Savannah's Boating Club
Dedicated to Boater Education and Safe Recreational Boating since 1957
Education Opportunities for Members
One of the most valuable benefits of USPS membership is the opportunity to take member classes. Tybee Light Sail & Power Squadron offers all USPS advanced courses and electives, as described in this brochure, and a wide range of seminars and on-the-water training.
As a member, you can build on the foundation you received in the public boating course you took before joining. The usual approach is to take Seamanship, Piloting, and Advanced Piloting in sequence. These 3 classes cover the fundamentals of boat operation and navigation in inland and coastal waters. After Advanced Piloting, you can complete the offshore celestial navigation series by taking Junior Navigation and Navigation. Electives can be taken in any order, but you may find it beneficial to complete Seamanship first.
Tybee Light schedules classes so you can complete all advanced courses and electives within 3 years, and seminars are scheduled in keeping with the needs and preferences of our members. For more information on class availability, see the latest schedule, or contact our Squadron Educational Officer.
Qualified volunteer instructors teach all classes. We recognize each student’s achievement upon completion of each course. Once you complete Seamanship, Piloting, and Advanced Piloting plus three electives, the USPS will recognize you as having achieved “Educational Proficiency,” and you will be well on your way towards meeting the internationally recognized requirements for Inland Navigator and Coastal Navigator certification. You will be recognized as a Senior Navigator, with full “Educational Achievement” status, when you have also completed Junior Navigation, Navigation, and all six electives.
Come learn with us! Whether you take just one course or all, you will receive the best boating education in Savannah!
Building on the basics learned in Boating, the Seamanship course is an important foundation for other "advanced grade" courses. The student learns:
· Skipper’s responsibilities
· What to do before leaving the dock
· Electronics for communication, navigation and fun
· Collision avoidance rules
· Boat handling under normal and adverse conditions
· Docking and anchoring techniques
· Marlinespike - hands-on experience with knots, bends & hitches
· Boating emergencies, being prepared, basic First Aid
· Nautical customs and flag etiquette.
This course is the first of a two-part program studying inland and coastal navigation. Its focus is on the fundamentals of piloting, keeping track of a boat's movements, determining one's position at any time and laying out courses to a planned destination. Included are subjects such as:
· Charts and their use
· Aids to navigation
· The mariner's compass
· Variation and deviation of the compass
· Plotting and steering courses
· Dead reckoning
· Plotting and labeling charts
· The importance of “Seaman’s Eye.”
Advanced Piloting (AP)
This course is the second part of the inland and coastal navigation series. Its emphasis is on 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
· Electronic navigation - RADAR, GPS, etc.
Junior Navigation (JN)
Junior Navigation is the first in a two-part program of study in offshore navigation. It is designed as a practical "how to" course. Subject matter includes:
· Precise time determination
· Use of the Nautical Almanac
· Taking sextant sights of the sun, moon, planets and stars
· Reducing sights to establish lines of position
· Special charts and plotting sheets for offshore navigation
· Offshore navigational routines for recreational craft.
This course is the second part of the study of offshore navigation, further developing the student's understanding of celestial navigation theory. The course covers:
· Additional sight-reduction techniques
· Honing skills in sight taking and positioning
· Orderly methods for the navigator's day's work at sea
· Navigating with minimal resources, as in a lifeboat.
Cruise Planning (CP)
This course is designed for members who plan to cruise for a year or just a weekend - in either a sailboat or powerboat. It covers such topics as:
· Planning a voyage
· Financing a voyage
· Managing commitments back home
· How to equip a cruising boat
· Crew selection
· Voyage management
· Entering and clearing foreign ports
· Emergencies afloat
· Security measures.
Engine Maintenance (EM)
This course attempts to make students more self-reliant afloat, with trouble-diagnosis and temporary remedies given special emphasis. It covers both marine gasoline and diesel engines, including concepts of operation, maintenance, and repair of their:
· Cooling systems
· Electrical systems
· Fuel systems
· Lubricating systems
· Power train components
· Ancillary propulsion components.
Marine Electronics (ME)
This course teaches essential knowledge about a boat's electrical and electronic systems, including:
· Proper wiring and grounding
· Corrosion and electrolysis control
· Batteries and their maintenance
· Depth finders
· Marine radiotelephones
· GPS and other electronic positioning systems.
This course provides a introduction to sailing for new sailors and builds upon that introduction for more experienced sailors who want to increase their sailing knowledge and skills. The course covers:
· Sailboat rigs
· Sail plans
· Boat design
· Hull types
· Standing rigging
· Running rigging
· Preparing to sail
· Sailing upwind
· Sailing downwind
· Marlinespike seamanship
· Wind force
· Sail shape
· Tuning the rig
· Spinnaker handling
· Heavy weather sailing
· Storm conditions
· Sailing safety
· Sailboat racing
· Race management
· Navigation rules
P/C Jan Wright