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Educational Department
- Boat Handling -

Lamp of Learning

Sail 2009 Cover



This site is provided as a means of communications with the USPS National Boat Handling Committee (BHCom).  We welcome your questions and comments on our modules, Learning Guides, and associated materials.

R/C Chris Windeler, SN
Stf/C William O'Neill, SN






On-The-Water Component to the Sail Course

The lesson plan for the new Sail On-The-Water teaching module is now available for download on the Sail web page. (27 Jun 11)

USPS Local Telephone Number in Course Manuals

Some Sail course student and instructor manuals have an incorrect local telephone number for USPS Headquarters on the Acknowledgements Page.  The correct local telephone number is 919-821-0281.  The toll-free number is still 1-888-367-8777 (1-888-FOR-USPS). (21 Dec 10)

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Sail Course 2009 Description

Sail 2009 is a completely new sail course created to serve the needs of the novice and experienced sailor, as well as the non-sailor, for basic skills and knowledge. The course starts with basic sailboat designs and nomenclature, rigging, safety, and sail processes and then tackles the physical aspects of sailing forces and techniques, sail applications, marlinespike, helmsmanship and handling of more difficult sailing conditions, navigation rules, and an introduction to heavy weather sailing. Appendices provide an introduction to sailboat racing and sailing in Canadian waters.

This new Sail course is a single volume Student and Instructor Manual (IM) developed in cooperation with the Canadian Sail & Power Squadron. Course instructional materials include material in Microsoft PowerPoint® format with embedded animations that require additional software to perform correctly

Course completion is documented by a closed book exam graded by USPS Headquarters.

Minimum computer requirements for the current version of the IM CD are:

  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP or higher. Note that Windows Vista has presented difficulty for some users. Instructors should always try out the presentation ahead of class time.
  • Software: Microsoft Office 2003 (Power Point) or higher; Adobe Flash 10

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Downloadable Material

On-The-Water Component to the Sail Course. This module (170KB, PDF) is not required for course credit.  Please encourage instructors of the Sail class and other qualified instructors to help promote the idea of “Boating is fun-we'll show you how” while practically demonstrating some of the elements of the Sail course with an approved hands-on boating opportunity.

To avoid confusion, this module is just an on-the-water activity in conjunction with the Sail Course and does not count for boater certification.  To be certified, a student must take the BOC program. (27 Jun 11)

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Questions or Comments?

If you have any questions or comments about, or suggestions to improve, the Sail course, please contact the National Boat Handling Committee chairman by e-mail, phone or postal service mail.  Please be sure to keep your SEO and/or DEO advised of any correspondence you may have with the National committee. Addresses for the National BHCom chairman are listed in The ENSIGN and on the Committee Chairpersons page.

We will try to answer your questions as soon as possible, but please allow 5 working days for an answer.

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This page last updated Saturday, January 11, 2020 21:48