The title of the thread is ambiguous: do you mean matters, as in things, or matters, as an adjective, as in importance? Both would work I guess.
In the very small world of Aleutian freighters, the old way was for ABs to ask the OOW to teach them how to navigate. On Aleutian freighters the helm is on autopilot most of the time, while the OOW pilots. There’s enough time in straight sections like Johnstone for the OOW to show an interested AB how the basics are done. A lot of good training goes on this way. The same things is done on tugs.
Most mates on Aleutian freighters start out of MMAs, as second mates. But they can’t stand a watch on the British Columbia portion of the IP, because of pilotage waiver rules. An OOW needs ten documented passages through Seymour Narrows before they can stand as OOW through it. Same thing for other passages and waterways. Very strict rules. Run aground, and a company can lose their pilotage waiver
So, companies operating under the waiver system make doubly sure any new deck officer coming into the system can navigate in any situation, as opposed to just following the plot on the electronic chart.
In my company, before we submit their name to the Pacific Pilotage Authority as part of our waiver system, a new navigator has to complete the piloting simulation course, which brings them up to speed on piloting solely by radar, and visually. Then, they have a very basic chart memorization class covering the three routes of the IP.
Next, they make two training voyages on the company’s 65’ training boat through the Salish Sea. The first voyage takes about eleven days. The trainees pilot visually. No GPS, and very little radar. Part of this training puts the trainee with other trainees and a trainer in a 17’ open boat, without engine, traveling through the IP by oar and sail. This bizarre training does a number of things. Traveling at a snail’s pace, subject to strong currents, the trainee spends six days pouring over the charts. They learn all the areas of strong currents, because they have to row to deal with these. Screw ups= physical suffering, because trainees have to row for hours-and-hours unnecessarily.
The trainer in the boat also gets to see whether the trainee is leader or not, and how that officer handles themselves in dangerous situations. Do they freeze up? Can they make a decision while physically exhausted? Are they slipshod at their work? A navigator might be part of the waiver, but they might not progress to chief mate.
Once they complete this first training voyage, passage waiver training is scheduled later on. This might be just one trainee working with one trainer on the 65’ boat, making multiple passes through key points of the IP, helping to get necessary pilotage time.
That nowadays, is how our mariners learn navigation matters.