Dead reckoning/estimated position "standard"?


I’m currently at my first year at the marine institute and I was wondering if there is any standard in plotting a course on a chart.

Before joining the institute, I’ve sailed a lot and took some piloting and navigation courses from the Canadian Power & Sail squadrons. I’ve learned that an estimated position on chart is a semicircle, that you write the speed under the line of the course and so on… (same as the Bowditch book)

Now, in a professional seafarer school, I learned that instead of a semicircle you put a cross (like the ‘+’ sign), and instead of writing the speed under the course, you write it, still under the course, but horizontally and you draw a box around it.

So, I’m wondering how you are plotting your courses and estimated position on your ship ???



Bowditch is the gold standard.
A given position or a Visual or Celestial fix is a circle with type label and time, a Dead Reckoning position (DR) is a semi-circle with time, an estimated Position (EP) is a square with time, an electronic fix is a triangle with type label and time. All with dots in the middle.
I’ve never seen anyone anywhere use a ‘+’ for anything other than an addition sign or a rock per USA Chart 1 section K. However an ‘x’ is where the treasure is buried.
BTW, what’s “professional seafarer school”.

Whats more important is that your DR is correct and updated every time you get a fix. The symbol on the chart isn’t as important as long as everyone else on your bridge team uses the same symbols.

Thanks for the clarification! I’ll ask him where he took that cross mark… I was expecting that a thing like that would be “standardized”!


It only needs to be standardized on the vessel you are on. The way I learned it is as above: DR is a semicircle, fix by LOP is a circle, EP is a square, and fix by electronic means is a triangle. But you could use any system you want on your vessel as long as everyone who plots uses and understands the system.