Advanced Grades

Members of the Richmond Sail and Power Squadron can continue their boating education through Elective and Advanced Grade United States Power Squadrons® courses. Most classes are offered in a classroom format. However, members have also passed courses through self-study followed by a proctored exam. The educational officers can be reached at the following email addresses:

Educational Officer

Assistant Educational Officer

SeamanshipSEAMAN (S) Builds on the basics taught in the United States Power Squadron Boating courses, and expands on the subjects of practical marlinspike, navagation rules, hull design and performance, responsibilities of the skipper, boat care, operating a boat under normal and abnormal conditions, what to do in various emergencies and weather conditions, nautical customs and common courtesy on the water.

PilotingPILOT (P) introduces you to plotting courses and dead reckoning navigation. You will become familiar with charts and aids to navigation. You will learn the Rules of the Road, governmental regulations on equipment, and use of the VHF radio.

Advanced PilotingADVANCED PILOT (AP) covers techniques needed for safe navigation in coastal waters, major lakes and rivers, including the use of corrent and tidal tables, and the use of electronic naigation systems for positioning and course planning.

Junior NavigationJUNIOR NAVIGATOR (JN) and NavigatorNAVIGATOR (N) provide you with practical skills in celestial navigation to determine position without landmarks using a sextant. You will develop orderly methods for carrying out the work of a navigator. The final exam in both courses includes an imaginary sea voyage for which the student carries out all the steps performed by a practicing navigator.

Courses must be completed in the order listed.

Classes (continued)

Elective Courses

These courses can be taken in any order and there are no prerequisites.

Cruise PlanningCRUISE PLANNING will help you plan a cruise, whether for a day, a week, a month, or longer. The material is useful whether you plan to cruise on a river, lake, bay, or ocean.

Engine MaintenenceENGINE MAINTENANCE covers the general construction, operating principles, maintenance, and repair of marine engines and their mechanical and electrical components. Trouble-shooting, diagnosis and temporary remedies will help make you more self-reliant.

INSTRUCTOR QUALIFICATION offers practical skills in preparing for and conducting classes and meetings. Many have found it useful in their everyday activities.

Marine ElectronicsMARINE ELECTRONICS covers proper installation, maintenance, and use of electronic and electrical systems found in pleasure craft. It includes a basic description of how each these various system work.

SailSAIL covers the terminology and theory of sailing, and often includes a day on the water.

WeatherWEATHER will give you an awareness of weather phenomena, how to read a weather map and sky, and how to understand and anticipate weather changes.


Richmond Sail and Power Squadron offers seminars and various courses on boating safety and several specific boating skills.  These classes are normally held in the Spring and Fall. 

The grade of SENIOR NAVIGATOR (SN) is awarded those members who have completed all standard and elective courses. 
Virginia law requires that boater pass an approved boating safety course.  This is for:

Personal Watercraft (PWC)
  Motorboat (MB) 10 hp and up:
Proof must be carried while boating.  You can get a plastic card from Virginia DGIF for a small fee.   

Also see:

America's Boating Course
Available Seminars

If you have interest in a seminar currently not scheduled, please contact the Educational Officer.

Additionally, our national organization, America's Boating Club, maintains a safety website.  Please take a minute to visit the site previewed below.


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