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- Q. What is United States Power Squadrons?
- A. Organized in 1914, USPS is a non
profit, educational organization dedicated to making
boating safer and more enjoyable by teaching classes in
seamanship, navigation and related subjects. Our
members are boating families who contribute to their
communities by promoting safe boating through
education. We enjoy participating with our fellow
members on the water and in the classroom. USPS
has some 50,000 members organized into 450 squadrons
across the country and in some US territories.
Your membership in a local squadron includes membership
in the National organization. USPS is the world's
largest non-profit boating organization and has been
honored by three US presidents for its civic
contributions. Return to top...
- Q. What are the activities of USPS?
- A. Each squadron's activities
involve the three primary objectives of USPS: community
service, continuing education, and enjoying the
friendship and camaraderie of our fellow members.
Benefits to learn more. Return to
- Q. What educational courses are available
to USPS members?
- A. Every squadron offers many
multi-week courses in subjects like Seamanship,
Piloting, Plotting and Position Finding, Celestial
Navigation, Cruise Planning, Engine Maintenance, Marine
Electronics, Sailing, and much more. We also offer
evening seminars on specific topics like GPS or
Radar. Class materials are prepared to
professional standards nationally. Courses are
taught by experienced member instructors, and members
who complete them are recognized. You only pay for
the books making these classes a tremendous
value. Return to top...
- Q. What community and civic services does USPS
- A. Local squadrons offer boating
safety courses on a regular basis to boaters in our
communities. These courses are open to the public
and there is no age limit for participants. USPS
squadrons have offered these courses for over half a
century and have educated more than 3 million boaters to
date. Successful completing a USPS boating safety course
meets the educational requirements for boat operation in
all states and is a requirement for squadron
membership. Our members also help the NOAA keep
our nautical charts accurate by reporting chart
corrections, and our local squadrons participate in many
other community improvement projects.
- Q. What social activities do members enjoy?
- A. Participating both on-the-water
and off with fellow members who are skilled in boating
is a rewarding and enjoyable experience.
On-the-water activities include cruises, rendezvous,
sail races, navigation contests and even fishing
derbies. Activities ashore include meetings with
marine programs, parties, dinner-dances, picnics and
field trips. Conversations about boating experiences and
destinations are a learning process too, and can be a
valuable resource in decision making on top of the
fun. Return to top...
- Q. How does one become a member of USPS?
- A. Membership is open to those 16
years and over who are want to learn new skills and
contribute time, energy, and skills to the objectives of
USPS. Family members of all ages are welcome
too. We encourage new boaters to start with one of
the Introductory Boating courses
(no longer a membership requirement), but experienced
boaters may now join directly to take any class, or to
serve in an activity like coop charting or vessel safety
- Click here for your membership
application. Return to top...
- Q. Do I need to own a boat?
- A. No. In fact conversations,
crewing and classes can be a wonderful way to clarify
what first boat (or the next one) would be right for
you. Almost all rendezvous can be enjoyed by
car. Crewing for a sail race or hitching a boat
ride to a rendezvous can get you on the water, and
guests are welcomed by many of our
skippers. Return to top...
- Q. Can sailors become members?
- A. Of course! About half our members
are sailors. The term "Power Squadrons" in our
name dates to our founding in 1914 by the power boat
division of the Boston Yacht Club. Following the first
World War, our ranks broadened to include all types of
boats, and sailors have been a major part of USPS ever
since. Return to top...
- Q. Where are you located?
- A. The Seattle Squadron generally
holds classes and meetings in the North Seattle area, so
most of our members either live, work or keep their boat
in the greater Seattle area. Rendezvous destinations are
around Puget Sound. We are a member of District 16
which serves Washington State; you might check their web
site to see if another Squadron is more convenient.
Which one you join is purely up to you. You can
always take a class or two at another Squadron when that
works better for you. Memberships can
transfer to another Squadron if you move or you can be
an Associate Member in additional
- Q. Is USPS a part of or supported by the U.S.
- A. No. While we have many joint
programs with the United States Coast Guard, the CG
Auxiliary, and the National Ocean Services division of
NOAA, USPS is a private, totally self-supporting
organization. Return to top...
- Q. What if you're already a member of the
Canadian Power Squadron or the U.S. Coast Guard
- A. If you belong to either of these
organizations you can become a US Power Squadron member
immediately. Click here for your membership application.
- Q. How do you enroll in an introductory
- A. Every USPS squadron teaches at
least one introductory course every year. In
Seattle a 6-week introductory course usually begins in
September, then again in February, plus we have one-day
classes several times per year. Click public introductory class or advanced classes for
current schedules and registration. Return to
- Q. What's in it for you?
- A great variety of classes to choose
from: As a USPS member, you and your family
can enroll in a great variety of advanced grades and
elective courses which are only available to USPS
members. These courses include Seamanship, Coastal
Navigation, Celestial Navigation, Weather, Sail, Engine
Maintenance, Marine Electronics and Cruise
Planning. There are evening seminars on specific
topics like GPS, radar, sail trim or chart
reading. In addition, USPS offers more than two
dozen self study courses on such subjects as the Water
Sports, Boat Insurance, Oceanography, Introduction to
Sailing, Preparation for Coast Guard Licensing, and much
- Meeting with other boaters in your area:
As a member of a local squadron (and there are
approximately 450 squadrons throughout the USA,
including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin
Islands) you will join with other knowledgeable boaters
in your area who are familiar with the local waters, the
best anchorages, marinas, dealers and boat repair shops.
- Participation in a variety of on water
activities: As a USPS member you're
automatically invited to join in the squadron and
district cruises, rendezvous, predicted log contests,
raftings and other on-water activities.
- Savings on boat insurance: There are
many marine insurance companies which provide discounts
to those who complete boating courses. This savings can
- Discounts: There are discounts available on
paper and electronic charts, and other boating
Benefits for the latest in discounts.
- Networking with other members throughout the
USA, Canada and even more distant areas:
Thinking of boating in a river, lake or ocean far from
your home? USPS has a Port Captain program which
will provide names and telephone numbers of local USPS
members who know the territory.
- Receive the USPS magazine The
Ensign and the Seattle Squadron Pilot
Click here for your membership
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