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Seamanship and Piloting begin September 2017
One of the main goals of USPS is boating safety through education. We believe that an educated boater is a safer boater. In addition to its public education program, USPS teaches a series of outstanding members courses that cover advanced seamanship, navigational techniques, and boat handling, maintenance, and enhancement topics. Learn how to become a member of USPS and take any or all of these courses.
Seamanship and Piloting begin September 2017
Build boating confidence and competence for safe and fun on-the-water adventures. 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.
Learn the essentials of safe coastal and inland navigation using basic GPS in conjunction with charts and other marine data. The Piloting course 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.
Do you want to navigate unfamiliar waters in limited visibility or take an extended cruise with confidence? Learn to use radar, chart plotters, AIS and other electronic tools to supplement basic GPS navigation. Obtain a thorough understanding of piloting techniques in a variety of coastal tide, current and wind conditions.
What happens when your GPS fails? Have fun and satisfy your curiosity about boating in the days before electronics in the Junior Navigation course. 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.
In Junior Navigation, you will continue to use GPS as the primary position sensor as you learned in Piloting and Advanced Piloting, but with celestial navigation as your backup technique. Because terrestrial landmarks are no longer visible to the offshore navigator, you will learn to use a marine sextant and the sun as your reference point, derive a line of position, and develop a running fix. You will also learn to calculate your latitude from a noon sight on the sun.
Learn navigation using all the celestial bodies! Use navigational software tools to plan and execute an offshore voyage. In the event of a loss of electronics on board, you’ll be glad you took this course and developed the necessary backup skills for an offshore voyage. Even if you have no plans to travel offshore, you will be able to impress your boating friends with your depth of celestial knowledge.
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.
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? This course covers the topics you need and want to know.
Every skipper needs to understand the fundamentals of gas and diesel engines to perform basic maintenance and diagnose problems under way. Learn about transmissions, propellers, and steering. Get the knowledge you need to keep your boat in tiptop shape.
Learn the ins and outs of your boat's electrical systems. Gain the confidence to tackle direct current, shore power and communications installations. Ensure the safety and reliability of your vessel; enroll in this course today.
Become a better boater by mastering your radio in the digital age. Learn voice communications and the use of digital selective calling (DSC), and get the skills you need for a day sail or offshore adventure. Learn from experienced instructors in an interactive classroom environment.
For boaters, knowing the forecast isn't enough; you need to understand its impact on you and your boat. Gain the knowledge and confidence to venture out on the water. Be a responsible skipper, protect your friends and family and take this course today.
Learn about basic sailboat designs and nomenclature, rigging, and safety from experienced USPS sailors. Then tackle the physical aspects of sailing forces and techniques, sail applications, marlinespike, helmsmanship, and handling of difficult sailing conditions. This course will benefit non-sailors as well as novice and experienced sailors.
Want to take a "road trip" on the water? Gain the confidence and practical skills needed to explore ports and coves for a weekend or weeks at a time. Take Cruising and Cruise Planning and join your fellow boaters for raft-ups and rendezvous up the river, down the bay, and along the coast.