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How to Read a Nautical Chart - Part 1

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Locate the Compass Rose(s)
How to Read a Nautical Chart - Part 1

For instructional purposes only.

Photo © NOAA

Nautical charts have one or more compass roses printed on them. A compass rose is used to measure directions using true or magnetic bearing. True direction is printed around the outside, while magnetic is printed around the inside. Variation is the difference between true and magnetic north for the covered area. It is printed with annual change in the center of the compass rose.

The compass rose is used to plot a course when navigating using direction bearings.

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