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Chart Smart



Chart Smart is specifically designed with the recreational boater in mind. It is a seminar for all USPS Boat Smart course or America's Boating Course (ABC) graduates who are interested in information on compasses, charts, and plotting courses. Chart Smart builds upon the knowledge gained in Boat Smart or America's Boating Course by covering advanced subjects typically introduced in the The Squadron Boating Course:

- Mariner's Compass

- Conventional Nautical Charts

- Plotting a Course - Distance, Speed, Time

- Determining Position

- Digital Charts and GPS Waypoint Navigation


The purpose of Chart Smart is to teach the techniques to determine position-on-the-water when you are within the sight of, or the near proximity of, land. Thus, recreational boaters who spend time on large lakes, rivers, and reservoirs will benefit from knowing these essential techniques. This seminar is designed to give the student an introduction to the subject known as “Piloting”. Hands-on experience will be achieved in reading nautical charts and plotting courses, both central to determining position-on-the-water and navigating safely. Calculating a dead reckoning position depends upon straight forward distance vs speed-&-time calculations and being able to convert true courses to compass courses, and vice verse. Many of today’s recreational boaters utilize GPS receivers and perform electronic, waypoint navigation. Waypoint navigation using a handheld GPS is somewhat different from traditional dead reckoning. With a GPS you have good information about where you are in terms of latitude and longitude, but the GPS doesn’t tell you what is around you or beneath your boat. Using waypoints, you have precise information about the bearing and distance from your current location to the waypoints, but the GPS doesn’t know what may be in the way. The use of charts is explained in this seminar as the essential step to provide key information required for a safe passage. And, the student manual is accompanied by an addendum and a CD that introduces digital charts, GPS waypoint navigation and route planning. Maptech's Chart Navigator Training CD includes software and digital charts to gain familiarity with this exciting new technology. Qualified, enthusiastic, and experienced USPS instructors provide instruction as a civic service. There is never a charge for instruction; the only costs are those for materials, plus overhead costs such as classroom rental, shipping and handling, sales tax, etc.


While the content of this student manual serves as the basis for this program, it will also serve as a reference book in basic boating long after the class work is completed. USPS believes that the more educated a boater becomes, the more likely that boater will be a safe boater. Chart Smart is a continuation of boating education, and hopefully will encourage students to join USPS to follow this brief and basic introductory program with additional boating education such as the courses offered to members of the United States Power Squadrons. Your instructor can give you information about these advanced courses.


For current course listing click on the link below:


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