USPS® Educational Objectives

The United States Power Squadrons® is an organization dedicated to boating safety through boating education. This is accomplished by providing instructor led public and member courses at the squadron level. In addition there are publicly available training materials geared to self learning.

The learning experience begins with the Basic Boating Course. This publicly available course will provide the new as well as experienced boater with the essentials for understanding the entire boating environment. Included are instruction in elementary seamanship, boat types and terms, safe operation, equipment, engine troubleshooting, registration and regulations, marlinespike (knots & stuff), weather, charts and aids to navigation, basic navigation, piloting, sailing, navigation rules, marine radio operation and trailering. The instructors are seasoned boaters in your area and will include valuable information about the local boating environment as well.

You may continue with subsequent courses through membership in the USPS. A series of Advanced Grade Programs are available to members which include:

Seamanship (S) A building on the basics learned in the Basic Boating Course
Piloting (P) An introduction to the fundamentals of piloting and positioning, marine charts, aids to navigation, compass use and taking bearings
Advanced Piloting (AP) A building of the knowledge gained in Piloting providing the tools for navigating in coastal waters including tide prediction, tide and current effects on position, advanced positioning techniques and electronic navigation systems
Junior Navigator (JN) A study of offshore (open-ocean) navigation, electronic positioning systems, sight taking with a mariners sextant using the sun, moon, planets and stars. Sight reduction using the nautical almanac to determine position, and open-ocean passage planning
Navigator (N) Further studies in celestial navigation theory and sight taking and reduction, offshore navigation using minimal data and/or equipment and orderly methods of carrying on the day's work of a navigator at sea.

A series of Elective Grade Courses is also available:

Cruise Planning Engine Maintenance Marine Electronics
Sail Weather Instructor Qualification

For more detailed information on the United States Power Squadrons, courses, course material or membership please visit the USPS® web site


Comments and suggestions are welcome:
email to Webmaster

® The USPS Ensign (Flag Design), "Wheel-and-Flag Design", "Officer Trident Design","United States Power Squadrons", "USPS", "The Ensign", "the Squadron" with flag graphic, "Paddle Smart", "USPS University", "Boat Smart", "Jet Smart", and "America's Boating Club" are registered trademarks of United States Power Squadrons.
The Squadron Boating Course is a service mark of United States Power Squadrons. The "USPS Trade Dress" is a trademark of United States Power Squadrons.