Author Topic: Celestial Navigation class feedback?  (Read 1640 times)

Offline HenryC

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Celestial Navigation class feedback?
« on: March 08, 2011, 06:40:34 PM »
I have just finished giving my course in celestial navigation (outlined on this forum) to a CPYOA contributor.  I think it went very well, and it gave me the opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of the course as well as my effectiveness as an instructor.  I have decided to try and set up a partnership with a local chandlery such as West Marine or BoatUS that will provide me with a venue, as well as perhaps some publicity and support.  I expect the course will consist of five 2-hour sessions spread out over five weeks. I would expect there would be between 10 and 20 members in a class, and perhaps as many as half would drop out during the course.

My question to you is what would be a fair (or at least, reasonable) price to charge the students for this course? In other words, what would you be willing to pay to learn CelNav? Also, I understand I would be using the store's facilities and customer base for my course, so what percentage of the course fees would be fair for me to share with them?  I will negotiate this with them, but I have no business sense whatever, and your suggestions would be a good place to start from.

Your advice and comments would be appreciated.

Offline Billy

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Re: Celestial Navigation class feedback?
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2011, 08:14:13 PM »
1/3 should go to the facility I feel. As far as cost......thats a toughy. I feel like ASA sailing classes are extremely overpriced. But lets face it, sailing (or anything on a boat) is not for a poor man. However, sailiors get the wind for free and expect everything else to be free too.

Here is a link to my sailing school and their prices for ASA certified classes.
http://flagshipsailing.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=50&Itemid=74

that being said, is there anyway you can get some kind of certificate to authentate (sp?) the class. People will pay alot more if it is official (and not just some guy teaching in his backyard). I think $40 per session is fair, (5 sessions $200). But if you are charging it needs to be formal and structured like a class (not casual discussion).

Just my 2 cents.
1983 Com-Pac 19 I hull number 35 -no name-

Offline HenryC

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Re: Celestial Navigation class feedback?
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2011, 08:45:36 PM »
Those are well thought-out comments.  And I do agree with your comments on ASA classes,after reviewing your link I agree they are WAY overpriced.

As for "certification", I don't have any, and have no intention of getting any, either. I once asked the US Power Squadron if I could teach any of their courses, and they said I could get "certified" to teach only if I took all their other courses first, for a price.  They were not interested in my qualifications.  That sounded like a racket to me, and I told them so. I do have qualifications, but unfortunately, that's not the same as certification.

These are the qualifications I plan to send to my prospective hosts:

"I have Bachelor's degrees in mathematics and astronomy, as well as a Master's degree (1977) in geography from the University of South Florida.   I have been a professional geographer and cartographer throughout my professional life, and a Geographic Information Systems specialist and manager for the Planning Department of Broward County. I have been an avid yachtsman and sailor since my twenties and I served as a Second Class Petty Officer in the US Navy, responsible for navigation aboard a guided missile frigate during the VietNam conflict. I have navigated frequently on offshore races and cruises.  I own an Astra metal sextant, and have written interactive celestial navigation software for the HP 28 and HP 48  programmable calculators. I have written several navigation related articles for national magazines."

But to be honest, I have no professional documentation or government licenses as a mariner.

PS. Perhaps "CPYOA User Input" is not the appropriate place for this discussion. Sorry about that. Please feel free to respond somewhere else.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 08:54:08 PM by HenryC »

Offline RCAN

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Re: Celestial Navigation class feedback?
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2011, 11:18:40 PM »
I am the student that Henry referred to as having taken his celestial navigation class and would like to provide my feed back on the course.

Not having had any previous education in matters of navigation, I must say that this class opened an entire world of awareness and appreciation for navigating at sea with no GPS. It seems to me mind boggling that such complicated computations and mathematics were used by sailors dating so far back in time. Sailors are, indeed, an exceptional group of people.

Henry was patient, and very invested in my ability to grasp the art. It was an introductory class, teaching the tools with which only practice and experience can produce proficiency. In that respect, the class achieved its goal.

Thanks to Henry's enthusiasm in sharing his knowledge, I walked away with much, much more.

I highly recommend the course. Better yet, I highly recommend receiving instructions from Henry himself.

Robert
12' Star Craft Cat - sold, 1976 Com-Pac 16

Offline HenryC

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Thanks for the kind words, Robert.
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2011, 08:35:52 AM »
I really enjoyed our sessions, and loved crewing on your CP16 on Biscayne Bay.  I have taught before, and it is always a great pleasure to teach an enthusiastic and interested student material which one is excited about. 
« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 08:42:05 AM by HenryC »

Offline Billy

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Re: Celestial Navigation class feedback?
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2011, 10:11:16 AM »
How did you guys see any stars in Biscayne Bay?
1983 Com-Pac 19 I hull number 35 -no name-

Offline HenryC

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Re: Celestial Navigation class feedback?
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2011, 02:45:59 PM »
We went sailing in broad daylight.  We did the sextant practice at my house, using a roof top as an artificial horizon.

Besides, I'm not taking out my expensive sextant in a 16' boat!  :)