Training Courses

AMERICA’S BOATING COURSE

America’s Boating Course provides you with basic boating knowledge to decide what type and size boat you need, what to do when meeting another boat in a crowded waterway, and how to recognize and handle hazards. This course is offered as a classroom course. Successful completion meets the boating education requirements for operator permits of licensure in most states. Many boat insurance companies will offer discounts on boating insurance to boaters who successfully complete America’s Boating Course.

What’s included?
? Types of boats and their uses
? Boating laws, both federal and state
? Safety equipment, both required and recommended
? Finding your way, and adverse conditions
? Communications
? Trailering, knots and lines, and water sports topics
? Optionally, introduction to electronic navigation using paper charts and chartplotters
? This course is normally completed in 5 two-hour sessions: five sessions of study, one session of review and exam.
? Contact our Education Officer for more information.

SEAMANSHIP provides a foundation of knowledge and skills in boat handling and maneuvering, boat operation, skipper’s responsibilities, and boating techniques that will advance your boating enjoyment.
It Includes:

? Types of boats and how they behave on the water
? Anchoring in various conditions
? Docking and line handling
? Close quarter maneuvering
? Rules of the road
? Communication with other boats
? How to respond to various emergencies
? Marlinespike/basic knots
? This course is normally completed in 8 two-hour sessions: six sessions of study, one session of review and one session for the exam.
? Contact our Education Officer for more information.

PILOTING teaches you how to use the GPS along with traditional dead reckoning techniques for planning and laying out safe routes, as well as ensuring that you are on-course while underway.
Included:
? Charts and their interpretation
? Landmarks and navigation aids (buoys, daymarks, lights, etc.)
? Plotting courses and determining direction and distance
? The mariner’s compass and converting between True and Magnetic
? Use of GPS – basic GPS displays and information they provide, setting up waypoints and routes, staying on a GPS course
? Pre-planning courses and entering them into the GPS
? Monitoring progress and determining position by both GPS and traditional techniques such as bearings and dead reckoning
? The “Seaman’s Eye” – simple skills for checking that one is on course
? Ten classes of two hours each normally are scheduled for presentation of this course. In addition the students have seven days to complete an open book exam.
? Contact our Education Officer for more information.

ADVANCED PILOTING Do you want to navigate unfamiliar waters in limited visibility or take an extended cruise with confidence? Obtain a thorough understanding of piloting techniques in a variety of coastal tide, current and wind conditions.
Included:
? Advanced positioning techniques, such as advancing a line of position to obtain a running fix
? Use a variety of electronic tools: radar, depth sounders, autopilots, chart plotters, laptop computer software, and more
? Hazard avoidance techniques using electronics (e.g., avoidance waypoints or safety zones in GPS)
? Collision avoidance using radar, GPS, and AIS
? Working with tide and current data to determine clearances, depth of water and effects of current
? Piloting in various wind and current conditions
? The ?Seaman?s Eye? ? simple skills for checking that one is on course
? Ten classes of two hours each normally are scheduled for presentation of this course. In addition the students have seven days to complete an open book exam.
? Contact our Education Officer for more information.

JUNIOR NAVIGATION – Celestial Part 1
Learn to use a marine sextant to take sights on celestial objects such as the sun. Even if you are not traveling long distances off shore, remember that GPS is not infallible, nor always available. Be confident when no aids to navigation or land objects are in sight.
Included:
? Determining precise time
? Using the Nautical Almanac
? Taking sextant sights of the sun
? Reducing sights to establish lines of position
? Determining latitude from a noon sight
? Using special charts and plotting sheets for offshore navigation
? Setting offshore navigational routines for recreational craft
? The course will take approximately 14 weeks to complete and you will have two additional weeks to complete an open book exam.
Contact our Education Officer for more information.

NAVIGATION – Celestial Part 2
The Navigation course will teach you how to use the moon, planets, and stars to determine your position at morning and evening twilight to supplement daytime sights on the sun, moon, and bright planets. You will also get access to and use navigational software tools that can be used to plan and execute any voyage.

Included:
? An overview of how the celestial bodies in the sky appear to us on earth
? Finding local mean time of solar and lunar phenomena and converting these times to watch time
? Reducing sights of the moon, stars, and planets by the Law of Cosines and Nautical Almanac Sight Reduction methods, along with sight data averaging
? Achieving acceptable 2- and 3-body fixes, using both traditional and electronic tools
? Determining your latitude from a sight on Polaris, the north star
? Provisioning an emergency navigation kit and constructing emergency plotting sheets
? Using navigational software to plan an offshore voyage (Visual Passage Planner 2) and execute a voyage (OpenCPN)
? The course will take approximately 10 weeks and, you will have two additional weeks to complete an open book exam.

Contact our Education Officer for more information.

ELECTRONIC NAVIGATION Overwhelmed by all those functions on your GPS or chart plotter? Want to use your tablet or smartphone to help you navigate on your boat? Interested in using a desktop computer program to plan your cruise and then copy that information to your GPS?

Included:
? Navigating by establishing waypoints and routes
? Running the planned courses
? Electronic charting software for the desktop computer
? Tablet and smartphone apps that provide the electronic navigation function at the helm
? Hands-on exercises on a PC that simulates GPS functions
? Using charting software and a chart plotter emulator
? Overview of the Automatic Identification System (AIS)
? This course is usually completed in eight two-hour sessions, followed by an exam.
? Contact our Education Officer for more information.

WEATHER
For boaters, knowing the forecast isn’t enough; you need to understand its impact on you and your boat.
Included:
? How weather systems form, behave, and move
? Where to get weather reports and forecasts on the Internet
? Using full color photographs and drawings to understand weather in the United States
? Using Daily Weather Maps – learning aids with a compete explanation of map symbols designed to develop weather map reading and analysis skills
? Understanding NOAA?s Sky Watcher Chart – a reference to assist in identifying cloud types
? Designed to be conducted over ten two-hour sessions including time for review and the multiple choice closed book exam.
? Contact our Education Officer for more information.

SAIL Learn about basic sailboat designs and nomenclature, rigging, and safety from experienced USPS sailors.
Included:
? Types of sailboat rigs and hull shapes, including sail configurations and standing rigging
? Wind and water forces affecting sailboat stability and balance
? Sail shape and tuning the standing rig
? Steering and helmsmanship
? Sailing upwind, downwind and spinnaker handling
? Heavy weather sailing and storm conditions
? Boat operations including docking, anchoring and safety issues
? Course completion is usually accomplished in nine two-hour sessions, followed by a closed book exam.

Contact our Education Officer for more information.