Palisades Power Squadron

Courses for USPS® Members

Piloting Course Description

The Piloting course is the first in the sequence of USPS courses on navigation, covering the basics of coastal and inland navigation. This all-new course focuses on navigation as it is done on recreational boats today and embraces GPS as a primary navigation tool while covering enough of traditional techniques so the student will be able to find his/her way even if their GPS fails. The course includes many in-class exercises, developing the student’s skills through hands-on practice and learning. Topics covered include:


Advanced Classes

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The course covers marlinspike, hull design and performance, responsibilities of the skipper, deck operations, boat care and operation under normal and adverse conditions, navigation rules, docking and anchoring.  There will also be some beginning work with charts and plotting a course to prepare you to go on to piloting. 

Contact P/C Vincent Savage, JN at 201-224-5908 or


Piloting (See above)

The course covers inland and coastal navigation.  If focuses on the fundamentals of piloting – keeping track of a boat’s movement, determining your position at any time and laying out courses to a planned destination.  Included are; charts and their use; aids to navigation; the mariner’s compass; variation and deviation of the compass; plotting and steering courses; dead reckoning; and plotting and labeling charts.  This is an in depth course and upon completion you feel a sense of accomplishment.

Contact P/D/Lt/C Anne McQuade, JN at 201-768-6035 or


Advanced Piloting  

This is a continuation of piloting.  It emphasizes the use of modern electronic navigation systems and other advanced techniques for finding position.  Among topics covered are; tides and currents and their effect on piloting; finding position using bearings and angles; some use of the mariner’s sextant; and electronic navigation.

Contact P/C Bob Gorman, SN at 201-845-6080


Other courses available to members of United States Power Squadrons® are Junior Navigation (JN)  and Navigation (N).

Popular elective courses available to members are Cruise Planning, Engine Maintenance, Instructor Qualification , Marine Electronics, Sail and Weather.

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