Skip to main content

Cruising Boat Expo's Nav Seminar Takes You Backward and Forward

Peter Trogdon of Weems & Plath joins PassageMaker Technical Editor Ben Ellison in presenting a seminar that teaches electronic navigation, but also the old-schools skills that inform today's technology.
 Peter Trogdon

Peter Trogdon

Nothing instills more confidence on the water than a proven expertise in navigation. And that means more than knowing how to follow a course line on a chartplotter.

In June, International Cruising Boat Expo of Essex, Connecticut, features an all-day seminar that will provide would-be mariners with a solid foundation in the art of navigation, as taught by two of the most knowledgeable instructors we know–PassageMaker Electronics Editor Ben Ellison and Peter Trogdon of Weems & Plath.

The name of the seminar is “Soup-to-Nuts Navigation.” Attendees will learn how charts are made and how to read them. Ellison and Trogdon will take the class through a hands-on session on paper charts using plotting instruments provided by Weems & Plath. Attendees get to keep the instruments.

These navigation exercises not only instill situational awareness on the water and form the basis for understanding electronic navigation, but are requisite for anyone seeking to pass a Coast Guard examination for a captain’s license.

International Cruising Boat Expo, an event in the tradition of PassageMaker's TrawlerFest series,will be held June 2-7, at Brewer Essex Island Marina. "Soup-to-Nuts Navigation" happens over two mornings, on Saturday and Sunday, June 6-7, beginning at 8:30 a.m.

 Click to see seminar options and buy tickets.

Click to see seminar options and buy tickets.

Ellison, who is best known for his marine electronics blog, will then teach the principles of navigation using today’s multi-function displays–how to use them and how not to use them. He’ll talk about the equipment that is available today and the advances he sees for the future. One of them is crowdsourcing, which has turned the way charts are made upside down.

Five hundred years ago in Europe, whoever had the most accurate charts held the pole position in the race for riches and military conquest. Kings guarded their charts the way modern nations guard nuclear secrets.

Attendees will learn how recreational boaters today are turning that ancient Portuguese business model on its head—from charting as a kingly prerogative to charting as practiced by ordinary citizens acting for the common good. Thanks to GPS, inexpensive sonar and computers.

For information about the International Cruising Boat Expo call 954.703.4789 or email us at