Marine Radar Observer
skill develpment

Modules 1 - 4 cover subjects everyone standing watch on a vessel should know.

Modules 5 - 11 are designed for licensed mariners studying for USCG Radar Observer examination.

To return to this list of lessons and quizzes, click the logo above on any page.

You can download and print blank plotting sheets from the link below if needed.

Radar Plotting Sheet.pdf
Time, Speed & Distance formulas.pdf
Radar Plotting Reference.pdf

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1. Radar Setup - Properly adjust a radar for best reception.

2. Radar Operation - Learn some useful features and recognize radar limitations.

3. Relative vs True Motion - A clear understanding of the difference between Relative and True motion is necessary to correctly follow the Rules of the Road.

4. Rules of the Road Basics - Recognize what action is appropriate when avoiding other vessels.

5. Vector Labels - The ability to quickly identify vessel motion vectors is fundamental to being a competent radar observer!

6. Time and Distance review - Why 6 minutes is a handy time frame to use when possible.

7. North-Up Radar Skills for Collision Avoidance - The ability to eyeball target and own ship True Motion vectors makes collision avoidance decisions much easier.

8. Head-Up Radar Skills for Collision Avoidance - North-Up radar will default to Head-Up mode in the event of compass data failure so refreshing Head-Up skills is advisable.

9. Radar Practice Quizzes - Practice North Up and Head Up scenarios.

10. Radar Practice Exams - Samples in the same format used for the Radar Recertification final exam.

11. Rapid Radar Paper Plotting - Preparation for examination at other schools or practice your knowledge of vessel motion vectors with paper plotting.

* The radar feature displaying range and bearing from the cursor position only works with a mouse or trackball. The feature does not work on touch screens.

New content under developement will be added in the future.