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Seamanship, Navigation and Related Boating Courses & Seminars in the United States

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Founded in 1914, United States Power Squadrons (USPS) is a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to making boating safer and more enjoyable by teaching classes in seamanship, navigation and related subjects. The members are boating communities who contribute by promoting safe boating through education. USPS has some 45,000 members organized into 450 squadrons across the country and in some US territories. USPS is America's largest non-profit boating. . Its official publication is The Ensign magazine.

Local squadrons offer boating safety courses on a regular basis to boaters in the communities. These courses are open to the public. USPS squadrons have offered these courses for over half a century and have educated more than 3 million boaters to date. Successfully completing a USPS boating safety course meets the educational requirements for boat operation in all states.

In a cooperative program with the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, squadron members conduct courtesy Vessel Safety Checks of boats at the request of their owners. Every squadron offers many carefully planned courses in subjects like Seamanship, Piloting, Plotting and Position Finding, Celestial Navigation, Cruise Planning, Engine Maintenance, Marine Electronics, Sailing, and much more. These courses are taught by experienced member instructors, and members who complete them are recognized. The basic course meets the requirements set forth by NASBLA.

usps activities

Training Programs

Boating Courses

  • Seamanship
  • Piloting
  • Advanced Piloting
  • Junior Navigation
  • Navigation
  • Cruise Planning
  • Engine Maintenance
  • Marine Communications Systems
  • Marine Electrical Systems
  • Electronic Navigation Systems
  • Sail
  • Weather

Boating Seminars

  • Advanced Power Boat Handling
  • Anchoring
  • Basic Coastal Navigation
  • Basic Weather and Forecasting
  • Boat Handling Under Power
  • Boating on Rivers, Locks, and Lakes
  • Crossing Borders
  • Emergencies on Board
  • Fuel and Boating
  • How to Use a Chart
  • Hurricanes and Boats
  • Knots, Bends, and Hitches
  • Marine RADAR
  • Mariner's Compass
  • Mastering the Rules of the Road
  • Paddle Smart
  • Partner in Command
  • Practical On The Water Training
  • Sail Trim and Rig Tuning
  • Tides and Currents
  • Trailering Your Boat
  • Using GPS
  • Using VHF & VHF/DSC Marine Radio