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United States Power Squadrons®

Come for the Boating Education...Stay for the Friends℠D6 Burgee
District 6 - Central and Western New York State

 

 

 

 

District 6 News

The May 2017 Edition

America's Boating Course - 3rd Edition

America's Boating Course - 3rd Edition is our primary civic effort toward public instruction in the fundamentals of safe boating. Both short (8-hour) and long (12-hour) formats are designed to familiarize the student with the fundamentals of safe boating and qualify for certification in most states that require boating education before operating a watercraft.

The short (8-hour) version covers the basics needed to operate a boat safely, and is a replacement for previous short USPS courses such as Boat Smart and the 8-hour version of The Squadron Boating Course.

The long (12-hour) course covers all that's included in the 8-hour course and adds basic information on both paper and digital charts and basic piloting techniques, equivalent to the full version of The Squadron Boating Course.

Seamanship

This Seamanship course is a natural first/next step in building a foundation for confidence and competence for safe and enjoyable boating on the water. It extends the knowledge and skills of the boater in handling and maneuvering a vessel, either sail or power. The course provides a better understanding of how boats behave under various conditions including close quarters and open water operations. Knowledge and skills are increased in the areas of anchoring, emergencies, rules of the road, and marlinspike/basic knots. Appendices include information to safe operation in waters of our neighbors to the north and south, Canada and Mexico. The course content and our coastal navigation courses should help in preparation for completion of the US Coast Guard licensing examination. An On-The-Water component enhances the learning experience.

Piloting

Piloting is the first course in the sequence of USPS courses on navigation, covering the basics of coastal and inland navigation. This course focuses on navigation as it is done on recreational boats today and embraces GPS as a primary navigation tool while covering enough of traditional techniques so the student will be able to find his/her way even if their GPS fails. The course includes many in-class exercises, developing the student’s skills through hands-on practice and learning. Ten classes of two hours each normally are scheduled for presentation of this course. In addition the students have seven days to complete the open book exam. Topics covered include:

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Advanced Piloting

Advanced Piloting is the second in the sequence of USPS courses on navigation. It continues to build coastal and inland navigation skill, allowing the student to take on more challenging conditions - unfamiliar waters, limited visibility, and extended cruises. GPS is embraced as a primary navigation tool while adding radar, chartplotters, and other electronic navigation tools. As with Piloting, the course includes many in-class exercises, advancing the student’s skills through hands-on practice and learning. Ten classes of two hours each normally are scheduled for presentation of this course. In addition the students have seven days to complete the open book exam. Topics covered include:

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Junior Navigation

Junior Navigation is the first in a two-part program of study in offshore navigation, followed by the Navigation course. It is designed as a practical "how to" course. Subject matter includes:

Navigation

After Junior Navigation, this course is the second part of the study of offshore navigation, further developing the student's understanding of celestial navigation theory. This Navigation 2009 course deals with learning celestial positioning using other bodies, in addition to positioning using the sun (covered in the Junior Navigation course). This course also deals with electronic software tools that can be used to plan and execute an offshore voyage. You will first learn to reduce these sights by the Law of Cosines method. Later in the course, you will learn an additional method of sight reduction, the Nautical Almanac Sight Reduction (NASR) method. You will also learn about sight planning techniques. With that knowledge, you will have the tools to take sights and complete your Navigation Sight Folder. The course includes a chapter on using a software-basedvoyage planning tool and a navigation program. The final chapter of the course contains a Practice Cruise that ties the separate elements of the course together.

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Cruise Planning

There is something very special about the thrill of cruising in new waters and the sense of accomplishment upon completing an extended cruise. To go beyond what most boaters do on a weekend overnight or even a week or so marina hopping requires boaters to leave their normal cruising areas and comfort zones. The Cruise Planning course focuses on the planning and preparation necessary for safe enjoyable extended cruises on both inland and coastal waters.

Designed for members who cruise on either a sail or powerboat (owned or chartered) - this course covers the following topics:

The manual includes a comprehensive cruise planning timeline.

The Cruise Planning Course can be comfortably taught in eight two-hour sessions including time for review and the multiple choice closed book exam, but each instructor will determine the pace of the course.

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Engine Maintenance

The new Engine Maintenance course 2007 has been put into one ten chapter course that stresses the diagnosis of modern systems, while also teaching the basics of engine layout and operation. Gasoline inboards, outboards, and diesel engines are taught in a way that reinforces the common aspects of how engines work. This new course is complete in one book with one exam.

Modern engines offer high reliability and good performance through the use of computerized systems for fuel delivery and engine timing. Most of these systems are “black boxes” that can no longer be serviced by weekend mechanics with ordinary tools. The EM course covers those repairs that do-it-yourselfers can still perform, teaches how to diagnose problems that might be beyond your ability to fix, and how to share information with your mechanic so the right repairs get performed. The new Engine Maintenance 2007 also covers basic mechanical systems such as drive systems (propellers), steering systems, and engine controls. The last chapter discusses solutions you might use to problems that could occur while afloat and away from a repair facility. Gasoline, diesel, and outboard engines are treated independently in this chapter.

Sail

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.

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Weather

The safety and comfort of those who venture out-on-the water have always been weather dependent. In this course students will become keener observers of the weather, but weather observations only have meaning in the context of the basic principles of meteorology - the science of the atmosphere.
The course focuses on how weather systems form, behave, move, and interact with one another and reflects the availability of all sorts of weather reports and forecasts on the Internet. Wx2008 is a general weather course benefiting those sitting in their living rooms, as much as those standing behind the helm. Each student receives:

The Weather Course is designed to be conducted over ten two-hour sessions including time for review and the multiple choice closed book exam, but each instructor will determine the pace of the course.

Seminars

These short seminars are targeted to specific boating topics and needs with a two-hour format, and valuable take-away guides. This page is intended to provide the latest information for instructors and administrators on the available seminars.

United States Power Squadrons Guides

United States Power Squadrons Guides are generally short booklets that provide useful information on a variety of marine-related topics. They are available from United States Power Squadrons Headquarters by calling 1-888-FOR-USPS between 8:30AM and 4:00PM ET Monday through Friday, or on-line via the United States Power Squadrons Ship's Store. Shipping and handling costs will be added to the prices below. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express are accepted. These same items are also available to USPS members at reduced rates through their Squadron Educational Officer.

Some Guides are also available to the public at various marine supply stores and book stores. These items may be used in USPS® classroom courses and seminars or for home study.

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