USPS® Education Seminars- Open To Members and General Public

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All Seminars Subject To Change

Updated: 24 March 2011

All Seminars - Contact Education Officer ... 1-207-748-3122

USPS University is here with new programs targeted to a range of boaters and types of boating. The hallmark of this concept is the Seminar Series. These short seminars are targeted to specific topics and needs with a two-hour format, and valuable take-away guides. Each seminar provides credits toward the soon to be released Boat Operator Certification program, and credit toward elective courses.

NOTE: Seminars are being reviewed by our Education Department Instructors and lesson plans being completed. Member of the General Public are authorized to take our courses. We anticipate full implementation of the USPS Seminar Series by early Summer 2010 so check frequently.

NOTE: Prices will differ for members of the Squadron and the General Public. We are working on fair market prices.

Using VHF & VHF/DSC Marine Radio

  Class: TBA - Kittery Trading Post - Saturday Mornings
  Instructor: Lee R. Chasse (AP)

   VHF radio is the mainstay of coastal communication and essential for
emergency communications. Digital Selective Calling (DSC) is rapidly becoming a reality as more Coast Guard Rescue 21 System operations go live. Currently, the mid Atlantic coast is operational with DSC. The Gulf region will be operational early next year and all Cutters will be DSC equipped by next year.


    
   DSC vastly simplifies and improves rescue and routine call signaling – making it easier
to make a call while the system frees up Channel 16 for essential communications. However, you need to know how to use it. This seminar answers those needs and explains basic VHF operation. A CD is included with a DSC Simulator that allows you to practice on your computer at home. A handy waterproof McGraw-Hill Captain’s Quick Guide Using VHF is included with essential information that you should have aboard, which will explain to anyone on your crew how to use the radio.

 

Using GPS

  Class: TBA - Kittery Trading Post - Saturday Mornings
  Instructor: Bill Cass (AP)

     GPS has become a common tool for navigation. However using GPS on the water is distinctly different from a moving map display in your car. This seminar explains the principles of waypoint navigation which you will use. It then shows you how to relate the GPS to your charts which provide essential information about what is around you.
     The seminar also shows you how to operate your GPS – what the buttons do, what the screens show, and how to access the functions you need. A handheld GPS is used as the demonstration model, but all GPS receivers function similarly. By the time you have completed the seminar, you will be able to store waypoints into your GPS, activate them for navigation, and use GPS to keep you on a safe, pre-qualified course of your choosing. You’ll also get some tips for choosing a GPS if you don’t currently own one. You will get a waterproof McGraw-Hill Captain’s Quick Guide Using GPS to take aboard to remind you of the steps, or to show another of your crew how to use your GPS.
Prerequisites: None

 

On Board Weather Forecasting

  Class: TBA - Kittery Trading Post - Saturday Mornings
  Instructor: Carl Johnson (SN)

     Changing weather conditions can convert what was a delightful day on the water into a real challenge. Forecasting what weather you will encounter is one of the top priorities for safe boating. Should we go out? When should we come in? These are important questions, but some fundamental understanding of the weather can help you make these decisions. That’s what this seminar is all about.
     While not a complete course in weather, this seminar explains how just using your own senses can help you determine what conditions you will encounter where you are. By all means, a forecast is important. It will tell you what weather systems are headed your way, but they are challenged to tell exactly where and when conditions will change. Add your own observations and you have an extra edge. Add a couple of instruments and you can verify your observations. The seminar explains weather systems, how to understand clouds and their changes, using changing wind direction, temperature, and pressure to hone in on emerging weather fronts.

   The seminar includes an excellent book Fundamentals of Weather written by the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons, and the McGraw-Hill On Board Weather Forecasting waterproof Captain’s Quick Guide to take aboard your boat.
Prerequisites: None

How to Use a Chart

 Class: TBA - Kittery Trading Post - Saturday Mornings
  Instructor: Lee Chasse (AP)

   Charts provide information essential to your safety afloat. Even with GPS and electronic navigation, the chart is needed to tell you what is around you and between you and your intended destination. A system of symbols is used by cartographers to tell you what lies below the surface of the water and the depths of water. There is key information about visible landmarks and navigation aids to help you navigate your course. The chart also is your link with the GPS via its grid scale, compass rose, and distance scales. A brief introduction to latitude and longitude provides insight to the operation of GPS receivers.
     The NOAA Chart No. 1 is the quintessential reference to chart details, but is very difficult to understand. This seminar walks you through what you really need to know in an entertaining and interesting fashion, and provides you with a Maptech Waterproof flip-fold waterproof Chart Symbols and On-the-Water Guide to take along on the boat with you. In addition to showing you all about your chart, this seminar walks you through the essentials of laying out a safe course, steps to measure a course with the USPS plotter, and even a quick guide to the rules of the road.
 

Boat Handling Under Power

  Class: TBA - Kittery Trading Post - Saturday Mornings
  Instructor: TBA

  This seminar shows boaters how to depart and dock under a variety of
conditions as well as all about trimming the boat underway. The seminar
materials include a waterproof USPS Captain’s Quick Guide and Student Notes.

 

 

 

Sail Trim and Rig Tuning

Class: TBA - Kittery Trading Post - Saturday Mornings
Instructor: TBA

  This seminar shows in clear and simple terms how to use and adjust
  sails for optimum performance under a wide range of conditions. The seminar comes with a waterproof  USPS Captains Quick Guide written by North Sails and Student Notes.

 

 

Paddle Smart

 Class: TBA - Kittery Trading Post - Saturday Mornings
  Instructor: Janet Cass (P)

  Welcome to the world of paddle sports. You have joined (or soon will) the fastest growing part of boating. According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, kayaks and canoes accounted for some 54% of new boats sold in 2006 – over 493,000 crafts.

This series is dedicated to paddle boaters and describes situations and tips that are unique to those who boat by canoe or kayak.

 

Anchoring

  Class: TBA - Kittery Trading Post - Saturday Mornings
  Instructor: TBA:

   This seminar covers selection of anchor, rode and components; anchor selection for sea conditions and bottom characteristics; deployment and recovery of anchors. It also includes tables for sizing an anchor and components, and information for determining loads under various conditions. The kit includes the Anchoring Quick Guide and Student Notes with copies of the slides.

 

 

 

Hurricanes and Boats

 Class: TBA - Kittery Trading Post - Saturday Mornings
  Instructor: Carl Johnson (SN)

  This is a mini-seminar. It covers how to select a location and prepare your boat for a hurricane. The kit includes Student Notes with copies of the slides.

This seminar usually is given free as a bonus to other Seminars.

 

 

 

USING RADAR

Class: TBA - Kittery Trading Post - Saturday Mornings
Instructor: TBA

 This seminar covers how radar functions, radar selection, operation of the radar under various conditions including setting of controls, display interpretation, basic navigation, and collision avoidance using radar. The kit includes The Radar Book written by Kevin Monahan ($25 retail) and Student Notes with copies of slides.

 

 

Trailering Your Boat

 Class: TBA - Kittery Trading Post - Saturday Mornings
  Instructor: Janet Cass (P)

Trailering Your Boat explains how to select tow vehicles, hitches, and trailers. It also explains how to safely and securely trailer your boat, launch and retrieve it, and how to operate and maintain your trailering equipment. The seminar comes with an excellent new book Trailering Your Boat, written by Bruce Smith and published as a USPS Guide by McGraw-Hill. This book serves as an excellent reference on all of these topics. The seminar includes video segments provided by the US Coast Guard and excellent slide notes.
SPECIAL: WOMEN SIGNING UP FOR THIS CLASS WILL HAVE 'HANDS ON' TRAILERING IN
THE KITTERY TRADING POST PARKING LOT AFTER THE COURSE. (FREE)

 

Knots, Bends and Hitches

 Class: TBA - Kittery Trading Post - Saturday Mornings
  Instructor: TBA

  The Knots, Bends, and Hitches seminar is a hands-on "learn how to tie knots" program geared to a wide range of audiences. The kit comes with a copy of the USPS Guide Knots, Bends and Hitches for Mariners, a copy of the slide notes and a kit including a die-cut knot board and two lengths of line. Participants learn about knots, learn to tie a set of the most useful knots, and then get to take the whole package home with them to practice these and a whole host of other knots described in the book.

 

Basic Coastal Navigation

  Class: TBA - Kittery Trading Post - Saturday Mornings
  Instructor: TBA

  Today, electronics have radically changed navigation, but
understanding the basics helps you gain confidence in your equipment and your own skills.
  In this seminar, you will learn practical techniques to plan, navigate, and check your progress on the water. You will develop situational awareness skills using your eyes and navigation tools to quickly point to your position on a chart, and be able to use backup techniques when the electronics become suspect. This seminar will help captain and crew navigate safely and comfortably.

The student kit contains The Weekend Navigator textbook, a Seminar Notes booklet, and Maptech's Chart Navigator Training CD, which includes software and digital charts to gain familiarity with this new technology.

 

Mariners Compass

 Class: TBA - Kittery Trading Post - Saturday Mornings
  Instructor: TBA

 The marine compass is still the boaters primary navigation tool, and an essential tool when all else fails.  This seminar explains how to select, install, calibrate and use your compass on board your boat.  You will learn which features are most important and what will work best for you, how to deal with variation between true and magnetic north, and how to adjust your compass to remove most of the deviation caused by local magnetic influences.  This is an essential seminar for all boaters.

 

 

Partner In Command

 Class: TBA - Kittery Trading Post - Saturday Mornings
  Instructor: Lee R. Chasse (AP)

This seminar provides an introduction to boating for crew members who need basic information and who may or may not have taken a boating course. It is designed to provide essential information one may require to assist a skipper in the safe operation of a recreational boat. Included in the seminar are actions in response to emergencies. This seminar includes a text. A Knot Board will be useful to practice tying knots.

 

 

Mastering the Rules of the Road

 Class: TBA - Kittery Trading Post - Saturday Mornings
  Instructor: Lee R. Chasse (AP)

This seminar provides an explanation with examples of the 37 Rules of the Road for both the U.S. Inland Rules and the International Rules (COLREGS). It simplifies the sometimes complex law relating to boat operation for the recreational boater. It is a starting point for study preparation for the USCG License examination. This seminar includes McGraw-Hill's The One Minute Guide to the Nautical Rules of the Road by Charlie Wing and Student Notes with slides.

 

 

 Using A Chart

 Class: TBA - Kittery Trading Post - Saturday Mornings
  Instructor: William Cass (AP)

Charts provide information essential to your safety afloat. Even with GPS and electronic navigation, the chart is needed to tell you what is around you and between you and your intended destination. A system of symbols is used by cartographers to tell you what lies below the surface of the water and the depths of water. There is key information about visible landmarks and navigation aids to help you navigate your course. The chart also is your link with the GPS via its grid scale, compass rose, and distance scales. A brief introduction to latitude and longitude provides insight to the operation of GPS receivers.

The NOAA Chart No. 1 is the quintessential reference to chart details, but is very difficult to understand. This seminar walks you through what you really need to know in an entertaining and interesting fashion, and provides you with a Maptech Waterproof flip-fold waterproof Chart Symbols and On-the-Water Guide to take along on the boat with you. In addition to showing you all about your chart, this seminar walks you through the essentials of laying out a safe course, steps to measure a course with the USPS plotter, and even a quick guide to the rules of the road.

 

Boating on Rivers, Locks and Lakes

 Class: TBA - Kittery Trading Post - Saturday Mornings
  Instructor: Lee R. Chasse (AP)

   The United States has over 30,000 miles of improved waterways—some of the finest boating to be found anywhere. This seminar introduces boaters to this inland cruising world.
   The seminar deals with such varied topics as special navigation rules for rivers, the Western Rivers System of buoys and marks, river currents, “reading” a river, jetties and wing dams, the intricacies of locking through, and communicating with lock masters and bridge tenders.
   Learn about your local waters from experienced inland boaters. Each student receives a full color Student Guide especially written for the seminar

Several more seminars are nearing completion and will be available soon: Knots for Mariners, Onboard Emergencies, Using Digital Charts, and Heavy Weather Sailing.


For information on the USPS public boating course closest to you, call 1-888-FOR-USPS.
In Canada, for the CPS course, call 1-888-CPS-BOAT.

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Power Squadron
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