One of the main goals of the United States Power Squadrons is “boating safety through education”—we believe that an educated boater is a safer boater. USPS provides many skill building opportunities to the general public through a variety of courses, seminars, and marine-related guides. Our instructors are certified regarding their ability to teach and to use of modern instructional techniques. All classes are fun and informative, and bring you into contact with other boaters.  Questions?  Feel free to visit the United States Power Squadrons' Educational Department webpage or contact our Educational Officer for more information.

America's Boating Course (public boating safety course, including Texas Boater's License exam)

Two-Hour Seminars
USPS has a series of short seminars covering specific topics of interest to boaters. Some of the topics that are available cover GPS, chart reading, VHF radio usage (including the Digital Selective Calling feature found on all new radios), and on-board weather forecasting. These seminars are usually taught in a single two-hour class. A student note book is included, along with a take-away guide or other items that are useful on your boat. Seminars on other topics are now being completed, and will be released in the near future.

Electives
Elective Courses in six area 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.
  • Engine Maintenance covers the operating principles and basic care and maintenance of outboard and inboard engines, including diesels.
  • Marine Electronics covers installation and maintenance of both boat electrical systems (AC and DC) and marine electronics (VHF radio, radar, GPS, etc).
  • Cruise Planning covers topics of interest for someone planning a cruise – whether for just a weekend or for a year – including preparation and planning, anchoring, security, chartering, and cruising outside the US.
  • Weather covers weather systems, patterns and forecasting.
  • Sail covers everything from the basic elements of how a sailboat works to sail trim, rig tuning, and sailboat racing.
  • Instructor Development teaches effective communication skills for not only USPS instructors but everyone, covering various methods of presenting information to others, effective use of audiovisual aids (including PowerPoint), etc.
Contact our Educational Officer for more information.

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.
  • Seamanship covers basic deck seamanship, marlinspike (knots and ropes), anchoring and rafting, basic boat care and maintenance, and nautical and USPS customs and etiquette.
  • Piloting is the first and most basic navigation course, covering chart reading, course plotting, and basic coastal or inland navigation, including basic GPS usage. This course goes into more detail than the charting information covered in the public courses.
  • Advanced Piloting covers more advanced coastal navigation techniques, navigation in tides and currents, and more advanced GPS usage.
  • Junior Navigation teaches the basics of offshore navigation, including basic celestial navigation using the sun and offshore course planning.
  • Navigation is the most advanced navigation course taught by USPS, covering more advanced celestial navigation techniques, emergency navigation, and additional sight reduction techniques.
Contact our Educational Officer for more information.