The American Practical Navigator, first published in 1802, was billed as the "epitome of navigation" by its original author, Nathaniel Bowditch. The text has evolved with the advances in navigation practices since that first issue and continues to serve as a valuable reference for marine navigation in the modern day.
The publication describes in detail the principles and factors of navigation, including piloting, electronic navigation, celestial navigation, mathematics, safety, oceanography and meterology. It also contains various tables used in typical navigational calculations and solutions, including the formulas used to derive the tabular data.
Sailing Directions (Planning Guides) include relevant physical, political, industrial, navigational and regulatory information about the countries adjacent to a particular ocean basin in a single volume.
Sailing Directions (Enroute) include detailed coastal and port approach information, supplementing the largest scale chart of the area. Each publication is subdivided into geographic regions, called sectors, which contain information about the coastal weather, currents, ice, dangers, features and ports, as well as a graphic key to the charts available for the area.
The World Port Index (Pub 150) contains the location and physical characteristics of, and the facilities and services offered by major ports and terminals world-wide (approximately 4300 entries), in a tabular format. Entries are organized geographically, in accordance with the diagrams located in the front of the publication.
The Distances Between Ports (Pub 151) publication contains, in a single volume, tabulated distance between an alphabetical listing of departure ports, junction points, and arrival ports worldwide. Most of the distances represent the shortest navigable routes, but in some cases, longer routes which take advantage of currents, avoidance of ice or other dangers to navigation, or to follow required traffic separation schemes are used.
The List of Lights, Radio Aids and Fog Signals is published in seven volumes, as Publication numbers 110 through 116. Each volume contains lights and other aids to navigation that are maintained by or under the authority of foreign governments. Each volume corresponds to a defined geographic region, and contains more complete information about the navigational aids than can be conveniently shown on nautical charts. New editions are published annually for every volume.
The USCG Light List is published in seven volumes and contains lights and other aids to navigation used for general navigation that are maintained by or under the authority of the U.S. Coast Guard and located in the waters surrounding the United States and its Territories. Each volume corresponds to a different regional area and contains more complete information on each aid to navigation than can be conveniently shown on charts. This publication and the data contained within it is maintained and published by the USCG.
The Radio Navigational Aids (Pub 117) publication contains a detailed list of selected worldwide radio stations that provide services to the mariner. The publication is divided into chapters according to the nature of the service provided by the radio stations. The services include RDF and Radar Stations; stations broadcasting navigational warnings, time signals or medical advice; communication traffic for distress, emergency and safety including GMDSS; and long range navigational aids.