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SQUADRON EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

Palm Beach Sail & Power Squadron provides many educational opportunities to both the boating public and to its members. One of the key concepts of the United States Power Squadrons is the self-education of its members, meaning that successful students go on to teach other students to perpetuate boating knowledge. USPS instructors who teach public courses are also certified regarding their ability to teach and use modern instructional methods.

 PUBLIC SAFE BOATING

USPS provides basic boating education to the public via its America's Boating Course and The Squadron Boating Course. Further details on Palm Beach Sail & Power Squadron’s local public safe boating course are provided on the adjacent

 ABC Course web page.

 ADVANCED GRADES

Five Advanced Grade courses are offered by USPS.  They are designed to be taken in sequence because each builds on skills taught in the previous course. Learn how to become a member of USPS and take any or all of these courses at a discount.

The Advanced Grades are a series of in-depth navigational courses, and completion of the highest level course determines a member's "grade". Letter grades may appear in USPS printed materials while insignia appear on a member's uniform. Descriptions of these courses, as well as the letter grades and insignia, and course offering details are given in the tables below.

Please note: To assure that course material will be on hand, paid registration must be made with the Instructor at least two weeks prior to class start date. Those registering late or at class beginning will have to start without their student manuals.  All active and family members are eligible to attend the above USPS courses.  Non-Members may take Squadron courses on a space available basis with a course cost of twice the (members) cost listed below.

Course

Seamanship (S)              Revised: 22 June 2017

No. Weeks/Day

9 weeks/Mondays

Start/Exam Dates

2 October 2017 to 4 December 2017

Chm./Instructor

P/C Rick Wood, JN 

Cost (Members)

$70

Contact

seamanship@palmbeachsps.org

Elements Covered

● practical marlinespike, ● Navigational Rules ● Hull design and performance ● Responsibilities of the skipper ● Boat care ● Operating a boat under normal and abnormal conditions, and much more.

Description

Building on the basics taught in the public boating course, Seamanship is the recommended first course for both power boaters and sailors. Students learn practical marlinespike, navigation 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. This course provides a needed introduction to the USPS Educational Program and a strong foundation for students going on to other Advanced Grades courses and/or Cruise Planning or Sail.

 

Course

Piloting* (P)

No. Weeks/Day

10 weeks/Mondays

Start/Exam Dates

8 January 2018 to 5 March 2018

Chm./Instructor

Lt. Mike Galvin, SN

Cost (Members)

$80 plus dividers and plotter if needed

Contact

piloting@palmbeachsps.org

Elements Covered

● keep track of a boat’s movement ● Determining position at any time ● Lay-out courses to a planned destination. ● about mariner’s compass including Variation and Deviation ● Plotting courses. ● use of charts & intro to GPS..

Description

Piloting is the first of the advanced navigational classes focusing on techniques for piloting a boat in coastal and inland conditions. The course emphasizes planning and checking along with the use of GPS for determining position, and introduces digital charting along with traditional charting, compass and dead reckoning skills. Plotting, labeling, use of the compass, aids to navigation and a host of related topics are included in this all-new approach to coastal and inland piloting. The insignia is shown on the right.

* Seamanship course is advisable but not mandatory before taking Piloting and Sail courses.

 

Course

Advanced Piloting (AP)

No. Weeks/Day

14 weeks/Wednesdays

Start/Exam Dates

4 October 2017 to 27 December 2017

Chm./Instructor

Lt Tom Collins, SN

Cost (Members)

$90

Contact

advpilot@palmbeachsps.org 

Elements Covered

The second part of the Inland and Coastal navigation series. It teaches the use of modern electronic Navigation systems & other advanced & traditional techniques of finding position.
Learn about: ● Tides & Currents and their effect on piloting.

● Electronic Navigation ● Radar, GPS, etc.

Description

Advanced Piloting is the final part of the inland and coastal navigation series. This material continues to build on the base developed in Piloting, and includes practical use of additional electronic navigation systems and other advanced techniques for finding position. Among topics covered are: finding position using bearings and angles, collision avoidance using GPS and RADAR, what to do when the electronics fail, tides, currents and wind and their effect on piloting, and electronic navigation with GPS, chart plotters, RADAR, autopilots, etc. Application of course lectures takes place through practical in-class and at-home exercises.

 

Course

Junior Navigation (JN)

No. Weeks/Day

12 weeks/Wednesdays

Start/Exam Dates

3 January 2018

Chm./Instructor

P/C Darryl Aubrey, SN  -- 

Cost (Members)

$100

Contact

juniornav@palmbeachsps.org 

Elements Covered

Junior Navigation is the first of a two-part program in Offshore (open-ocean) Navigation.
Subject matter includes: ● Basic concept of Celestial Navigation. ● How to use the sextant to take sights on the sun. ● The techniques of accurate time determination. ● Use of the Nautical Almanac. ● How to reduce sights to establish lines of position (LOPs).

Description

Junior Navigation is the first of a two-part program of study in offshore (open coast) navigation. It is designed as a practical, how-to course using GPS for offshore navigation with sun sight taking using a sextant as a backup technique. The more advanced techniques for other celestial bodies and sights are for study in the subsequent Navigation Course. JN subject matter includes: basic concepts of celestial navigation; how to use the mariner’s sextant to take sights of the sun; the importance and techniques of accurate time determination; use of the Nautical Almanac; how to reduce sights to establish lines of position (LOPs); and the use of GPS, special charts, plotting sheets and other navigational data for offshore positioning and passage planning.

 

Course

Navigation (N)

No. Weeks/Day

22 weeks/TBD

Start/Exam Dates

Not scheduled for 2017-2018

Chm./Instructor

P/C Darryl Aubrey, SN

Cost (Members)

$160

Contact

navigation@palmbeachsps.org 

Elements Covered

This is the second part of the study of Offshore Navigation.  The student will learn additional sight reduction techniques, how a navigator carries on the day’s work, take sights on the moon, planets & stars and much more.

Description

This is the second part of the study of offshore navigation. It further develops the student’s skills and understanding of celestial theory. The student is introduced to additional sight reduction techniques for bodies other than the sun. The student develops greater skill and precision in sight taking, positioning and the orderly methods of carrying on the day’s work of a navigator at sea. Of particular interest and importance is the navigation software that is explained and used in practices for planning and navigating in the offshore environment with the included software. Offshore navigation using minimal data and/or equipment, such as when on a disabled vessel or lifeboat is also studied.

 

ELECTIVE COURSES                                       Revised 22 June 2017

Six Elective Courses are offered by USPS.  They cover separate and independent topics and therefore may be taken in any order according to a person’s interests and time.  Learn how to become a member of USPS and take any or all of these courses at a discount.

Descriptions of these courses, as well as the printed listing letter designations, and course offering details are given in the tables below.

Please note: To assure that course material will be on hand, paid registration must be made with the Instructor at least two weeks prior to class start date. Those registering late or at class beginning will have to start without their student manuals. .  All active and family members are eligible to attend the above USPS courses.  Non-Members may take Squadron courses on a space available basis with a course cost of twice the (members) cost listed below.

 

Course

Engine Maintenance (EM)

No. Weeks/Day

10 weeks/Wednesdays

Start/Exam Dates

14 March 2018 to 16 May 2018

Chm./Instructor

Lt Chuck Blair, S

Cost (Members)

$70

Contact

engmaint@palmbeachsps.org

Elements Covered

Engine maintenance makes students more self-reliant afloat with mechanical trouble diagnosis. It covers both marine gasoline and Diesel inboard engines, etc.

Description

The complete Engine Maintenance course consists of two modular sections. EM 101, Basic Engine Maintenance, provides information about marine propulsion systems, basic engine principles, engine components, controls, instruments and alarms, marine engine maintenance, and steering systems. There is a chapter on winter storage and spring servicing that includes a 25-step winterizing checklist. An 11-page glossary concludes the student manual.
EM 102, Advanced Engine Maintenance, delves into cooling and exhaust systems, lubrication, fuel and air induction systems, ignition systems, electrical and starting systems, power trains, and troubleshooting. The last chapter is on emergency repairs afloat. An 11-page glossary concludes the student manual.

  

Course

Marine Electronics--Electrical Systems

No. Weeks/Day

8 weeks/ Thursdays

Start/Exam Dates

11 January 2018 to 1 March 2018

Chm./Instructor

Lt. Larry Rudner, SN

Cost (Members)

$60

Contact

marine-elect@palmbeachsps.org

Elements Covered

 

Description

The Marine Electronics course consists of three modules: ME- Boat Electrical Systems, ME-Marine Radio Communications, and ME-Marine Electronics for Navigation.  All three modules must be successfully completed to receive credit for Marine Electronics.

 

Course

Marine Electronics--Marine Communications

No. Weeks/Day

10 weeks/Mondays

Start/Exam Dates

8 January 2018 to 26 February 2018

Chm./Instructor

P/C Ken Peters, SN

Cost (Members)

$60

Contact

marine-com@palmbeachsps.org

Elements Covered

 

Description

The Marine Electronics course consists of three modules: ME- Boat Electrical Systems, ME-Marine Radio Communications, and ME-Marine Electronics for Navigation.  All three modules must be successfully completed to receive credit for Marine Electronics.

 

Course

Cruise Planning (CP)

No. Weeks/Day

9 weeks/Wednesdays

Start/Exam Dates

10 January 2018 to 7 March 2018

Chm./Instructor

Lt Jim Bloom, SN

Cost (Members)

$70

Contact

cruiseplan@palmbeachsps.org

Elements Covered

● Planning a voyage. ● Selecting a proper crew. ● Financing a voyage. ● Provisioning, ● Managing a voyage. ● and a whole lot more

Description

Designed for mariners who plan to cruise for just a day or for a year—in either a sail or powerboat—this course covers the following topics: cruise preparation and planning, boat and equipment, anchors and anchoring, security, chartering, cruising outside the United States, crew and provisioning, voyage management, communications, navigation, weather, and emergencies. The manual includes a twelve-month cruise planning timeline.

 

Course

Weather (WE)

No. Weeks/Day

7 weeks/Mondays 

Start/Exam Dates

9 October 2017 to 4 December 2017

Chm./Instructor

Lt Mike Galvin, SN

Cost (Members)

$70

Contact

weather@palmbeachsps.org

Elements Covered

• Awareness of weather phenomena. • How to read the weather map and sky.
• How to understand & anticipate weather developments • Structures and characteristics of the atmosphere. • Factors considered in weather forecasting. • Sources and uses of weather reports and forecasts. • Instrument & visual observations the skipper can make.

Description

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. It is a general weather course benefiting those sitting in their living rooms, as much as those standing behind the helm. 

Each student receives: a Weather Manual - USPS Weather - an explanatory text with full color photographs and drawings covering weather in the United States and its coastal and inland waters; a set of three Daily Weather Maps - learning aids with a complete explanation of map symbols designed to develop weather map reading and analysis skills; and NOAA’s Sky Watcher Chart - a reference to assist in identifying cloud types – helpful indicators of approaching weather.

 

Course

Instructor Development (ID)

No. Weeks/Day

4 weeks/Saturdays

Start/Exam Dates

10 March 2018  to 31 March 2018

Chm./Instructor

P/C Rick Wood, JN

Cost (Members)

Free to Members/$100 for Non-Members

Contact

instructordev@palmbeachsps.org

Elements Covered

• communicate more effectively • prepare for meeting presentations.
• prepare for teaching in front of a class • prepare your lesson plan  This is your opportunity to become a part of our dynamic group of educators in our Squadron Educational Department.

Description

This course deals with effective communication for speakers and teachers—a quality that benefits the individual in all walks of life. It offers practical instruction in: preparing for teaching assignments, preparing for meeting presentations, effective teaching techniques, conducting efficient meetings, and selecting and using audiovisual aids.

 

Course

Sail* (Sa)

No. Weeks/Day

12 weeks/Thursdays

Start/Exam Dates

4 January 2018 to 22 March 2018

Chm./Instructor

Lt/C Arthur Dodd, SN

Cost (Members)

$70

Contact

sail101@palmbeachsps.org

Elements Covered

● Type of hulls ● Rigging ● Points of Sailing. ● The theory of sailing. ● Sail Handling., etc.

Description

Sail is a complete sail course beginning with basic boat designs, rigging and sail processes for the non-sailor.  The course proceeds into the physical aspects of sailing, sail applications, marlinespike, helmsmanship, and handling of more difficult sailing conditions, navigation rules, and an introduction to heavy weather sailing.

* Seamanship course is advisable but not mandatory before taking Piloting and Sail courses.

 

SEMINARS

USPS has a series of short seminars open to the public on a variety of boating related topics, such as Global Positioning System (GPS), weather, and marine radio. The materials included with each two hour seminar include a Student Note Book and other take-away guides related to that particular topic.

To reserve a spot:

 Members- contact the instructor (phone or email listings are in your Roster)

Non-Members – Contact our Squadron Educational Officer (SEO)

 

The Seminars offered by USPS are listed below.

 

If you are interested in scheduling any of these, please contact the Instructor or the Squadron Educational Officer (SEO)

 

Boat Handling Under Power

Instructor: TBA

Schedule:TBA

 

Partners in Command

Instructor: TBA)

Schedule:TBA

 

Anchoring

Instructor: Cdr Richard Wood, JN

Schedule:TBA

This seminar covers:

● anchor, rode and components,

● anchor selection for different

sea conditions & bottom characteristics,

● includes Anchoring Quick Guide for reference,

● deployment and recovery of anchor and much more.

 

How to Read a Chart

Instructor:TBA

Schedule:TBA

 

On Board Weather Forecasting

Instructor: TBA

Schedule:TBA

 

Advanced Powerboat Handling

Instructor: TBA

Schedule:TBA

 

Knots, Bend and Hitches

Instructor: Lt Mike Galvin, SN

Schedule:TBA

 

Mastering the Rules of the Road

Instructor: TBA

Schedule:TBA

 

Tides and Currents

Instructor: TBA

Schedule:TBA

 

GPS

Instructor: TBA

Schedule:TBA

 

VHF/Radio with Digital Selecting Calling

Instructor: TBA

Schedule:TBA

 

Marine Radar

Instructor: TBA

Schedule:TBA

This seminar covers:

● how radar functions

● operation of the radar under various conditions

● basic navigation, setting of controls

● display interpretation

● collision avoidance using radar, and much more.

 

Hurricane Boat Preparedness (FREE..!)

Instructor: P/Lt/C Phil Bouckaert, AP

Schedule:TBA

If you own a boat— in the water or on a trailer,

and live in Florida—this seminar is for you

 

Sail Trim & Rig Tuning

Instructor: D/Lt Art Dodd, SN

Schedule:TBA 

RECOGNITION LEVELS

USPS awards grades to its members to indicate how far they have progressed in the continuing education program. Since one of the USPS objectives is boating safety through education, USPS encourages every member to strive to achieve the Educational Proficiency level, with the ultimate goal being that of the Educational Achievement Award.

 

Anyone completing a grade level of at least Advanced Piloting (AP) and three Elective Courses receives the Educational Proficiency Award.  Shown below is an AP insignia with the Educational Proficiency bar below it.

 

Anyone completing all Advanced Grade navigational courses that results in a grade of Navigator (N) and all Elective Courses receives the Educational Achievement Award.  This award, also known as the Senior Navigator award, is the highest educational recognition awarded by USPS.  Holders of this honor can be recognized in print by the "SN" following their name. Shown here is the Educational Achievement Award insignia that you might see on a member's uniform.