B.C. Open Water Navigation Guide Modules

Open Water Navigation and Tidal Planning training is designed for paddlers carrying out open water journeys, including islands over 2 nautical miles offshore in areas of strong tidal movement of 3+ knots and/or including winds of up to force 5.

It gives candidates the skills to be able to plan and navigate safely in advanced water environments through the use of practical planning.

For the Course Documents, please visit the British Canoeing Awarding Body website.

Course Dates

Course Length 1 Day
Course Dates 25th Mar, 2nd Nov
Cost £95
Places Available 6

Learning Outcomes:

The content of this course builds directly on the themes covered in the Coastal and Tidal Planning training and seeks to develop the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the areas below as applied in an advanced water environment:

  • To interpret sources of relevant information including maps, charts, coastal pilots, tide tables, and tidal stream atlases
  • To apply the above relevant information in calculating vectors and negotiating open crossings and/or coastlines with no landing zones and/or tide races and overfalls
  • To develop the necessary knowledge to navigate on the water using advanced pilotage techniques in poor visibility or hours of darkness
  • By the end of the course each candidate should have planned at least 2 open crossings that they can take home as references for further trip planning
  • Candidates should also be aware of the range of resources they require to plan trips in any sea area

For more information on the content covered please read the Syllabus.


The course content is delivered in a classroom environment over eight hours contact time.

This can be in the form of a full day training course or delivered over the course of several days.


Candidates wishing to attend the Open Water Navigation and Tidal Planning course must have attended a Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning course, or equivalent.

For more details on recognised equivalencies, please refer to our Alternative Qualifications for Navigation and Tidal Planning Courses document.


Attendance Certificates are issued to successful candidates by British Canoeing following a recommendation from the course provider, subject to the following Certification fees. These fees are not included in the course price:

  • £5 for B.C. members
  • £10 for non-members

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"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread." - Edward Abbey