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Advanced Courses

Boat Handling (formally Seamanship)

Dates & Times

Monday evenings

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

9 Weeks

Not scheduled at this time. Please contact us if you are interested in taking this course.

Member Fee:         $ 65      Nonmember Fee:  $ 95

Boat Handling (formerly Seamanship)

Learn the fundamentals of safe boat handling and operation plus basic piloting in this comprehensive classroom course. This course will give you the basics of line throwing, knot tying, boat handling, anchoring, navigation rules and aids, emergencies on the water and more. Instructors have many years of boating experience shared between inland waters and Lake Erie.

 

The Boat Handling course is the next step after completing America’s Boating Course, 3rd Edition (ABC3), taking the knowledge and skills learned there and expanding and extending them with this newly updated edition.

 

Or make Boat Handling the first step into building boating confidence and competence for safe and fun on-the-water adventures. Boat Handling presents material applicable to both power and sail, covering such topics as the construction and functioning of a boat, the skipper’s responsibilities, preparing the boat for use, handling and maneuvering a vessel under various conditions in close quarters and on the open water, rules of the road, anchoring, emergencies, and marlinespike/basic knots.

 

The Appendices cover boating into the waters of Canada and Mexico, the effects of weather on the boater’s health, and general information on obtaining a US Coast Guard captain’s license.

A closed-book exam is administrated at the last class and is mailed to USPS Headquarters for grading.

Course Covers:

  • Anchoring

  • Boating With Confidence

  • Rules of the (water) road

  • Docking

  • Knots & Lines

  • Emergency response techniques

 

 

A pair of dividers and a chart plotter are required.
Available at Headquarters for $15 (dividers) and $10 (plotter).

Advanced Boat Handling (Piloting)

Dates & Times

Monday evenings

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

13 Weeks

Not scheduled at this time. Please contact us if you are interested in taking this course.

Member Fee:         $ 70      Nonmember Fee:  $100
Prerequisite: Boat Handling

Advanced Boat Handling (Piloting)

Piloting is the first course in the sequence of America's Boating Club 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 way even if the GPS fails.

 

The course includes many in-class exercises, developing the student’s skills through hands-on practice and learning.

 

Topics covered include:

  • Charts and their interpretation

  • Navigation aids and how they point to safe water

  • Plotting courses and determining direction and distance

  • The mariner’s compass and converting between True North and Magnetic North

  • Use of GPS – typical GPS displays and information they provide, setting up waypoints and routes, staying on a GPS route.

  • Preplanning safe courses and entering them into the GPS

  • Monitoring progress and determining position by both GPS and traditional techniques such as bearings and dead reckoning

  • The “Seaman’s Eye” – simple skills for checking that one is on course.

Students have seven days to complete the open book exam, which is then mailed to America's Boating Club Headquarters for grading.

Course Covers:

  • Charts and interpretation

  • Navigation aids

  • Plotting courses, direction & distance

  • True vs Magnetic North

  • GPS Waypoints & Routes

  • Planning safe courses

  • Monitoring progress

  • Determining position with GPS & Dead Reckoning

A pair of dividers and a chart plotter are required.
Available at Headquarters for $15 (dividers) and $10 (plotter).

Advanced Piloting

Dates & Times

Monday evenings

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

10 Weeks

Not scheduled at this time. Please contact us if you are interested in taking this course.

 

Member Fee:         $ 70      Nonmember Fee:  $100
Prerequisite: Piloting

Advanced Piloting

Advanced Piloting is the second in the sequence of America's Boating Club courses on navigation. It continues to build coastal and inland navigation skills, 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, chart plotters, 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.

 

Topics covered include:

  • Review of skills learned in Piloting

  • Advanced positioning techniques such as advancing a line of position

  • Other electronics: radar, depth sounders, autopilots, chart plotters, laptop computer software, etc.

  • Hazard avoidance techniques using electronics (e.g., “keep out” zones in GPS)

  • Collision avoidance using radar and GPS

  • Working with tides: clearances, depth, effects of current

  • Piloting with wind and currents

  • The “Seaman’s Eye” – simple skills for checking that one is on course

Students have seven days to complete the open book exam, which will be mailed to USPS Headquarters and graded.

Course Covers:

  • Review of Piloting Skills

  • Advanced positioning techniques

  • Radar, autopilots, chart plotters

  • Hazard avoidance

  • Collision avoidance w/radar & GPS

  • Tides, Clearances, Depth

  • Effect of currents

  • Piloting with wind & currents

 

A pair of dividers and a chart plotter are required.
Available at Headquarters for $15 (dividers) and $10 (plotter).

Junior Navigation

Dates & Times

Wednesday evenings

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

16 Weeks

Not scheduled at this time. Please contact us if you are interested in taking this course.

 

Member Fee:        $175      Nonmember Fee:  $205
Prerequisite: Advanced Piloting

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.

 

The student will continue to use GPS as the primary position sensor, as they learned to do in Piloting and Advanced Piloting. However, the offshore environment poses many different elements for consideration by the Navigator. Ocean currents, wind, and sea state all affect a vessel's performance over the longer passages. Also, visible terrestrial landmarks are no longer available to the navigator as reference points.

 

In the Junior Navigation course, the student will learn to substitute celestial objects such as the sun as reference points. The course begins with the study of celestial navigation, teaching the student to take sights on the sun with a marine sextant and derive a line of position from that observation. Next, the student will apply the principles learned in Advanced Piloting, and plot a running fix from two sun sights taken about four hours apart.

Once the student has learned the basics of celestial sight reduction, the course continues with planning, positioning, and checking one’s position in the offshore environment, using both electronic and celestial tools.

Students have seven days to complete the open book exam, which will be mailed to America's Boating Club Headquarters and graded. Students also complete a sight folder which is graded at the squadron level and forwarded to America's Boating Club.

Course Covers:

  • Precise time determination

  • Use of the Nautical Almanac

  • Taking sextant sights of the sun

  • Reducing sights to establish position

  • Use of special charts and plotting sheets for offshore navigation

  • Offshore navigational routines

  • Electronic and computerized offshore navigation

Navigation

Not scheduled at this time.

Please contact us if you are interested in taking this class.

Member Fee:        $175      Nonmember Fee:  $205
Prerequisite: Jr Navigation

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.

 

Navigation 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-based voyage planning tool and a navigation program.

Students have seven days to complete the open book exam, which will be mailed to USPS Headquarters and graded. Students also complete a sight folder which is graded at the squadron level and forwarded to America's Boating Club.

Course Covers:

  • Precise time determination

  • Use of the Nautical Almanac

  • Taking sextant sights of sun, moon, planets, and stars

  • Reducing sights to establish position

  • Use of special charts and plotting sheets for offshore navigation

  • Offshore navigational routines

  • Electronic and computerized offshore navigation

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