What is the difference between true bearing, relative bearing and heading?

It’s always good to get your bearings so in this article, we explain what the difference is between true bearing and relative bearing. These bearings are useful as a way to identify a target such as a shoreline or another moving object.

TIMEZERO software allows you to prepare for your trips quickly and easily. Certain tools such as the Ruler tool allow you to organize your tracks like on a paper chart and let you see your true bearings.

True bearing and relative bearing allows for the measurement of points of reference referred to as a target in the image below. During the day, these can be any identifiable structure or object while at night, lighthouses and beacons become the points of reference.

True Bearing: The angle to the target relative to True North

Relative Bearing: The angle to the target relative to the ship’s heading (clockwise)

What is the difference between true bearing, relative bearing and heading?

With TIMEZERO software, the Ruler tool allows you to carry out true bearing measurements and then display those values directly on your navigation chart. These measurements can also be displayed using the NavData tool.

TIMEZERO software will automatically give you the true bearing and heading in its user-friendly user interface, making it easier for you to make the right decision early on. Find out about TZ Navigator v3 below:

Advertisements