New Edition of The Principles of Navigation Released

book cover

Published Mar 31, 2019 2:47 AM by The Maritime Executive

The Nautical Institute has published the 11th edition of The Admiralty Manual of Navigation, Volume 1: The Principles of Navigation.

This latest edition has been updated for the electronic era of navigation, so it is the first to be “digital by design” and assumes that the reader’s vessel will be navigated using an IMO type-approved ECDIS.

Nevertheless, the basic principles are the same as those of a century ago: ensuring the safe conduct of a ship across the oceans. In his Foreword to the 11th edition, First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones points out: “The fundamental skills of the professional navigator remain unchanged, no matter the medium on which a fix is plotted.” 

The volume is encyclopedic in its coverage, providing authoritative guidance on everything from map projections, geodesy, charts, and ocean and coastal navigation techniques to plane and spherical trigonometry. Navigation aids such as radar, GPS and echo-sounders are explained, and the book emphasizes the need for the OOW or Navigating Officer to use all available information when navigating. Traditional techniques such as manual fixing and use of paper charts are not forgotten; confidence in using them could be vital should satellite systems be unavailable.

The Principles of Navigation is therefore an indispensable reference that contains everything the 21st-century navigator needs in order to plan a passage from berth to berth, says The Nautical Institute. The guidance and techniques described are as applicable to ocean-going merchant ships as to naval vessels, and are conveyed in a clear and accessible style. The author, Alastair Harris, a third-generation submariner, was Navigating Officer on HMS Trafalgar and HMS Talent and more recently authored Volume 2 of The Admiralty Manual of Navigation: Astro-Navigation, the 11th edition of which was published by The Nautical Institute last year.

“The ability to conduct your ship from one place to another, arriving at the time and space specified, safely, remains the principal task of the navigator, and safety at sea is everyone’s business,” says Jones in the Foreward. “Yet all who live and work on the world’s oceans know this is rarely straightforward. To assist mariners across the world in this vitally important task, the Royal Navy is pleased to share our centuries of accumulated experience, captured in these pages and published jointly with The Nautical Institute. I commend this publication to you all.”

The book is available for purchase here.