How to use RT3

Running Aground

Charts in RT3

Radar Scenarios

Center Vessel Controls

Maneuvering Traffic

Radar Rules

Training Regions Used

Simulator Operation


Radar Trainer 2a



The Radar Trainer Tutorial teaches radar navigation, radar piloting, and collision avoidance, as well as presenting a general overview of radar operations. There is also an emphasis on how to incorporate radar into your routine navigation procedures.

The Tutorial uses several teaching aids:

  • Both RT3 and RT2a simulators

  • A computer file called the "Tutorial," presented in a HTML Viewer format, much as you are viewing now.

  • A computer file called "RT Help," also a HTML Viewer file.

  • A book called Pub 1310, Radar Navigation Manual, pdf version included.

  • A book called Navigation Rules, pdf version included

  • Radar plotting sheets, pdf versions included

  • A tongue depressor (available at local drug stores) which can be converted to a "portable range scale." We include instructions and the required range scales which can be printed.

  • Paper chartlets of the regions used for radar chart navigation. These can be printed from pdf files included.

  • A parallel indexing sheet for radar piloting. A pdf version is included that can be printed onto a transparency for this purpose.

  • An extensive Radar Glossary, which is hyperlinked to specific sections of the Tutorial and Help files.

  • A separate module called Radar Rules, which explains in detail each reference to radar in the Navigation Rules, with special emphasis on Rule 19d, which governs interactions of vessels which are maneuvering by radar alone without visual contact.

For the sake of organization, we distinguish three categories of radar use:

(1) Radar navigation, which is how to locate your position on the chart using radar observations. These exercises use the RT3 simulator and several of the charts included. In these exercises, the user prints out the charts, and then does chart navigation with the simulator just as they would underway.

(2) Radar Piloting, which is the use of radar tools and observations to guide you along some specific route. Here the concern is more on being sure where you are not, as opposed to pin pointing exactly where you are. This also uses RT3 and printed chartlets, usually the insets. The program includes very realistic exercises, even incorporating tide height settings that allow shallows to pose a hazard which do not show up on radar.

And finally there is the all-crucial section,

(3) Collision Avoidance and application of the Rules of the Road. This training and practice is best done with RT2 and the target demos stored in that simulator. The RT2 simulator also includes a Random Target generator, so that the skills learned from specific demo exercises can be practiced over and over, each time with all new, unanticipated traffic patterns at the click of a button.