Automatic Radar Plotter Aid (ARPA)

Course Length: 32 hours
Price: $700

Subjects in this 4-day course include review and recertification of radar plotting, ARPA theory, ARPA errors and limitations. This course covers technical and practical applications of radar and ARPA for those who will be in charge of navigational watch or a member of a bridge team. Information is presented that is necessary for the deck officer or bridge team member to stand safe bridge watch. This includes the theory, operation, limitations and practical applications of radar navigation, collision avoidance and radar and ARPA systems. Students will be exposed to a variety of radar and ARPA types, collision situations and navigation exercises. Trainees use commercial ARPA equipment with landmasses, environmental effects and vessel returns generated by Transas simulation. The course covers the methods by which the ARPA acquires and tracks radar contacts and demonstrates the limitations of the radar equipment including the dangers of over-reliance on information derived from ARPA. Also covered are performance standards for ARPA, the effects of inaccuracies in the course and speed inputs, the selection of speed data input and the systems response to changes in course and speed of own ship and/or contact vessel. The exercises used in this course of instruction will provide practice in the proper use of the radar and ARPA and to recognize potential threats and determine proper action to avoid these threats in accordance with the applicable Rules of the Road. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to extract the information needed on course, speed and CPA to enable early action to be taken to provide for a safe passing distance.

Any applicant who has successfully completed this 32-hour Automatic Radar Plotting Aids (ARPA) course will satisfy the ARPA training requirements of 46 CFR 11.202(C). The practical assessments conducted in this course will be accepted as the equivalent of the following assessments from the National Assessment Guidelines for Table A-II/1 of the STCW Code: OICNW-3-2A; OICNW-3-2B; OICNW-3-2C; OICNW-3-2D; OICNW-3-2E; OICNW-3-2F; OICNW-3-2G; OICNW-3-2H; OICNW-3-2I; OICNW-3-2J; OICNW-3-2K; OICNW-3-2L; OICNW-3-2M, M-5-1A, M-5-1B, M-5-1C, and M-5-1D. Applicants who have successfully completed your course need not present completed “Control Sheets” for these assessments in application for STCW certification.

IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL in a USCG approved ARPA course a student must have previously passed a RADAR unlimited course and be proficient with COLREGS sailing and maneuvering rules, chart plotting basics including the math involved for time, speed, distance equations, course and bearing conversions and decimal to minute time conversions.

If a student has not had a previous navigational plotting course, our 16 hour Basic Plotting course is required. 

Course Tools Required

A clear mind ready to learn and retain a large volume of information.
Paper and pencil for note taking
A scientific calculator
Plotting tools

Automatic Radar Plotter Aid (ARPA)