Significant Changes Impacting Marine Navigation in 2024

Marine Navigation has been changing gradually over the last few decades, but this year we will see a major shift.


By the end of the year, NOAA will discontinue all of its raster charts and will only be updating its vector charts.

Fortunately, society at large is comfortable navigating electronically using GPS in their cars and on their phones. Pilots made the transition to electronic charts more than a decade ago.

Club Nautique has been at the vanguard of this shift introducing our GRAD (GPS, Radar, AIS, DSC) course more than two years ago. Meanwhile, we have been working on a national level with US Sailing’s National Faculty to generate certification standards, student and instructor materials, and of course, tests leading to certification for a completely new navigation protocol.

What’s changing

There are a number of major changes as follows:

  • There will be a new navigation class (Nav 1) prior to Bareboat Cruising (BBC) and Inshore Power Cruising (IPC) for powerboaters. This class will be an entry-level navigation class taught on tablets in a classroom using the Navionics mobile app.
  • There will be a new navigation class (Nav 2) prior to Coastal Passage Making (CPM) and Coastal Power Cruising (CPC) for powerboaters. This class will be a more advanced navigation class taught in a classroom using laptops and the OpenCPN application.
  • There will be a new certification class for Radar prior to CPM and IPC for
    powerboaters. This class will be taught partially in a classroom and partially on a boat.
  • There will be a new navigation class (Nav 3) prior to Offshore Passage Making. This class will be taught in a classroom.
  • The previous Coastal Navigation certification, while no longer a prerequisite for any other course, will still be offered several times per year for those wanting to learn traditional paper chart techniques.

What Should I Take


  • Beginning July 1, all Bareboat Cruising students must have completed Nav 1 prior to signing up for the Bareboat Cruising Class.
  • The first Nav 1 class be offered in Alameda on March 23 & 24, 2024. This is a two-day class. Priority will be given up until 8 days before the class to those who have not yet taken Coastal Navigation and need Nav 1 to progress. We anticipate offering this class in Sausalito later this year.
  • Nav 2, also a two-day class, will be introduced later in 2024. US Sailing’s National Faculty
    is still developing the course curriculum and materials. Until Nav 2 is finalized, Club Nautique will update our GRAD course to provide the equivalent curriculum as will be offered in Nav 2.
  • Radar will be launched at the same time as Nav 2, later in 2024. This class will replace GRAD.
  • Nav 3 will not be ready until sometime in 2025. There is no current analogue for Nav 3
    so nothing will change at this level until we are ready to introduce this course.

How Does This Impact My Membership Package?

  • Navigation 1 is included in Bareboat and Power Bareboat memberships that started after January 1, 2023.
  • Navigation 2 will be included in any membership that includes CPM or CPC.
  • Radar will be included in any membership which includes CPM or IPC.
  • Coastal Navigation will cease being included in membership packages (apart from Ultimate) as of January 29, 2024.