Radar Observer


Course Summary:

The course includes classroom instruction, including demonstration and practical exercises using simulators and examination in the interpretation and analysis of radar information including: 1. fundamentals of radar, 2. rules of the road as applied to radar, 3. radar navigation, 4. relative motion / collision avoidance.

Course Length:

2 1/2 Days – Rivers

3 Days – Inland

4 days – Unlimited

Class Size:

6 Students

Pre-Registration is Required


$475 – Rivers

$595 – Inland

$750 – Unlimited


Students are expected to be able to read, speak and communicate effectively in English. Have a basic understanding of plotting techniques. Must be able to complete basic math functions, determine time, and positions using the decimal system. Students must meet the citizenship requirements listed in 46 CFR 10.221.

Course Details:

This course provides training to mariners who wish to obtain an endorsement to their US Coast Guard Merchant Mariners License as Radar Observer (Unlimited).

There are three Radar Observer endorsement levels: Rivers, Inland and Unlimited. A Radar Observer endorsement is required on all Master’s licenses over 200 GRT and on all towing vessel licenses.

It is highly recommended that everyone complete the Unlimited course and receive the endorsement for Radar Observer – Unlimited, even if they have an Inland license.

Satisfactory completion of any of these courses satisfies the U.S. Coast Guard requirement for issuance of the endorsement with no further testing at the Coast Guard. Your Radar endorsement must be added to your license by the Coast Guard and must be renewed every five years. Renewal is accomplished by attendance at a U.S. Coast Guard approved Radar Observer Recertification course. Our Unlimited course satisfies the STCW – 2010 requirements for Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch.

The course provides students with the training requirements identified in 46 CFR 11.480(d) for an endorsement as Radar Observer (Unlimited) and of 46 CFR 11.309(a)(4)(ii); 11.317(a)(3)(vi); 11.319(a)(4)(ii); and 11.321(a)(3)(vi).

Also, any applicant that completes our Radar Observer (Unlimited)  will satisfy the radar standards of competence required by 46 CFR 11.309(a)(3); 11.317(a)(2); 11.319(a)(3); and 11.321(a)(2); Section A-II/1 and A-II/3 and Table A-11/1 and A-11/3 of the STCW Code, as amended 2010, meeting the National Assessment Guidelines from NVIC 12-14 (CH-1) Tasks 1.4A, 1.4B, 3.1, 3.2A, 3.2B, 3.3A, and 3.4 and NVIC 02-18 Tasks 1.4A and 1.4B, 3.1, 3.2.A, 3.2.B, 3.3.A, and 3.4.


Two examinations using a combination of multiple choice questions and the RADAR simulator are designed to evaluate the student’s knowledge and comprehension of RADAR fundamentals, operation and the interpretation and analysis of radar information. Each requires a minimum passing score of 70%.

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