One of the main goals of USPS is “boating safety
through education” — we believe that an educated boater is a safer
boater. In addition to its
program, USPS teaches a series of outstanding courses that cover
advanced seamanship, navigational techniques, and boat handling,
maintenance, and enhancement topics.
Five Advanced Grade courses are offered by USPS. They are
designed to be taken in sequence because each builds on skills
taught in the previous course.
Seamanship covers basic deck seamanship,
marlinspike (knots and ropes), anchoring and rafting, basic
boat care and maintenance, and nautical and USPS customs and
Piloting is the first and most basic
navigation course, covering chart reading, course plotting,
and basic coastal or inland navigation, including basic GPS
usage. This course goes into more detail than the charting
information covered in the public courses.
Advanced Piloting covers more advanced
coastal navigation techniques, navigation in tides and
currents, and more advanced GPS usage.
Junior Navigation teaches the basics of
offshore navigation, including basic celestial navigation
using the sun and offshore course planning.
Navigation is the most advanced navigation
course taught by USPS, covering more advanced celestial
navigation techniques, emergency navigation, and additional
sight reduction techniques.
Elective Courses in six area are offered by USPS.
They cover separate and independent topics and therefore may be
taken in any order according to a person's interests and time.
Engine Maintenance covers the operating
principles and basic care and maintenance of outboard and
inboard engines, including diesels.
Marine Electronics covers installation and
maintenance of both boat electrical systems (AC and DC) and
marine electronics (VHF radio, radar, GPS, etc).
Cruise Planning covers topics of interest
for someone planning a cruise – whether for just a weekend
or for a year – including preparation and planning,
anchoring, security, chartering, and cruising outside the
Weather covers weather systems, patterns
Sail covers everything from the basic
elements of how a sailboat works to sail trim, rig tuning,
and sailboat racing.
Instructor Development teaches effective
communication skills for not only USPS instructors but
everyone, covering various methods of presenting information
to others, effective use of audiovisual aids (including
If one or more of these courses interest you,
locate a course in your area. If you're a USPS member, contact
your Squadron Educational Officer and take a course at your squadron
rate. We hope to see you soon!