This site is provided as a means of communications with the USPS National Boat Handling Committee (BHCom). We welcome your questions and comments on our courses, Learning Guides, and associated materials.
R/C Chris Windeler, SN
Stf/C William O'Neill, SN
Because the contents of the Seamanship 2009, Seamanship 2012, and Seamanship 2015 manuals are nearly identical, exams for Seamanship 2012 and Seamanship 2015 should be ordered using the Seamanship 2009 pull-down menu item on the exam ordering page. This has caused some confusion in the past. (06 May 15)
Cold water survival tips are available on the Useful Web Sites page. There is a pamphlet from the American Canoe Association and a page from the February/March 2015 issue of the BoatU.S. magazine. (05 Feb 15)
Corrected homework questions and answers, along with an explanatory paragraph, are available on the Seamanship page under Downloadable Materials. They are the only corrections to the Instructor's Manual at this time. (12 Nov 14)
A universally useful lesson plan for an On-the-Water component addition to the Seamanship course is now available for download and use by squadron instructors. It is not part of the course exam, but will aid in extending the classroom learning experience. Course instructors can start using it right away to add to their summer boating fun and share the learning experience with some of their students. Enhance member involvement by asking another member for assistance. See the download section below. (20 May 11)
Some Seamanship course student and instructor manuals have no local telephone number for USPS Headquarters on the Acknowledgments Page. The correct local telephone number is 919-821-0281. The toll-free number is still 1-888-367-8777 (1-888-FOR-USPS). (21 Dec 10)
Change Student Manual Chapter 5 question 20 answer d to read: "d. vessel less than 20 meters anchored in a special anchorage area". (21 Oct 09)
Please make the following pen and ink change to Charlie Wing's One Minute Guide to the Nautical Rules of the Road, 2nd Edition (2007). Introduction, page 9, paragraph 4, line 1 change the word twenty to twelve. (7 Feb 08)
The Seamanship course CD contains numerous animations that help the student understand the elements of the course content better. In order to effectively present these animations, the instructor must have current Adobe Flash software operating on the computer. Flash 10 player is the current version that is available and it appears to work correctly. Several other players are available but a browser must be used to download the software. The current Flash version may be downloaded from the Adobe web site at www.adobe.com/shockwave/download/triggerpages_mmcom/flash.html. (15 Feb 11)
In partnership with the University of West Florida (UWF), our Seamanship Course has been made available to those USPS members and the boating public needing an alternative method of effective boating education. Get complete details on the Seamanship Online web page. (15 Feb 11)
The Seamanship 2012 course is the next step after completing America’s Boating Course, 3rd Edition (ABC3), taking the knowledge and skills learned there and expanding and extending them with this newly updated edition. Or make Seamanship the first step into building boating confidence and competence for safe and fun on-the-water adventures. Seamanship 2012 presents material applicable to both power and sail, covering such topics as the construction and functioning of a boat, the skipper’s responsibilities, preparing the boat for use, handling and maneuvering a vessel under various conditions in close quarters and on the open water, rules of the road, anchoring, emergencies, and marlinespike/basic knots. The Appendices cover boating into the waters of Canada and Mexico, the effects of weather on the boater’s health, and general information on obtaining a US Coast Guard captain’s license. It is suggested that Seamanship be scheduled over nine two-hour class sessions, one session for each chapter and one session for the proctored test.
The Student Manual 2012 Kit includes the text, a knot practice board, and the One Minute Guide to the Nautical Rules of the Road by Charlie Wing. Course instructional materials include a Microsoft PowerPoint® CD with embedded animations and audios that requires a more recent software version to perform correctly. The Student Manual 2012 has been updated with numerous error corrections and several topic clarifications. All chapter questions are now multiple choice with true/false and negative questions having been rewritten. The Instructor Manual 2009 is to be used with Seamanship 2012. Each IM 2009 includes an errata sheet with the revised questions, answers, and references. The Seamanship On-The-Water Teaching Guide is available for download on this page.
Course completion is documented by a closed book exam graded by USPS Headquarters. Note that the exam for Seamanship 2012 is the same as for Seamanship 2009.
Minimum computer requirements for this version of the IM CD are:
Corrected Homework Questions (523KB, PDF) (12 Nov 14)
Seamanship on-the-water teaching aid Guide (161KB, PDF) (20 May 11)
If you have any questions or comments about, or suggestions to improve, the Seamanship course, please contact the National Boat Handling 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 BHCom chairman are listed in The ENSIGN and on the Committee Chairpersons page.
We will try to answer your questions as soon as possible, but please allow 5 working days for an answer.