This site is provided as a means of communications with the USPS National Boat Operator Certification - On The Water Training Committee (BOC-OTWTrCom). We welcome your questions and comments on all aspects of boat operator certification.
R/C Scott McDonald, SN
Stf/C Ted Shanks, SN
Stf/C Tim W. Tate, AP
The latest BOC nationwide training schedule is available in PDF format (145KB). Squadrons that are considering, or have scheduled, upcoming BOC training (IN/INC/INCT, POTW, CN, etc.) in their area, with or without the "Water Trainer" boat, should contact Don Funderburk with the details identified in the public schedules so he can include them in the nationwide schedule. Don also does scheduling for the Water Trainer. All updates, additions, and deletions should be coordinated with Don Funderburk, SN, BOC Schedule Manager using the OTW Schedule Input Form or via phone at 912-659-0471 (Cell), or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. (25 Feb 14)
On-the-water training and certification is an essential tool for Squadrons and Districts. It provides a number of direct benefits, including increased membership and member involvement. Getting your own program started is easy. See this new presentation on Building Your On the Water Program (1140KB, PDF) to find out more. (17 Feb 14)
Starting April 1, 2014, all BOC and POTW Certifiers at any level will have to re-certify every 4 years in order to maintain their status. Complete details of the procedures to be followed are in this PDF document (10KB). (14 Dec 13)
A new Endorsement Handbook is available for download. It explains the endorsements currently available. (06 Nov 13)
Updated Inland, Coastal, and Advanced Coastal Navigator Guides are now available under the Requirements section of this web page. Updated checklists for Inland and Coastal Navigator certification are also availabe, under the Program Material and Forms section of this web page. (01 Nov 13)
R/C Ron Osburn, SN, ARD for the Southeast region, has prepared a short document on how to become an Inland Navigator. Click here to download the PDF file (50KB). (05 May 13)
The Advanced Coastal Navigator (ACN) Passport is now available in the Educational Department On-Line Catalog and Shopping Cart under BOC. The ACN Handbook and ACN program requirements are available under the ACN section of this page. Note that the ACN Handbook must be downloaded from this page, as well as all forms and the ACN checklist. (06 Jan 13)
The premise behind the USPS Boat Insurance Program is to reward members for their dedication and passion for on-the-water safety by providing reduced insurance premiums. On top of low base rates, USPS Boat Insurance customers can reduce their premium even further, up to 23%, through completion of various USPS advanced courses. See the USPS Boat Insurance web page for details. And completing boat operator certification can add to these discounts as well, as noted on the BOC discounts web page. (31 Oct 11)
The Boat Operator Certification program is up and running. The material to start members on their journey to Certification is in stock at Headquarters. SEOs can now order the Inland Navigator, the Coastal Navigator, or Advanced Coastal Navigator package using the On-Line Catalog and Shopping Cart. If your Squadron does not have a BOC Certifier, please submit a recommendation and have that person update his/her USPS resume on line. Many answers to questions can be found on this page or in the materials listed on this page; you can also contact any certifier or the National Boat Operator Certification - On The Water Training Committee. (01 Nov 13)
With the Boat Operator's Certification Program, USPS will certify USPS members at various levels of recreational boating proficiency. We expect that these certifications will be recognized across the boating community, both domestically and internationally. In the United States, The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has asked congress to authorize the Transportation Secretary to establish requirements for standards of proficiency for recreational boaters. We intend to have USPS certification accepted as the above proof and be accepted as the national certificate for the USA.
Regarding international recognition, we plan to have USPS certifications meet the requirements of UN Resolution 40, International Certificate for the Operation of Pleasure Craft with the additional knowledge and testing of the CEVNI (European code for inland waterways) navigation rules.
USPS currently plans four levels of Boat Operator Certification:
A certificate of operator proficiency will be of value to USPS members when:
Certification at any level requires successful completion of all prescribed elements including:
To be certified, a member must be at least 16 years of age, be mentally and physically capable of operating a boat, and have sufficient visual and auditory sensory ability to do so. Holding a driver's license will suffice to certify meeting these requirements.
Inland Navigator Guide (142KB, PDF)(Sep 13)
Note: The optional SA endorsement is required to be IN certified to operate a sailboat. The optional PAD endorsement is required to be IN certified to operate a paddle craft.
Coastal Navigator Guide (Must be downloaded, not supplied as part of the CN kit, 152KB, PDF)(Sep 13)
Note: CN certification to operate a sailboat requires the SA endorsement. CN certification for paddle craft requires PAD.
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Advanced Coastal Navigator Requirements
Advanced Coastal Navigator Guide (Must be downloaded, not supplied as part of the ACN kit, 171KB, PDF)(Sep 13)
BOC Endorsements certify special additional skills such as type of boat or region of boating; examples include Canadian Regulations, or paddle or sail boats. Endorsements may be applied at any level of BOC certification.
The Endorsement Handbook (45KB, PDF) is available for download (06 Nov 13)
Members pursuing certification will have a "BOC Passport" to record their progress. Passports may be purchased by the SEO from HQ. These will be signed by appropriate certifiers. For courses, seminars and skill demonstrations completed before the issuing of the passport, the SEO or certifier can sign the appropriate spaces based on national or squadron records. It is important for the member to keep a passport and for squadron certifiers to keep back-up records of these events until entered into the database.
Mechanisms already exist for tracking member course and seminar completions at USPS HQ. However, the skill demonstrations require certifiers. The certifiers' key roles are to observe and certify demonstrations of skills and document them. Skill demos will be recorded both at Headquarters and on the member's BOC passport.
In some cases, credit may be given for skill demonstrations and seminars based on boating experience or other programs. Certifiers will assist in the preparation, processing and approval of such equivalencies. In addition, certifiers will also assist in the preparation, processing and approval of applications for certification. Certifiers will also serve as local experts and resources regarding certification for their own squadrons and districts, and will teach others how to perform the duties of a certifier.
Specially trained Certifiers, at each level, may certify OTW skills at their level.
Specially trained Certifiers at each level, who have attended a Trainer School event and are recommended by the BOC Committee, may train Certifiers at their level.
For purposes of Boat Operator Certification, we have defined eight geographic regions each consisting of from one to eight USPS districts. A Regional Director of certifiers or Regional Director is responsible for BOC activities in each region. Regional Director approval is required for most certification documents including applications, equivalencies and certifier nominations. All certifiers in a region report to the Regional Director who in turn reports to the NEO or his delegate. Regional Directors should have good presentations skills as they will be frequently training other certifiers. A regional Director may have one or more assistants. Regional Directors are nominated by DEOs and approved by the NEO.
Various tools and information of use to certifiers is available on this restricted access web page. Click on "Documents" on that page to get helpful information on using these tools; note that some of the information may be out of date. (13 Jun 11)
Warning: Some of these files are very large. A high speed or broadband Internet connection is required.
If you have any questions or comments about any aspects of boat operator certification, please contact the National Boat Operator Certification - On The Water Training Committee chairman by e-mail, phone or postal service mail. Please be sure to keep your SEO and/or DEO advised of any correspondence you may have with the National committee. Addresses for the National BOC-OTWTrCom chairman are listed in The ENSIGN and on the Committee Chairpersons page.
If you are interested in becoming a member of this committee, submit a resume on-line at the Committee on Nominations web site.