United States Power Squadrons®
By Boaters – For BoatersSM
South Bend Sail and Power Squadron
Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan
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.
For both sail and power boats, Seamanship covers a wide range of topics, including:
Seamanship follows the America's Boating Course series, and provides an in-depth look at the basics of small boat handling. It is ideally suited for the student who has some familiarity with boating, but wants to increase his or her boating skills. This course will give you the practical knowledge to take a boat from the dock, into open water, and return in normal weather conditions.
This course is normally completed in 8 two-hour sessions: six sessions of study, one session of review and one session for the exam. This course is available through the South Bend Sail and Power Squadron or other local squadron near you, or may be taken on line at the University of West Florida. Naturally we recommend taking the course from a live instructor who can answer your questions and provide individual instruction tailored to the experience of the class. An on-line version is also available through the University of West Florida.
Modern GPS and chart plotting equipment has made life much easier for the modern boater. But what happens when your equipment fails? Can you reliably find your way back to your home port, regardless of the conditions? Piloting is the first course in practical navigation, with the emphasis on understanding and using paper charts. 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.
Ten classes of two hours each normally are scheduled for presentation of this course. In addition the students have seven days to complete an open book exam, which emphasizes charting and plotting skills. A student who completes the Piloting class should be able to navigateto a destination and return without the aid of GPS .
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.
Advanced positioning techniques, such as advancing a line of position to obtain a running fix
The course en classes of two hours each normally are scheduled for presentation of this course. In addition the students have seven days to complete an open book exam.
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.
This interesting and challenging course emphasizes the practical aspects of daytime celestial navigation. You will also learn to prepare a sight folder that documents your positioning skills using sights taken on the sun. The course will take approximately 14 weeks to complete and you will have two additional weeks to complete an open book exam.
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.
As with the Junior Navigation course, you will learn to prepare a sight folder that documents your positioning skills using sights taken on the moon, planets and stars. The course will take approximately 10 weeks and, you will have two additional weeks to complete an open book exam.