Nautical Instruments

While electronic navigation chart advances are an important milestone in the science of nautical navigation, many mariners carry on the traditions associated with navigation by plotting a position and a course on a paper nautical chart. They accomplish this task using traditional marine navigation tools, including: compasses, chart dividers, rulers, protractors, sextants, chart plotters, binoculars, chronometers, star finders, and more.

Most large commercial ships use electronic navigation methods as they are required under the SOLAS convention to use ECDIS as the primary means of navigation. However, many navigation officers and smaller, recreational vessels continue to work with traditional nautical charts to navigate and plot their courses using the same basic, yet ingenious, nautical tools used by ocean-sailing mariners for centuries. It is important that mariners remain knowledgeable on the use of these navigation tools in case the need arises to use paper nautical charts. It is good seamanship for mariners to know how to use these nautical tools work and to pass on that information to the next generation. 

High-quality modern nautical tools also make great gifts for anyone with a love of maritime history. Any sailor who uses traditional navigation techniques would appreciate receiving these items as a gift. 

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  • $9.95
    Sometimes referred to as a Douglas protractor, the Square Protractor is best suited for rapid plotting of courses and bearings in a confined space. Notations can be easily made directly on matte plastic surface with pencil. Constructed of durable, transparent plastic with instructions...
  • $19.95 $22.95
  • $16.95 $23.95
    The Portland Course Plotter Used worldwide by practical and shore based instructors Bright blue directional arrow prevents accidental reciprocal bearings Edges are graduated for tide and boat speed Base has a fixed grid so it is easy to plot latitude from your GPS system Comprehensive instruction...
  • $27.95 $34.95
    The Portland Course Plotter Kit Used worldwide by practical and shore based instructors Bright blue directional arrow prevents accidental reciprocal bearings Edges are graduated for tide and boat speed Base has a fixed grid so it is easy to plot latitude from your GPS system  Includes a 7" Sing...
  • $52.95 $64.95
    Portland Plotter Movable disc enables magnetic variation to be set on the instrument Movable arm is divided into millimetres Captain Fields' protractor markings Comfortably covers the largest Admiralty Chart Pencil guide holes give precision loction Unique design ensures a truly paralle...
  • $12.95 $15.95
    Portland Protractor 130mm/5" Douglas-type square pattern navigational protractor Can also be used as a simple parallel rule and plotter Also available in 250mm/10"  
  • $16.95 $19.95
    Portland Protractor 250mm/10" Douglas-type square pattern navigational protractor Can also be used as a simple parallel rule and plotter Also available in 130mm/5"  
  • $12.95 $14.95
    Portland Navigational Triangle 200mm Features protractor markings and compass points with reciprocals in red Scale in millimetres Manufactured from strong acrylic Can be used in pairs as a Parallel Rule Also available in 230mm
  • $14.95 $17.95
    Portland Navigational Triangle 230mm Features protractor markings and compass points with reciprocals in red Scale in millimetres Manufactured from strong acrylic Can be used in pairs as a Parallel Rule Also available in 200mm
  • $11.95 $13.95
    This Protractor Triangle is a must-have in any navigation kit. The protractor triangle is inscribed with black markings. Using two 45 degree triangles provides an easy method of plotting and performing chart work. With its protractor scales, the protractor triangle is easily aligned in any direct...
  • $9.95
    The USPS Plotter is a simple, versatile chart navigation plotter.  This plotter comes complete with basic instructions that demonstrate how to use this product to draw a course line, read a course, determine coordinates and even how this plotter can be used as parallel rules.  Constructed of ...
  • $99.95
    The Bi-rola Rule is a rugged plotter that is used by professional navigators because it is quick and easy to use. Patented vertical and horizontal rolling motion simplifies course and plotting calculations. Unique radial arm allows you to automatically include compass corrections in course plot...
  • $14.95 $17.95
    One of our best selling navigation instruments, the Protractor Triangle with Handle is inscribed with contrast enhancing colors making it easier to use. Utilizing two 45° triangles, the protractor triangle with handle provides a straightforward method of plotting and performing chart work. With i...
  • $21.95 $24.99
    The Weems Parallel Plotter is our most popular Weems plotter! This Weems plotter is mounted on a roller that allows you to plot courses and parallel lines with simple direct transfer without the space required of traditional parallel rules or triangles. The two rollers keep the Weems plotter para...
  • $19.95 $23.95
    An updated version of the Breton Plotter or Portland Plotter, the Weems Protractor has a movable compass rose grid that can be used to lay off a course or bearing, measure distance between any two points, plot position on a chart from a given set of coordinates, or determine coordinates of...