About Cockpit Cards


About Cockpit Cards and Anchorlight Publishing.

Robert Dearn established Anchorlight publishing after having built up and sold a leading Westcountry Admiralty Chart Agent and Nautical Bookshop.

Having started dinghy sailing as a teenager his career progressed via the Marine Craft section of the RAF to the Island Cruising Club in Salcombe, Devon. This progression continued from dinghy sailing instructor to mate on Hoshi, a 72ft Gaff Schooner and Provident, a 70ft Brixham Trawler, to the skipper of Speedwell, a 49ft Buchannan Yawl and relief skipper on Hoshi. Qualifications gained en route included Yachtmaster, Yachtmaster Instructor and Yachtmaster Examiner.

He also found time to write Ropework for Yachtsmen (now out of print), the RYA Personal Logbook G73, the popular RYA Sail & Power Logbook G109, and The Adlard Coles Maintenance Logbook.

Some of the Cockpit Card series have also been incorporated into a Norwegian publication – Skipperens Cockpit-Guide. 

Robert also spent a fun six years as Harbour Master at the River Yealm in South Devon.


For over 16 years Cockpit Cards have been popular on vessels of all sizes and amongst mariner’s both professional and amateur.

In these days of electronic gizmo’s they remain a reliable companion. They are rugged, they don’t mind getting wet, they are easy to read, concise and clear. Also, the batteries won’t run out.

What We Do

Cockpit Cards are recommended, and sold, by a number of RYA Sailing Schools and training organisations. The BSAC (British Sub Aqua Club) and the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) sell our Cockpit Cards to their members. They are ideal for people learning or refreshing their knowledge of the Rules of the Road (COLREGS) and invaluable for quick reference while sailing and navigating.

More about Cockpit Cards.

The current range include the following:

  • Chart Symbols and Abbreviations
  • Navigation Lights and Shapes
  • Sound Signals
  • International Code Flags
  • Buoyage and Distress Signals
  • VHF DSC Mayday Procedure
  • Essential Knots
  • Rules of the Road.
Cockpit Cards – Complete Set

The Ideal Nautical Gift

Chart Symbols and Abbreviations, eight sides (4 cards), and presented in the same high quality format as the others in the range. Based on Admiralty publication NP5011 this set provides quick reference to the most important Chart Symbols and Abbreviations including those hard to remember Rocks & Wrecks. You can also buy the full set of Cockpit Cards at a discounted price!

Cockpit Cards also make the ideal nautical gift being easy to post and very robust.
We would be pleased to hear your suggestions if you can think of a subject that would benefit from the Cockpit Card treatment.


Not included in the Cockpit Card range but produced to the same high standards is our popular Secondary Port Calculation form. This has a matt encapsulation so it can be written on using a 2B pencil. To buy click here, or visit our instructional page on Secondary Port calculations here.


Our Celestial Navigation Pro-formas are also used by a number of RYA Sailing Schools when running RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Courses. One side is a completed example with notes on where the information is found, the other side is a blank pro-forma ready to use.


Please refer to our top tips section for more information 

Secondary Ports. Image showing the layout and meaning of Secondary Port information and how to use it.


The Chart Puzzle Jigsaw range are a popular product and are always a welcome nautical present. As you may imagine we sell lots of these at Christmas time.