own pace, on your own schedule. You are not tied to fixed classroom times and course lengths.

— You have way more opportunity for individual help than available in a classroom with limited time.

— If you ever find a topic that is not being clarified by the materials we have, we usually stop and make a dedicated video to that topic.

— Some find more ease in asking questions, since students are essentially anonymous in an online classroom.

— Search our database of over 18 years of student questions and answers, and general discussion of various topics covered in the courses. Students can usually find the answer they want. Many posted listed by quiz and question numbers.

— We also offer ebooks for all the related textbooks. These have two advantages, even to those who are not otherwise at all attracted to ebooks. (1) the ebooks are delivered by download upon registration so you can start on the course immediately, and not have to wait for the arrival of the printed books. And (2), even though the books have good indexes in them, the powerful search engines in our ebooks makes it very efficient to track down discussion of topics that the index might not cover.

— Since you are taking a course with other participants in an interactive setting, you still get some of the benefit of a classroom setting. You see other’s questions, and you can even answer or comment on these yourself. We have had Cel Nav students who discovered they were in fact neighbors (in Oakland) and one invited the other out on his boat do to sights together. There is an option for displaying your location if you choose to.

— Your investment is long lasting. The main course tuition fee does not expire. You must have a valid web card for access to our site, and the course provides a year-long access. After that expires to get back into the course you just need a valid web card and you can extend your card for a modest fee, with several options between $19 for one month, up to $69 for another year. This gives you full access to any course you have signed up for as well as our extensive online resources and discussion groups. It is a way to periodically drop back in to see what is new in the topic you studied… or to get professional support on a question that has come up.


— Inland and Coastal Navigation, 105
The primary skills that all mariners must know for safe, efficient navigation of any vessel, power or sail, large or small include: chart reading, compass use, piloting, dead reckoning, navigation rules, tides and currents. We cover these in addition to the use of GPS and electronic charting.

— Celestial Navigation, 107
For those planning an ocean voyage, this is a comprehensive course in ocean navigation based on sextant sights of celestial bodies, including how to take sextant sights, analyze them for lines of position and position fixes, do running fixes, plus learn star and planet ID, ocean DR, logbook procedures, sailings, and much more.

— Marine Weather, 119
Once the navigation is under control, there will always be the weather. We teach traditional skills and the latest technology that are needed to take weather into account for planning and navigation on inland waters as well as ocean crossings. These days mariners have tremendous resources at hand for weather routing and decision making, but it takes training to learn what they are and how to use them.

— Radar, 120
For those who have it, they soon learn that radar, not GPS, is the most important electronic navigation aid on the boat, once they learn to use it. There are a few basic concepts to learn and practice and then you go out a completely different door than you came in.

— Backup Cel Nav, 117
This is a short course for those who do not wish to learn the full extent of celestial navigation, but still want a prudent backup to the failure of electronic navigation. It covers finding latitude and longitude from the sun at noon and finding latitude by Polaris, along with basic ocean DR plotting. The course uses custom tables and procedures that greatly simplify the process. No special background is required. The course also teaches the use of the Mark 3 plastic sextant, which is included with the course fee.

— Navigation Rules
Essentially 100% of all collisions involve the violation of at least one of the Navigation Rules by both vessels. It is simple: learn and obey the Rules and you will—by the raw force of statistics—not be involved in a collision… and that includes collisions with land, the sea bottom, and docks! This is a short and engaging course that goes through the Rules book, cover to cover, emphasizing the logic and execution of the Rules.

American Sailing Certifications Offered

ASA 117, Basic Celestial Endorsement
ASA 117, Basic Celestial Endorsement
Learn to apply basic celestial navigation theory and practice to determine latitude and longitude at sea using a sextant and Nautical Almanac.
ASA 119, Marine Weather Endorsement
ASA 119, Marine Weather Endorsement
Learn to observe and forecast weather conditions using traditional maritime skills and modern technology. Knowledge of weather information for planning and adapting navigation during short duration and extended voyages.
ASA 120, Radar Endorsement
ASA 120, Radar Endorsement
Learn to properly use small-craft radar (or radar simulator) for piloting, navigation, and collision avoidance. Knowledge of radar principles and practical matters of radar operation.

Sailing School Reviews / Testimonials

  • I really enjoyed the course and learned a lot. Starpath is a great resource for sailors around the world, and of all the navigation courses I have been through, this was by far the most enjoyable.

    PK - June, 2020 - ASA 105, Coastal Navigation

  • I recently completed and thoroughly enjoyed your Marine Weather Course. This course is very organized and the assistance with the instructors is extremely professional. The organization, explanations, course assignments, and professionalism are like

    CB - June, 2020 - ASA 119, Marine Weather Endorsement

  • It was an excellent course. I learned a lot and now I am teaching the Navigation Section of the Boat Crew Certification at the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. I also now passed Advanced Coastal Navigation certification from the USCGA.

    JB - June, 2020 - ASA 105, Coastal Navigation

  • I am thoroughly enjoying this course. After a 26-year career as a submariner, and more than 35-years as a sailor (including a transatlantic), I am finally (finally!!) learning to navigate celestially.

    CC - May, 2020 - ASA 107, Celestial Navigation

  • A great radar course. The Radar Simulator is well done and add enormously to the course content. Thanks as well to Larry Brandt for great feedback and encouragement on all the quizzes. I'll be taking more courses from Starpath.

    SK - Jan, 2020 - ASA 120, Radar Endorsement

Contact Information

Starpath School of Navigation

Address 3050 NW 63rd StreetSeattleWA98107United States
Phone (206) 783-1414

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