Congratulations! From the Sewanhaka USPS Educational Department. The boating safety course that you just completed provided you a wealth of information to make your boating safer and more fun. But it is surely obvious to you that this course just scratched the surface of boating knowledge. What’s your next step?

As your instructors mentioned throughout the course you just took, USPS offers a wide spectrum of advanced and specialty courses for members only. If you choose to become a member of USPS, these outstanding educational opportunities all become available to you.

USPS currently offers 11 courses for its members. Most run 10 to 12 weeks, one evening per week – a few are shorter, a few are longer. All are now being restructured into modules of about 6 weeks each to give squadrons and members maximum scheduling flexibility. Only a few of the advanced topics have any prerequisite courses. All of the rest will be available to you as soon as you join USPS and whenever they are offered by your local squadron or another squadron nearby.

The first five courses described below comprise a series called “Advanced Grades.” They should be taken in the order listed. The next six are termed “Elective Courses” and may be taken in any order.

SEAMANSHIP covers basic knowledge every prudent skipper wants even before leaving port – practical marlinspike, hull design and performance, boat care, skipper’s responsibilities, boating under normal and abnormal conditions, emergencies afloat, and more.

PILOTING introduces you to the critical study of marine charts, aids to navigation, adjustment and use of the mariner’s compass, dead reckoning, planning and plotting courses, and taking bearings to determine your on-the-water position.

ADVANCED PILOTING builds on the knowledge gained in Piloting to teach you how to navigate in coastal waters, predict tides and tidal currents, navigate safely with radar, loran C, and GPS, and optimize course planning.

JUNIOR NAVIGATION begins your study of offshore navigation. Learn to use integrated electronic positioning systems, sight taking on celestial bodies with a mariner’s sextant, and positioning & passage planning with special open-ocean charts.

NAVIGATION further develops your understanding of celestial navigation theory and your skills in sight taking and reduction. Also learn to navigate with only minimal survival gear in the event of a disabling boat accident.

CRUISE PLANNING helps you prepare for voyaging afloat – whether just week-ending or multi-month cruising. Learn essentials about equipping and provisioning your boat, crew selection, financing your trip, entering and clearing foreign ports, emergencies afloat, & boat security.

ENGINE MAINTENANCE won’t make you an expert mechanic, but it will enable you to trouble-shoot most common engine problems and jury-rig many repairs. Covers outboard motors, inboard gas and diesel engines, power trains, and related mechanical systems.

INSTRUCTOR DEVELOPMENT provides you with practical techniques and training in making effective presentations – whether as a teacher, meeting chair, public speaker, or everyday conversationalist.

MARINE ELECTRONICS offers you essential information about boat electrical and electronic systems in terms understandable by non-engineers and non-technicians. Learn about proper wiring and power systems, corrosion and electrolysis, and electronic navigation and safety systems.

SAIL guides you through the special terminology and dynamics of sailing, hulls and rigging, wind and water forces and balance, points of sail, sail handling, and navigation rules unique to sailing.

WEATHER teaches you the basic structure and characteristics of our atmosphere, how to interpret weather maps and reports, and how to make your own skilled observations – all keyed to helping you predict and anticipate weather developments affecting your boating.

USPS LEARNING GUIDES are self-study handbooks on specialized boating-related subjects of interest to amateur skippers and navigators. Topics range from GPS to Knots, Bends & Hitches, from Amateur Radio to Oceanography, from Boat Design & Construction to Predicted Log Contests. USPS currently has over 20 different Learning Guides. Check the Signal for the latest course offerings.

Now it’s up to you. Are you ready to expand your boating knowledge and skills?

I do solemnly pledge to abide by the bylaws of the United States Power Squadrons; Promote high standards of Navigation and Seamanship; Maintain my boat and operate it legally; Render assistance whenever possible; And conduct myself in a manner That will add prestige, honor and respect to the United States Power Squadrons

Copyright Sewanhaka Power Squadron Inc. © 2006 . All rights reserved. A unit of the United States Power Squadrons.