South Bend Sail and Power Squadron
A Unit of United States Power Squadrons®
“Come for the Boating Education - Stay for the Friends” (SM)

             We’re America's Boating Club®!

South Bend Sail and Power Squadrons is a unit of United States Power Squadrons, America's largest boating organization. We are recreational sail, power, and people-powered boaters from north central Indiana and southwest Michigan. Find out who we are and how we can help you make boating safer and more fun! Check us out on the “What is USPS?” page! Questions? Email us at info@sbsps.org.

MICHIGAN BOATING LAWS HAVE CHANGED! Do You Need a Safe Boating Class?

If you boat in Michigan, your age and your boat's horsepower determine whether you need to take an approved safe boating course. South Bend Sail and Power Squadron offers a class that meets the Michigan requirements!

Boat Operator Age and Education Requirements

If you were born on or after July 1, 1996, you may not legally operate a boat in Michigan of greater than 6 horsepower unless you have had an approved safe boating course and have your card with you! If you are less than 12 years of age, you may operate a boat up to 35 horsepower if you have had an approved safe boating course and have your card with you, and are directly supervised by someone at least 16 years old. If you are between the ages of 12 and 15, you may operate a boat of greater than 6 horsepower if you have taken an approved safe boating course, or you are directly supervised by someone at least 16 years old. There are no age or education requirements for a boat of less than 6 horsepower. If you were born before July 1, 1996, you may operate a boat of any horsepower without age restrictions or educational requirements. (It's still a good idea to take a boating safety course!)

Personal Watercraft Age and Education Requirements

Michigan now prohibits anyone less than 14 years old from operating a personal watercraft. Persons between the ages of 14 and 15 must complete an approved safe boating course, have the card in their possession, and be accompanied by a parent or guardian or a person 21 or older designated by the parent or guardian. The parent, guardian, or designee must also have taken an approved safe boating course and have the card in their possession if they were born after December 31, 1978. Persons age 16 and older may operate a personal watercraft only if they have completed an approved safe boating course and have the card in their possession. Persons who were born on or before December 31, 1978 may operate a personal watercraft without restrictions or educational requirements. (It's still a good idea to take a boating safety course!)

This summary of the changes in Michigan law is offered only as a guide to suggest further research or inquiry. For the most current Michigan laws and how they affect your boating experience, contact the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Take a Safe Boating Course with Us!

South Bend Sail and Power Squadron offers the United States Power Squadron's ABC 3rd Edition public boating course, which meets the Michigan safe boating course requirements. You'll receive a boating card that meets the requirements of most states and is good for life. See our Education Page for a listing of courses in the South Bend/Mishawaka area, or go to USPS.org to locate courses in other areas.

This Month's Highlights

Commander's August-September 2014 Message

Commander Bob Sorensen's August-September 2014 message has been posted. See it on the From the Helm page.

New  Next Regular Meeting

Location - Morris Park Country Club, 2200 McKinley Ave., South Bend, IN 46615
Date/Time - 16 September 2014 at 1900 (cash bar begins at 1830)
Program: Indiana River Rescue School

For more details, see our Next Meeting page.

Roster 22 May 2014

The latest edition of our roster, dated 22 May, 2014, is posted on the Member's Page (access restricted to Members only).

New The SpringLine

The August-September 2014 edition of the squadron's publication, the SpringLine has been posted on the Member's Page (access restricted to members).

D9 Interlaker

The Spring 2014 edition of the District 9 Interlaker has been posted on the Member's Page (access restricted to members).

USPS United States Power Squadron's ABC 3rd Edition Public Boating Course

New to boating, or just want to learn more about how to have more fun on the water? Our America's Boating Course, 3rd Ed. is our introductory public boating course. Join us for an exciting introduction to the fun of being on the water.

Sessions are 5-6 weeks long, and classes are held at the Battell Center, Mishawaka, IN from 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. weekly. (Registration first night 06:30 p.m.).

Public Boating Classes Begin:

15 Sep - 27 Oct 2014 - Battell Center, Mishawaka, IN. Click here to register or for more information about this class. You can also call us at 574-367-8572 or contact us by email at education@sbsps.org. Please include your phone number so we can contact you.

17 Sep - 29 Oct 2014 Special Location - Elkhart Area Career Center, 2424 California Rd, Elkhart, IN 46514. This class requires preregistration by 16 September with the Elkhart Career Center. For a listing of all classes at the Elkhart Area Career Center, Click here. For more information about our boating class, please call 574-367-8572 or contact us by email at education@sbsps.org. Please include your phone number so we can contact you.

More information about our classes can be found on our education page.