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The American Practical Navigator: Bowditch Hardcover – December 1, 2015

4.7 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 896 pages
  • Publisher: Paradise Cay Publications; 2002 Bicentennial Edition edition (December 1, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0939837544
  • ISBN-13: 978-0939837540
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 2.1 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By GEORGE R. FISHER on June 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Although it appears intimidating, it's actually quite readable. It happens also to be the very pinnacle of all marine navigation guides; all others refer to it and every navigator/pilot should own a copy.
But (a) it's enormous in both physical volume and weight and (b) it does get updated. What to do? ...
A search on "nga bowditch" will provide you with the current pdf version, chapter by chapter on the web.
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Format: Hardcover
Weighing in at a hefty five pounds plus and almost 1000 pages long, this book is as important to your boat as its keel, and almost as dense. First published by Nathaniel Bowditch in 1802 and carried on board every U.S. Navy vessel, THE AMERICAN PRACTICAL NAVIGATOR ("BOWDITCH") is the quintessential seafarer's reference.

Exhaustively encyclopedic in scope, BOWDITCH is the sailor's mentor on just about any nautical subject, and it is also simply fascinating to read.

Although online editions of BOWDITCH are constantly updated, a hardcover edition never crashes and has to be rebooted, and is never subject to the vagaries of battery failure.

Despite its heftiness, every confirmed boat handler should have a copy of THE AMERICAN PRACTICAL NAVIGATOR.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
30 years in the Navy, 13 at sea. This is the bible for all true Navy persons. I recall hours reading it, and endeavoring to absorb the wisdom of the sea as recounted by generations of those before me.

As a Commanding Officer I would put notes in the Night Orders which would cause the watchstnders to research during quiet time, usually they could find the answers in Bowditch.

A real gem, I still keep my copy close to read, when the lack of salt air causes me to feel remorse for my retired life.

Rok Kedney

CDR USN (ret)
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Format: Hardcover
Great classic book! Even if you hardly read it this can be a good book for your personal nautical library. However, if you just want to get some technical knowledge from the book free on-line version in pdf format is available at [...]
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Format: Hardcover
If you love the sea and have an interest in navigation this is a must have. An incredibly vast amount of information and history in one volume. The significance of the original work is shown by the near reverence for this frequently updated title. As a reference on marine navigation it is head and shoulders above the rest. One of the joys of having a copy on the bookshelf is just opening it to a random topic.

As others have noted the book is available on the internet. However, the there's no substitute for having a real copy and the price is far below that quoted by some posters.

Sadly gps has replaced basic navigation skills among many who fly and sail with a resulting dependence that often masks a lack of situational awareness. For those whose sailing is recreational dependence on gps navigation removes one of the joys that comes from the exercise of competency in basic navigation skills.

Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the book the other navigation books keep referring to when trying to make a point or explain some fact of navigation. Might as well just get this book to start with. I just wish the first line on page 230 would have printed, I would like to know what it says.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A classic maritime reference book; although titled the "Practical American Navigator" it is much more than a basic Northern American navigation text. In fact, I would describe it more as a comprehensive academic text of applied navigation and the associated global oceanography and meteorology. As such, this book is as universal a text as the "Oxford Dictionary".

The other great thing is that the majority of the text is written in clear and plain English.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gave it to an electronics-overloaded 16-year-old. He will not appreciate it now, wondering most of all why a New Mexico father bought a book on sea navigation, but the timeless knowledge will be valued long after the latest blinking gadget is in the landfill. A lot of knowledge for $33.
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