Education Courses emphasize boating safety skills.  One of the best ways to have a fun boating experience is to "know before you go". If you are a new boater or an experienced boater in need of a refresher course, consider taking a boating course or attending a seminar. A new type of training which was established by the United States Power Squadrons is “On The Water” training.  It extends existing classroom programs with relevant exercise on the water (participation is optional, and not required for course completion).  Contact the squadron for information concerning the status of the training and its availability. See the list of courses below and check the calendar for dates when a course (or seminar) is being offered. If you are interested in taking a course which doesn't have a course start date published yet, complete and submit the Course Registration Form and the Education Officer will notify you when the course is available.  Please send an e-mail to to inquire about squadron courses. Public Course Boating Safety Skills Course”:  The Clearwater Sail and Power Squadron offers an ABC “Boating Safety Skills Course” to the public. This course is taught by Certified Instructors; several have a US Coast Guard Captain’s license.  The Boating Safety Skills Course instruction is free.  A $45 fee (payable by cash or check) covers the cost of a text book, additional materials and includes a lunch.  Students passing the ABC course are eligible for a six  month trial membership.  The course is aimed at giving you the skills to get back to the port safely.  This course is available on Saturday mornings. Check the calendar for available dates and times.  Additional information may be available on the news page.  To pre-register for this class, complete the electronic class registration form and e-mail it to the Education Officer (submission instructions are listed on the form). The USPS America's Boating Course (ABC) Boating Safety Skills Course is a Florida state and NASBLA approved boating and water safety course with a focus on increasing your boating skills. Successful completion of the Boating Safety Skills Course qualifies a person for a boating safety education identification card issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. This card plus a photo ID is required for anyone born on or after January 1, 1988 to operate a vessel powered by 10 horsepower or greater. It is recommended for anyone wanting to be safer on the water. Many boat insurance companies will offer discounts on boating insurance to boaters who successfully complete America's Boating Course.  Subjects include: Types of boats and their uses. Boating laws, both local and national. Safety equipment, both required and recommended. Finding your way, and adverse conditions. Communications. Trailering, knots and lines, and water sports topics. Optionally, introduction to navigating using digital and paper charts. USPS Courses Which Require USPS Membership To Attend Advanced Grade Courses Seamanship:  Build boating confidence and competence for safe and fun on-the- water adventures.  Seamanship provides a foundation of knowledge and skills in boat handling and maneuvering, boat operation, skipper's responsibilities, and boating techniques that will advance your boating enjoyment. Piloting:  Learn the essentials of safe coastal and inland navigation using basic GPS in conjunction with charts and other marine data.  The Piloting course teaches you how to use the GPS along with traditional dead reckoning techniques for planning and laying out safe routes, as well as ensuring that you are on-course while underway. Advanced Piloting:  Do you want to navigate unfamiliar waters in limited visibility or take an extended cruise with confidence?  Learn to use radar, chart plotters, AIS and other electronic tools to supplement basic GPS navigation.  Obtain a thorough understanding of piloting techniques in a variety of coastal tide, current and wind conditions. Junior Navigation (Celestial Part 1):  What happens when your GPS fails? Have fun and satisfy your curiosity about boating in the days before electronics in the Junior Navigation course.  Learn to use a marine sextant to take sights on celestial objects such as the sun.  Even if you are not traveling long distances off shore, remember that GPS is not infallible, nor always available.  Be confident when no aids to navigation or land objects are in sight.  In Junior Navigation, you will continue to use GPS as the primary position sensor as you learned in Piloting and Advanced Piloting, but with celestial navigation as your backup technique. Because terrestrial landmarks are no longer visible to the offshore navigator, you will learn to use a marine sextant and the sun as your reference point, derive a line of position, and develop a running fix. You will also learn to calculate your latitude from a noon sight on the sun. Navigation (Celestial Part 2):  Learn navigation using all the celestial bodies! Use navigational software tools to plan and execute an offshore voyage. In the event of a loss of electronics on board, you’ll be glad you took this course and developed the necessary backup skills for an offshore voyage. Even if you have no plans to travel offshore, you will be able to impress your boating friends with your depth of celestial knowledge.  The Navigation course will teach you how to use the moon, planets, and stars to determine your position at morning and evening twilight to supplement daytime sights on the sun, moon, and bright planets. You will also get access to and use navigational software tools that can be used to plan and execute any voyage. Elective Courses Engine Maintenance:  Every skipper needs to understand the fundamentals of gas and diesel engines to perform basic maintenance and diagnose problems under way.  Learn about transmissions, propellers, and steering.  Get the knowledge you need to keep your boat in tiptop shape. Marine Electrical Systems:  Learn the ins and outs of your boat's electrical systems.  Gain the confidence to tackle direct current, shore power and communications installations.  Ensure the safety and reliability of your vessel; enroll in this course today. Marine Communication Systems:  Become a better boater by mastering your radio in the digital age.  Learn voice communications and the use of digital selective calling (DSC), and get the skills you need for a day sail or offshore adventure.  Learn from experienced instructors in an interactive classroom environment. Cruising and Cruise Planning:  Want to take a "road trip" on the water?  Gain the confidence and practical skills needed to explore ports and coves for a weekend or weeks at a time.  Take Cruising and Cruise Planning and join your fellow boaters for raft-ups and rendezvous up the river, down the bay, and along the coast. Weather:  For boaters, knowing the forecast isn't enough; you need to understand its impact on you and your boat.  Gain the knowledge and confidence to venture out on the water.  Be a responsible skipper, protect your friends and family and take this course today. Sail:  Learn about basic sailboat designs and nomenclature, rigging, and safety from experienced USPS sailors.  Then tackle the physical aspects of sailing forces and techniques, sail applications, marlinespike, helmsmanship, and handling of difficult sailing conditions.  This course will benefit non-sailors as well as novice and experienced sailors. Instructor Development:  Unlike other USPS courses, the Instructor Development course is not designed to enhance boating skills. Rather, its emphasis is on enhancing presentation techniques and instructor skills. The course has been designed to demonstrate interactive teaching methods focused on adult learning.
"ABC-3" Safe Boating Course
Clearwater Sail and Power Squadron
United States Power Squadrons®
Come for the Boating Education...Stay for the FriendsSM