An invitation to join USPS and
Hoosier Sail & Power Squadron
Sail & Power Boating - America's Boating Club®

United States Power Squadron®, formed in 1914,  is the largest fraternal boating organization in the United States. We have over 450 squadrons totaling more than 60,000 members across the U.S., Puerto Rico and Japan. We are a non-political, non-governmental organization, though we do work closely with the U.S. Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxillary, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, NOS and the Department of Natural Resources of most States. 

The Hoosier Sail & Power Squadron is a unit of the United States Power Squadrons®. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to safe boating education and promoting high standards of navigation and seamanship.. The Hoosier Sail & Power Squadron became a charter member of USPS in 1952. We are in District 24 which is made up of several other  local squadrons and covers the geographical area in Indiana, northern Kentucky, and southwestern Ohio.

The Hoosier Sail & Power Squadron offers Safe Boating Classes to the public. These classes teach navigational aids, the rules of the road, how to anchor, different kinds of anchors, basic piloting, knots, docking, and basic seamanship. The instruction is free, although there is a nominal fee for the Student Manual and charting materials. 

Several additional classes are available to members including Seamanship, Weather, Marine Electronics, Cruise Planning, Sail, Engine Maintenance, Piloting and Navigation. 

Information is provided below on how to join the Hoosier Sail & Power Squadron, the local USPS unit in Indianapolis.

Why Join USPS?

These are some of the benefits of belonging to USPS, the finest and largest boating organization.....

Sharing Boating Knowledge
Learn from experienced instructors
Advanced Grade, Elective and Learning Guide material continually updated to prepare our members for the 21st Century
Self-study courses available on a variety of subjects

A Network of Activities for You and Your Family
Membership in the local Indianapolis-based Hoosier Sail & Power Squadron unit
On the water activities, Cruises, Rendezvous, and More
For the relatively new boater, another boater with whom to cruise
Squadron social events, parties, picnics,  speakers of interest
Youth programs; involve your children in boating

Giving Back to your Community
Participation in various community projects, Boat Shows, National Safe Boating Week
Service to NOAA by providing revisions to existing charts through our Cooperative Charting Program
Promote boating safety by providing Vessel Safety Checks.

Port Captains Program
Extensive list of USPS members to assist you in unfamiliar waters and cities

USPS Publications
Timely and informative boating and USPS information received via THE ENSIGN® magazine.

Boat/US membership - 50% off normal $19.00

Marine Insurance
Most comprehensive boat insurance
Low rates with additional discounts for Education Achievements
Special claims consideration
Personal attention

Federal Tax Exempt Status
501 {c) (3) status allows personal tax deductions for selected USPS expenses for Squadron, District and National participation

To learn more about USPS, please visit the USPS national website.

Interested in joining Hoosier Sail & Power Squadron?

The requirements are simple:

Pass the USPS Public Boating Course final exam* or equivalent boating course.
You will then be asked if you are interested in membership in the Hoosier Sail & Power Squadron. Answer "YES"!
Fill out the membership application.
Write a check or pay by cash your membership fee, prorated from that date to 31 May (amount will vary by date of membership and type of membership)

You're a member of Hoosier Sail & Power Squadron and USPS - WELCOME ABOARD!

* Class attendance is not required. If you feel you are a very knowledgeable and experienced boater, you can apply to take the exam at any time. The full course is also available in video format.

*** NOTE: Membership is automatically extended to those individuals who have passed the Safe Boating Course of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxillary or the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron.

Types of membership:

Active Member - provides full membership privileges and responsibilities, which include voting, holding elective or appointed office, serving on and/or chairing a committee, earning a merit mark, attending and participating in meetings and social activities, taking educational courses, paying dues, receiving a copy of the monthly National magazine - Ensign, receiving a copy of the monthly Squadron newsletter - Scuttlebutt and flying the USPS Ensign and APS burgee. Minimum age: 16.

Additional Active Member - one who resides in the same household and is in the same squadron of an active member. This member pays 1/2 the National dues of the active member. This member enjoys all the rights and privileges of an active member. Minimum age: 16.

Family Member - available to members of the family of an active member. This includes the spouse of an active member and all persons related by blood, legal adoption or marriage, who reside with or are dependents of an active member. Family members may attend and participate at all General Meetings of the squadron, but may not vote nor hold elective or appointed office. Family members can take educational courses and attend social functions, but they cannot fly the USPS Ensign or APS burgee and they cannot earn merit marks. Dues for this member are less than those paid by the Additional Active Member. No minimum age.

Junior Family Member - a dependent of an active member who resides in the same household and is less than 16 years of age. A junior family member is accorded all the privileges and responsibilities of family membership.

Note: A husband and wife may both elect to hold an active membership. There must be at least one active member per household.

If you have additional questions, contact Cdr. Lou Chenette at the Hoosier Sail & Power Squadron (317) 253-7537.

Some history about Hoosier Sail & Power Squadron.....

Following is a letter dated December 27, 1979 written by John S. Kirby, Sr. in which he recounts the formation of the Hoosier Sail & Power Squadron.....

How did the Hoosier Sail & Power Squadron get started? It is very unlikely that a true and correct answer exists in a definite form. Hence, as the one who first suggested the formation of this squadron, it may be of general interest as well as add a factual chapter in the history of U.S.P.S. in Indianapolis. Please forgive the repetitive use of the pronoun I as it can only be told that way.

In December of 1951 in the Vonnegut store in Broad Ripple a gentleman came up to me and introduced himself as Frank Parish. He told me that a number of boat owners were thinking of having a meeting or get-together and was kind enough to ask me to join them. I told him that if this was to be no more than a social meeting that I doubted if I was interested, but if they had some thought of forming or joining some boating organization I would be most happy to meet with them. He said that the latter was what they had in mind although they had no specific idea of what organization they would approach. As I recall it this meeting took place in early January of 1952.

It so happened that my boat, a 42 foot Chris Craft , was kept in a boathouse on Dutch Lane in Sandusky, Ohio; and my next door neighbor was Ken Champ who was then in line to become the next Chief Commander of U.S.P.S. Through Hugh Houck, Gordon Wendt, Dick Fuller, and others I had heard much about the Power Squadron, and Ken Champ and I had become good friends. Ken lived in Findlay but was a member of the Fostoria squadron. After our local meeting at which those in attendance agreed with my suggestion that we form a local squadron, I got in touch with Ken Champ, and he came to Indianapolis and met with us. At this time he outlined the procedure to be followed in the formation of a squadron as well as telling us the purposes and benefits of a squadron. He then turned the matter over to the Fostoria squadron to serve as our sponsor; the commander of Fostoria at that time was Gordon Gray although much of the actual work entailed was performed by Judson Rinebold, an officer of Fostoria. As I write this I am wondering if Gordon Gray was then District Commander and Jud Rinebold the district secretary. It could be either way as Gordon was commander at Fostoria as well as District 7.

In late January, Jud Rinebold and one or two others from Fostoria brought the material to Indianapolis and conducted the first class. Following that we continued to meet once a week usually at Johnson Chevrolet at 11th and Meridian to complete the course. By mid-April we had reached the point where we were ready for our examinations, and four from Fostoria came to Indianapolis on a Sunday in May and gave the test to 16 of us. These 16 were the charter members and were the following:

W. Frank Parrish - Indianapolis
John M. Coulter - Frankfort
Harry E. Riddell - Indianapolis
Bradley Hall - Shelbyville
William D. Guyton - Indianapolis
Paul S. Johnson - Indianapolis
John Wyttenbach - Indianapolis
Thomas S. Hood - Indianapolis
John S. Kirby - Indianapolis
Willard C. Stamper - Indianapolis
Glenn Plymate - Shelbyville
Mayburn F. Landgraf - Indianapolis
Norman L. McCready - Indianapolis
James L. Mannix - Indianapolis
Edward E. McLaren - Indianapolis
James L. Wright - Indianapolis

In addition, there was one more who took the classes with this group but did not take the examination until the following November; this was Robert B. Evans.

As I recall it, seven of the charter members became commanders of Hoosier; this would be Parrish, Kirby, Coulter, Riddell, Mannix, McCready, and Wyttenbach. I may be in error about McCready.

Just to add a brief note more; I was elected a Staff Captain in Columbus in 1955 and became the first commander of District 24 when it was formed in 1957. During my term as District commander, new squadrons were formed in Terre Haute, Louisville, South Bend, Fort Wayne, Marion, Ohio and Bedford. Also, at one time or another I was able to get Clark Beverly, Harvey Rockwell, Dave Steiner, and Phil McClintock in line for district commander.

I also cruised the Great Lakes from Duluth to the Saguenay on Martha's Mink for 10 years; the first one a 42 footer I had only one year and then had a 50 footer called a Catalina for 9 years.

Our second class in 1952-53 had 19 who became squadron members. If you wish the names, I can supply them.

John S. Kirby, Sr.


For more information about the United States Power Squadrons and specifically the Hoosier Sail & Power Squadron in Indianapolis, contact information is provided below.......

We'd enjoy hearing from you!

Mailing Address:

Hoosier Sail & Power Squadron, Inc.
143 Chadwick Court
Carmel, IN 46033

Phone: (317) 843-1084
Email: George Herrington -

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